09
Dec
08

My weekend in gaming – cooperative is king

 

Well I didn’t expect Resistance 2 to hook me as deep as it has, and I certainly didn’t expect Cooperative to be the reason why.

I’m (usually) a social being, and quiet often have friends over. Sometimes we play Playstation, which explains my initial infatuation with Warhawk – four players online equals instant awesome. But even that has its limitations. The issue has mostly resolved itself now, but apparently playing competitive online when you don’t own the game, or even the console isn’t real fun; It’s not fun to listen to your friends bitch about being owned either.

Okay, I can see your pessimistic internet mind ticking, I know what your thinking; but my friends aren’t noobs, they’re all skilled enough to enjoy their gametime.

 Well that’s valid; but what usually happens when friends come around? Drinking and other activities that may slow your reaction times, skew your perception and basically fuck up your form. 

It’s not da vinci code shit, but R2 and it’s cooperative mode is an elegant solution to this, I’m sure, widespread problem.

Like any cooperative game there is strategy to be had, but it’s importance is really up to you; it’s very possible to just shoot at big things and let the experience end there. Of course this approach is best played at low levels with people lacking a means to verbally abuse you. But either way, the majority of my gaming time is dedicated to R2’s cooperative; it’s nice to accommodate my friends who don’t want to die in quick succession, and it’s a fun way to rack up XP.

The unfortunate thing about playing cooperative with a friend is that the few flaws Resistance has are exposed.

Firstly, experience points earned by player 2 are cleared when the game is exited. With XP comes level ups, and with level ups comes new weapons and abilities. For example, the damage soaking soldier’s primary weapon is a fast firing minigun with a two second wind up delay. This gun, although excellent for taking down the (many) big enemies cooperative will throw at you, is useless against the fast moving grims who employ rush tactics. In fact, the minigun is useless against any melee enemy. To counter this, the soldier gains a secondary weapon, the shotgun, when they reach level 2. It’s not a long wait – you’ll likely earn the experience required in one instance – but having to resume from level 1 (and without the shotgun) each time the game is restarted does get frustrating. It is something I can live with, but considering player stats are saved locally, is it too much to ask second player stats could get the same treatment?

Secondly, the splitscreen mode Insomniac have employed is best described as gimped. Resistance has support for a second player in both cooperative and competitive modes, but entering a game in such a way renders the screen at 4:3 leaving thick black bars either side of the picture, quantifying the difference in size between a HD and SD screen; the difference between the screen I paid for, and the screen I’m currently using.


2 Responses to “My weekend in gaming – cooperative is king”


  1. December 10, 2008 at 1:02 AM

    From my understanding, the current version of the PS3 firmware can’t support the ability for a second player to login. Though Insomniac Games has stated that they would like to add it in the future if it’s possible on a future revision of the firmware.

  2. December 10, 2008 at 8:17 AM

    Yes, this is what Insomniac claim; and I tend to believe them. LBP has some sort of multi PSN ability, but I honestly haven’t looked into it enough to determine how robust it is.
    The solution I would suggest (and I feel dirty even calling it a ‘solution’, as it certainly should have been implemented from day one), is to save P2 progress locally, much in the same way P1 progress is saved. That, or default P2 to P1′s levels, at least this gives the opportunity to actually progress.


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Playing on Playstation 3

Red Dead Revolver - I paid about $1000 for my launch model PS3, so I guess it's time I get some use out of that emotion chip crammed inside. I remember Red Dead Revolver looking rather good when it was released, and despite the low resolution and odd blurring (that I attribute to playing on a HD set) the game holds up well. It looks good despite these graphical limitations because the art direction is so precise and awesome. And it isn't just the art direction, the music, dialogue and set design (for some reason, set seems a more fitting word than level) all work in tandem to recreate an iconic Wild West atmosphere. Red Dead Revolver doesn’t aim to recreate life in the Wild West, it allows our imagination to take over and populates the locale with legendary men and their legendary stories.

Playing on iPhone

edge - Well I never thought I'd consider playing a game on iPhone as actually gaming, but edge has turned me around. The game is built for the iPhone. Sure, it could be ported, but the elegance of what has been created is astounding, it boggles the mind and makes me wonder what amazing gems we'd receive if current gen consoles weren't clones of eachother.

Playing on PC

Sins of a Solar Empire, Demigod, Generals - Zero Hour - It may be a temporary effect as I slowly reintroduce the PC into my gaming diet, but it seems every title I’m excited to play on the platform is either a strategy game, or a cheap indie game. PC gaming isn’t dead, it’s just restricted to titles that require complex input or a pointing device, and games that couldn't be developed or distributed on other platforms. I guess that’s part of the reason the AppStore is so far a success, there were a lot of indie devs stuck on PC for lack of a better alternative.
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