It’s official: I’m no match for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Cyborgs that play online shooters anymore. Seriously, some people must be wasting their lives mastering headshots instead of doing something productive. I recently took a sojourn into Halo Reach’s online community, and it was a brutal wake-up call.
- GAME ONE: I played team slayer and got first kill (dying in the process). So far, so good, right? I led my team in kills for the first half of the match but suddenly things went south. I don't know how or why. I started getting killed allot and no one would die for me. It was irritating as hell. I finished with 6 kills and 10 deaths, good for second worst in the game. My team lost the match, 50-41.
- GAME TWO: Another team slayer match, this one was pretty much a ‘lambs (noobs) to the slaughter’ type scenario. I was constantly killed by a-holes I never even saw. I would unload entire clips into a guy, and then he’d one-shot me. I’m confident in saying that the other team was likely not a random rag-tag bunch like mine was: their coordination was just a little too sharp. I finished with 4 kills, 16 deaths and we lost 50-20. I was again second worst in the entire game. Damn it all.
At that point I called it quits. There are those who say that the only way to learn in these games is to get mercilessly pummeled over and over. These are the people who’s head I would like to slam in a door for hours on end. The whole, ‘die and a millions times and then you’re good’ idea is an archaic concept. There has to be another way. It’s like saying, “I burned myself hundreds of times learning to make coffee, so that’s the way you should have to do it, otherwise you’re a quitter.” Logic, anyone?
I asked the game to match me with players of my skill level. Did it? Well, if the rank and lifetime kills of my opponents was any indicator, no. The reason being, this long after a game’s launch is a terrible time to try and jump into the fray. If you don’t start when the game comes out, the longer you wait the bigger handicap you’ll have. The reality is that the game could have looked for hours and not found enough players as green as I was to fill a match.
As for playing with friends, that’s a great idea. You get together with people you know, and there’s a comfort level there. There’s a problem though. If you were to look at my friends list, you’d see one person, that would be Beta. She’s the only other player I know who plays the Xbox 360. Omega plays with me but for whatever reason he doesn’t have an online account. Even then, both of them only play when they’re visiting me, because neither of them has a system of their own. Anyone who I meet online playing Halo Reach or the like isn’t going to be impressed with me as I get blown away time and again. They’re not going to seek me out to play later. So for me, using the friends list is out.
I honestly don’t know what I’m doing wrong here. From Call of Duty: Black Ops to Team Fortress 2 to Halo Reach, I’m taking my years of FPS skills online and being ripped to shreds. The truth is, I’m not bad at these games. I’m actually pretty competent – especially with a mouse and keyboard in my hands – and when I’m playing an even match I can rattle off the kill streaks. I’m just no match for the folks with hours of playtime under their belt and skills honed over dozens to hundreds of matches.
I may yet retire playing multiplayer games for future e-AAGH.net reviews if this trend continues. Time will tell.