I’ve had a real love hate affair with online gaming over the years. To be honest I’ve played very little. I played some Halo and Call of Duty 2 on the 360 back in the day and some Blur (which was ace) but that was about it. I never really ‘got it’. I’m someone who likes an endpoint, some finality and completion so always gravitated more towards solo play with the aim of ‘beating’ games. Then my friend tried and tried to get me on Star Wars Battlefront. He bought a PS4 when the original game launched and has bought no other game since.
I started out gingerly last year and was immediately thrust back to my very brief experience of some other FPS game, which I forget right now, I tried online a few years ago. I instantly felt outclassed and was dying left right and center. I like to consider myself a good gamer so the feelings of inadequacy felt unnatural and wrong.
I persevereved and after a few sessions I realised two things. When you have enough credits you can start getting access to the better power ups etc and alongside this you realise that you can’t go off lone wolfing it all the time (although sometimes that is a tactic I use. Sneaking in solo behind enemy lines undetected is immensely satisfying). With these two things in mind my enjoyment skyrocketed. Then something weird happened. After about 100 hours play, of being consistently competitive, I started to regress. I was dying a lot more and getting less kills. My buddy told me it;s not about the K:D ratio but I felt I needed that to be a positive number otherwise I didn’t feel competitive and I get my enjoyment from being competitive. Long story short I quit the game.
Fast forward to last Friday and my buddy tells me the Beta of SWBFII is free to play at the weekend. He convinced me to have a go and here’s what happened in the two games I played.
I got absolutely crushed. Fortunately they seem to have removed the death stats otherwise that would be uncomfortable reading. I had no clue what was going on felt really out of my depth. It has firmly put me in the ‘not buying’ camp. Here’s the kicker. Even though I’d say less than 5% of my gaming in the last 35 years has been online, I can honestly say that some of the most satisfying moments in my gaming career have actually been whilst playing online. Hooking up your headset and getting a couple of buddies in a private chat whilst working as a well oiled machine is immensely enjoyable.
I know it’s not for everyone and right now I’m down on it but if you haven’t tried it and think, ‘it’s not for me’, you really could be missing out. I love Star Wars so part of me wants to shake it off and give it another go but the stubbornness in me is holding firm right now. We’ll see what happens.