I was here on this forum for a while during the beginning when TTK was still a huge conversation. While that is apparently still going, and it's nice to see the same people are still around fighting for what they think is the better way, today I have things to talk about that are not to do with TTK.
This is what I think is an issue after coming back and trying to play the game but just getting "done" and turning the game off.
Performance, first and foremost.
The elephant in the room before, and also now.
It still sucks for me, it sucks ass.
I have a modest rig, I admit, and I need to upgrade very soon. But this PC that can run things like EA's Battlefront (Beta, i didn't buy that for the record.) Escape from Tarkov at respectable settings, and so and and so forth, cannot run the game well enough even with a 45fps cap and the lowest settings to be "fun". it still stutters, and leads on my second major point below.
I miss the high FPS and it led to me being able to be fast and accurate with my actions, not here.
I think this is why the source engine really hard carried this game. I know you're already thinking about retorting with the realism argument, but I don't think the same way about Squad, PS (That has it's own issues) EFT, ARMA, etc.
I really get sick of all the different kinds of blurs that appear literally every-time something happens, which is compounded with playing on the lowest settings possible. It's unplayable when you compound it even further with my next few points, but I don't honestly believe the game was tested internally on low settings and the effects were then approved.
Furthermore, stuff like sight picture blurring due to effects and suppression makes the shooting way less fun, more into this later.
Map lighting, and Clarity PT2
If you didn't notice, it seems all the conflict in this fictional universe was had between the hours of 12:00 and 17:00. You either have clear sky or the sun is setting. however either way you cut it, over a short distance people wearing white T-shirts and etc, are black blobs regardless of lighting. And foliage, foliage looks awful regardless of setting, especially on crossing. While I would expect people wearing camouflage to blend in with certain terrain, they too, do not pop out of the environment and at times will be blended in with walls and at distances will not be distinguishable from the rock they're crouching on.
After writing this and finding the odd realisation that offline play on max settings gave the sameish performance as low settings, I think the culprit is how the human eye normally compensates for being in a dark area compared to a light area. it is totally missing here. If you stand in a dark room and look at items they are so dark you cannot make out their colour or their details, if you stand outside and look into areas in shadow they are far too dark. The sun is seemingly this HUGE pitch white orb in the sky that turns about a solid 4th of the skybox white. The game only looks good in spaces where all objects are outside and under shadows like an awning, or smoke like the farmhouse ruins area (up very close). Indoor areas look the worst in my opinion.
While i am here, i had this happen while i was confirming what i am writing. https://imgur.com/a/kPsoi6Y
Unfortunately the GeForce instant replay feature sucks, else i could have shown you a cool clip of me taking a point with that bug.
Now that we're on the topic:
I went back to Source to make sure i was not talking out of my ass, and putting aside the astounding visual clarity in that game (and the fps) I feel like the shooting mechanics in general have not progressed at all since that game outside of maybe putting the sight picture on a different visual layer, and that itself is debatable because the sight doesn't react to the shift zoom while the model does, and the straight white and pixelated sights on some attachments just obscures the target completely. It's clear on others for example the ISM scope on the G36, that it is a flat moving picture while the gun model moves around independently.
Maybe i am spoiled by EFT and RS2, but in those games when you shoot, the gun including both sights, your eye, and your upper torso, all move independently of each other and are not locked into some flat pane when you ADS. In sandstorm, at no point does your sight move out of the center of the attachment, and your eye is always looking perfectly down the barrel. even in the middle of full auto fire.
Gameplay wise there is nothing to full auto fire, than just pulling down on the mouse. there is no spray patterns to learn nor is there any consequence to using a weapon you're not familiar with because again, its just a mouse pull.
The attachments have no thought into them, and don't really have much consequence outside of the sights, which are the only good thing about the supply system at this point. Ammo either has the choice of "another effect to obscure fire or not" with no other option, magazine size seems wholly dependant on your existing supply after you pick a gun and a sight. There is not a huge trade off to using the compensator over a suppressor over a flash hider and to be quite honest, I put on heavy armour and a chest carrier at the start of the testing and never changed it once.
This is my most major gripe and deserves another full write up that i no longer have the time for, but it's pretty undeveloped, not stylised and in cases the hierarchy seems to break entirely. I know this might be a niche complaint if you don't care about it, but this is my field and everything down to even pixel wide differences in vertical alignment is very noticeable and distracting to me.
I am going to give only one example because im short on time now, but consider the loading screen, not only does the tool tip in the dead center of the information panel have more contrast than the rest of the text, it also doesn't have a fade in effect like the rest of the content. This means that this really strange tool tip telling me not to "gagglefuck" is more important to the eye than information about the game mode or what to even do here. That is of course not counting if the tip is beyond a certain size, because if it is too big it is scaled down to compensate despite the entire bottom half of the screen being open for the text to move down into.
This is also a UI issue, but mostly the insurgents faction because i am short on time now.
They feel more like a russian army than an insurgency. And this is more so with the addition of the new Alpha AK weapon (and the new voice) too. every weapon on the insurgents side is a perfectly functional and clean, NEW weapon with no signs of battle damage or even dirt. furthermore, most of the guns are completely tricked out with high tech optics like the OKP mounted on top, with suppressors, laser sights and drum magazines.
When i think of an insurgency i think of that clip of the pirate cannon on the back of the pickup truck. Not a clean tricked out AK with a huge sight carried by a guy in a new Adidas tracksuit and full plate armour. The insurgents lack any form of wear and personality that make them not just Russia 2 after a few minutes in the gucci store.
This is all i have to say for now, i do however have more issues. I was hoping this would be a game i could sink hours into, especially competitive wise. But right now it feels like something i would consider refunding all together. Just a cookie cutter shooter that lacks personality and is both a low graphic quality mess and in my niche scenario, has a terrible interface design that makes me cringe.
Feel free to tell me i am incorrect or whatever, because most of this stuff is subjective outside of performance. But i don't think i will really stick around to play this game often in it's current state.
Oh i have another important thing missing, the mini map ingame.
The map restricted areas are STILL not on the mini map, and you don't know where you will soon be in one, when the map advances in push, this is really stupid design, you should be SHOWN where you cannot go on your map, and you should be warned that were you are will no longer let you shoot in a matter of seconds. I honestly cannot fathom how this has not yet been placed into the game yet.