Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Mobile Broadband Gaming

The above name is somewhat of an oxymoron. The idea of combining the high latency mobile phone networks with the fast paced low latency world of online gaming seems to be sure to end in failure. And yet that was exactly what I attempted last night.
I'm currently stranded away from home with my desktop and staying somewhere without a fixed broadband line. I was however armed with my 15Gb/month Mobile Internet Thingy. I immediately assumed that attempting any sort of online fps gaming with it would be futile, and set about looking for games that would play well with a minimum of Internet connections. My first attempt was Assassins Creed 2, to which I'm sure you'll cry "Alas! This game hath no multiplayer!" to which I would cry "Right you are! But it does require an online code check every time you start the game!" so I started it and played for a while. I've completed the story line so I was left running around hunting for collectables and completing side missions. I was also on Dolby Axon at the same time, discussing the ins and outs of the new dragon age 2 demo (which I don't have, due to a lack of proper Internetz). Unfortunately my Mifi decided to conk out and I lost both voice and (upon exiting the game) failed to upload my savegame back to the server.
Following two reboots of my Mifi and a reboot of my PC things got going again, I got axon going again, and then set about deciding what to play. My friends and me settled on Battlefield Bad Company 2, which to any less informed is (primarily) an online fps. I went into it with the inclination that my 3G modem, would generally flop at uploading and downloading the required data quickly enough. But in that regard, I was most surprised. While on the server list of BF:BC2 the best pings to any server from my landline was ~35ms and in game that generally rises to 80+. I found on servers where my friends were getting 125ms pings I was getting ~190ms and it was perfectly playable! Hurrah! So I spent a good couple of hours being 1337 at Battlefield and then headed to bed. It did make deciding whether to get a fixed line broadband connection put in here a little more difficult...

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