The State of the Game #13

Here were are again, this time falling on lucky number 13. I had another busy week, not really even having time to post anything since last Tuesday. Part of the reason for this is that it was a Finals week (new class started up today), and I worked a few extra hours as well. But, that’s not going to affect the content of this week’s column, because I have a lot to talk about! As I mentioned last week, Bioshock: Infinite was the new free game via Playstation Plus, and that did consume some of my time, but I have decided to bookmark my progress in that game until I manage to go back and play the first two. I realize that the storylines aren’t really even relative, but I still feel like I should experience those two games first. I will come back to those games at a later date, though I do have some further commentary on B:I later in the post. I also spent a fair bit of time with both Awesomenauts and League of Legends this week, and have one other surprise game that I pulled out of the archive. Let’s get on with it, shall we?

I am nearing my final prestige level, finally. I am rank 35 or so (of 45) and then I will prestige for the tenth and final time. Once I have all of the high rank abilities, all of the time, it’s going to be over for the competition! I have also almost broken into the 16k tier of the rating system, and am nearly in the top 1600 players in the world (on the PS3 that is). I’m not sure how that would rate me compared to Xbox 360 players or the PC players, but I feel pretty good about being that close to the top. My 1615 or so rank on the leaderboards is the best I have accomplished thus far, and that’s good for a 15900~ rating, but it is increasingly difficult to get that number to go up. I have been floating around 15800-15900 for the last month. I believe by this time next week if I keep doing well I should be able to best 16000 rating, and drop below 1600 on the leaderboard.

League of Legends:
I was still going along with my playing-nothing-but-ARAM pattern at the beginning of the week, until one day I was contacted by one of my friends online who wanted to play some Classic with me. We hadn’t played together since last season, and I really haven’t played with anyone at all since then, so I jumped at the opportunity. Since I hadn’t played any Summoner’s Rift since all of the preseason changes went in, or the even more recent changes with patch 4.1, I was showing a bit of rust when the game began. My friend ran Hecarim in the jungle, we had a Jax up top, Katarina in mid lane, and I was supporting a Jayce carry as Sona. I was worried about the Jayce pick to begin with, as I usually see him used in a Bruiser role on top lane, but it turns out I was worrying for nothing. My early rust turned into a dominant game. We were smart and didn’t feed, I kept wards up at all times, I really fell in love with the support buffs, as I was never wanting for gold (and I was always gold starved before, even with all of my extra gold earned from Runes/Masteries — these are even better than before along with the new gold earning items and extra help for the vision war with the trinkets), and later on we were completely destroying the enemy team. We managed to destroy all three outer turrets by the twenty minute mark, and the enemy team surrendered. Check my final score:

The 5th game down is highlighted at right

Another fun story from a game of ARAM: I was playing Ezreal and one of my teammates was Varus. We were facing an enemy Ziggs that really wasn’t all that skilled, but still managed to poke the hell out of us anyway. At one point Varus was gravely wounded and he was attempting to outrun one of Ziggs’ bouncing bombs, but was clearly not going to make it. At the last possible second, I used my E to teleport into the path of the bomb and save Varus. We both retreated to the nearby bush, and I typed in “All for you!”. He responded “I love you <3”, while Ziggs dropped his ultimate right on our heads. It was a good laugh.

Bioshock: Infinite:
I really look forward to playing through this game. As I mentioned before, I have put a bookmark in this game as of now, but I played through quite a bit of the beginning of the game in a couple of evenings. I really am tempted to just run through the game, but I have that completionist spirit in me that wants to play through the whole series first. This isn’t a game like Call of Duty where the multiplayer is exactly the same every game, and for the most part so is the story line. This is a game where the story is the best part of the game and the combat is only a small portion of it. The story for Infinite is seemingly similar to the original Bioshock in that some nut job created a city in an unlikely place. In #1, the city was under the sea, whereas in Infinite the city is in the sky. Entrance to the city is interesting enough in that you are launched in a pod from a light house, but you land smack dab in some sort of temple where the cult-like assembly wants you to assimilate to their viewpoint. The religious cult undertones in this game are something that I can appreciate, because as an Atheist I feel that all religions are cult-like (yes, that probably includes yours). Some examples of the dogma of this fictional world:

Haven't figured out if this is an "emaculate conception"
Haven’t figured out if this is an “emaculate conception”
This "false shepard" sounds like "satan"
This “false shepard” sounds like “satan”
"Mark of the Beast" anyone?
“Mark of the Beast” anyone?

Oh yes, all of Christianity’s tired cliches are present. During this portion of the game, a fair is going on in the city, and there is a parade float going through that has the story of Columbia depicted. The other mumbo jumbo propaganda is littered throughout the city, though I really appreciated the latter picture. When you come upon this sign for the first time you actually raise your hand in front of you and see the “AD” mark on your hand, knowing that you are playing the so-called “villain” of the story. I’m not sure if the creators were aiming to make fun of religion in general, or if they were just using the same ideas to make some new thing to be hated, but either way I like where it’s going so far. I will come back to this game and speak more of this when I get to it.

Now for the surprise game:

Battlefield 3:
Late to the party, yeah I know. Still, I haven’t really ever given the Battlefield series a chance. When people were playing the original Battlefield 1942, I was playing Counter-Strike and Day of Defeat (both Half-life 2 mods if you didn’t already know). I tried it and wasn’t as thrilled with it. I also tried Battlefield 2 at a friend’s house later on, and still wasn’t impressed. I had become a Call of Duty player by that point, and CoD held my interest up until Modern Warfare 3. At that point, I become disenfranchised with Call of Duty altogether, and boycotted the series. I have stayed true to that sentiment through two installments of the game, having avoided Black Ops 2 and Ghosts altogether. Lately though, I have been feeling that crave for competitive gameplay (this should be obvious with all my talk about LoL and Awesomenauts) that falls outside of the MOBA genre. I love my MOBAs, but I wanted some first person action that wasn’t all story-line intensive. Yes, Battlefield does have a single player campaign, but as of right now all I want to play is the multiplayer component.

I realize that Battlefield 3 is something like 2 1/2 years old and that Battlefield 4 released at the end of last year, so I am definitely far behind and it’s probably not the best time to jump into a shooter like this (populations die out when new titles are released). I’d also have to pay $50 to get all of the DLC for the game, which at this point seems like a joke. I have no intentions of doing so, because if I had $50 to throw away, I might as well just get a copy of the newest release, regardless of if it doesn’t have DLC yet. I actually don’t want to get caught in that DLC trap again, but I do crave an awesome multiplayer experience. That’s one thing I can’t fault CoD on, regardless of if it was nearly the same thing over and over again, it was always fun when I did play it. So, with all that said, BF3 was free for plus members a while back and I had skipped over it, but I decided the other night to go back and play it. I had a lot of fun blasting people and it didn’t feel like I was at a huge disadvantage even lacking all of the stuff you unlock as you progress through the multiplayer portion. I ended up only playing on maps that were designated as Team Deathmatch, so it was basically the same experience as one would have playing CoD, as there weren’t vehicles to control. That is a portion of the game that I want to try out, along with any other game modes. If I do all of that and I end up enjoying myself, I just might get a copy of BF4 at some point down the line. One good thing is that all of the controversy about the game’s stability has made DICE fix the problems it’s had since launch (or so I’ve read elsewhere), and I can get a copy of the game for PS3 and later upgrade it to a PS4 edition if I so choose. We’ll see what happens.

This week the Plus game is Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. It looks interesting enough and I’ll give it a whirl. I’ve heard good things. Til next week.