It has been almost a year since we first heard about Project 1v1 and were given so very little on what the game be bringing with it. The title alone kind of gives us all an idea on what Gearbox is working on for the game, but there has not been anything specific given out there before E3. That is why I was pleased to see that it would be on hand during the event and ready for some to play. I happened to be part of that some to get to place my hands on Project 1v1 during the event to see what this game had to offer up on the PC. Also to offer up in a very early version of the game, so we all need to take that into account when thinking about what I have to share here.
Right out of the gate, Project 1v1 looked and felt like a normal FPS title built in one of the most current engines. You hop into a "waiting room" and go through the various characters, their special abilities, and the very stylized weapons that are out there. Something that allowed us to get very cosmetic with everything and most of the options and alternates for each did nothing to the actual gameplay but allowed us to look as cool as we wanted. I took a bit of time playing around in it before it was time to finally jump in and give the rest of Project 1v1 a go.
This is where Project 1v1 stayed mostly the same as we have always seen FPS titles. I was thrust into the selected map and waited for the countdown to hit zero and then set out to hunt the lone other player in the match. This was something that seemed to be a huge slowdown for Project 1v1 as it was extremely hard to actually find the other player, and they me. Even with a map that never felt too large, it just felt like we were always running opposite each other and in the standard match time length, we were only able to kill each other six or seven times. At least from our own firearms as I know we both died a few times from the environment as well.
When the match wrapped up, this is where the next cornerstone of Project 1v1 kicked in as the loser was then placed into a spectating mode and the next player hopped in for the next match. Gearbox has made this game with a King Of The Hill style gameplay so the winner will keep playing and other players can queue up to "be next" in a very 90's manner of gameplay. If they chose not to spectate they could hop back in and tweak some of the cosmetic looks of the characters and weapons, but that usually did not take long enough to fill up a whole match worth of time. It was more or less a distraction as you sat back and waited for your turn.
After playing a bunch of matches in Project 1v1, winning and losing, it definitely looks like there needs to be a lot of work completed before the game is ready for the public. Even with only three players in the cycle, the wait became very boring and the worst part of the whole demo. That, and given that some of the abilities and weapons were still not balanced very well, it became easy for one player to stay on the top no matter their skill level. I guess that is what these kinds of showcasing and playtest are for. Hopefully Gearbox is able to get all of that hammered out and able to make Project 1v1 the vision that they are truly aiming for.