If you knew where to leave your details you may have been able to get some free gaming in this weekend as Override: Mech City Brawl and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 were running betas for their respective multiplayer offerings.

We put a good amount of hours into each and, while we didn’t get use more of the long weekend in South Africa to do so (both started on Friday), we did get a solid feel for how these two should shake out once they release.

Before we get into things this really isn’t going to be a comparison between the two as they’re very different games intended for different markets. Instead it’s simply a report back on what we liked and disliked from both.

Override: Mech City Brawl

This upcoming indie title is a 3D fighting game where each fighter is a giant mech towering over the destructible city below them.

If you’re not someone who wants to dedicate hundreds of hours into getting good at a fighting game, these early betas (there will be more in the future) and the coming release are the best time to get in as people haven’t had time to learn the systems.

Or that’s what we thought. We’re not afraid to say that we got absolutely bodied in every single match we played here. In a combination of our own lack of skill, other player’s skill, and a fighting system which is naturally unbalanced, we didn’t have the best of times being ground into paste with every match.

That being said, controlling these giant robots is a lot of fun when you’re not on your back. The buildings do tear apart like tissue paper in a way that isn’t too satisfying, but the movement and attack animations make up for that.

There’s also a weapons system here which is both a lot of fun as well as hilariously unbalanced. It’s awesome to, as a giant robot dinosaur, pick up a lightsaber and swing it around, but then the other player gets a grenade launcher that can hit you from the across the map and permastun you.

Again, these are balanced issues and exactly what needs to be worked out in a beta. But we also see these early builds as demos that need to sell the game to new players, and no one likes an endless stream of frustrating losses.

Thankfully the full game will have Voltron-style co-op where each person controls a segment of a mech. There’s also splitscreen so you can have fights with your friends and no chance of outside forces taking you down.

Make sure you sign up for the newsletter on the official site so you can get into the next beta. We think this game has a lot of potential and we hope some of these issues can be rectified before release. We also just want to play more of Metageckon, the Mechagodzilla clone.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

It feels like writing anything about Call of Duty in 2018 is a moot point. The playerbase here is going to buy it anyway and those who hate it are not going to change their mind.

I have a bit of a weird relationship with this franchise, because I was one of those people who poured thousands of hours into Modern Warfare 2 in its heyday. After playing a lot of the original Black Ops I soured on the franchise and its lack of change between iterations, but I did want to check in on Black Ops 4 now, especially with the Battle Royale mode in the final build.

And, wow, this is still the same game. It feels a bit faster but that’s because I’m now on PC with a higher FOV and mouse controls, but this is still the game core experience I was having nine or so years ago.

I’m actually a bit floored by how little things have changed. Before Black Ops 4 I did play the occasional COD game, and found that they were still using the same sound effects for animations. Here they have changed those auxiliary parts up, but I cannot stress how familiar this feels.

This is probably great news for the fans who hated the wall jumping and other sci-fi elements from past games, but it’s done nothing to get me (or players like me) back into the fray.

Did I have fun? Yes. After being back-to-back killed in a few matches I got my bearings and I was going on killstreaks again just like the old days.

But, and I cannot stress this enough, there’s little to no innovation here. My excitement for the final game is absolutely shot at this point and I have little faith that a Battle Royale mode at launch can save it.