Too Human

13 09 2008

So undoubtedly you have seen at least one of the reviews from major sites regarding Too Human. Also undoubtedly you have formed your own opinion about the game either from experience with the game, or from reading a review. I’m not writing a review per say, more of an analysis of why Too Human was received so negatively by reviewers. 

 

Lets start with the top 3 complaints across most of the reviews:

 

1: Valkyrie death scene.

   This scene is the bane of many gamers, it forces you to sit through an agonizingly long time (15 seconds? too much) before you are respawned not too far away from the battle. 15 seconds by itself is not that long, the annoyance stems from the repetition (sometimes constant) of the scene. Seeing the same thing happen as much as 20 times per level can be a painful experience for many gamers. Too Human has no tangible death penalty, when you die you pop back into existence a la Bioshock with all the currently destroyed enemies, still currently destroyed.  However the devil’s in the details, each time you die your equipped armor and weapons take a structural hit.  An amount of points is subtracted from your equipments “state” (Hit points) and when that reaches zero (usually after anywhere from 6-12 deaths) the equipment loses its abilites, armor becomes about as useful as a tinfoil hat. 

   The reason this is so infuriating is when on those all to frequent occasions, you square off with a room full of trolls dark elves AND snipers, you and the Valkyrie get to know each other on a first name basis. The problem is self perpetuating, if you die to much and your armor fails, you’ll just die faster. The only plausible solution I can think for this is to have say a 3 Valkyrie cap per play through, that way you still can occasionally appreciate the majestic way she blasts away all surrounding enemies, but only a few times.

 

2. Difficulty ramps up too high

  This issue is really due to a combination of things:

     A) The difficulty does in fact ramp up considerably after the first level.

     B) If you don’t keep your armor repaired, you might as well be clothing yourself in tissue paper

     C) If you don’t choose the correct skill path, life becomes more difficult.

The Ice Forest, is a horrible level. The design is cool, the art is interesting, but to actually play… is a bitch. The amount of trolls and elf leaders present makes the level feel like your skipping from one boss fight to the next, and when you finnally do get to the boss, it is arguably the longest boss fight (assuming your not a commando). Because the developers put this type of level right after the intro level, instead of say, as a final level, it feels out of place. Right after that during the third level the difficulty drops a bit, not a lot, but enough to be noticed. 

 

3. Items don’t stay powerful or I keep having to change my gear…

   This one is purely user perception, I for one (when leveling up to 50) only changed my gear after a level run, other people like to stop where they are and fiddle around with runes and such in the middle of a battle. While it is true that you will often find items that outclass something you found minutes ago, this again is part of the “loot strategy” something not really grasped until a full play through is completed. Because you will be under a deluge of items all of increasing quality until you hit level 50, basically you should treat them as disposables, stuff to get you to the real prize, level 50. Don’t waste runes on armor that you know will be outclassed quickly, save them up for your level 50 gear, which has far less variation (stats wise). This game is a dungeon crawler, new loot is something that will always be popping up, if you don’t like the idea of constantly getting new toys to play with, maybe you shouldn’t be playing a game like this.

Reviewers generally gave Too Human a 5.0-6.5 score (out of 10), some of these reviewers came from obscure dark corners of the staff, and some of them never played beyond the first level. What it really boils down to is a case of hurt feelings, there was so much hype for this game (it’s 10 YEARS in the making dude!) that when it was finally released people looked for it’s faults rather than it’s strengths. If you save up for a Ferrari, and finally buy one from a friend, and the Ferrari doesn’t go 200 MPH like you expected, you’d be disappointed to say the least. A vast majority of the scores Too Human received were influenced by great expectations that were dashed against sharp pointy rocks by an engine change. Which brings us to:

 

The EPIC vs SK Lawsuit:

Silicon Knights and EPIC Games have been battling it out in court over EPIC’s alleged withholding of it’s Unreal Engine support and information. Too Human was developed on the Unreal Engine to begin with, when this engine proved unusable by SK, they had to create an in-house engine from scratch and begin from the drawing board. This kind of set back can cripple a weak or average game, so I ask you if the EPIC/Unreal lease worked out, how good would Too Human have been? To have a game essentially get re-created so close (relatively) to it’s completion, and then turn out well (in my opinion) is impressive. Unfortunately most of the consumers out there (yes you) decided to follow what the reviews said.

Overall my review of Too Human is that it is a niche game most will have problems with facing an actual challenge in a hack n’ slash game. We gamers have been coddled into believing that when we pick up the controller for an action came we become miniature gods. Too Human challenges us with a non standard difficulty, new controls, and strategic and tactical thought, and we balk at it in return, maybe we just weren’t ready for a game such as Too Human.

 

8.5/10

+ Deep Customization

+Games within the game (arenas, charm quests, troll battles)

+Strong Story (very  strong in the last level of the game)

+ Co-op only doubles the fun!

+/- Epic Armor is incredibly difficult to obtain, both frustrating and a challenge

– 4-player co-op was mysteriously dropped.

– No Bank to tranfer items between characters





E3 2008

17 07 2008

So with E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) rolling around again this year (just keeps coming back…) Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all have many many things to share with us. Some of these things were met with critisicm, some with tears (cough… Final Fantasy…) and some with confusion. Overall most were met with joy and jubilation for whats just around the bend for us 360 owners.

The Short:

Microsoft announced a new dashboard style, this is a total re-imagination of the dashboard and marketplace, it’s coming across in the few screens we’ve been shown as some kind of freak Wii/PS3 monster baby. With the introduction of “Avatars” (Wii-me esque… things.) Microsoft seems to be adopting and forcing a kinder, gentler Xbox 360 than what we are accustomed to. Most of the major features for the new dash cater towards the casual gamer, and media enthusiast, with group photo and movie sessions, game shows (1 versus 100) and the aforementioned “Avatar” introduction. It appears that 360 owners will be able to custom create their avatar as a representation of themselves, and the avatar will be used (hopefully as an option) in future Live Arcade titles.

For the Hardcore gamers out there Microsoft has unveiled a new party system that will allow 8 players to stay in the same party and chat as they travel from game to game, this system is 100% backwards compatible so you and your friends could play Halo 3, and then migrate over to Call of Duty 4 in one fluid motion.

Speaking of fluid motions, Microsoft revealed a new set of games focused on motion movement, similar to the Eye-toy line of games from the PS2.

Most interesting perhaps is the ability to rip games directly to your Hard Drive, by playing games from the HD load times will be reduced, and that 747 engine that is the 360’s DVD drive will be able to finally have some peace and quiet. However, you cannot simply just burn a game and play, you need to have the original disc in the tray while playing (the disc will not be used) for copyright and anti-pirating purposes.

E3 ’08 has showcased some ipressive games that many of us are expecting and lusting to play such as Gears of War 2, Too Human, Far Cry 2, and Fallout 3 (to name a few). Here’s a quick rundown of new info on the games.

Gears of War 2:

A new 5 player Co-op mode was announced, entitled Hoarde, players must work together to survive against increasingly difficult waves of Locust.

3 New weapons have been revealed, the Flamethrower, Poison Grenade (unknown if it is a player useable weapon), and the Heavy portable turret.

A.I Bots will finally make their way into multiplayer so if your one man short, no worries, the game will fill the slot for you.

Far Cry 2:

Dynamic enemy interaction, i.e, shoot a soldier in the leg and his comrades may rush to assist him (right into your trap).

Dynamic Fire, not exactly new, but oh-so awesome. Start a fire and it will jump from object to object immolating anything in it’s path.

Too Human:

A demo was released a few days ago for Too Human, on first play through I was thou roughly disappointed with the game as a whole, it seemed a weak smash-em-up, far from what it was acclaimed to be. However after unlocking the other classes (Disconnect from LIVE, and set your date to 2009) I found the game had far more depth then I previously believed. Overall I will buy Too Human when it is released, as while the learning curve may be a tad on the steep side (no tutorial… not smart) once you figure it out, it’s an excellent game.

Fallout 3:

Scrap weapons, yeah, you can piece together weapons from bits and pieces you find around, like the aesthetics of the AK47, but like the accuracy of the M4? Mix-n-match to your hearts content. The charming yet terrifying Vault Boy (Vaul-Tech’s mascot) guides you through the nuclear armageddon plan for you and your family in a highly entertaining trailer available on the Live marketplace.

I’ll post some more info as it comes. Enjoy this wonderful week of gaming, it dosen’t get any better than E3.





DiRT Review

20 05 2008

Ahhh DiRT the 360’s first (decent) venture into the field of off-road racing. DiRT is brought to us by Codemasters the same company that brought us the ToCA Race Driver series. DiRT is an interesting rendition of high speed, high risk off-road point-to-point racing (also known as Rally Racing), while the core race type is Rally Racing, other types of races are present and equally entertaining such as cross country circuit races, hill climbs, and one on one showdowns.

DiRT brings many things to the table, it has incredible graphics, sound, and physics, it has a massive selection of cars and tracks, and it’s one of only a few off-road racing games available on the Xbox 360. But… there’s always a but, there are also things to be desired, so without further ado, here’s the GBU!

THE GOOD

  • Impressive Graphics: Cars deform realisticly in collisions, paint scrapes, the track and debris effects are amazing, and the dashboard view is one of the best I’ve ever seen)
  • Good Sound: From the throaty rumble of the classic muscle, to the Citroen C4’s turbo whine, all the car sounds are believable and powerful
  • Good Design: The game is well put together, a user friendly menu system, audio track navigation (more on that later), and well balanced controls combine to make this game accessible to a variety of age and skill groups.

THE BAD

  • The handling of certain vehicles can be touchy at best.
  • The weather effects (rain, mud, etc.) on the grip and control of the cars seems over the top.
  • The group race AI will often run you off the road in the beginning of large scale races as they take a set course each and every time. This forces you to start the race and worry about staying on the track, rather than getting an early lead.
  • Multiplayer only supports virtual racing, what I mean by this is, while you may be “racing” against 5 other people, they are not represented on the track, so essentially DiRT’s multiplayer mode consists of online time trials.

THE UGLY

  • The voice support is hit-or-miss, it’s pretty difficult to get it to work, and when it does it cuts out frequently. Interestingly enough, Codemasters foresaw this and insituted a text chat system in which you select a line from 100 or so options, and it is posted into the “Chat” blade of the multiplayer lobby.
  • You cannot choose what track or car type you prefer when searching for a room, you can’t even control those when you host your own! All tracks and cars are decided by a voting system, with 60 seconds in between races, let’s see you refill the chip bowl, dash to the bathroom, and back in less than 60. Go.

The Meat:

DiRT is a game you would get for singleplayer, as there is virtually no interaction with other people aside from a flimsy, “Beat That!” multiplayer mode. Singleplayer is where DiRT really shines, you can set up a quick race, participate in a Tournament, or work on your racing career in the aptly named “Career mode”. Career mode is where most of the effort went, and it shows, upon entering the Career mode screen, you are greeted with the triangular monstrosity that is the Race Pyramid. You start on the bottom tier, and every time you finish a set number of races the next tier opens up, you continue on your quest for the top, until you eventually reach the summit that is the Champion of Champions event. Throughout your journey to the top you can purchase new cars, liveries (paint jobs), and tune your fleet of cars to perfection using DiRT’s deep tuning capabilities, while it may not rival Forza, those who actually know how to alter a wheels camber will feel right at home. Don’t sweat it if you (like I) can’t tell a camshaft from a carbuerator, there are a series of helpful tutorials for each part to help steer (ha) you in the right direction.

Once you have bought, tuned, and selected your new car, you are ready for a race, you can choose from a large list of off-road race types each with it’s own gimmick. Hill climb tends to have longer stretches of straight track for the high powered cars, Rally generally will have lots of turns and chicanes perfect for a quick compact car, and the Lucas Oil Truck series is perfect for the suppressed road rage in all of us. Throughout all your races you will have someone with you, whether it’s via Radio, or someone in your passenger seat, helpful voices will chime in to let you know that your clear to pass, going to fast, or that there’s a grade 2 turn coming up in 250 feet. The co-pilot feature in the rally races is really well done, the guy sitting in with you will tell you how far away a turn is, and how severe it is. Scaled from 1 to 6, 1 is the most severe whereas 6 is the long lazy turn you can take a 180 MPH.

Overall DiRT is a very enjoyable racer, with good physics, great visuals, and solid singleplayer, what it lacks in the multiplayer department is more than made up for the in the singleplayer options.

  • Visuals: 9.5/10 Beautiful in every way, easily one of the prettiest racers on the 360.
  • Gameplay: 7.5/10 It’s a racing game, on dirt… there’s no real originality, and the races seem to bleed together after a few hours of playing.
  • Audio: 9/10 The engine sounds are fantastic, and the in-game music isn’t too bad either.
  • Overall: 8.8




Rainbow Six Vegas 2 Review (Or Part two of Rainbow Six’s Vegas Vacation)

28 04 2008

Rainbow Six Vegas 2

The second installment in Rainbow Team’s Vegas vacation, R6 Vegas 2, is really nothing more than an over glorified expansion pack. Sure it adds a new feature or two (ACES, and Story/Adversarial EXP Sharing) but it like most sequels (Halo 3, COD4) doesn’t deviate from the core it established. The problem is, other series games, are liked because they are clean, and functioning. Even if at the time of release there are a few kinks in the code, people ignore that, and play on. Rainbow was put on the shelves, broken, so much so that UBI decided to ship it, and then release a patch before it hit stores. They failed to address basic, simple requests from their fan base, and decided what was best for us, the gamer.

THE GOOD:

A new A.C.E.S system allows you to actually feel your accomplishing something.

New PEC sharing, allows you to add to your XP total from either adversarial or single player/co-op game play.

THE BAD:

For some reason, UBI decided it would be a wise move to take out dead-room to live-room chat, when you die you can’t communicate with your living teammates, not even in a standard Team Deathmatch.

Little glitches abound, ladders malfunctioning, grenades sticking to empty space, not to mention some serious (though rare) hit detection issues.

If you’ve played R6 Vegas 1, your shafted out of an achievement in Vegas 2, the “Reach the Rank of Pvt. 1st Class” achievement, is permanently locked as you skip right past it with UBI’s “gift” to it’s loyal gamers of bonus XP. (Note, it has been brought to my attention, that Ubisoft has released a patch that has fixed acheivment issues, and improved the gun sound glitches).

Ubi decided that we could use two new game modes, but we didn’t know that in exchange we would have to sacrifice, Survival, Assassination, and Retrieval. What would posses someone to REMOVE content from a sequel, it’s like cutting out Frodo in the second Lord of the Rings movie. No one liked him anyways, it’s not like he was vital to the story or anything.

That wonderful Trigger-happy glitch remains from Vegas 1, you know the one when you shoot your gun, and the sound loops endlessly, amplified for some reason. That makes if real easy to focus on killing enemies.

THE UGLY:

Why would you disable Radar by default? You didn’t take it out, but you decided to “hide” it from the newbies?

If I headshot a tango from 100 yards, in the back of the head, why the hell do I get CQB (Close Quarters Battle) points?

Why are there limited spawns in Team Deathmatch, it’s like Ubi tried to compensate for removing Survival.

Why can I kill a terrorist through a steel plate… but not through a bottle of bleach?

THE MEAT:

The single player storyline takes place before and during the events of Rainbow Six Vegas, featuring ties-ins with the first game, and even an ending cameo by Logan and his team. That being said, I enjoyed the plot in Vegas 2, far more than Vegas 1, it added a more human feel to the game which was much needed, without spoiling the story for those who haven’t completed it, several levels capture the sense of urgency around the terrorist situation. A cool feature that’s been added in is the ability to have a persistent, Persistent Elite, meaning that the character you create and maintain for single player carries over to multiplayer and vice-a-versa, any weapons or clothes you unlock in one mode, translates to the other. The customization the Vegas 2 offers is choice, you can choose what attachments with which to adorn your gun with (a big plus for a gun whore like myself) and you can modify your uniform with many armor types and camo colors. The face-capture technology is still here, so don’t worries you can still perforate your next door neighbor’s skull in multiplayer. The multiplayer is still in multiplayer limbo, it can’t seem to pick between slow and tactical, and quick n’ twitchy. Some games I’ll play will take up the full time limit, with intense firefights and great teamwork, but most devolve into running in endless loops around the map trying to dot, pre-fire, or shoulder glitch your enemies into oblivion. Vegas is a game you should get if you like the single player style, or if you are a fan of Halo, or the original Vegas, I would not recommend it to someone looking for a slower paced tactical game.

The score:

Graphics: 8.5 (Nothing spectacular, but not to shabby looking either)

Sound: 8 (Vegas 2 features all the standard noises and music, but the gunshots sound hollow, and the explosions and other environmental noises sound distant.

Gameplay: 8.5 (The single player is enjoyable, but multiplayer strips away the usefulness of the cover system, and supplements with Halo style quick aiming and run n’ gunning)

Overall: 8/10 Vegas 2 added some cool tricks and gimmicks, but those quickly fade away to reveal that it’s nothing more than a $60 expansion pack.

*Note that the overall is not an average, but a score based on all the game has to offer.

** Thanks to CollapseControl for the Vegas vacation one liner.





Battlefield Bad Company Beta: Sneak Peak

27 03 2008

Decided I’d pass a little peek on to the community.





Army of Two Review

5 03 2008

Quick Stats:

Title: Army of Two

Players: 2 Co-op (local/online), 2 versus mode (2v2) (online).

Developer: EA Montreal

Genre: Modern Third Person Shooter

Release Date: March 4th (in stores March 5th) 2008

P3anut Says: 8/10

Summary

EA Montreal’s newest release to the shooting genre, Army of Two combines “stop-and-pop” game play (a la Gears of War) with probably the greatest co-operative system ever designed. The game offers a unique Co-op experience over Xbox Live or local split screen. From the start the game was designed with co-op game play in mind, it’s built and designed to be the co-op game for the Xbox 360. Most games “co-op” game play is either an excerpt of the single player, or a generic bot-match, Army of Two has successfully crafted a single-player game around a co-op game. Any level you play in solo mode can be played in Co-op, from the training level straight through to the final fight, this combined with the brilliant “Agrro Meter” makes Army of Two an excellent game.

Review

Army of Two is a co-op game, simple as that, the game is a co-op game with added singleplayer and multiplayer. This is one of few games to take this path, most games tack on a co-op mode after focusing on singleplayer, by crafting a co-op game from the start, EA Montreal has set a new standard for co-op games everywhere. Army of Two features the standard variety of co-op interactions, you know, the healing, the tactics, standard stuff. A couple of moves are noteworthy here, those being the Step Jump, and Back-to-back maneuvers. Here’s the situation, you and your buddy are beneath a cliff ledge, you know that there are two enemies just waiting for you to climb up the cliff, so you initiate a step jump. Your buddy positions himself at the base of the cliff, and lifts you partially up, high enough to see over the edge, from here you raise your rifle, and eliminate the targets before they can come-to-terms with the seemingly levitating faceless soldier staring them in the face. You clamber up onto the cliff, and turn around and haul your buddy up, you both turn around to find the enemy has surrounded you, cue Back-to-Back mode. Time slows down, you move into a back to back position covering each others unarmored back, you do a John Woo-esque slow spin as you take out enemy after enemy, when the dust settles, twenty some odd enemy soldiers lie defeated at your feet. Now this could be a cut scene, but all of that happens in real time, and under your control. That is what makes Army of Two so spectacular is the strong camaraderie between the two mercenaries.

Back-to-Back

They’ve got us surrounded…. the poor bastards.

The Aggro-system, it’s big it’s bad ass and it’s here to do some damage. Once you master the system, you can tank your way through any level, or sneak around and backstab any enemy. Aggro, is how much the enemy hates you, if they hate your a lot, then they’re going to shoot you a lot. You accrue Aggro by shooting, killing, maiming, pillaging, and generally kicking ass. The more Aggro you obtain, the more enemy fire and attention you receive. Fill up the meter and you can enter Overkill mode, in which you deal double damage, and have unlimited ammunition. Lock-n-load. On the other hand, Aggro can be used stealthily, have your buddy draw some fire, and build up his Aggro, and your as good as invisible, you can flank around the enemy, and hit them where it hurts. Do enough sneaking and backstabbing, and you can enter the stealth style overkill, which makes you invisible, and able to run a lot faster. This allows you to sprint around a melee an entire company to death while they are firing away at your buddy. You glow red as your accrue Aggro, and you fade away as your partner builds Aggro. Some enemies such as the Heavy Armor Soldiers, cannot be killed unless you shoot them in their unarmored back, one of you has to draw their attention, while the other sneaks around and delivers the killing blow.

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Heads Up!

Army of Two offers a huge arsenal of weaponry, and an even larger set of upgrades and customizations. There are assault rifles, Sub-Machine Guns, Sniper Rifles, Shotguns, M203 Grenade Launchers, Pistols, Revolvers, RPG’s, and Heavy Machine Guns, for each of these weapons there are several custimization options. You can upgrade the barrel to add more damage, the stock for accuracy, add a suppressor to tone down Aggro generation, or “PIMP” it out, with gold plating, diamonds, chrome, and other such awesomeness. All of the upgrades affect the Aggro section of the weapons stats, the higher the Aggro stat is, the faster you generate Aggro when firing. Pistols have a low base aggro, while RPG’s and Machine-Guns attract a lot of attention.

rpg-a.jpg

I tend to opt for the more direct approach.

The multiplayer mode in Army of Two, is a 2 vs. 2 team showdown. You and a team-mate square off against another team competing for cash, you can earn money for taking down enemies, capturing objectives, and weeding off the AI enemy population. There are four maps right now, with the first batch of DLC on it’s way (and reportedly FREE!), (‘they’ plan to release at least one map per month) the maps range from a deserted desert town, to downtown Miami. The multiplayer is like a 4 person game of Counterstrike, you buy weapons and upgrades as you gain money throughout the match. At then end of the match the team with the most money is declared the winner.

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Co-op tactics takes center stage in multiplayer

Score:

Graphics: 9.5/10 Ao2 has no tearing, no visual jumping/jittering, excellent graphics and environmental effects.

Sound: 8.5/10 The environment and voice sounds are well recorded, but the weapons sound a little weak.

Gameplay: 8/10 The AI for your buddy sucks, but that is the only downfall for Ao2, the co-op system is excellent.

Overall: 8/10 Ao2 provides a unique co-op experience, and well crafted multiplayer, undoubtedly worth your money.

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Frontlines Fuel of War: Multiplayer Demo Impressions

15 02 2008

A few days ago a multiplayer enabled demo for Frontlines Fuel of War was released on the Xbox LIVE marketplace. Being the impressionable man I am… I caved to peer pressure and downloaded it. I have had a hit-or-miss relationship with Frontlines, I love the concept of the physical frontline moving up, but the SP demo shoved me away with it’s wonky controls and seemingly broken shooting and damage system. Fortunately the MP Demo appears to have fixed the vehicle controls and the damage and physics are much much better now.

In the demo you can pick from 6 Classes (Assault, Heavy Assault, Anti-Vehicle, Sniper, Spec. Ops, and Close Combat, and then compliment your choice with a skill set (Countermeasures, Ground Support, Drone Technician, and Air Support), this leads to so many combinations that you will never find yourself unable to take on a threat. Your up in an oil tower sniping away at hapless infantry as they attempt to cross the bleak oil fields. A tank raises it’s barrel and takes you out with a shell to the face, no worries, respawn with an Anti-Vehicle loadout and Air Support, and go take that bugger out!

Here’s a quick breakdown of Loadouts and Skills

Loadouts

Assault: Assault Rifle, Pistol, Hand Grenades, Rifle mounted grenade launcher

Heavy Asssault: Light Machine-gun, Hand Grenades, Pistol

Anti-Vehicle: Rocket-launcher, Anti-Vehicle Mines, Pistol

Sniper: Sniper Rifle, Pistol, Hand Grenades

Spec. Ops: SMG, Demo Charges, Pistol

Close Combat: Shotgun, Pistol, Hand Grenades

Skills

Drone Technician: You can launch and control a variety of drones, airborne and tracked, able to take on infantry, and armor alike.

Countermeasures: You don’t show up on the Enemy Awareness system (a red triangle surrounding your character when spotted), you can place EMP Spikes to disable drones and vehicles in a given area, and are provided with an EMP Launcher, when fired it disables all electronics in it’s blast radius.

Ground Support: You can repair vehicles and gun emplacements, and place two types of mounted gun positions (Grenade, Rail-gun, Mini-gun, and Sentry-gun) depending on what faction your serving with.

Air Support: You can call in airstrikes (Precision Strike, Carpet Bomb, Fuel-Air Bomb, Vulcan Gunship support) depending on what faction your with.

The gameplay is epic, simply epic, most online console games support a max of 8-16 players per match, Frontlines supports up to 32 players per match, 16 on a side, it can get really chaotic out there. Two maps are included in the demo are called Street and Oilfield, each showcases a different aspect of Frontlines. Street is set in a war-torn deserted city, craters litter the roads, and gaping holes have been ripped in the sides of buildings. The combat here is focused on close quarters to mid-range, Drone use is ideal here, in a map where there could be a threat around every corner having an eye in the sky could make the difference between a kill or a respawn. Oilfield is set on a dessert plateau oil wells dot the landscape while a towering refinery stands in the center. This is a map tailor made for vehicular warfare, each base has an Attack Helicopter, several tanks, and a jeep, further into the desert sub-bases have tanks or jeeps.

The core mechanic in Frontlines is to capture control points to move your frontline further into enemy held territory, every time it’s moved up it forces them back closer and closer to their main base. Once you capture their base (or they use up their alloted lives) the round ends. Most objectives require you to simply sit around and shoot the breeze for a few seconds, while others require you to do something specific, like planting a demo charge on a generator. Once you’ve captured an Objective point you and anyone else on your team can spawn there until it is captured by the enemy.

The Multiplayer demo has me hooked, I’ll admit it, the massive scale, strategic thinking, and vehicular combat is awe-inspiring. There is nothing quite like watching a half-dozen tanks engage in the middle of a dessert while a helicopter launches flares to confuse the rocket on it’s tail. The sheer scale of the multiplayer alone makes it enjoyable, I personally can’t wait until the full game is released.