Microsoft Tears Down Multiplayer Walls

Microsoft Tears Down Multiplayer Walls

posted in: Game News | 0

Microsoft is tearing down the Xbox Live! wall and allowing other networks — including PC and other game consoles — to play with their player base.

I cannot imagine this being an initiative if the Xbox One was in a dominant position. Nevertheless, the end result is that games like Rocket League will have access to larger pools of players. This technically isn’t the first time that we’ve seen cross-network multiplayer but it is the first time we’re seeing it outside of an MMORPG.

Unfortunately without a game specific account, it’s not going to be possible for players of Rocket League on the PlayStation 4 to pair with players on Xbox One. In Rocket League’s case, this will enable an Xbox One party to go up against a PlayStation 4 party.

Baby steps.

With this initiative in place, I can see a game like Battlefield 5 with EA’s Origin ID allowing cross platform parties. I can see a future where Ubisoft leverages their uPlay ID to allow the agents on different networks to pair up as well. We’ll see how this will all shake up in the not so distant future.

Checkpoint: GameDealsCanada Q4 2015 Edition

Checkpoint: GameDealsCanada Q4 2015 Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

Black Friday is almost upon us and for most people it’s an opportunity to find discounted gifts for themselves or loved ones. For me? It’s that plus the gathering of deals to share with others. This year will be the first with GameDealsCanada’s website which means it should be a little easier to maintain but, at the same time, take a little longer to produce. Early leaks ultimately helps me for that big day. The more time I have to prep deals for both the site and the social media channels the better.

Last year’s debut of the website on Boxing Day was a huge boon. Folks found it helpful and I found it a bit easier to I always want to bring a little extra something and this year I wanted to improve the filtering component. I like to stay with the latest and greatest of things but this filtering plugin is so finicky from version to version, I’ve actually stuck by the old mantra of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” with it. And the crazy thing is that I actually paid for this thing and it’s so shoddily maintained.

I believe the next big thing I want to incorporate is search. The basic search is functional but it isn’t as robust or comprehensive as other product searches on other sites. To properly implement search, I will need to do a lot more data entry and I just don’t feel like going down that route.

It’s times like these when I wish I had employees or developers on staff.

I wrapped up Call of Duty: Black Ops 3’s campaign earlier this week and I strongly believe that it wouldn’t have been as enjoyable by my lonesome. I’m playing the multiplayer and enjoying my time with it despite the fact that I’m finding myself on the losing side more often than I would like. It’s a combination of matchmaking deficiencies, people not playing for objectives in objective modes and the weight of individual performances in a Call of Duty game.

I started Grow Home but it’s going to take some time before I wrap that one up. I’m enjoying it but the pull of Call of Duty is still too strong to ignore at the moment. That and the pull of Xenoblade Chronicles 3D.

Call of Duty: Black Ops PS4 Multiplayer Beta Impressions

Call of Duty: Black Ops PS4 Multiplayer Beta Impressions

posted in: Game Previews | 0

This was originally posted in a Call of Duty: Black Ops III beta impressions thread on NeoGAF but I decided to massage it into a post here:

I came away from the Call of Duty: Black Ops III PlayStation 4 multiplayer beta feeling positive and optimistic. The most glaring issue was the networking and matchmaking performance. It would be a damn shame if both of those areas do not improve in the final release. Dedicated servers would be greatly appreciated.

I thought the PS4 beta felt great. I liked the size of the maps and the pace of the game. I enjoyed the mobility options in Advanced Warfare but I felt the games were too frenetic at times and the “time to kill” felt too low for a game that’s trying to promote mobility.

I felt BLOPS3 nailed the blend of TTK and mobility. It reminded me a lot of BLOPS2 with a touch of mobility options. There were numerous occasions where I saw an enemy late, they shot at me, and I was still able to get into cover and retaliate. I didn’t feel like that was the case with AW or in any COD title since BLOPS2. Guns still felt lethal when targets were within the gun’s optimal range but the bullet damage drop off seems to be more drastic outside that range which could explain how I’m surviving more firefights.

The idea behind the AW suit powers was sound but the implementation was flawed because I felt it wasn’t worth the sacrifice of an attachment or a perk. Giving everyone an added ability via the Specialist class without occupying a crucial class slot was the right choice. They served like mini-scorestreak rewards which had the potential to turn around a player’s performance in a round.

For the first time in a long time since I felt the SMG class was a viable option for me in certain maps. I can’t recall a game after COD4 where I actually made an SMG class and used it regularly. I also noticed that silenced weapons were no longer a prevailing option for people. In the last few games, I felt like I was a huge disadvantage if I wasn’t using a silencer.

As for deaths by scorestreaks? I felt it was manageable. The root of much of Call of Duty’s scorestreak related issues stemmed from the ease in which players can obtain the UAV. I was pleased to see that UAV spam was surprisingly low. Even then the high end scorestreaks weren’t wreaking a ridiculous amount of havoc in the games that I participated in.

I liked the fact that maps actually had character and wasn’t just a maze of corridors. It reminded of COD4 and BLOPS2 where maps and battles flowed through a few select distinct alleys.

I know it’s a beta but I hope the final release addresses the texture draw in issues; especially around shrubbery. Finally, it may be too late to address this but I wish it was easier distinguish friend or foe outside of the obvious name tag. Everyone appeared too similarly.

The multiplayer beta showed great promise but there’s still a great deal that’s a mystery to the player base. Will there be a deadly/cheap combination lurking somewhere that will ruin the game for everyone else? We shall see.

Checkpoint: Host Migration Edition

Checkpoint: Host Migration Edition

posted in: Editorials & Features | 0

The Call of Duty: Black Ops III multiplayer beta started up earlier this week and, to my surprise, I am enjoying it. I enjoy the slower pace compared to Advanced Warfare which was a bit too frenetic for my liking. I enjoyed using the suit powers in Advanced Warfare but in the end, people were too quick and mobile for my liking. Black Ops III retained the pace of Black Ops II but added a tiny bit of vertical jump boosts, power sliding and wall running. When it all clicks, it feels great.

Unfortunately it doesn’t always click from a networking standpoint. I couldn’t find a single solid match last night; every single one was a lag filled stuttering mess. It’s been happening for a couple of days and for a while, I thought it was my problem. I rigged my connection to “NAT Open” but that didn’t help whatsoever. Then I gave up and played Rocket League which didn’t have a single connection problem.

Peer to peer connections are inconsistent and it’s disappointing that a major franchise like Call of Duty continues to rely on it. I understand why Activision would opt not to use it but come on, spend a little money and provide a consistent experience for your players. Especially when your competition is doing just that.

It is a beta and it’s very possible that the final build will operate smooth as silk but there’s always a hint of host advantage in a peer to peer setup. It’s also not ideal to have to wait for a game to migrate to another player because the host dropped out.

I feel like I’ve been harping on this point for years now.

Other than the above, I’ve been chipping away at The Witcher 3. Good times. I don’t know if I’ll wrap it up before The Phantom Pain arrives though. I don’t see an end it sight.

 

 

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