March 5, 2008

My Real Vacation

Now that my delusions of doing an advanced CoD4 project over the next few days are completely gone I've been starting to actually relax and enjoy what little remains of my vacation. I ran a few more errands today and picked up a copy of Dawn of War: Soulstorm and God of War: Chains of Olympus. Both games are pretty excellent (God of War is pretty much as good as the consoles on a handheld which is just crazy) and I've also been playing a fair amount of Frontlines with Rick. In addition, Rick recently sent me a free month on Gamefly which I have just activated and is sending me a copy of Devil May Cry 4 and Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles. So it's fair to say I have a number of things I'd like to play over the next few days.

Frontlines is actually quite a fun game, perhaps not enough to pull people away from their nightly CoD4 game, but definitely a fun and unique experience. Sadly, the game's multiplayer is plagued by horrible networking issues which make it very difficult to enjoy. When the game is running with a large number of players and minimal lag, it is awesome. Its combined arms fighting and focus on teamwork make it a very strategic and enjoyable departure from most of the 360's multiplayer lineup. Sadly, finding a lag-free server that has more than two people in it ends up being an epic quest somewhat akin to a Greek poem like the Odyssey or the Iliad.

Oddly enough, the biggest problem seems to be with the game's dedicated/ranked servers which just seem plain broken. Sometimes they won't even let you join (despite not being even remotely close to full) or the game is waiting for one more player before starting the game, but the server won't actually let anyone else join. It mars what is an otherwise fantastic multiplayer experience, and if the devs don't address it soon the window of opportunity will pass as players will just decide not to deal with it anymore. Rick and I will keep trying as we really do enjoy the gameplay, but there's only so much that even we are willing to take before it's back to CoD4 or on to something else.

Anyway, that was basically my day, now it's back to playing games and ignoring work. Later!

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