Saturday, May 5, 2012

The RO2 shitlist

 I was going to use this as my review of RO2 on Steam, but there's a 1,000 character limit; how are you supposed to say anything meaningful about a game with 1,000 characters when it's one as troubled as this? Anyway, since I can't post it there, I'll post it here so I can refer people back to it. Apologies for the shitty formatting, I've cleaned it up a little already.
things that are good:
*gunplay is literally unparalleled and you will never see another game do guns this well
*neato tank interiors and the way tanks 'feel' as they lurch about drunkenly (i.e. like real tanks)
*heroes (the concept, at least, the execution is poor)

things that are dumb (grab some popcorn and a coke):

*vanilla ballistics (hitscan at close range, penetration not properly modelled)
*netcode (serverside hit detection on a game with an international community all divided up by server location, and is bad anyway, ties in with ballistics somewhat - both ballistics and hit detection are fixed by a mutator the devs refuse to support and openly opposed). ro's was just as iffy, but at least it had the excuse of being an otherwise good game.
*historical inaccuracies out the wazoo (minor stuff i could sort of ignore like some maps taking place in the wrong season, wrong markings on weapons, etc. is to be expected, but tripwire literally made shit up that never existed to add more stupid unlocks and then justified it with "PROVE IT WASN'T THERE" which is the worst burden of proof ever)
*unlock system, which could have been actually almost okay if they had made it use historical sidegrades instead of fairytale upgrades
*tank combat is shit since you now can't leave your tank to see over/around obstacles easily, turret control is by mouse which blows and is awful to use, tanks themselves feel rather odd and sometimes die in one shot and at others bounce everything, it's just really inconsistent)
*visuals (the maps range from okay to super nice visually but the weapon textures are absolute trash, the character textures are unimpressive, and in general it feels like twi think current gen dynamic lighting is an excuse for your textures to literally be flat colours - the models are excellent but a good model with a shit texture still looks bad)
*level design (nearly every level consists of wide open streets or plazas or just huge fields with little or no cover, what cover there is tries to shoehorn you into using the inbuilt cover system which is useless at best and actually a detriment to your chances of not being shot at worst). so far the only level which even approaches having decent design is mamayev kurgan, which is still in beta, and still not perfect. twi apparently lost all their good level designers between ro1 and ro2, no konigsplatz here. the maps are unfun meatgrinders or retarded sniperfests where one class dominates all others and the cap order on most of them makes no sense. the fact they had a great custom pavlov's house map in ro1 to work from and yet churned out the shitty stalemate version seen in this game is just mind-blowing
*everything is too fast. you aim too fast, you reload too fast, you move a little too fast but you can stop on a dime, ironsight and shoot someone at the drop of a hat. the game literally feels like every other shooter ever. fluid movement is a godsend after how clunky ro1 was, but jesus christ fluid doesn't necessarily mean fast
*single-player campaign they hyped so much is just playing multiplayer maps with slightly different cap orders and bots. that's it. it's practice mode from ro1 except instead of sprinting around hipspraying, the bots in ro1 spend 90% of their time behind walls popping up and down. you may as well play whack-a-mole, it's the same experience for much cheaper.
*terrible support. i seriously think twi must've lost all their good people between ro1 and ro2. ro1 had regular free updates with several new maps each, occasionally new vehicles, regular bugfixes, and so on. this game has two vehicles and the additional ones that were promised to "follow soon after release" are still nowhere to be seen - not even ANNOUNCED - seven or eight months later. the devs are still busy trying to figure out what actually made people like ro1 (not kidding, they have no idea, they have to keep asking), new vehicles any time this year are unlikely which is pretty poor. oh yeah, and the devs still haven't fixed numerous bugs, some game-breaking, that have been in since beta. in fact they seem to introduce more with each new update which is fucking amazing. while they should be fixing bugs or removing unlocks from the game they are actually busy adding a mode which is literally call of duty 2 to the game, because they want to try rope in casuals and somehow believe that will revive the community. not likely, call of duty is still far better than ro2's casual mode, i doubt anyone but idiotic tripwire fanboys will even play it.
*devs are openly hostile to criticism, including the constructive sort, and will ban you from the forums, delete all your posts, and even CENSOR YOUR USERNAME perpetually if you prove enough of a thorn in their side by daring to point out the many, many flaws in the game or just how poor their attitude is. they're like bioware, except they actually alienated most of their fans, so the few left white-knighting them are either idiots or new kids on the block trying to brown-nose to the devs. oh by the way, while they're off deleting posts which politely but harshly and honestly criticise them as well as posts which outright flame them or their yes-men, said yes-men and devs will verbally abuse people at will and those posts will be lauded. it's like they are channeling goebbels himself, fucking unbelievable.
*game is sparsely populated, even compared to ro1's final few weeks of life, so good luck playing against anything other than bots unless you a) live in the us and are lucky enough to get a slot in the server or b) live outside the us, are lucky enough to get a slot in the server, and can tolerate playing with an awful ping on bad netcode
*features promised for launch - notably the multiplayer 'campaign' gametype - are still nowhere to be seen
*heroes, which we were told would be visually impressive, are literally dudes with rolled sleeves and unbuttoned collar (summer) or different cold weather gear (winter). every other rank from recruit to veteran is an imacculately-clad soldier with varying levels of brown grunge brush overlayed onto the texture. zero fucking effort. oh yeah, and for some reason, the german heroes are the only germans who get any cold weather gear; they have a parka, regular troops get nothing. not even a fucking greatcoat. remember all the iconic photos of german troops wrapped head to toe in blankets, tattered coats, boxes for shoes, etc.? none of that here! they just wear the standard summer uniform with some half-assed white shit brushed onto it to look like snow.
*the devs actually ruined the one good competitive ladder this game had. i am not fucking kidding. the president of tripwire himself is responsible for there being no serious competitive play in this game. several people were completely excommunicated from the tripwire forums over this.
*while it adds neat features ro1 lacked, like adjustable sights, it takes away just as many. you can't fix or unfix your bayonet at will; it has to be UNLOCKED at level 25 and then cannot be removed (until the devs finally patch in selectable weapon levels, which is a shitty 'fix' at best). yes, a piece of equipment that was standard issue to every soldier is a level 25 unlock for those who don't own the first ro. oh, and the bayonet makes you a million times more effective in close combat, so it's pretty unfair on guys who don't have it yet.

i could literally go on for hours, this game was the single biggest gaming-related disappointment i have experienced in my entire time playing games and it almost ruined them totally for me. i was an idiot, i preordered a game from a studio i loved and expected it to be good. turns out tripwire lucked out with ro1 and killing floor and are actually one of the shittiest devs you will find, anywhere. don't buy games from them.