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"Roblox Battlefield, But A Bit More Interesting"
I've been playing "BattleBit" for a little while now, at least since earlier this Spring when its playtesting was starting to pick up in popularity. It's an interesting game full of crazy setpiece moments, hilarious push-to-talk shenanigans, and some pretty tight gunplay. As a low-end version of "Battlefield", it actually does quite a good job at mimicking the series' best traits while adding in a few nice aspects that make this game more original. However, the game's fun can be faltered by some weird design choices, a shaky level of quality to its maps, balancing issues, and the general bugginess of early access.
"BattleBit's" gunplay is fairly tight for a low-poly shooter, and it's likely the main reason players keep coming back. The sound design plays a big part, with it being on par with "Battlefield's" chunkiness and depth at times. Weapon feedback is very good, and each gun feels distinct and powerful in its own ways. This helps during hectic firefights where buildings are collapsing, helicopters are crashing into the surroundings, and people are screaming all around you. It's an immersive experience, and the proximity voice chat that is implemented is clear, crisp, and easy to access, making the game feel much more alive than "Battlefield".
This can be for better or worse sometimes, since you still have people who scream obscenities and racist remarks, but OkiGames has a solid anti-abuse system in place for their voice/text chat that seems to get rid of offenders fairly fast. You can still cuss, but spewing discrimination isn't really something the developers seem to allow, which is a really good thing. The fact that audio recordings are saved is a bit fishy, but since I have no proof it's been used in a negative way, it's not something I find too bothersome.
"BattleBit" is in early access, so there are still a lot of kinks to work through. I'll leave a list of current issues that I believe hurt the experience for myself:
- I personally think the map design needs a lot of work, with many maps feeling not only too similar visually, but play far too similarly each round. The feedback system that exists for these maps is present, but I haven't seen anything large scale being implemented.
- Personally, I think there needs to be the ability to parachute, at least for a specific class. This can be done by sacrificing your gadgets or tweaking something with your armor, but "Battlefield's" best moments come from its generally more dynamic movement system at times (thinking more along the lines of BF4 and 2042 rather than the more boots to the ground ones).
- Vehicles are too strong and/or anti-vehicle tools are too weak. I think vehicle speed needs to be lowered, or the time it takes to fire rockets needs to be a bit faster. Working as a team can get the job done, but this will always be a game where people don't work together because, well, that's multiplayer in a nutshell these days.
- General UI improvements and bugfixes. The game's presentation through menus is very poor, and there's not even menu music. You also need to be able to customize classes outside of a game. There are still many EA bugs, but I'm sure this will be fixed in due time - as it stands, the game is fairly polished, but there are visual, audio, and movement bugs still present.
- There needs to be an adjustment to spawning (relay beacons in particular), as well as the way maps play out. There is far too many instances of back flag captures that make the action feel fragmented, and if you get bad squad luck, it feels like you get locked out of actually going anywhere on the map. This can be improved by adjusting the spawning locations in base to have multiple set points, or by increasing the base radius to discourage spawn camping. This is also a problem in "Battlefield", so I don't expect any huge changes here, but it would be nice to see the developers tackle this issue.
"BattleBit" is likely the best "Battlefield" clone to date, but in order to have a long AND influential lifespan, it still needs to shore up some of its issues. I like playing it for now, but there is potential down the line where I get tired of some of the game's problems (map design, spawning, and low QOL features), and I could see myself taking a break only to never return. I hope the developers use early access as a tool to really improve this game, but I guess time will tell what happens with "BattleBit". For now, it's a cheap way to experience some of the best aspects of "Battlefield" without giving Electronic Arts any money, especially since this developer team actually seems to care about their product.
Final Verdict: 8/10 (Great)
"Isaac's First DLC"
This is a solid DLC that adds a buttload of content to the original game. While not all of the content is "great", there are things such as the Angel Rooms, spider/sack enemy types, new curses, and new bosses/mini-bosses that just help the game feel so much more fleshed out. Isaac's original content was fine, but got old really fast, so this DLC helped add a layer of randomness that actually helped with the game's run diversity and added some extra charm to the experience.
Final Verdict: 6/10 (Above Average)
"The Original Version Of The Definitive Flash-Era Roguelite"
"The Binding of Isaac" is now 12 years old, which is a pretty crazy thing to me. While I didn't play this original version until now, I had played the "Rebirth" remaster a lot when I first got my PS4. That game was likely the first true roguelite I had ever played. Revisiting this original version makes it clear where the game placed its roots, but it also shows how inferior the first version was.
The interesting thing about Isaac is how much it replicates the original "The Legend of Zelda" with its dungeon design. This never occurred to me until I recently played the first LoZ game, but it's a core component of this game with its focus on ranged combat, bombs, keys, and the way dungeons and enemies are structured. It's a nice evolution of a pretty early adventure game idea.
The actual gameplay of Isaac is pretty simple but does devolve into a repetitive yet addicting loop. You defeat a room full of enemies to progress throughout a randomized dungeon, and you collect primary items and other secondary-use items along the way. This changes how Isaac's character functions and offers some wacky tools to fight enemies with. A downside is that you cannot get rid of items you don't enjoy, and there are no in-game descriptions for any items, causing you to have to memorize each one (unless you have a wiki pulled up next to you).
The game is also very, very focused on randomness. There isn't a lot of room for skill, so you pretty much just work with what you're given. I find this game to lean too far into the "luck" side of things more often than not, which really takes away from the feeling of accomplishment.
Still, it's a fun game with some imaginative items, enemies, and boss fights. Future expansions/remasters would only make the game stronger, but this base version is still playable for those who are interested in seeing the earlier days of this game.
Final Verdict: 6/10 (Above Average)