I spent a couple of hours this evening playing Battlefield 3 partly because Lee of The Chaps got me psyched about it again after a looooooong break from it, and partly because I’d had a loooooooong day thanks to management where I work have unrealistic expectations so I felt the need to shoot some folk.
To give you some background I’ve been playing video games since Stellar Wars on the Commodore 64 in 1984/5. I was 2 going on 3. I say this to emphasise the fact that I am no novice gamer. But nor am I the best. Sadly I am not 16 so don’t spend 10 hours a day playing video games, punctuated by furious masturbation sessions, like the current generation so my skills are not borderline preternatural. But I’ve got game. Not necessarily mad game, but game.
So when I tell you I got my arse kicked for two hours I want to be clear it’s not because I’m a ‘tard.
To be fair, the first game I was out played as I was finding my stride and there were some very talented players on the opposing team. But all subsequent games I started to notice something more and more. Overwhelmingly, the people I were playing against were wankers.
This got me thinking that beyond one or two titles like Halo and Mass Effect, I enjoy wargaming and all its trappings a lot more. It’s just better, and this is why:
1. Wanker avoidance. It is far easier to avoid playing against wankers on wargaming. This is down to the fact that they can be spotted a mile off either by thier poor personal hygiene or their army selection. And should you be unfortunate enough to play a wanker you can just avoid them in the future. In video gaming the respectful gamer is the rarity and I’m yet to come across a game with a built in wank-o-meter that boots out gamers for being wankers.
Plus with wargaming you have the luxury of just playing your mates. I’m extremely lucky to have The Chaps – 5 regular opponents so games stay fresh but there’s enough of us for fecking massive games.
2. You’ll never tell the same story twice. Wargaming offers near limitless stories to be told and with it scenarios that are only restricted by your ambition. In a game like Battlefield 3 or (shudder) Call of Duty the story is always secondary to multiplayer making it as interesting as a back issue of Good Housekeeping at an orgy. Instead, variety is presented as enemies that are harder to kill and have a better aim. How fun…
But more than that, once the credits roll the story is over. Wargaming allows a continuation or a whole new story without having to wait for the next part to be released only to find out it’s toss.
3. Multiplayer is better. Wargaming actively encourages socialising with other gamers who become your friends. Life long in many cases. And nothing will ever replace the fun I have with The Chaps, over a board covered with toys, a chilled beverage in hand and a healthy bit of banter being thrown about. The only banter I get online is a near psychotic teenager going bat shit because he’s dying all the time and therefore clearly not as good as he thinks he is.
4. Contentment is the enemy of invention. Wargaming encourages us to read, reason, develop tactics, understand probability (and luck) as well build models, create scenery and paint. Even considering Halo’s Forge no game comes close to offering the kind of freedom to create that wargaming does. I know strictly speaking it’s not meant to but if all one needs to do is to sit and stagnate to play then I’d rather be pushing plastic around a painted sheet of chipboard.
5. Visually lovely. Graphics are amazing these days. Battlefield 3, Mass Effect 3, Modern Warfare 3, all look amazing but despite that nothing is crisper than our imaginations when we write campaigns or play games. And nothing can beat the satisfaction from painting a model well or fielding a finished army. Plus, speaking for myself, toy soldiers are just cool.
I know there’s more points to be made and God knows that wargaming companies can churn out some horrid models and shaky rules at time but there’s always a way round it.
So in summary, wargaming is awesome and I need to spend far more time playing and writing and less time messing about with Battlefield ; 3.