FIELD OPERATIVE

CALL OF DUTY, BATTLEFIELD & F.P.S. blog

Archive for CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS

CALL OF DUTY: NO DEDICATED SERVERS, NO BUY [VIDEO]

Thanks to Yperion for bringing to my attention this one!

COD:BO Domination Survival Guide is here!

Some might think I’m a COD hater but that’s not true! I just hate the fact that the console versions don’t have dedicated servers. COD4 being my favorite video game ever, I also got fed up by MW2’s glitches and unbalanced camper-oriented gameplay  rather quickly and never looked back.

The truth is that COD:BO is the best COD game since COD4… So, BFBC2 being rather dead by now, with no new maps since Vietnam and extremely irritating players populating the servers (at least for the Xbox version),  I started playing COD:BO again. I even purchased the Escalation map pack which is pretty cool.

I am playing mostly Domination, so I wrote down a Survival Guide. Check it out! And who knows, maybe one of these days I will try to publish my unfinished COD4 Headquarters Guide that I’ve been working on for months!

Crysis 2 (Xbox 360) or the sempiternal inconvenience of host-based console F.P.S.

Crysis 2 multiplayer is lots of fun. Really. I like the armor/cloak gimmicks, I like the weapons, I like the game modes, I like the graphics, I like the maps.

What I don’t like is that Crytek must surely think console players, as opposed to PC gamers, are dumbasses. There is no other way to explain the fact that they dare to claim that they achieved a hi-tech, top-notch FPS when they don’t have dedicated servers.

I have lag most of the time and obviously there is a clear advantage for the host (if you press START and there is just one person with a connection of 4 green bars, that’s him). I even got the host once, which is totally ridiculous because I have a crap 2mbps ADSL connection.

Dear Crytek, DICE & Guerilla pwn you in the console territory. Ask your boss, EA, for dedicated servers next time…

Dear Crysis 2 console player, if you can’t stand to play with lag, there is just one way out: switch to a FPS with dedicated servers.

Dedicated servers means that there is no lag, or if there is a little bit all the players lag the same – there is no advantage for the host.

For a host-based title, the game picks up the player with the best connection and makes him/her act as the server. All the other players connect to him. He has a clear advantage because for example he can see other players before they see him.

If the host quits, then the game must migrate to another host. This procedure is known as host migration and it doesn’t work all the time. Actually it works half of the time at best.

All host-based games do not have the same network code. The C.O.D. games are notorious for having worst netcode than the HALO games or -more recently- CRYSIS 2.

The worst of them all was COD 4: Infinity Ward was supposed to get host migration to work which has never happened. Each time the host was getting pissed off because he was getting pwned (=that’s called “ragequitting”) or because his mom/wife was calling him, the game ended abruptly and the rest of the players were losing the kills they had make and their score. At least in Crysis 2, I observed that you don’t lose the count of kills you made if the match ends following a failed host migration…

For your convenience, you can find below a non-exclusive list with the host-based and server-based console FPS games.

Please do not hesitate to share with us your experience with console multiplayer F.P.S. games.

HOST-BASED CONSOLE F.P.S. GAMES

  • CALL OF DUTY series
  • HALO series
  • CRYSIS 2
  • GEARS OF WAR 1+2
  • RAINBOW SIX: VEGAS 2

CONSOLE F.P.S. GAMES WITH DEDICATED SERVERS

  • BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 1+2
  • KILLZONE 2+3
  • M.A.G.
  • HOMEFRONT
  • MEDAL OF HONOR
  • GEARS OF WAR 3 (supposedly – to be confirmed)
  • RESISTANCE 1+2

Life after BFBC2 aka a recap about present and future FPS

I haven’t played much to BFBC2 lately, that’s why I haven’t posted much. I have been a little bored of corpse, but it’s mainly because I had to take of other things and have seriously reduced  gaming.

+++ I still maintain that late Vietnam is an amusing expansion for a short while, but boring and less meaty in the long term.

+++ Map Pack#7 is possibly the best map pack released so far. All the maps are great and Oasis a personal favorite of mine. Thumbs up!

Life after BFBC2, huh?

+++ HALO: REACH. Well, I have never been initiated to Halo multiplayer and I gave it a try. It’s a great game really, but not my style – I’m more of a military FPS fan. Eventhough it is host-based, its netcode is far more solid and robust than COD’s – which is a joke.

+++ MEDAL OF HONOR was good, amusing and had dedicated servers for the console versions. But overall it failed to fill the gap between COD and BFBC2: it wasn’t fast/arcade enough for the COD crowd and it wasn’t deep enough for us BFBC2 players. It also didn’t have enough guns, and its realistic/modern setting proved boring in the long term. Plus the gamewas ridden with bugs (especially concerning spawnkilling) that haven’t been adressed fast enough.

++++Call Of Duty: Black Ops has been fun for a few weeks, but as far as console FPS go, having enyoyed the benefits of dedicated servers it’s impossible to go back to host-based games. having said that, COD:BO is the best COD since COD4.

What comes next?

+++ CRYSIS 2. My only desktop is a vintage Pentium II PC from 1998. I have never played Crysis for more than a few minutes, and I have been one of those console gamers who have been waited for a port.  Here we go now… I have played the open beta on Xbox 360 for many hours. The game is cool. It has top-notch graphics and interesting gameplay. I’d say it’s somewhere between Halo and COD. The invisibility cloaks, shields and holograms are fun gimmicks to play with. But for a game that pretends to be hi-tech and on the edge of the current generation, it is unacceptable that it doesn’t have dedicated servers. No serious man should buy a game which pauses your multiplayer match in order to migrate the session because some fucking kid (or fat adult for that matter) ragequit. FUCK YOU!

+++ KILLZONE 3. I liked Killzone 2, I played it for quite a bit. Recently I even bought the map packs – too bad almost nobody is  playing them. The game has been strongly  influenced by the Battlefield series. It is part of what I would call the N.W.O.S.F. (New Wave Of Swedish FPS) – any heavy metal fans reading? 🙂 I just downloaded the beta today and gave it a try. The game seems ultracool, but to be honnest I haven’t seen any major differences from the previous one. I like the fact that it’s possible to swap R1/R2 and L1/L2 because I am using the XCM cross battle adapter: the Dualshock is simply not for FPS, and I use my Xbox 360 controller instead on the PS3, which is perfect for that with its real triggers and everything. Version 1 of the adapter, which I have, doesn’t give the possibility to configure the triggers, and for games like KZ2 you’re forced to shoot with the bumpers instead of the triggers.  So yeah, I will buy and play KZ3. Great graphics, deep gameplay, more varied settings and locales than KZ2 (the snowy “Frozen Dam” map of the beta resembles to KZ2 maps though) AND DEDICATED SERVERS!

+++ HOMEFRONT. Made by a team of notorious ex-Battlefield modders (the same people who made the cool Frontlines: Fuel Of War), this one will be a winner and will take for sure a part of the BFBC2 crowd. From the videos it looks great. Reportedly it’s easier to pilot a heli than it is in BFBC2, and this certainly sounds good to me! Drones seem cool tool. The weapons appear very MW-ish, so the transition from the COD/MW will be possibly smoother to some. Can’t wait…

+++ BATTLEFIELD 3. One of my friends on XBL, who has a PC gaming background, always tells me how BFBC1+2 are shallow compared to Battlefield 2. He is also telling me that is impossible to reproduce the authentic Battlefield experience to console. According to his comments, DICE have quite a challenge in front of them. Being an avid BFBC2 player, I am certainly ready for an even more strategic and deep experience. We’ll see what the Frostbite 2 engine will be up to! For the moment there’s not an videos or information disclosure whatsoever, DICE just declared that it wants it to be the biggest BF ever. Which is normal I guess. At the end of the dat, there has been a good thing with buying M.O.H.: it will give me access to the BF3 beta…

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS review (single player, Xbox 360)

Infinity Ward, the creator of the CALL OF DUTY franchise, being decimated after the noisy departure of its leaders, it’s up to Treyarch to prove that they are major players to be reckoned with in the F.P.S. genre. Not just a company who creates products in a successful franchise with the tools that others have written (ie. Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare engine).

CALL OF DUTY: WORLD AT WAR, Treyarch’s previous installment in the series was pretty good. The single player campaign was immersive, and the fact that it was co-op enabled a step forward for the series. The Nazi Zombies mode was succesful beyond all hope. The multiplayer was not so good. It felt a lot like a COD4 mod with worst maps, lousy weapons, the same lag and host problems, and some passable vehicle action in a couple of maps…

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS delivers once again an excellent single player story, unfortunately not playable in co-op. Ιn this article, I will try to explain why it is a sheer success.

The mise-en-scene reminded me a lot of all-time fave BLACK: an ex-CIA operative is questionned about his past whereabouts and various assignments.

The choice of a cold war setting is a must. WWII is overdone and  Medal Of Honor’s pathetic single player take on a modern conflict (one, two) confirms even more Treyarch’s decision.

There is a lot variety in the missions. You probably know by now that you will fight in Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, Russia, etc. I didn’t like that much a couple of WWII flashback levels, but I guess they constitute a link with World At War. My favorite mission so far, is “NUMBERS” with some very intense and cinematic action happening in the rooftops of a city in Hong Kong. It reminded me a lot of the Favela action in Modern Warfare 2…

The story is good. It’s not very realistic of corpse, and features a lot of Hollywood exaggerations, but this is to be expected. There is a strong character in the story, Mason, and you’ll play most of the single player campaign as him. He’s somebody that you can get attached to, unlike COD4 and Modern Warfare 2’s distant characters. The scenario is influenced a lot by conspiracy theories, like those concerning the JFK assassination for example. It’s also referring a lot to the controversial foreign policy of the US and the usual fuck-ups. All in all and once again, it’s a lot more interesting and well written than wanna-be competitor Medal Of Honor.

The gunplay is solid as always. People who have not gone online yet, will want to. The rest, even those who have defected the series after Modern Warfare 2 like myself, will be hooked up by the new weapons and exotic locales, and will want badly to participate in the online carnage! If only they introduced dedicated servers for the console versions,  as they did for the PC (Modern Warfare 2 was heavily flamed by the PC community for dropping the dedicated PC servers).

Let’s talk about one of the highlights of the game, which is the guns!  The truth is that with the immense popularity of shooters, we often have to play with the same guns, unless we are talking about sci-fi games like Gears Of War, Halo, F.E.A.R. or more recently Singularity. BLACK OPS is happening in a relatively recent historical context, and treyarch did some pretty good research in order to propose new, unusual guns alongside the classics like Ak47, M16, M14, AK74u,etc.

As far as I can tell from the campaign, BLACK OPS has awesome assault rifles! This was not the case in Modern Warfare 2 where the best assault rifle by far was the ACR (I also liked a lot the SCAR). Here we’re talking that at least three new exciting assault rifles/carbines.

The COLT Commando,  feels a lot like the ACR in its sound and the straight shooting.


One of the weapons that attracted the most my attention is the Heckler & Koch G11. It was a prototype that has never gone into mass production. It shoots caseless ammunition and is loaded in a peculiar manner similar to the P90, by a magazine parallel with the barrel. It fires by three round burst and handles very smoothly. It also has a huge 50-round magazine: thanks  to the novelty of the squared explosive ammunition , the cartridge have a box-like shape and there’s more bullets fitting into the magazine.

And finally we have the Galil. It has a great iron sights, it is powerful and it feels somewhere between the AK-47 and the G3…

There’s several hints as per the customization of the weapons. Except the usual scopes (ACOG, red-dot, reflex) there’s extended mags, the extremely cool dual mags (faster reloading), the absolutely amazing incendiary shotgun shells and the flame thrower that can be attached to assault rifles. There’s assault grenade launchers attached to SMG’s…

Vehicle-wise there’s a couple of pretty intense helicopter sessions where are you actually driving it and not only shooting, as well as a bit of driving but not much.

The difficulty level is similar to COD4 and COD:WaW, which means that it is harder than MW2.

As far as the length of the campaign goes, depending on what difficulty you will chose and how challenging it will be for you, it will take to most players between 10 and 15 hours to complete which is pretty decent. There are some A.I. problem and some frustrating sequences with neverending enemy respawns, but overall the action is enjoyable and satisfying. I look forward to try the full multiplayer experience and hope it will not be ruined by lag and host advantage/disconnects…