I've been having an interesting weekend of it with MW3
and Battlefield 3
(both PC). Much against my own advice, I've been spending a fair bit of time with both games in online MP - something I've never previously done. I've had to force myself to do this, as every fibre of my being feels dead-set against the idea. But I felt I had to go and investigate for myself whether playing online really is
as unutterably wretched an experience as I feared it might be.
After a full day and a half playing a pretty varied succession of online MP in both titles, I can safely say the results are...mixed, but overall tend to favour my prior expectations; which is to say that although there are definitely small moments of undeniable enjoyment to be found as a noob struggling through unfamiliar maps, these slivers of pleasure are woefully overshadowed by an endless succession of insta-kills from campers, sneaky cheating (I have no other way to explain how I could be murderized through solid concrete walls, well hidden from view) and way too many snipers.
In essence, whatever fun there is to be found (and I'll freely admit there is some) is nullified, for nervous, fumbling noobs like myself, by the way those who have the mad skillz totally dominate, refuse to team play, cheat, exploit, invade 'noob servers' and otherwise undermine what could in all honesty be a great experience. It all feels so...unfriendly. Vicious. Spiteful.Battlefield 3
offers huge maps with vehicular fun on land, sea and air, whilst MW3
offers tight, high-octane gameplay on much smaller maps, sans vehicles. Both titles look stunning in full flow, although Battlefield 3
consistently outshines MW3
overall, visually. Maps are spectacular across the titles, each very much with the 'wow' factor, visually at least. The sad fact is that none of this matters: stop to gawp at the pretty vistas and within seconds you can expect a bullet through the head from some little gooseberry fool who's been waiting a long time in a quiet corner of the map (probably half a mile away, certainly out of sight: YOU WILL NEVER SEE WHO JUST KILLED YOU BEFORE THEY KILL YOU) for an idiot like me to come strolling along.
Anti-cheat measures seem especially ineffective in MW3
. Battlefield 3
feels far more unaffected by exploits and I'm willing to admit my noobness is almost certainly my worst enemy there.
It's very, very sad that neither developer saw fit to include offline training bots on MP maps. I can't think of any good reason why this should be and am left to conclude that they just didn't give a rats. Lazy f*ckers. Look how well it was implemented in Black Ops
(Combat Training). The amount of extra gameplay, value for money and time spent with the title is incalculable for people like me who struggle - and always will
- with online MP play. As things stand, I know I will set both Battlefield 3
aside sooner rather than later. Conversely, I still play Black Ops
Combat Mode regularly. I find it highly enjoyable. AI bots simply do not cheat.
doesn't support the 360 controller on PC at all, whilst Battlefield 3
only does so in a distinctly half-arsed fashion, with many functions just not working when using the controller in-game (and no menu support for the controller at all). Again, lazy f*cking developers - I mean, seriously, why bother half
-implementing controller support? Am I missing something?
I've enjoyed my weekend with these kind of MP games (it's been a good experiment), but I am also left in little doubt that MP gaming is just not an enjoyable pastime for me - frustrating, piecemeal gameplay interspersed with moments of absolute rage, inadequacy, a growing sense of pointlessness and nothing much but some embarrassingly low personal stats to show for it all.
Good-looking games, though, both of them. PS:
I'll probably be dipping in and out of both MP games over the next month to see if I can improve at all and to see whether or not my experience as a whole improves over that time. You'll find me as CalUKGR if you ever want to look me up. It would be nice to see friendly face or two now and again. Assuming I'm not lying face-down in a crater by the time you track me down.