When Multiplayer Betas Are Better Than The Real Game

Illustration for article titled When Multiplayer Betas Are Better Than The Real Game

Is commenter Cursed Frogurt alone when he says he enjoys multiplayer betas for games like Halo: Reach and Gears of War 3 better than full retail multiplayer? That's the subject we're testing out in today's Speak-Up on Kotaku.

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This may sound strange, but I'm really anticipating the Gears of War 3 beta, much moreso than the actual game.

I had more fun with the multiplayer components of Call of Duty 4 and Halo: Reach during their betas than that of the retail releases. Hell, I had a total BLAST playing Generator Defense on that sole map option in the Reach beta, while I couldn't get into the competitive multiplayer in the retail release and ended up trading the game in. Hear me out...

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I believe it's because the fewer weapon, mode and map selections mean that I more quickly get accustomed to the gameplay mechanics and level layouts and feel like I can perform well. I guess you could attribute this to the tight map and mode selection in Team Fortress 2, but I don't enjoy that game since I usually get destroyed when I try to play. I feel like I can't compete in full-fledged multiplayer modes if I don't play it religiously and keep up with the skills and general knowledge of the competition. While winning definitely isn't everything for me, doing well just releases more endorphins, and I'm more likely to continue playing.

Due to the nature of participating in a multiplayer beta, I would imagine that the opposition is more likely to be what you might refer to as a hardcore gamer, but in my experience the opposition isn't as skillful. Perhaps gamers are just less competitive when their stats are only for short-term bragging rights. I rarely use a mic when I play online gaming, but I enjoy hearing the opinions of others during a beta and, again, people tend to be less aggressive and childish.

Does anyone enjoy multiplayer betas this much? What do you find so appealing about them?

About Speak-Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak-Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak-Up posts we can find and highlight it here.

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DISCUSSION

Sorry but this whole comment basicly shows off what's wrong with nowadays "betas" they are no betas.

I mean if the best reason people can come up with for playing a beta is "less players, less competive, i've better chances at winning" this is actually sad.

I came here expecting maybe somebody who actually enjoys betas for what they are and actually delivers feedback.

But no... another one who now believes in "betas" that are for the most part free demos/games.

Maybe i might sound a little bit "elite" but what happened to real betas and alphas? You know where these testers actually delivered feedack, tried to break the game and the developers actually listened to it and keep feedback with the players?

That's gotten so rare these days.... (mostly only happens with MMO's and only because these are just too big to depend just on inhouse QA) these "betas" should just be called stress-tests as that's all they usually are.

Tbh that's kinda sad... real alpha/beta tests had been one of the best ways to fine-tune and balance your game and get a tight-knit ACTIVE community growing around the game that would help promote it and maybe even recruit from that community.