Battleborn’s last breath?

Earlier today the struggling shooter Battleborn effectively went “free to play”, validating the long standing rumor that it would indeed end up being free. Most would agree that Battleborn’s troubles are mostly due to the fact that the game launched just before Blizzard’s Overwatch, which quickly took off to become one of the hottest games of 2016. It may not have been fair to compare the two games, as they play quite differently, but they were similar enough in most people’s eyes that they decided to pick one title (Overwatch for most) and stick with it.

I was incredibly excited for Battleborn’s launch, especially after reading about how it would blend MOBA gameplay with a shooter. As someone who was a casual fan of MOBAs (but never any good at them) it seemed like it would be the perfect game for me. I eagerly awaited its launch, and early on I found it to be fun, if a little slow moving. As days went by, however, I found that the hardcore player-base got so good that I couldn’t have fun playing anymore as I would be overwhelmed by more skilled players. What made things worse was that teams of randoms never seemed willing to communicate, and I would often get matched against teams of players who were mic’d up.

As Overwatch neared release I started to get more and more excited by the hype surrounding it. I caved and bought it for PC on release day which ultimately led to me never returning to Battleborn. I had so much fun in Overwatch from the very first moment I launched it that I couldn’t see myself wasting any time playing Battleborn that could be better spent in Overwatch. Once or twice, out of curiosity, I tried to give Battleborn another try, but each time I was met with longer and longer matchmaking times (on the Xbox One) only to have to spend thirty minutes or so to complete a match when I finally got in. This didn’t prove to be fun, whereas in the same time span I could’ve played two or three games of Overwatch. More recently I launched Battleborn one last time, only to sit at the matchmaking screen for a full twenty minutes without finding a match (there were no server issues reported with either Xbox or Battleborn at the time).

I’ve always felt like if Battleborn ever wanted to make a splash at all, it should have gone free to play long ago. It remains to be seen if the free to play model will have a significant impact on the game’s player-base and perception going forward, however I personally think that I’ve already had my fill. Still, I’m going to try it out on PC (I already own it on PC from a Humble Bundle) to see if the new influx of players can make things fun. I’ll be sure to post an update after playing a round or two of the PC version of the game to see if any of my feelings have changed.

Advertisements

Black Ops III: Multiplayer Starter Pack key

Hey there, just wanted to post that I’m looking to give away a Steam key for Black Ops III: Multiplayer Starter Pack to someone in the comments. It was part of the Humble Monthly bundle, but I already have the full game. Once redeemed you can upgrade to the full version of Black Ops III for a discounted price through Humble Bundle as well.

I’ll pick someone later this evening. If this doesn’t get any comments I’ll give it out on Twitter (@AVideoGameLife).

What I’ve been playing this week

Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Last night I jumped back into the Master Chief Collection for the first time in awhile. The matchmaking process was more smooth than the last time I played, however there have also been some less pleasant changes. Halo CE is my favorite game to play Slayer in, yet the dedicated CE playlist is now only 2 vs. 2. I don’t see how a two player team is appealing to anyone these days. It’s not fun to have so much of the map completely void of action as you hunt down the two person team that will always be at the same spot everytime. Furthermore, 2v2 matches are excessively long. It took an eternity for the matches to finish, and most of the time both teams would get bored toward the end and would just start team killing each other.

The Team Slayer and Big Team Battle playlists include Halo CE and allow for larger teams, but the problem is CE maps hardly ever get voted for. If I try to play those playlists I get stuck playing a lot of Halo 3 which I don’t enjoy nearly as much as I do CE. Therefore I end up having to choose between playing matches that bore me, or quitting, leaving my team a man down (and also facing a matchmaking penalty).

On another note, I’m also upset that there’s no longer a Team SWAT playlist. SWAT is one of my favorite Halo game modes, and it’s unfortunate that there’s no longer a dedicated playlist.

Tales from the Borderlands: Episode 2

I’ve also been working my way through episode 2 of Telltale’s Tales from the Borderlands. I’ve been enjoying episode 2 just as much, if not more so than the first episode. Tales from the Borderlands is an absolute masterpiece so far, and I can’t wait to play more of it (I just wrapped up chapter 3).

Forza Horizon 2 Presents Fast & Furious

The standalone Fast & Furious themed game set in the world of Forza Horizon 2 is available for free for Xbox One gamers up until April 10th (when it’ll be priced at $9.99). As long as you download it before April 10th you’ll be able to continue playing the game for free. The game features an achievement list separate from Horizon’s worth 1000 gamerscore which is pretty cool. Fast & Furious features a pretty sweet intro and some great new music alongside some classic Fast & Furious cars. I’ve played around with it for awhile and if you’ve enjoyed Forza Horizon 2 you’ll enjoy this game just as much.

NBA 2k14

I’ve dabbled in the NBA 2K series before, however could never get good enough at the games to enjoy them. I picked up 2k14 for under $10 and jumped into the My Player mode last night. The way they set everything up (story wise) is pretty cool, but you basically have to sit through what feels like 30 minutes of cut scenes before you even get out onto the court for the first time (and then you’ll be riding the bench for awhile longer). I’ve found 2k14 has been easier to play than previous titles so far which means I’m able to enjoy it so far. I’m still completely incompetent on defense and I have hardly any idea how to play offense legitimately. Basically all I do is try to shoot threes, but on rookie difficulty I’ve been able to get by so far (though I have yet to rate beyond a C+).

The rest

I’ve fooled around with Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 and have enjoyed it so far. It’s simple yet aesthetically pleasing and fun to play. I’ve been working through Borderlands 2 still but have hit a few frustrating points (while playing solo) so I think I need to spend some time jumping into other people’s games to level up a bit.

This week I hope to finish Tales from the Borderlands and make some progress in NBA 2k14. Other than that I’ll continue my Madden 15 franchise and play some Advanced Warfare.

What are you playing right now?

 

Want a free digital copy of Modest Mouse’s Strangers to Ourselves?

strangers to ourselves

So my copy of Strangers to Ourselves on vinyl arrived this week which comes with a free digital copy of the album. My girlfriend and I both already purchased the album on iTunes on release day, so I have no use for this code. Leave your e-mail address in the comments and later today I’ll pick one and send you the download code. For your privacy I’ll delete all the comments once I’ve e-mailed the code so you’re not getting any unwanted e-mails.

11107171_10108400424409034_291704873004106892_n

For anyone else who hasn’t picked up the album yet, I highly recommend it. It’s really enjoyable to listen to, especially on vinyl!

Play Sunset Overdrive for FREE today

Sunset Overdrive Free

Microsoft is letting all Xbox Live Gold members on the Xbox One download and play Sunset Overdrive for free for 24 hours (Nov 22). If you like the game you can purchase it for $10 off this weekend only. Sunset Overdrive is an absolute blast and a refreshing new type of shooter with an entertaining story and enjoyable characters.

I definitely recommend checking it out and playing through a good junk of a great game for free today. All progress will be saved so you continue right where you left off if you purchase the game in the future. It’s worth noting that this is not a demo, but the entire game, and you can also unlock achievements while playing!

Free this week on Playstation Plus: Brothers

Brothers Playstation Plus

 

This week’s free PS3 game on Playstation Plus is Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. I haven’t played it yet, nor have I seen any gameplay from it, but I do know that it was talked about a lot as a game of the year contender for 2013 so I’m excited to give it a try when I have a chance.