Posted: April 11
An intense, story-driven game written by the community, brought down by glaring flaws. The plot revolves around a bunch of screaming manchildren locked into a constant battle for guns with paintjobs. Hack wars commence, scams are carried out, and viruses are created in an attempt to gain any leverage possible. As one of the many players of this war, you must choose your allegiances properly. Will you simply be another "casual" and be called every name in the book by others for poor performance, race, sex, etc? Will you become one of the elitists and make money off of the guns? Or will you maliciously assault your fellow comardes and enemies alike with verbal harassment?
Unfortunately, your character is outnumbered and outgunned. He must be a hyperactive drug addict, as he can run around at speeds that would make a Ferrari blush with near-instant acceleration but cannot shoot straight to save his life. He can shoot the first two shots accurately with some degree of randomness, but past that he starts flaiiing his arms around and begins shooting the sky in a vain effort to kill God rather than the other humans shooting back at him. Fortunately, your enemies are usually as incompetent as you are, so most battles turn into a spamfest of bullets as both sides scream racial slurs at each other and hope their bullet hits the other guy. Of course, a lot of times, much higher-skilled players posing as low-tier enemies will go up against you to fulfill their own malicious power fantasies. These people are called "smurfs". They function as boss fights and usually hurl taunts and insults your direction. Beat them to see them break down villainously and accuse you of hacking.
Of course, there are also hackers. Some are possible to beat, others are not. They have added advantages, such as x-ray vision, computerized aiming, and a jetpack that allows them to hop across maps at blinding speeds. Have fun with that.
The soundtrack is poor, as there are very few tracks in the game and most of them last for only several seconds, and you will hear them all within two minutes of playing. Valve does allow the purchase of soundtrack DLC, which only give you different very short tracks for the price of $7. This is a very shameful business practice, and one has to wonder why EA gets fluff for this but not Valve.
The graphics are rather ugly with blurry textures that look like they were ported from the original XBOX and lifeless environments. This is said to make the game competitively playable, but everyone knows good video games like Call of Duty all have giant neon signs and lens flares that obscure vision. The optimization is rather poor as well. On my state-of-the-art 2011 laptop loaded with an Intel HD 3000, the finest in graphics card technology, it gets a pitiful 25 FPS in menus with performance usually worse in-game. This leads to frustrating deaths as I see my enemies teleport around and shoot me in the face, or I suddenly freeze in place and again get shot in the face, in which they will usually taunt me with expletives. This is absolutely unforgivable for a game released this decade. My computer can run Crysis.
The loot system in this game, however, has much potential. The guns you can get nearly rival Borderlands The Pre-Sequel in originality, design, and neon colors. However, unlike Borderlands The Pre-Sequel, the guns cost real money on either the outside-game service Steam Community Market or by opening cases, which cost $2.49 per attempt and usually only yield Common-grade loot. This is disgraceful and exploitative of the consumer base. Gearbox clearly has it right, as unlike Valve, they never release overpriced DLC for their Borderlands series. As Valve have shown they cannot design games, they should hand off Half-Life 3 to Gearbox Software instead.
Overall, this game is outdated, treats customers like crap, has little content, unintiuitive gameplay, a terrible community, bad level design, and more. Stay away and buy Call of Duty Modern Warfare 17 instead.