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Games for Windows Live: The Software

April 21, 2010 Leave a comment

I’ve been holding up the review on the Games for Windows Live Client software for quite some time. I’ve been letting the client mature a bit due to the previous versions lacking content – DLC, demo, video, and marketplace wise.

The GFW Client serves as a manager application that manages the games under the GFW branding. previously the games were not available for purchasing/download, but now, effort has been made to make the games available. A sizeable collection is now available and there are some instances of price drops happening (ie. Grand Theft Auto IV sale at $19.99).

Other aspects involve providing game information: movies, pictures and text regarding a game. Other features include downloadable content, similar to the XBOX Live Marketplace where expansions of a game are bought/downloaded.

Comparing it directly to Steam, the GFWL client is obviously at a disadvantage since

a.) Steam has a bigger selection of games, as it doesn’t care about the logo (Games for Windows)

b.) There’s an integrated browser for logging onto the forum, groups, and other players.

c.) Steam’s an established brand, and the DRM’s quite loose so they say.

There’s going to be quite some more work if the GFW client would do a catch up with it. But one nice thing with the GFW client is the simplicity of the interface, making things accessible to our grasp. (unlike before, it’d take minutes to load a page). There’s the availability of game videos, and in some instances, free games would be available (Tinker, previously a Vista Ultimate game, is now available for all to play with). And some of the old school games are now available too (Microsoft Game Room is out, free to try, but one has to shell out some points to purchase the arcade game they like). Other nice touches include trying out game demos before buying. The download manager’s easy to manage.

The Games for Windows client still has a long way to go, but if there’s more effort put into getting more quality games to have the badge, it won’t be long until it’s very popular.

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Categories: Games, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Players by Numbers

April 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Seems to me that the PC market is indeed a really big one for EA (now why didn’t they thought of this in the first place?)

http://bfbcs.com/pc

PC – 918,661

PS3 – 367,255

X360 – 282,451

Categories: Games, Uncategorized Tags: , ,

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Review

April 2, 2010 Leave a comment

 

BFBC2Game 2010-04-19 21-05-53-11 BFBC2Game 2010-04-19 21-05-56-15

“No, No, No, He’ll just send some special ops douchebags with pussy-ass heartbeat monitors on their guns instead of us!”- Sweetwater’s reply, upon the Sarge’s suggestion to inform their commander with regards their next operation.

Battlefield Bad Company 2, has finally landed on the PC, I’ll be reviewing the game and see if it’s up to the standards of a Battlefield Game.

One of my previous gripes with the last Battlefield game released on the PC was the lack of a single player mode to tide one’s self, as Battlefield 2142 was mostly multiplayer oriented, and lacked local battles with AI players, like Battlefield 2 implemented before. Another gripe was that Battlefield 2 was not correctly coded to work on later Windows Operating Systems (Windows Vista and 7), which required some tweaking in order to work.

Battlefield Bad Company, came out first on the consoles, a clear departure from the normally prioritized PC platform. The game brought about a true single player campaign with a team of four characters in game (3 AI and 1 player controlled character). Incorporating with it was the ability to destroy the environment, similar to what we’re able to do (at a degree) in Crysis. For all the goodness the game, it lacked in the Multiplayer department, in which its rival, Activision’s Modern Warfare clearly rivaled, both on the console and had no contest on the PC.

With that, Battlefield Bad Company 2 was released recently with a PC port included during launch this time.

We play again as the same squad from before: B-Company. Players will be in Preston’s shoes once again to be the squad’s point-man/designated marksman. The Sarge, Sweetwater and Haggard are all with Preston for in a tour around the western coast of the Americas from the Snowy frontier of Alaska to the Deserts of Chile. This time, the plot revolves around a secret Japanese weapon thought to be lost during World War II with the squad’s mission to look for it before the Russians do.

The graphics, is very detailed on high settings, closely resembling Crysis in spirit. Vegetation’s lush, the water (though limited and shallow) is fine, the lighting is amazingly  and there’s animals too, but unlike Crysis, they can’t be shot at (PETA must’ve been watching). Buildings are detailed with their respective details. It’s something like what Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising should have done in the first place. The character design’s detailed, facial expressions, as well as the kit the characters well are detailed, even down to some stitches on the fabric. Though one thing to note is that the graphics tend to soften (blurred edges) at some points of the game.

BFBC2Game 2010-04-19 21-07-24-27 BFBC2Game 2010-04-19 21-08-09-51 BFBC2Game 2010-04-19 21-13-58-89 BFBC2Game 2010-04-19 21-22-29-81 BFBC2Game 2010-04-19 21-30-31-34 BFBC2Game 2010-04-19 21-31-42-02

The environment can be leveled to a degree. Blown buildings, destroyed bridges, trees torn down gives a slight sense of reality. Still, some buildings can’t get blown down even if 10 rockets from the RPG was used. There are lots of barrels littered around enemy bases showcasing more of the game’s penchant for blowing stuff up.

The PC controls are still similar to the old battlefield games so there’s not much of a problem getting used to play it.

Other nice features aside from the improved multiplayer experience is collecting weapons in the Single Player campaign. by collecting certain weapons, we can customize Preston’s loadout for specific portions of the game. Sniper-rifles, Designated Marksman Rifle (DMR) with grenade launchers, shotguns, machine guns and more. Another feature is having the ability to drive vehicles from trucks to dune buggies to tanks and UAVs, this places Bad Company apart from Modern Warfare 2, where it’s limited to ground combat, or OFP:Dragon Rising where the large maps weren’t capitalized with the lack of useable vehicles (or even variety).

The AI in the game is one of the best I’ve seen. enemies take cover, use grenades to flush you out of the building (or break an opening). The same goes for the team mates, DICE made the game a lot more friendly in terms that the AI controlled team mates will take care of themselves well enough by taking down enemies on their own. During lulls in the fighting, the teammates will start talking about various topics from the Sarge’s vacation and up to Haggard’s life in Texas, even having some bickering between Haggard and Sweetwater to keep things humorous.

Having said humor, the game does give us a slightly less than serious tone over MW2. Not to leave MW2 on the side, some conversations done in the course of the game take some swipes on MW2, for example, during the Andes Mountain missions, The Sarge would comment on “sending Special Forces pussies armed with high tech gadgets” which of course takes a knock on Soap’s and Roach’s infiltration to a Russian base to retrieve a satellite module. Other funny parts involve Haggard and Sweetwater’s escapades with explosives and Haggard’s fixation on “saving the cheerleaders” (Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders to be precise).

All in all, this offsets the heavy tone over MW2, but still, I’d prefer MW2’s close combat multiplayer gaming and leave the tank battle to Single Player Mode (as I normally get blown up during combat :-| ).

System Requirements

 

Minimum

Recommended

Windows

Operating System

Windows XP

Windows Vista / Windows 7

CPU

Intel Pentium D @ 3GHz/ Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2GHz

Quadcore

Memory

2GB RAM

Hard Drive

10 GB

Graphics Hardware

GeForce 7800 GT / ATI X1900 with 256 MB VRAM – DirectX 9

DirectX GeForce GTX 260/ ATI Radeon 4870 with 512 MB VRAM – DirectX 10

Sound Hardware

DirectX 9.0c compliant Sound card

Network

1 Mbit/s internet connection for online play

 

** Pictures will be followed up later.

Categories: Games, Uncategorized Tags: , ,
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