You’re doing it wrong

With all this recent talk about the announcement of Borderlands 3 and all the Anthem news (and back and forth) it took a while, but then it hit me. I reevaluated which of the games in this supposed “looter shooter” genre I had played and what I liked and disliked about them. I should probably preface that the last time I actively played anything resembling a shooter was Quake 3 Arena and Action Quake 2. At the break of the century until maybe 2002 or 2003.

Borderlands – got it on a sale, it wasn’t bad per se, but it didn’t really stick. I loved the art style but not the gameplay.

Borderlands II – also got this on sale. While I didn’t play many hours I absolutely enjoyed it. For the most part. I was sneaking and sniping instead of going in guns blazin’ though.

Destiny II – played the demo and absolutely loved it. Had it been available at that time I would’ve instantly bought it. So the hype died down, I wasn’t interested anymore when it launched and then I grabbed it when it was free. I played some and liked it. Mostly sniping and zoomed in scout rifle, though.

Now compare this with the “normal” shooters I’ve played:

Quake Champions – it’s pretty awesome but I guess that is because it feels exactly like Q3A to me. I played a bit but then other games took my attention again. Fun, but not worth my gaming time it seems.

Warsow – played an evening with friends once. Was fun, but again, not fun enough to invest time.

Now to the interesting part. I never liked the solo campaigns in shooters, I mostly played deathmatch or team deathmatch. And of course I played BL2 and Destiny mostly solo, although there were some events in Destiny, but there was hardly any interactions, might as well have been bots. So what struck me is that I actually hate getting upgrades and making decisions. “Is this weapon better than the other?” I DON’T KNOW AND I DON’T CARE. If it has more than 3 stats and I don’t know which one to use.. I even played through most of Quake with a single weapon and hated switching because I didn’t have ammo anymore. I’ve raided long enough to have had my share of minmaxing builds for a lifetime. This is more tedious than work. I have nothing against linear progression. Get new gun, replace old gun. Fine. Don’t make me compare 7 stats. I do not care a bit.

OK, so why did I like Borderlands 2 and Destiny 2 again? I don’t know, surely not for the loot. Maybe I’ve just been away from shooters long enough that some pretty graphics and shooting enemies is good enough. I can’t tell you if the story is good. It’s better than what I know (Quake).

Shooting things

I’ve been slowly chopping away at Destiny 2 and I’m level 11 now.
Apparently I suck at PvP in a way that’s hard to describe in words, but let’s say I play this game not like a real shooter I guess. Scout Rifle + Sniper Rifle + Melee + My Ultimate (or whatever it’s called). OK, sometimes I use the Grenade Launcher, but this is in no way frantic, it’s careful going forward and backward and aiming for head shots 😛
I’m not sure if this “Forsaken” expansion would be interesting to me – it’s 30 instead of 40 EUR right now, but I guess I’ll see if I get to max level first. My track record of actually staying with shooters is so bad I should probably not risk it after playing only a few hours.
I did buy Battle for Azeroth today because it was 10 EUR off though, because I’m absolutely going to play it for the story – I just don’t know yet when, probably over the holidays, so I didn’t subscribe just yet.

Shockingly I played another game

When I’m not posting much it means either of two things: Nothing has happened or I was too busy. This week definitely the latter was true. Activision Blizzard (is that how we’re supposed to call them?) gave us Destiny 2 for free and back when I wrote about it I seemed to enjoy it very much. So of course I grabbed it and as is typical for me didn’t play it right away but waited like a week. So for the last few days I’ve been slowly puttering along, 20-30 minutes per day, one story mission at a time. I really do think my time as an FPS gamer is past. I’m not really good and if it’s not Quake (I didn’t really write about Quake Champions back in the summer. I liked it) I’m really tense and waiting for some enemy to pop up behind a corner, which feels kinda unhealthy. I’m not really scared… just kinda tense, which makes it not fun – multiplayer doesn’t have this weird problem for me.#
Anyway. I’m trying to not burn out on it after only 10 hours like I did on Borderlands 2 and so I’m taking it slow. I’m pretty surprised it runs flawlessly on my 6 year old potato (with a newer graphics card) in 2560×1440…
Also, I get it – he’s not a bad voice actor, but why always Nolan North? Maybe I played too many hours of an SWTOR Consular in the last months, but come on – there MUST be more voice actors out there…

Thoughts about Destiny 2

Is Destiny 2 the shooter I’ve been waiting for all those years?
My first real shooter was Quake 1 back in ’96 ond the coming years, on LAN parties. Then came Quake II with its various mods, which I played for many years, even in the ESL. I tried a few more, Duke Nukem 3D on LAN parties (didn’t really like it), SiN (awesome), Kingpin, Malice, Jedi Knight: Mysteries of the Sith, Starsiege: Tribes, Half-Life, Team Fortress, Quake III Arena, Soldier of Fortune, Unreal, and Unreal Tournament (or 2003?, I don’t remember). But that was it, I’m sure I played nothing serious or for a longer period of time for the last 12-13 years, except a few hours of Borderlands and Borderlands 2 (and Blood Dragon, apparently, my first and only entry in the FPS category…) and a single game of GitS: First Assault.
But I downloaded the Destiny 2 Beta after watching a few trailers and reading what Belghast has been raving about since I’ve been reading his blog and also some others generally speaking highly of it.
And to my surprise… my only complaint was that the Story mode mission was too easy (hey, I didn’t die once and as I said I’ve not played FPS for years… I’m like 7 hours into Borderlands 2 and I’m dying all the damn time), and the first 3 person strike mission (with 2 randoms) was perfectly well-balanced already. One was a bit better than I was and the other was slightly better and we made it.
So yeah, I’m usually not the person to grab stuff at release day, I’m not the person to buy shooters, but if I’m still in the right mood when it launches… I might join.

I’m not a fan of FPS anymore

Downloaded the free FarCry3: Blood Dragon and gave it a shot. The intro is really nice and the tutorial made me laugh very hard, it’s basically excellent if you love 80s movies (and/or Kung Fury).
Sadly I’m just not in the market for shooters as it seems, I didn’t really enjoy the first level and stopped playing pretty soon after. Which is a shame, it looked tremendously fun at the start. But I am pretty sure it’s because of the shooting stuff, level design and general “ranged mobs are trying to kill me”. I think I only made it through ME1+2 because I could use a Sniper Rifle + cover the whole time. And because I loved the setting, the story and everything. The shooting was… ok.