Posts Tagged ‘demo

06
Nov
08

Left 4 Dead: Demo Survival Tips

l4d_02Today the Left 4 Dead demo goes live on Steam and Xbox Live for pre-order customers. Those who haven’t pre-ordered can get the demo on November 11th. Unlike most shooters, teamplay is essential in Left 4 Dead. So here’s a few quick tips to help your team get started:

Establish communication with your team: There’s no time to type messages back and forth, so make sure everyone on your team has a microphone and knows how to use it—a gray speaker icon appears next to their name in the lobby if they have a microphone connected. If playing with strangers online, say hi and establish a rapport with your new teammates. Breaking the ice in the lobby will pay off later as the game begins.

Get organized: Before beginning a game, discuss your individual roles. It’s usually a good idea to elect one teammate as the leader. This player will not only physically lead the team but make key pathfinding decisions at branches, determining which direction the team will go. Therefore the leader should have at least some experience with the layout of the maps you’re about to blitz through. But most importantly, the leader should possess good communication skills, constantly checking in with teammates and ensuring everyone stays together and healthy.

Diversify your firepower: When choosing weapons at the beginning of a level, mix it up, taking a couple of shotguns and two SMGs or assault rifles. This gives your team a good balance of firepower capable of engaging threats at close and long range. Never take more than one sniper rifle. Although powerful, sniper rifles have a low rate of fire and take a long time to reload. And since most engagements occur at close to intermediate range, the rifle’s scope isn’t very useful, and can even be a liability.

Stay together, stay alive: It may sound easy, but keeping four players together during a chaotic advance is a constant challenge. But it’s a challenge that must be overcome if you hope to make it to the safe house. Stay in constant voice communication with your teammates, calling out targets and issuing warnings. If you need to stop and heal, let everyone know so they don’t leave you behind. When stopping, make sure everyone gets the message. Anyone who continues advancing on their own won’t stand a chance.

Close doors: The infected can’t open doors. Instead, they must break them down with melee attacks. While a simple wooden door won’t last long when faced with such violent attacks, it will delay the infected, allowing your team to slip away or prepare to engage the attackers. Often the sound of the infected breaking down a door is just enough to get your team’s attention, preventing you from being attacked from behind.

Share the health supplies: If your character is healthy and someone else on your team is seriously injured, either heal them with a first aid kit or hand over a bottle of pills. Injured players slow down the whole team so it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep everyone healthy and moving at maximum speed. Each player can carry one first aid kit and one bottle of pills, so there’s usually enough supplies to go around if you all share.

Use the survivor’s names when communicating: It’s often easier to say Bill, Francis, Louis, or Zoey in the heat of battle than it is to decipher someone’s 15-character Gamertag. So take note of what survivor you’re playing as and respond to any questions or requests when addressed by this name.

Monitor your teammates: You can see your teammates at all times, even if they’re not in your current line of sight. They’ll appear as a blue glowing silhouette if blocked by an object such as a wall. These glowing silhouettes allow you to keep tabs on all your teammates. If the teammate’s silhouette turns orange, it indicates they’re in danger. This could mean a variety of things. They could be covered in a Boomer’s bile, dangling from a ledge, incapacitated, pinned by a Hunter, or ensnared by a Smoker’s tongue. In any case, get to them as quickly as possible to assist.

08
Jun
08

Battlefield Moments

I’ve been a Battlefield fanatic since the first demo dropped back in August of 2002. In fact, the Wake Island map showcased in the Battlefield 1942 demo is still an all-time favorite of mine. I can remember so many cool moments from that map alone, perhaps because I played it endlessly while impatiently awaiting the release of the full game. In particular, I remember playing as a scout and scoring an ultra-long range kill from the opposite side of the horseshoe-shaped island; my target little more than a faint silhouette in my rifle’s scope. Then there was the time I was the lone survivor on my team and secured a control point (and subsequent spawn point) by bailing out of my shot-up Zero (which I stole) and parachuting down to an enemy flag. But what stuck out most about the game were the endless possibilities for the future of team-oriented shooters. While team-based games were hardly new (think Counter Strike & Team Fortress), the Battlefield series was one of the first to successfully incorporate vehicles, infantry, and massive environments into a deep yet accessible gameplay experience. And DICE never disappointed with subsequent releases, fine-tuning their addictive formula with Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142 by putting a greater emphasis on team/squad play.

I’m glad to see DICE has maintained the same focus with Bad Company, because that’s exactly what console gaming needs right now. I booted up the newly released demo yesterday and jumped online for the first time since the beta ended. To my surprise, everyone was catching on. My squadmates weren’t afraid to talk and we quickly setup a nearly flawless defensive perimeter around a gold stash, ruthlessly punishing all opponents that dared to approach. When it was time to attack, we held back and provided sniper support for teammates making a move on the enemy gold stashes. Oh and here’s a quick tip when sniping: stay in the low-lying areas and place yourself in front of a backdrop that breaks-up your silhouette; snipers on hills and rooftops are easy to spot and never last long. On Oasis, the river running along the side of the map is a great sniping area with plenty of trees and vegetation to hide among.

Of course, there were some classic Battlefield moments too. At one point I took cover in a small building only to watch the outer walls crumble as an enemy gunship pounded the exterior with rockets. Yes, the destructible environment takes some getting used to. Somehow I barely survived the barrage, but my ears were ringing for a few seconds afterward; just one of the many impressive sound effects. Later, I spotted three opponents crossing an open field and quickly opened fire with my support kit’s light machinegun. While I tried to score some lethal hits, my main objective was to test the weapon’s suppressive capability. And it worked like a charm. All three opponents scattered in different directions, clearly startled by the salvo of bullets whizzing past their heads. I couldn’t help but laugh as I ducked behind a rock and loaded a fresh box of ammo.

Anyway, the Battlefield: Bad Company demo is up on Xbox Live Marketplace and the Playstation Store. It’s well worth checking out and should hold you over until the game releases on June 23rd. Oh, and if you have any Battlefield moments you’d like to share I’d love to hear them.




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