Oh man, Battle: Los Angeles is such a bad game

I knew I was in for a particularly craptastic treat when I saw a game based on Battle: Los Angeles had gone up on Xbox Live this morning. When a licensed videogame isn't even high enough quality to see a disc-based retail release, it's a good idea to avoid it at all costs. I, on the other hand, having a morbid fascination with train wrecks, immediately set upon downloading the game and giving it a spin. Surprise: it's not very good. It's not very good at all. It was so not good that I had to share it with the world through the magic technologic wizardry of live streaming.
  

   
Battle: Los Angeles is so bad that it somehow slingshots back around and actually becomes sort of entertaining again, strictly by virtue of being fantastically inept in nearly every department. Somehow, somebody was paid to make this "game". Let's run down a list of offenses I myself encountered in my time spent with the demo:
 
  • The game opens with a "motion comic" style cutscene (that features shockingly little motion) that is both completely out of place and blatantly traced from actual promotional photos for the movie. It vaguely tries to set up the plot of the film but mainly repeats movie taglines like "NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME" over and over again.
  •  Obligatory at this point
    As a side note, the font used to display subtitles for these cutscenes is COMIC-SANS. IN A GAME WHERE YOU PLAY AS ONE GUY FROM A MILITARY PLATOON AS HE TRIES TO STOP ALIENS FROM DESTROYING ALL OF MANKIND. COMIC. SANS
  • For whatever reason, most of the dialog spoken by the soldiers (both in cutscenes and during levels themselves) sound like they were recorded in somebody's basement using a $2 PC mic. There's a weird echo to everything they say.
  • In general, the game's sound design is mediocre at best. Aliens sound like animal growls run through a generic "alien" flange filter (there's a preset in Goldwave that sounds nearly identical). Guns lack aural punch and were licensed from some of the most budget sound packs available - keep your ears open and you can hear sfx from Doom 2 and Quake 1 peppered around in the game's ambient sounds.
  • The actual shooting will put you to sleep. Aliens don't do anything interesting and act like boilerplate enemy human soldiers. There is no way to tell when you're actually hitting an alien with anything because they do not react to being shot. 
  • You are lead by the nose from identical encounter to identical encounter. At any time you are free to just wander away from the current shoot out and none of your squad mates will bat an eyelash. None of them can apparently die and it's rare that they actually manage to land shots on the aliens.
 
The only potentially impressive bit is the implementation of "Havok Destruction" physics, but after the Bad Company games, that's not really very special.  I'm serious: you probably shouldn't buy this. It was good for a laugh because of how truly abysmal it is, but I hope nobody actually thinks of wasting $10 on it.
34 Comments
35 Comments
Posted by BlazeHedgehog

I knew I was in for a particularly craptastic treat when I saw a game based on Battle: Los Angeles had gone up on Xbox Live this morning. When a licensed videogame isn't even high enough quality to see a disc-based retail release, it's a good idea to avoid it at all costs. I, on the other hand, having a morbid fascination with train wrecks, immediately set upon downloading the game and giving it a spin. Surprise: it's not very good. It's not very good at all. It was so not good that I had to share it with the world through the magic technologic wizardry of live streaming.
  

   
Battle: Los Angeles is so bad that it somehow slingshots back around and actually becomes sort of entertaining again, strictly by virtue of being fantastically inept in nearly every department. Somehow, somebody was paid to make this "game". Let's run down a list of offenses I myself encountered in my time spent with the demo:
 
  • The game opens with a "motion comic" style cutscene (that features shockingly little motion) that is both completely out of place and blatantly traced from actual promotional photos for the movie. It vaguely tries to set up the plot of the film but mainly repeats movie taglines like "NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME" over and over again.
  •  Obligatory at this point
    As a side note, the font used to display subtitles for these cutscenes is COMIC-SANS. IN A GAME WHERE YOU PLAY AS ONE GUY FROM A MILITARY PLATOON AS HE TRIES TO STOP ALIENS FROM DESTROYING ALL OF MANKIND. COMIC. SANS
  • For whatever reason, most of the dialog spoken by the soldiers (both in cutscenes and during levels themselves) sound like they were recorded in somebody's basement using a $2 PC mic. There's a weird echo to everything they say.
  • In general, the game's sound design is mediocre at best. Aliens sound like animal growls run through a generic "alien" flange filter (there's a preset in Goldwave that sounds nearly identical). Guns lack aural punch and were licensed from some of the most budget sound packs available - keep your ears open and you can hear sfx from Doom 2 and Quake 1 peppered around in the game's ambient sounds.
  • The actual shooting will put you to sleep. Aliens don't do anything interesting and act like boilerplate enemy human soldiers. There is no way to tell when you're actually hitting an alien with anything because they do not react to being shot. 
  • You are lead by the nose from identical encounter to identical encounter. At any time you are free to just wander away from the current shoot out and none of your squad mates will bat an eyelash. None of them can apparently die and it's rare that they actually manage to land shots on the aliens.
 
The only potentially impressive bit is the implementation of "Havok Destruction" physics, but after the Bad Company games, that's not really very special.  I'm serious: you probably shouldn't buy this. It was good for a laugh because of how truly abysmal it is, but I hope nobody actually thinks of wasting $10 on it.
Posted by louiedog

I posted in the forum about these earlier (although there were issues with the site then, so I don't think anyone noticed or saw it). I agree with everything you say, except the part about licensed games as a download. I actually like that direction. I think Scott Pilgrim's smaller focus probably gave us a game that was 100x better than anything that would have shown up as a disc release. So far games like this and Wachmen have been bad, but I think smaller, downloadable games are the right direction for movie licenses. You can achieve pretty good results with a smaller team and shorter time frame, which is perfect for the way movie games get made. In 5 years I hope to see them take it a little more seriously.

Edited by awesomeusername

Did you travel into the future? Because I remember reading the GameInformer article saying it'll come out a month after the movie. Also, the page on here for it says that it comes out April 2011. Hmmm... Or did you play the demo? 
 
Edit: Just saw that there's a video but it's super laggy on my laptop so I can't watch it. So you played the demo I suppose.

Posted by GloomyTangent

I would just like to say that one of my professors emailed a take home midterm last week entirely in blue comic sans. This is in grad school. She has a PhD and an MD. I can not tell you how strong the urge was to send her that Achewood strip back.

Edited by louiedog
@awesomeusername said:

" Did you travel into the future? Because I remember reading the GameInformer article saying it'll come out a month after the movie. Also, the page on here for it says that it comes out April 2011. Hmmm... Or did you play the demo?  Edit: Just saw that there's a video but it's super laggy on my laptop so I can't watch it. So you played the demo I suppose. "

The full game (and trial, as with all XBLA games) is available on the xbox live marketplace right now. It doesn't matter what a magazine said or what the GB listing says. It's there, you can go to xbox.com and see it right now. I'm not sure what you're talking about.
Posted by BraveToaster

Ugh. That looks terrible.

Posted by Delta_Ass

The movie is a great video game movie, though. (Well, if you forget that it's not based on a video game)

Edited by Aronman789

Its a video game based on a movie, and its being released close to the movie. What did you expect? 
 
EDIT: Also, can someone explain to me what is so evil about Comic-Sans?

Posted by SuperSambo
@Aronman789
Its a video game based on a movie, and its being released close to the movie. What did you expect? 
 
EDIT: Also, can someone explain to me what is so evil about Comic-Sans?
Chronicles of Riddick has given me false hope.

And people seem to hate Comic Sans for no reason...
Posted by MordeaniisChaos

 ahahahahaha consumer products.

Posted by Evilsbane

Everyone should at least watch his video to 12mins in, an alien gets shot and then commits suicide rofl that was just sad.

Posted by awesomeusername
@louiedog: So Microsoft gets a something before the competition again? Not surprising.
Posted by Evilsbane
@SuperSambo said:
" . And people seem to hate Comic Sans for no reason... "
Dude its like the most default text font, it shipped as an early text on Windows 95 and old ass Apple computers, its supposed to be a base font for Old Ass Operating systems not something you use for Subtitles in a cutscene of an Actual product, Go ahead and write your resume in Comic Sans and see how many responses your get :P
Posted by CL60
@Evilsbane said:
" @SuperSambo said:
" . And people seem to hate Comic Sans for no reason... "
Dude its like the most default text font, it shipped as an early text on Windows 95 and old ass Apple computers, its supposed to be a base font for Old Ass Operating systems not something you use for Subtitles in a cutscene of an Actual product, Go ahead and write your resume in Comic Sans and see how many responses your get :P "
So it's bad  because it's a default text font? I guess we should stop using times new roman. The hate for comic sans is just silly.
Posted by SuperSambo
@Evilsbane
@SuperSambo said:
" . And people seem to hate Comic Sans for no reason... "
Dude its like the most default text font, it shipped as an early text on Windows 95 and old ass Apple computers, its supposed to be a base font for Old Ass Operating systems not something you use for Subtitles in a cutscene of an Actual product, Go ahead and write your resume in Comic Sans and see how many responses your get :P
I would use it in my resume due to the odd hate, but your reasoning seems flawed.
Posted by Evilsbane
@SuperSambo said:
" @Evilsbane
@SuperSambo said:
" . And people seem to hate Comic Sans for no reason... "
Dude its like the most default text font, it shipped as an early text on Windows 95 and old ass Apple computers, its supposed to be a base font for Old Ass Operating systems not something you use for Subtitles in a cutscene of an Actual product, Go ahead and write your resume in Comic Sans and see how many responses your get :P
I would use it in my resume due to the odd hate, but your reasoning seems flawed. "
@CL60 said:
" @Evilsbane said:
" @SuperSambo said:
" . And people seem to hate Comic Sans for no reason... "
Dude its like the most default text font, it shipped as an early text on Windows 95 and old ass Apple computers, its supposed to be a base font for Old Ass Operating systems not something you use for Subtitles in a cutscene of an Actual product, Go ahead and write your resume in Comic Sans and see how many responses your get :P "
So it's bad  because it's a default text font? I guess we should stop using times new roman. The hate for comic sans is just silly. "
I harbor no personal hate for the font, but seeing it used in something that I paid good money for just shows a clear lack of trying, its been villianized enough now where it should only be used in a case of self-awareness, and clearly here that isn't how it was used.
Edited by MikkaQ
@CL60 said:

" @Evilsbane said:

" @SuperSambo said:
" . And people seem to hate Comic Sans for no reason... "
Dude its like the most default text font, it shipped as an early text on Windows 95 and old ass Apple computers, its supposed to be a base font for Old Ass Operating systems not something you use for Subtitles in a cutscene of an Actual product, Go ahead and write your resume in Comic Sans and see how many responses your get :P "
So it's bad  because it's a default text font? I guess we should stop using times new roman. The hate for comic sans is just silly. "
I am of the persuasion that Times New Roman needs to die as the default.  
Also Comic Sans hate is mainly pointed at the fact that it's a cutesy font that's way overused in community newsletters and by schoolteachers in powerpoints. It looks really cheesy, and grates on the eyes. 
 
This might be fanboyish, but fuck it: 
 
HELVETICA FOR LIFE! 
 
Also this game looks pretty bad, I like how the aliens hopping over that one roof were gliding. Those 10 seconds were all I felt the need to watch. 
Posted by BlazeHedgehog
Posted by SuperSambo
@BlazeHedgehog
@Aronman789 said:

"Also, can someone explain to me what is so evil about Comic-Sans? "

@SuperSambo said:

" And people seem to hate Comic Sans for no reason... "

BBC has a great article on why Comic-Sans is so hated.
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11582548 
 
These guys also have a, uh, "passionate" (perhaps zealous) website dedicated to eradicating Comic-Sans:
 
http://bancomicsans.com/main/?page_id=2
"Partly because its ubiquity has led to such misuse (or at least to uses far beyond its original intentions). And partly because it is so irritably simple, so apparently written by a small child. Helvetica is everywhere and simple too, but it usually has the air of modern Swiss sophistication about it, or at least corporate authority. Comic Sans just smirks at you, and begs to be printed in multiple colours."

Overuse and personal dislike. I wouldnt call that a great article.
Posted by BlazeHedgehog
Apparently somebody at NeoGAF bought the Steam version of this game and he's saying the full version is 45-60 minutes long, meaning the demo shows you anywhere from 50-75% of the whole game. 
 
Why wasn't this given out for free?


@SuperSambo said:
" @BlazeHedgehog
@Aronman789 said:

"Also, can someone explain to me what is so evil about Comic-Sans? "

@SuperSambo said:

" And people seem to hate Comic Sans for no reason... "

BBC has a great article on why Comic-Sans is so hated.
 
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11582548 
 
These guys also have a, uh, "passionate" (perhaps zealous) website dedicated to eradicating Comic-Sans:
 
http://bancomicsans.com/main/?page_id=2
"Partly because its ubiquity has led to such misuse (or at least to uses far beyond its original intentions). And partly because it is so irritably simple, so apparently written by a small child. Helvetica is everywhere and simple too, but it usually has the air of modern Swiss sophistication about it, or at least corporate authority. Comic Sans just smirks at you, and begs to be printed in multiple colours." Overuse and personal dislike. I wouldnt call that a great article. "
"Personal dislike" is a bit of a generalization. It's also synonymous with lazy newbies and internet shorthand, I'd say. It's the kind of font somebody's Mom uses when she wants something "fun". Like you're asking, "What's wrong with old granny panties?"
Posted by louiedog
@BlazeHedgehog said:
" Apparently somebody at NeoGAF bought the Steam version of this game and he's saying the full version is 45-60 minutes long, meaning the demo shows you anywhere from 50-75% of the whole game. 
 
Why wasn't this given out for free?



Heh, I jokingly questioned whether the sprint in this is so nerfed (it only lasts for about 12 feet) so that you can't run through the game too quickly because it's already really short. I guess I wasn't far off. I don't think the demo is 50+% of the game, however. It didn't take me more than 10 minutes to get through it. It was a long 10 minutes.
Posted by BlazeHedgehog
@louiedog said:
" @BlazeHedgehog said:
" Apparently somebody at NeoGAF bought the Steam version of this game and he's saying the full version is 45-60 minutes long, meaning the demo shows you anywhere from 50-75% of the whole game. 
 
Why wasn't this given out for free?



Heh, I jokingly questioned whether the sprint in this is so nerfed (it only lasts for about 12 feet) so that you can't run through the game too quickly because it's already really short. I guess I wasn't far off. I don't think the demo is 50+% of the game, however. It didn't take me more than 10 minutes to get through it. It was a long 10 minutes. "
Well, going by my video there the demo lasted for about half an hour. I didn't exactly dawdle, either.
Posted by keoskey

Funny how the images for all he achievements look like achievements from a mass effect game

Posted by LordAndrew

I got bored of the game three minutes into the video. And then I kept watching. I presume that achievement notification intended to stick around forever?

Posted by Chaser324

I stopped playing immediately after the first enemy encounter. The controls are all extremely slow and unresponsive, and I honestly think that the sound of an airsoft gun being fired packs more punch than the sound that first assault rifle makes when you pull the trigger.

Moderator
Posted by Venatio

Hmm, your embed doesn't show up for me, have another link?

Posted by iAmJohn
@BlazeHedgehog said:
" When a licensed videogame isn't even high enough quality to see a disc-based retail release, it's a good idea to avoid it at all costs. "
Scott Pilgrim. :( 
 
But I didn't even know there was a Battle: Los Angeles game.
Posted by oysteinBrenne

i demand a quick look!!

Edited by BlazeHedgehog
@LordAndrew said:

" I got bored of the game three minutes into the video. And then I kept watching. I presume that achievement notification intended to stick around forever? "

Probably! I doubt they really thought very hard about this game, let alone nag messages. :p
 
@Venatio said:

" Hmm, your embed doesn't show up for me, have another link? "


Sure do, here you go.
 
@iAmJohn said:

" @BlazeHedgehog said:

" When a licensed videogame isn't even high enough quality to see a disc-based retail release, it's a good idea to avoid it at all costs. "
Scott Pilgrim. :(  But I didn't even know there was a Battle: Los Angeles game. "

Scott Pilgrim is a special case; it's the sort of game that probably COULDN'T have been sold as a disc release, even though it deserved one. This, though. This has the look of a game you'd see at retail (being a full 3D "military" FPS), but it's not. That's a warning sign if I ever saw one!
Edited by bybeach

I demand a Ql as well...should be quite entertaining. It needn't last too long.
Posted by JoyfullOFrockets

All I thought when I saw it was ''Easy 200 G''. I'm a nut for gamerscore so I may get this.

Posted by Enigma777
@Delta_Ass said:
" The movie is a great video game movie, though. (Well, if you forget that it's not based on a video game) "
No, it's a great ad for the Marines.
Posted by notha
@louiedog said:
" @awesomeusername said:

" Did you travel into the future? Because I remember reading the GameInformer article saying it'll come out a month after the movie. Also, the page on here for it says that it comes out April 2011. Hmmm... Or did you play the demo?  Edit: Just saw that there's a video but it's super laggy on my laptop so I can't watch it. So you played the demo I suppose. "

The full game (and trial, as with all XBLA games) is available on the xbox live marketplace right now. It doesn't matter what a magazine said or what the GB listing says. It's there, you can go to xbox.com and see it right now. I'm not sure what you're talking about. "
ya think the guy would bother to boot up his xbox , just to check if its there, before making a comment like that
Posted by iyaoyas615

Yeah I kind of have the same strange fascination with bad games so I tried the demo and wow that game is bad I don't even think that game can loop back around to so bad it's good territory.

Posted by Sparklykiss
Oh man, do I love watching people play terrible games. 
 
You should just buy this anyways and complete it for those of us who want to experience how bad it is secondhand.
 
 
@BlazeHedgehog said:

" "What's wrong with old granny panties?" "  

   There is nothing wrong with old granny panties, btw.
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