So while I was initially stoked to get my hands on the game, as the weeks have gone by I've found myself putting less and less time into it. Now, I play maybe one or two matches total a day before I just turn it off and go play something else. Main reasons:
- Lordy, this weapon balance. It makes Call of Duty 4 look like it had a well balanced arsenal. SMGs are just about useless in their current state. The MP7 is a decent gun, but it costs so much to get it configured in a way that makes it viable, and the Uzi is a joke gun in its current state. On top of that, bolt action rifles seem entirely redundant in comparison to DMRs. I get that's semi-realistic given the engagement distances depicted, but then why have them at all if they're going to be so useless?
- Recoil. Crouch and your gun becomes a laser, rendering recoil control a redundant skill since it's almost completely mitigated just by changing stance. On top of that, compensators seem redundant since most weapons have almost no side to side recoil.
- This freaking AI, man. We've discussed it at length, but it bears repeating that the AI should not have to cheat just to be a challenge. Bots basically know your location 24/7 and are absurdly accurate AND can outright break the rules and kill players through solid cover, as I've witnessed happening.
- Not having everything instagib is a step in the right direction, but something really needs to be done about armor. Light armor is negligible in the protection it offers (I die just as fast whether I have light armor or no armor), and heavy armor only really makes a difference at long range and against certain guns, and even then, the difference is negligible.
- I was quite pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed the character customization, but I really don't like how certain things are set up. Why do I have to pay 200 credits just to roll up my sleeves? Seems like you could eliminate a lot of redundant items just by giving people the option to roll up their sleeves instead of making them pay for it. The random unlock you get after leveling up can be an item you already own, meaning you essentially get nothing.
- No good way of dealing with griefers and trolls. I'm sorry, NWI, but you don't have an excuse for this. Team killing has been a sticking point in every game you've released in the past 4 years. There needs to be a matchmaking cool down of like 30 minutes to an hour for people who get booted from a match for excessive team killing. On top of that, there need to be harsher penalties for team killing in general to encourage people to actually identify their targets before shooting. I'm tired of clearing a building and eating half a magazine's worth of 5.56 from my teammate because he just couldn't be arsed to identify who he was shooting at.
- This is a nitpick, but why are the reticles on electronic sights so fuzzy? They're annoyingly hard to see.
Yet, I'll admit, for all my bitching and nitpicking, I can see the great game here underneath all the problems. It seems like whenever the problems start to wear me down, there's a really cool moment that reinvigorates me and instills new hope. Last match, I ended up at the last objective as the last man standing on Crossing as the insurgents. No way I could fight that many operators by myself, so I got out my only molotov and tried to throw it onto the cache from a distance. Lo and behold, I arced my throw perfectly and saved the game. It's little moments like that where I can see the fun I could be having if it weren't for all these other problems dragging down the experience.
I dunno, maybe beta testing just isn't for me. If that's the case, I'll gladly wait until December to see if the problems get ironed out. I hope they do, because I can see the potential here underneath all the issues.