One of the most anticipated games of 2016 held their beta over the weekend and though I was added in late, I was more than eager to try out the game mechanics and check out the fantastic graphics.
The story line itself is pretty straight forward but may hold much more in the full release of the game. As the trailer revealed, there is an outbreak in New York city and players have to command a team to fight back against the anarchy. As far as the game play, many elements feel the same as something like Destiny. There are many unique features and controls that set this game apart and make it a very fun experience.
Game mechanics were pretty good and everything felt very comfortable. The cover system was like a better version of Gears of War and I was able to take cover and maneuver very smoothly. It plays a key element in the game so it’s nice to see it very well polished. Though only one story line mission was available it was easy to see there would always be lots going on in the game. Many side missions and objectives will keep players savaging around NYC for a long time. Many buildings can be explored and looted which gave some extra motivation to explore.
My favorite discovery was The Dark Zone which is a contaminated area that is right in the middle of Manhattan. Simply put, its a giant PVP zone where players can group up and try to take over areas in an open world environment. I spent a LONG time here. I wasn’t sure if there were other loading areas, but depending on how far you are from the check point, loading after death can get annoying especially if you had a good group of people. With that being said one of the benefits was that there are no lobbies or additional load zones between these different areas. It’s only when you transport across the map to the checkpoint that it needs to actually load. Initial load of the game is pretty long but subsequent loads are fairly quick.
There are a fair number of available perks your character can use and switch out at any time. Two get equipped and bound to L1 and R1 so they can be easily used. They make all the difference in the world when choosing strategies. Though I seemed to find ones I liked and stuck with them, depending on your play style there is a good variety and as you level up more options become available. There are also crafting elements and of course vanity items like skins.
You can pick up loot from NPCs after combat which is very easy to identify. To swap to better equipment or guns is easy enough but wasn’t as good as say something like Borderlands or even Destiny in my opinion, but still smooth enough to enjoy using.
Performance wise on the PS4 there were no noticeable lag, loading was fine and never any connection issues when joining a server. Friends were also clearly visible on my map and could easily be met up with. The whole process was very smooth and again, I loved the lack of lobby queues. I know they slowly ramped up this beta but hopefully it will be just as smooth at release. The captured footage from these gifs was done using the built in twitch capture and posed no additional strain. Graphically I didn’t think it looked as good as the E3 demo, but this might be just the PS4 or even just the beta. That being said there were still very beautiful elements to the game. The map was a joy to bring up every time and the perk to discover nearby enemies made me smile and felt a lot like Destiny every time you brought out your Ghost.
Overall I think the beta shows great promise for the full release. Many visible aspects to the game have been locked and I think that may indicate that there are many invisible aspects that will excite players.
What do you think? Did you get access to the beta? Leave a comment and let us know!