There should be a fair bit to be happy about in terms of PS3 online gameplay at them moment but somehow I’m a bit disheartened by the whole experience.
Fat Princess got off to a shaky launch last week but according to the EU Playstation Blog has since been patched, I still have difficulty finding the odd game but it’s playable and the connection issues are no way nearly as bad as Battlefield 1943. Gameplay is fun but not groundbreaking, its a mixture of hack and slash button bashing, resource collecting and capture the flag. The action is fast paced – so much so that it times it’s hard to see what’s going on. The violence, blood and gore are all offset nicely by the cheeky cartoon humor. There are a range of character customisation options and a number of well designed maps. Weapon sets are nicely balanced though I seem to spend most of my time as a worker… collecting wood and ore, building catapults, repairing buildings and going off on the odd rampage with a bomb or two… this class is possibly also the best for rescuing the “Fat Princess” too!
Other classes include Archers, Warriors, Mage’s and Priests who wield deadly bows, guns, swords, pikes, black magic and healing spells. As well as the “Capture the Flag” gameplay there’s also plain vanilla death-match and a range of offline modes to help you hone your skills. For £13 it’s not a bad buy – just not groundbreaking!
Battlefield 1943 has still not recovered from its teething bugs, and to some extent has got a whole lot worse. When I first played DICE’s latest entry into the Battlefield catalogue Voice chat didn’t work at all, Squads we’re poor but the connection was relatively good once you managed to get in a game.
One month on and things are bad. Connection has become a huge issue for me and everyone else I know or meet online with this game, I can’t seem to get through more than a round without a disconnect… a quick straw poll of my friends suffering the same issue shows we’re all using a wide range of ISP’s in a number of different countries but all suffer the same problem.
Voice chat still doesn’t work, DICE producer Gordon Van Dyck now say this isn’t Sony’s fault on the Official UK Battlefield Forums but there’s no indication of when or if the issue will be resolved (We can only trust they are working on it)
The squad feature remains as infuriating as ever on both consoles. I start a game with a squad of mates and we’re lucky to get into the same side. If we do make it through chances are someone will be kicked to the opposite team in the next round. I Played a game the other night where I lost my squad and started jumping squads in order to find them… I kept meeting up with a Scottish chap who was suffering the exact same problem… what was so ironic about the whole situation was everytime I met him VOIP worked just fine… everytime I was back with someone I wanted to talk to it all crumbled away. My Top Tip: if you want to play this game make friends with some Scots!
And finally (Yes my Battlefield 1943 rant is almost at an end) team balancing in this game is beyond a joke, I found myself in three successive games yesterday where three of us were up against 10 players, when new blood finally joined the game they joined the opposite side.
The issues with this game are so bad that I’m thinking of re-writing my review. If the issues remain unfixed it will be a cold day in hell before I buy another Battlefield game.
In desperation I found myself picking up Killzone 2 second hand in the week, it’s all a bit murky and repetitive so far but it works and of course that old trusty workhorse COD4 got a good play when we all met up for BBQ, Drinks and PS3