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Gaglug

Initial Impression

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Initial Impression:    This is certainly a pre-alpha.  They have a long way to go.  Hopefully they'll get there.

Good parts:  Game is pretty.  The fields and towns all are good looking.    That's the end of the good parts.

 

Movement seems sluggish.  It's like the controls are drowned in thick pudding.  You don't feel like you're actually in the world, it's like you're gliding around on the worlds slowest rollerskates.   Hypnotic headsway while moving is annoying, I expect that will be fixed.

Latency was terrible for firing weapons, game unplayable for me tonight.  Even on the lowest ping server (80 to me), it was taking more than a second for the game to realize I pulled the trigger and fired.   Not even worth trying to play for me like that, will attempt again later.  Hopefully it's just teething problems for the alpha server and not something more serious.

 

Overall, very underwhelmed for my first brief encounter.

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Had quite the opposite effect on me.  The head sway when running I enjoyed and noticed zero latency problems.  The servers seemed to have hadeled 100 players supprise well.  Not being able to look at the map while moving, not being able to side step when full sprinting, no "focus and zoom in" all great features for the Tatical / Sim side.  Hit detection felt solid, in fact getting kills feels super rewarding and catching people or a Squad in the open feels even better.  Visually the game is stunning (more grass draw distance would be nice and removing the cinematic style filter would be cool). The character models also look great. The sound effects are all around very good.  Can't wait to see what they do from here. 

On the con side. You could not modify keybinds in game. The lean keys were not working. Some guns (mp44 for example) did not "consume" magazines when reloading. No Squad control (kicking for example or custom Naming). Changing classes feels clunky (most of the menus do actually but that is all quality of life stuff, or it could just be a matter of personal al preference). There seems to be infinite stamina for sprinting but that could be intentional until viechals are added, so for now I don't mind).   The obvious issue is the i game comms.  The coms are 3rd party.  You cannot see who is talking and the coms were crossed across multiple squads and servers. 

All in all? A very smooth Alpha launch.  Everyone knows (or should know) that closed alpha is going to have bugs, be incomplete or have functions intentionally turned off all together. Taking a step back. My first impression is that the foundation is solid. The playstyle felt fresh and fun.  No game breaking bugs in the first 3 hours from launch. Definitely QoL stuff to work on and control mapping issues. Very impressed with the launch high hopes for the future of HLL. 

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For a pre alpha I'm surprised at how smooth the game is with 100 man servers, haven't had any real issues with latency or hit detection as of yet, graphics are great, I like the hardcore gun suppression mechanic. Definitely heading in the right direction. As previously said there is obviously a few bugs, comms, keybindings in game etc.

I also feel like the respawn timers in the future need to be a little more hefty as at the moment it is literally so much quicker to just respawn at your nearest rally than wait for a medic to come pick you up. However with it being in such early testing I am glad it's like this so we have more chance to get into the action quicker and test out the actual core gameplay itself. Especially without  any vehicles atm but when they do add them in I'd like to see the respawn timers bumped up a little. 

The map UI could do with minor improvements, at first I guess its hard to tell that you can spawn on garrisons and the little flags. Would be nice if they added in what squad currently has with its loading screen giving you all the basic controls and what is what in terms of what each symbol means. 

Tldr; Solid alpha launch, servers seem to be holding up well so far, once they hotfix the voip issue can see general gameplay being a lot less of a clusterfuck than it kind of is now and more strategic.

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Its probably the most stable pre alpha i've been apart of, however the game is more of a proof of concept at this point and will need several additional tweaks to feel just right. 

My biggest gripe was the fact that enemies at extreme ranges didn't render very well and looked pixelated. I think i saw my killer twice over the 50 or so times i died. (wich is cool, but annoying when i know where they are shooting from but i cant see jack shit) 

At closer ranges (from long to close range) was allright. I could see them fine

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I played a bit more today, here are my thoughts.

Pros

  • The latency I was seeing last night was fixed.
  • The game looks nice and the environments are well done and well thought out.
  • The game servers didn't crash and I didn't have any client crashes.  +100 points for this, well done on the stability front.  This is a huge deal.

 

Cons

  • Movement is clumsy and slow.    The head sway and lack of side strafing while running takes me right back to state of the art games...in 1998.
  • No toggle for iron sights.  This might be a deal-breaker for me.  
  • No team play.  Voice chat is broken.  You can't talk to some people on your squad or in local, and you get fun crosstalk with other servers.  While on NA East this morning I was chatting with guys on an EU box, while other guys on my squad had no voice at all.  No voice comms=no teamplay=no game.
  • Menu system completely clunky and unpolished.  Expected for an alpha, so I give them a pass on this.
  • Remapping keys...or not.  Again very early in dev, so they get another pass.
  • No map view when downed to know if you should hold or release.
  • Extremely wonky hit detection and damage mechanics.   
  • Bad hit/down animations.
  • Weird view of enemies at range...strange visual artifacts going on.  Not exactly sure what this is about or whats going on.  This issue disappears when they are closer.
  • Sounds are poorly compressed into a single maximized band.
  • Lack of consistent display to show you in cap point/cap status.  
  • The grid-based cap system.  Um...this is a placeholder, right?  The whole game isn't going to be played on symmetrical checkerboards, right?

 

I've participated in alphas before, and this one is...underwhelming.   I wasn't expecting much at all, but they still managed to disappoint me.   There is a long long way to go with this title to even get it to a beta.   It will be interesting to see if the devs are able to get this title into shape before release or if they rush it out like some other devs do.

 

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