I downloaded a few demos over the weekend to try them out:
- Call of Duty[^]
I’m picking this one up ASAP. The game is beautiful, the AI is great, and it controls well. There are two demos for this game out, Dawnville and another map (don’t have the name in front of me). I played through the Dawnville demo yesterday and it formed my opinion about getting the game.
A few minutes before I started work I saw there was a second demo (actually the first released) but I haven’t had the chance to play it yet.
- Secret Weapons Over Normandy[^]
A WWII combat flight simulator for those that don’t like flight simulators.
After playing Flight Simulator 2004 and Combat Flight Simulator 2 this game looks good, but the controls don’t feel “real”. Then again, I’m going from a program that has been referred to as the best thing next to the multi-million dollar simulators to something that is a game first and simulator second, third, or fourth.
- America’s Army[^]
Not really a demo, this is a full blown game free from the US Army recruiters office. I’m putting this one on the sidelines as the missions all require you to play multiplayer, something I want to stay away from for now. The training maps were playable locally and I went through several of them.
The Good Things
- Being from the US Army the game looks and feels like a real boot camp experience with a few extra “nice” things. Namely that the eyes of the army personnel you com across will follow you around. The downside to this is that you can get the officers to look funny by standing off to the side while they’re head faces forward.
- The maps are detailed: Lots of trees, sandy and grassy patches dot the landscape.
- Training feels like training, one of the training levels has you go through a building with both good and bad cardboard cutouts, you have to combine stealth with the effective use of flashbangs to take out the “bad” guys.
The Bad things:
- Sometimes there is just too much detail: The “training” mission for special forces has you talk to 7 members of a team to learn what each member does. You then go into a classroom to learn how to identify both friendly and enemy vehicles, this part takes a while to go through and I couldn’t find a way to skip it. After that you take a 15 question multiple choice test based on what you learned. Well, its actually based on 5 posters you see hanging on the wall of the class room. The class part didn’t teach much. *yawn*
- When I first played the “game” I set up my display then set up my controls. But when I got into the game, I couldn’t move foward at all, though strafe and backwards worked correctly. Double checking my settings showed them as correct and rebinding them had no effect. After a crash I came back into the game to find that foward wasn’t bound at all and another key was missing its binding
- Speaking of crashes, not knowing that I needed to sign up for their website to have my training “count” I proceeded through the Marksmanship level only to find it crash when it asked for user/pass and I clicked next.
The Starscrape demo is limited to 10 minutes, and the 10 minutes appeared to last quite a while. The gameplay is simple (as far as I got) take your little ship and scout around destroying asteroids to release resources which you can collect and take back to your “mother ship”. You can take this materials to then build new ships and parts for your mother ship. Every now and then you also get attacked….not that you really need to worry, just before getting attacked for the first time you get some rockets for your ship, the ship that looked like it was going to be the toughest to kill fell after getting hit by one rocket, pansy.
Of these games the one with the most promise is Call of Duty. Finally a game that lives up to all the hype I ignored :).