Yesterday I played Battleborn for the first time on PC (I had previously played it on Xbox around launch, but it’s sat in my Steam library for awhile from a Humble Bundle) and unfortunately it was pretty much dead. I played through the tutorial missions (the story one and the versus one) and then tried to hop into multiplayer and was met with an agonizing wait just to find five people for a bot match. Apparently you’re limited to just 5 vs bots early on to make the game a better experience for new players. When I did find players, most of them were higher levels, and from talking to some of them it seems they only play the bot mode because it’s the only place they can find a match. Sure enough, when I played enough to unlock 5v5 versus I couldn’t find a match. I waited and waited and waited…. you get the picture. The most I found was one other player, but it never queued up any more than that, so finding 8 additional players seemed hopeless.
From there I jumped back into a few bot matches, in which I could actually find four other players. The bot matches are fun to play, but we won every single one 100-0 so it wasn’t very rewarding. It’s disappointing that the player base is so barren, because I think the game is quite enjoyable. I like it more now that I played it on PC than I did on the Xbox, and I especially enjoy the visual style and the way the music gets more intense toward the end of a match. It was a lot of fun playing, but there doesn’t seem to be much future for the game. I’m left wishing Overwatch would add a MOBA mode.
Every year around the time of The International I try to start playing DOTA 2 again, and this year has been no different. I’ve played a few online matches since TI7, and for the most part my performance has been terrible. With the way they’ve changed the game to engage new players I’m only allowed to pick from 20 heroes, and the two I’ve played the most as, Doom and Chaos Knight are off limits. So I’ve been playing as Juggernaut, and although I feel like I’ve started getting the hang of him, I haven’t been able to contribute much to my teams. I pretty much play really conservatively and try to keep my lane pushed, but I don’t like engaging with enemy players.
I’ve played around with a few solo bot matches as I’ve tried to get a better grip on Juggernaut’s abilities, and the game I finished up a few minutes ago has been my best one to date. I got more kills than I think I ever have during a DOTA match, and even got my first killing spree. To be fair, I’m playing against easy bots, but it still felt good to win a match where I think I contributed something. I’m sure I still played poorly, but maybe I’ll get better before I lose interest again. Maybe.
I ended up returning the game to Redbox as I had seen enough, but if you’re interested in seeing a more detailed look at the game check out Dan Ryckert’s impressions in this Giant Bomb Quick Look.
Watching the video almost made me want to play the game a bit more, but I think I’m going to stick to my guns and leave it alone for awhile. I still have plenty of other things I can be playing that will make better use of my time. If you’ve played the game let me know what you think of it so far.
The Origin store is having a sale, and I found it interesting that Mass Effect: Andromeda is currently on sale for $19.99 which is the same price as 2012’s Mass Effect 3. It’s certainly been a troubled year for Andromeda, and I imagine it’s reputation is beyond repair at this point. Although I was incredibly excited for the game leading up to its release, I was quickly disappointed with it. I felt pretty much done with the game about four or five hours in, but forced myself to finish out the main story hoping that there would be something positive about it. The concluding mission was somewhat enjoyable, but most of the game was an absolute bore (I didn’t enjoy Dragon Age: Inquisition much either).
If you haven’t played the game yet maybe you’ll find it worth the $20 price tag, but I can’t recommend it to you. I still think it’s better to steer clear and hope for another reboot someday, however unlikely that is.
I’ve played a few hours of Volition’s new game, Agents of Mayhem, this evening and my feelings so far are pretty “MEH”. I was never blown away by the Saints Row games, but they certainly had style and some pretty good voice acting for what they were. From my time with Agents of Mayhem so far I can’t say much of anything has stood out. If anything, I’ve felt like the dialogue and voice acting so far has been entirely generic and at some points the lines feel outright forced. It seems like there’s cursing just for the sake of cursing, and I can’t tell whether the characters are supposed to come across as funny or serious most of the time. It would seem they’re going for a Saints Row kind of attitude, but everything so far has missed the mark.
As for the missions, again I feel like I’m running through things I’ve done hundreds of times before. You run (or drive) to a point, hack some stuff, defend it, and move to the next point. It feels like something I’ve already done in Saints Row IV. I’m not even two hours in and there’s already been a capture an outpost mission which is as dry as missions come in my book, and they mention there will be more outposts to capture as the game progresses (oh goody!).
The actual gameplay leaves much to be desired as well. Something just feels off about the shooting and abilities. They almost seem like they were just slapped into the game without a lot of love. I haven’t gotten any satisfaction from taking out enemies, firing weapons or using abilities. Rama’s bow seemed like it would be fun to use at first, but it became frustrating before I even finished her mission. To make matters worse, her dialogue during her mission has been some of the worst yet. Maybe it’s not necessarily bad, but it feels like there’s no purpose to it, it’s so generic you could ignore it altogether and not be missing anything.
The progression between missions doesn’t feel good either. You go back to a central hub and can initiate a new mission from there, or visit a few different shops, but it all feels so already done. The open world so far hasn’t done anything for me, and even recklessly mowing down civilians has no impact at all. Nothing feels alive, and there doesn’t seem to be much reason for it to be an open world game at this point.
I’m left not sure that I even want to launch the game again. Maybe it gets better, but so far it seems so generic that I think I’d be better off moving on to something else.
I was excited for the release of Tacoma on the Xbox One, especially after how much I enjoyed playing through Gone Home a few months ago, but when I tried to launch the game today I was met with disappointment.
For some reason I’m unable to progress past the ‘Press A to start’ screen. I tried restarting the Xbox but had no luck, so I went to Twitter and tweeted out to the game’s Twitter account. To their credit, they were quick to reply with some suggestions (do a hard reset and clear local 360 saved games), but neither of those worked. I also tried moving the game from internal storage to an external hard drive, but I still have been unable to get the game to start. It seems like this has been happening for many other Xbox users as others have reached out on Twitter, and there are a series of 1 star reviews on the game’s store page.
Currently I’m left debating whether to wait it out and hope for an update, or to attempt to get a refund and purchase it on Steam where there doesn’t seem to be any issue.
If I find a way to get the game working I’ll be sure to update this post. If you’ve found a workaround please share it in the comments.
Hopefully they get the issue ironed out soon!