Medal of Honor PS3 Beta Impressions

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I am quite aware that this is a beta. Medal of Honor launches October 12, 2010 which means they have lots of time to work out the kinks. But, I believe the issues I have with this game are a bit deeper than the occasional freeze or jagged edge.

Medal of Honor’s multiplayer is DICE’s approach to the Modern Warfare formula. On paper: this sounds awesome. It’s Bad Company 2 meets Modern Warfare 2. The best of both worlds in one awesome reboot of a beloved franchise. However, as soon as I got into my first game, something didn’t seem right at all.

The first issue I noticed was the HUD; this game has a very poor HUD. Nothing is particularly easy to read quickly and seemed to be of a flash over substance design. This is, but a small example of the much bigger problem of communication in this game — between other players (the option for VOIP was defaulted to off) and between the game and myself. The game simply doesn’t convey the necessary info in a clear or concise fashion. The clear text “+10” from Bad Company 2 was replaced with blurry text accompanied by some silly explosion-flash-thing which just gets in the way of the action — it’s just unnecessary for something so trivial as a kill via headshot.

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ModNation Racers PS3 Demo Impressions

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My exposure to ModNation Racers can be summarized into these two items:

  1. The E3 2009 stage demo
  2. The Kevin Butler ad

And it looks like that’s all I really needed to know to get the gist of what ModNation Racers is all about.

People have described it as kart racing meets the “Play. Create. Share. genre” popularized by LittleBigPlanet and I think it’s a fairly accurate description. Today’s 900+ MB demo demonstrated two of the three pillars quite well.

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Split Second PS3 Demo Impressions

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I’m a fan of arcade racers — Wipeout HD being the favorite of the lot. I’ve always wanted to get into four wheel arcade racing, even though I haven’t found much success with that breed of arcade racer. Burnout: Paradise could have fit the bill, but I wasn’t feeling it after the demo. (I realize the game has changed dramatically since then, but then I haven’t gotten around to trying the latest iteration.) Fortunately, there are more arcade racers coming this month via Bizarre Creation’s Blur and Blackrock Studio’s Split Second. I checked out the demo for the latter.

I dug the demo of  Blackrock Studio’s previous work, Pure. It looked, played and ran superbly. It was also quite exhilarating for its vertigo. Split Second isn’t about vertigo or speed for that matter — it’s about explosions. Like a Michael Bay movie. I drifted and drafted my way around a simple track building up power charges in order to trigger predetermined explosions. These triggered on-track explosions can than be used to wreck my opponents or alter the layout of the track.

When I first learned of this mechanic, I thought it was going to be awesome the first time through, but would gradually become repetitive and predictable with each passing race. It turns out I was right. After trying the demo three times, I was already seeing past the explosions and into the simple racer.

Like the gameplay itself, I was initially wowed by Split Second‘s visuals. After spending a bit of time with the demo, I began to see the faults in the visuals. Aliasing was a bit distracting and so were the lower resolution textures on the track’s assets. To sum up: Split Second just didn’t hold up to closer scrutiny.

Now let’s see if a Blur demo will show up.

Dark Void PS3 Demo Impressions

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Dark Void - Flying is awesome. Everything else? Not so much.

What do I know about Dark Void? Let’s see.

  • It’s developed by a western studio and published by Capcom.
  • The protagonist resembles The Rocketeer and is voiced by the incredibly prolific Nolan North.
  • It’s a third person shooter.

And that’s about it. Needless to say, I don’t know very much about it. It was interesting enough to warrant a download of the 700MB demo and after going through it, I can see why Capcom isn’t too fond of the idea of having western studios develop new franchises for them.

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