Month: October 2013

Battlefield 4 Campaign Begins!

cc_bf4_arrivesTwo years after its predecessor we’re finally at the point where we get to sink our teeth in to yet another re-imagining of our favourite franchise! Though it’s sure to be different from all other versions the Battlefield series continues to scratch that mixed-combat-itch for players around the world and both new and veteran players alike are keyed up to load in and start learning the ins and outs and experiencing BF moments like nothing else can.

Things should be even more interesting around our camp this time around, though we’ve been playing since 1942 we find ourselves in a new era with a new attitude and are doing some really interesting things at launch: one of the most significant is announcing a campaign that starts with a larger emphasis on the longevity of fun and throws in a more mature look at how we approach the game (and our lives). We find ourselves speaking straight to working professionals that still have that desire to play with ‘try pants’ on and experiencing heightened team work with good tactics and strategies but without the time requirement that other organizations seek. What’s the worth of all this wisdom we’ve gathered across all BF titles and other campaigns from casual to professional levels if we can’t leverage it?

Furthermore we’re also striking out immediately with the highest of quality game servers that’s there for all of us (and you!) to enjoy and mould in to a great place to hang out and get some really good games in — it’s been sourced from nfoservers and totally maxxed out so as to facilitate anything/everything possible from the Battlefield 4 universe (64 man, spectator, reserved and administrative slots!).

Last, but not least, we’re taking lessons learned and putting them straight in to practice: some of the best fun we’ve ever had has come from many of our own, internal tournaments. It’s totally different from competing against strangers for reasons as varied as general rage-free camaraderie and familiarity to open exchange of strategy and tactics and emphasis on close, balanced games. We’ve done plenty before (some extending the shelf-life of otherwise dead titles!) and are, for the first time, both doing one of these at launch and also allowing more people to participate!

We hope you’ll join us in some inter-continental BF4 action whether it’s just pubbing, playing in our tournament or joining us for the other awesome stuff that goes on within — see you on the Battlefield!

Have you tried Hawken?

cc_hawken_postFor some of us, it’s not exactly news – we’ve already been enjoying living out our mech-inspired, robot-crushing dreams on this Unreal Engine 3 based title that is currently in open beta. Though it’s been open for about ten months it hasn’t quite reached the marketing levels of a triple-A title but there’s a lot here that you should check out even if you’re just an FPS fan so I thought I’d bump this up to let you know in case you’ve missed it.

Developed by Adhesive Games Hawken places you as the pilot of a powering up, metal shell that towers over the surroundings of an over industrialized planet fighting for survival in several game modes. You’ve got your standard Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch experiences where you’re pitted against other mech’s to try to rack up as many kills as you can while kicking over light posts and parked vehicles. It gets even more interesting when you throw in the objective-based adventures: Siege and Missile Assault add complexities that involve capturing missile silos, collecting energy in a race against the other team and other nuances that guide the action in to a focused mechanical brawl.

Of course what modern FPS would be complete without technology trees that you can traverse, enhancements you can customize, items you can deploy and some paint here and there? It doesn’t feel like a pay-to-win game (though, admittedly, after playing for a while I always find myself tempted to purchase a cool paint job or change my rocket boosters; but these aren’t pushed on you at all, it’s a tame F2P environment). The mechanics are really interesting as you attempt to manage fuel (which depletes as a result of yourself “boosting”), avoid and perform lock ons, swivel around 180 degrees, jink left and right as well as being able to hover. The class-based approach makes for a really interesting rock/paper/scissors reality that is the hallmark of any great title of its type.

To top it all off, the art direction, look and feel is amazing (YouTube) — definitely triple-A and super impressive for such a small development team (that regularly patches) who reportedly went from raw development kit to functioning prototype in a month. It won 12 awards at the 2012 E3 and continues to impress.

If you’re looking to try it out, don’t hesitate: it’s free over at playhawken.com – drop me a line if you want to go through it and feel free to contact me if you’d like to join in on some scheduled team-based play that’s inherently satisfying! Highly recommended!

Summer Break Over, Battlefield 4 Beta

cc_post_bf4_betaThere’s fewer better ways to emerge from a summer break than to fire up a new beta of a franchise you’ve followed since day one! Today is definitely a special one over here at CC and we eagerly anticipate round after round of kicking the tires on BF4. While exploring the “incomparable” dimensions of the title (and hoping there aren’t any giraffe necks or invisible player bugs) we’ll be developing a new approach to this title, one which in spite of an awful lot of hype is going to be measured: the fact is that, competitively speaking, BF3 was a short-lived mess (or DOA depending on who you ask). What eclipsed any/all BF3 ladder/league activity was the countless hours poured in to public servers with objective-based squad play that hasn’t grown old twenty four months later.

When I look back on the years we’ve spent with Battlefield from 1942 through to Desert Combat, onward toward BF:V, 2142, BF2, Bad Company and more there’s one thing that stands out across all of them: the mixed format of the game allows for a truly infinite variety of experiences that are heightened by your teammates. Historically speaking we’ve already been extracting more from the games than was offered by the developers: whether we leveraged voice communications to make sure that we were playing like a squad (side note: what a colossal oversight not to include VOIP in BF3!) or organized our own internal tournaments to extend the life and experience of some of them we’ve always been pro-active about it.

What lasts are the memories that really embed themselves as cathartic experiences which we recollect all these years later: whether it was an epic one-man defence on the south cap of El Alamein or being pinned down by enemy armour and calling in for support just to whoop and holler when your buddy’s countless hours flying pay off right in front of your eyes. For the first time ever, we’re going to start our next Battlefield campaign without a formal, immediate entry in to competition.

A lot of us don’t have the time to put several days/week in to a game any more but still want to be surrounded by team mates that are going to put on their “try pants” and play like a cohesive unit determined to achieve an objective. Having a reliable squad at your disposal makes all the difference. It’s this very activity that we will be emphasizing from beta through to launch: we’ll begin by having scheduled, organized events that will fit in to most of our family/work schedules and focus on making the most of the time we have together before selecting next steps. It’s the exact activity that remains to this day and is the legacy of our Battlefield 3 campaign anyway, the difference is that we’ll both be acknowledging and embracing this fact and focusing on having a good time enjoying our chemistry and efforts and keeping a cautiously optimistic eye toward the future – we hope you’ll join us again!