Monday, February 6, 2012

PSN Demo Showcase (Part 2 for the week of 1/31)

This is part two of last week's PSN (now SEN) Demo Showcase as I will discuss multiplayer demos for Twisted Metal and Starhawk.

The return of Twisted Metal is next week and after not making a good first impression to me when I started playing, I had a better time with the demo once I knew what to do and its way more fun than I expected. Even though it is only one map in the demo that can be played offline and online, this demo does a very good job of showing people what to expect in the full game. There were enough vehicles to choose from and two modes to play with regular old deathmatch and the interesting objective-based Nuke mode. The point of Nuke mode is to get some random person to sacrifice on a nuke silo (there is a stationary one and a truck that moves around the map) and then launch the nuke to the opposing team's giant statue for points. It is however a long game of three rounds if you are not into that as you can just go back to ten minute deathmatch games, which can go faster than you think. Once I got used to the controls (I highly recommend playing the tutorial first) after some matches, which are fairly unconventional for a modern game these days, I was able to consistently do well with the tactics I was rocking. I also found a car that suitable to my style which was the Outlaw, a Police SUV with good enough health and a easy to use special attack that is the auto-lock machine gun turret. I love the variety of the cars in this game as each have their own identity and playstyle, which is rare to see in mutliplayer games generally. From speedy cars, bikes, helicopters, trucks, ambulances, etc. they have their advantages and weaknesses in certain situations as developers Eat, Sleep, and Play did a great job of balancing them the best they can. So far in the demo, I haven't noticed a top tier vehicle beasting on the opposition, but I'm pretty sure in the final game players will find what is the best as they have more time with it. I also had a tough time getting into matches along with the majority, but that was fixed during the weekend so you would not be stuck in the online menus for minutes.

Other than that, I had a blast with Twisted Metal's multiplayer demo as it definitely sold me on perhaps getting the final game next week. Who knows if I do, but it is a great car combat game and a return of one of Sony's popular first-party franchises. In general, it is awesome to see weaponized car combat back again in the gaming world and it is very satisfying to blow up the opposition especially when you're on a roll. I hope the game does well sales-wise as David Jaffe and his Eat, Sleep, Play team do deserve it.

The other big multiplayer demo/beta exclusively on PS3 is for Starhawk. It has been in the beta stages for quite a while as I got in last week because of getting a new copy of Uncharted 3 when that came out. Playstation Plus owners had the beta for over a couple of weeks and anyone can access it either this week or next week (I think tomorrow) till it ends later this month. Anyway, if you played Warhawk, Starhawk is basically that in a different setting and more additions to spice up the gameplay. Playing this beta however has reminded me that I am not really a fan of big scale multiplayer shooters due to the fact of the enormous maps and if you don't have a vehicle to move around quickly, it is not that fun running on foot all the time. Despite that, Starhawk definitely has its moments for me once you do the cool stuff. One of the big things the game has going for is its building mechanic as you can build with a limited amount of points walls, turrets, jetpacks, vehicle spawnpoints, and more to benefit your team until they get destroyed. This is really handy in objective-based games such as capture the flag (there are some modes to play than just that and team deathmatch) building up your base to make it harder for the opposition to win. Another thing I'm not a fan in Starhawk of is the over the shoulder aiming when on foot as it is too close on the person than it normally should be in other third-person shooters (maybe Uncharted has spoiled me too much). The angle on the default assault rifle can be tough to get used to at times when in close encounters as I would just hip fire when I'm in that situation.

Starhawk has what it takes to the next big mutliplayer game exclusively on PS3 when it comes out sometime in the spring. Who knows if the Call of Duty/Battlefield crowd would move on to such as differently paced game, but there are fans out there that play it for hours leveling up. The building mechanic is a nice touch and once you get in the cool vehicles, then it gets fun. Personally for me, I try to be the team player in these type of games with a designated role of going for the win rather than trying to improve my kill/death ratio (yeah Call of Duty players on blast sort of). If you're into big scaled multiplayer battles, Starhawk is worth trying out now.

That's it for the PSN Demo Showcase for now. I'm getting the Simspons Arcade Game tomorrow so expect a review of that later this week (Hint: if you read my X-Men review, it might go similar to that).

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