Posts tagged ‘call of duty’

November 19, 2013

Playstation 4, Battlefield 4, and the joys of launch problems…

I got home last Friday and began moving my Xbox 360 into the bedroom; I had to make room for a package that was coming later that evening.  And thus, while I enjoyed some Sweetwater IPAs, a knock came at the door and UPS delivered me the long awaited Playstation 4.  Set up came easy, and before long I was online, downloading the

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February 28, 2012

Modern Warfare 3 DLC: Liberation and Piazza

For months now I’ve hated on Modern Warfare 3, complaining of its unoriginality, bemoaning it’s failures in comparison to Battlefield 3, and in general just letting it collect dust while I enjoyed other games.  But I had an epiphany last weekend.  When a friend of mine came over for drinks, we ended up playing MW3 the entire night.  This is because, despite all it’s percieved faults, MW3 did

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November 7, 2011

The Eve of Modern Warfare 3

Days before Battlefield 3 was released, I wrote an article about how I predicted my favorite of the two big shooters this season would be Modern Warfare 3.  I recanted later after having the opportunity, nay, the privilege of playing Battlefield and seeing first hand just how amazing that game ended up being.  I’ve played so much Battlefield over the past two weeks that Arkham City has sat lonely and desperate under a veil of dust and neglect.  And while that’s not entirely true (I’ve got one hell of an Arkham City review coming up soon)  what I found was that Battlefield 3 had taken all the things I loved in shooters and improved them.  This wasn’t just an expansion pack over previous shooters with minor tweaks here and there, it was an entirely new title, it brought an entire new perspective to shooters.  Intensity, violence, and teamwork.  I only stop playing once the flashes of the gunshots permeate my brain to the point my eyes dilate and my body teeters on the brink of seizure.  Its like a drug, the adrenaline pumping through my veins, my epinephrine gland akin to a junkie’s needle, Battlefield pushing down the syringe more and more.

I love Caspain Border

Ok, maybe that’s all hyperbole.  But anything can seem intense when your day is spent discussing wrongful termination lawsuits.  Regardless, what I found I loved the most about Battlefield was that it was something new.  It gave me that feeling you get when you experience something new, something unknown.  The novelty of it all overwhelms you.  And so, in direct contrast to my previous posts, I fear I may be disappointed with Modern Warfare 3.  It is simply inevitable that one will draw comparisons between two games so similarly situated in terms of gameplay.  And when all signs point to MW3 being more of the same, banking on its successful formula to offer an improved (but not much different) game, I fear that I will be left wondering why I can’t do certain things that I otherwise could in Battlefield.  Call of Duty plays their cards so safely, keeping players in a comfort zone and refusing to take chances that may screw up their formula, that it may end up lagging where BF3 soars.  Its understandable that when you have something good, why mess with it?  Coca-Cola has always been the dominant force in their industry (sound familiar?) so when they tweaked too much, we ended up with New Coke, something people hated with a passion.  Fear of backlash inevitably will handicap innovation, which sometimes keeps you safe from the failings not unlike the soda industry, but can also keep you from grasping success with new changes like many developers have seen before.  You could be Mortal Kombat introducing 3d fighting and screwing everything up, or you could be Grand Theft Auto introducing 3d gameplay and becoming legends.  Battlefield went with innovation and it has been great, and now its hard to think that playing more of the same can be as satisfying as it was before.

No, no it didn't

None of this is to say that I think Modern Warfare 3 will be bad.  I know the story will be awesome, and I’ve heard some pretty controversial things that the campaign may include (but I won’t spoil it for all you good people out there).  And the formula has always been one I’ve liked, and I’ve liked it a lot.  I’m going to the midnight release tonight, I can hardly concentrate I’m so excited about it, and I know the multiplayer will steal countless, Skyrim-like hours of my time.  And I would be willing to bet that my review will be pretty damn positive too.  But in the end, whether I want to or not, subconsciously I’ll have chosen a winner.  And right now, Modern Warfare is looking like  Casey Anthony OJ Simpson Amanda Knox an underdog.  Sure, it might end up winning, but before the jury gets back, its not looking good.

October 24, 2011

Why I Want MW3 More Than BF3

The Battlefield/Call of Duty debate rages on as both franchises are set to release their latest installment in a matter of hours/days, respectively.  Both companies have handled this competition respectfully and professionally, and by that I mean they have acted like children trying to one up each other in the battle for FPS dominance.  While name calling between businesses doesn’t exactly endear me to them, anything that has been said between them pales in comparison to what is debated in the forums online.  What has amazed me the most is the sheer enthusiasm of Battlefield players, and the overarching contention that Battlefield takes skill and is the epitome of realism, while Call of Duty is nothing but a haven for Ritalin-junkie prepubescents to practice their racial slurs.  For a fun example, take a look at a screengrab I got from a debate, where people are actually using their Facebook logins to debate the merits of two video games.

If you buy Call of Duty, the terrorists win

While his arguments make good use of “alternative” grammar structure, what may worry me the most is that he’s a security guard, which presumably means he carries a gun.  At least we know that he’s developing real skills to use in a war game, instead of such non-essential skills like “running and shooting”.  But I don’t want to spend my time ragging on some poor weirdo, especially because there are just so many more hilarious posts out there supporting their respective franchises.  The basic trend I’ve noticed though is that Battlefield, at least in the gaming forum community, has far more adamant supporters, spending almost as much time supporting their game as they bash Call of Duty.  And that’s fine.  If it was 1997 and people were shitting on Goldeneye because they thought Turok was better, I’d certainly be jumping into the fray to tell them how stupid they were.  But something seems different this time.

Nothing can compare

First of all, in the overarching scheme of things, the games really aren’t that different.  I know I may get some flack for that, but seriously.  BF3 and MW3 are both first person shooters, set in the modern day, striving for hyper-realism and the top spot in the uber competitive e-sport category.  Because of this, they will both inevitably feature similar weapons, in similar locales, with similar physics.  Now, I realize there are some significant differences in the games, and those will ultimately determine not only which game you get, if you don’t end up getting both, and also which ends up selling better.  But I think the debate that is currently ongoing, over which franchise is actually superior, is frankly a little bit silly.  The games both cater to a very specific demographic, those that like war games and competitive online multiplayer.  That needs to be understood by everyone.  It is not like there are two different demographics that each game specifically is geared towards.  To an outsider, they would be perceived as basically the exact same game.  So the major difference is subtle preferences of those within a set and well defined demographic, and that will ultimately determine who buys what.  And for me personally, that will be Modern Warfare 3.  I had originally planned on getting both, but after playing Bad Company 2 and the BF3 Beta, as well as the sheer amount of games around the corner, I will only have one slot available for my FPS category, and that will be occupied by Call of Duty.  Allow me to explain:

The debate really boils down to whether you prefer to shoot AK47s in the desert, or if you'd rather shoot AK47s in the desert.

First, I am not in the least attempting to say that BF3 is or will be a bad game.  Not in the least.  In fact, it looks like it will be simply amazing.  But it doesn’t work for me for a number of reasons.  First, it is too realistic.  I die way too easily.  Call me a n00b all day long if you need to, but I’m 26 and for some reason I just can’t keep up with 18 year-olds with that trigger twitch anymore.  Also, I absolutely love to run and gun.  And if I get killed every time I step out into the open, I’m going to get frustrated.  In Bad Company I died constantly, it was an exercise in respawning, running towards the action, instantly dying, and then doing it all over again.  It got tiresome.  Maybe those BF3 supporters are right, and maybe it does take more skill.  But it also requires something else, something I just don’t have, and that’s patience.  I’m not a patient person, and when I’m required to hide, like real life, for a long time in order to do well, I end up just getting bored.  Not to mention that on top of all that, I’m just not a team player.  I don’t typically like other people, and I don’t typically see myself as some vital cog in the machine.  I see my online personality as a lone vigilante, and my main competitors are my teammates, stealing all those precious kills.  To force me to work together with people, after a long day at work, working together with people, is too much to ask of someone like me.  See, unlike anyone who’s ever drank the mercury that is online forum debating, which magically makes people stupid, I don’t think that because I will prefer Call of Duty that that somehow makes BF3 a bad game.  Its a great game for a certain subset of the demographic, but I’m not a part of that demographic, and I don’t think I ever will be.

Get out of my way you idiots!

I am the type of person that wants instant action, overwhelming, Mountain Dew overdosing action.  Both games have tons of action, to be sure, but I’m the type that wants to run constantly towards the action like some sort of suicidal maniac with a death wish, just wanting to take out as many people as I can before I inevitably die.  (In hindsight, maybe the poster above has a point about COD = Insurgents).  Regardless, I don’t want to die instantly.  I don’t want to have to hide and wait all day.  I want smaller maps, I want modes where I can run, gun, and say to hell with cooperation.  I was shorter matches where I don’t have to commit tons of time to just one game.  Furthermore, COD is what I’m familiar with.  I’ve been playing that franchises’ games for years.  Its what I know, its what I’m used to.  I don’t want to step out of my comfort zone, and there is nothing unusual about that, in video games or anything else.  The most important factor here is that I have fun playing COD games, and that’s why I buy video games in the first place.  See, I had a great time with Deus Ex, I raved about Rage, I can’t put down Batman, and I loved Resistance 3, but there are only two games this year that had me playing, without significant down time, for most of the year.  That was Mortal Kombat and Black Ops.  And if nothing else, I know myself, and if I bought both BF3 and MW3, I would beat both games’ campaigns, and then be forced into a position of wanting to level up my character as much as possible.  I either divide my time evenly between the two games, thus wasting half of my energy playing whichever game I inevitably find less enthralling, or I only play one games’ multiplayer in order to keep as much XP in one place as possible.  And because I’ve experienced both styles of gameplay, I can safely say that I would end up choosing COD over Battlefield.  And because of that, I personally will pass on Battlefield 3 and wait until November 8th for Modern Warfare.

That all said, I’d love to hear your thoughts on BF3, those of you getting it tomorrow.  Let me know what you think in the comments below!

September 19, 2011

Battlefield 3 versus Modern Warfare 3

Battlefield 3 is set to be released in just over a month, with MW3 to follow shortly thereafter.  And in the leadup, there has been no shortage of fanboys on both sides arguing over the merits of each franchise.  This bickering has famously erupted between the two developers themselves, each apparently thinking that talking shit about the other franchise is a better marketing strategy than talking about their own game’s offerings.  Personally, I’ve always played more CoD than Battlefield simply because it was what I was used to, and thus I have currently preordered the Hardened Edition of MW3 while my second preorder skipped right past Battlefield and right into the arms of Skyrim.  But all that aside, as the release dates near, there has been an eruption of videos showing gameplay footage from both games and some interesting facts can be gleamed from watching them.  For instance,

Modern Warfare 3 is just more of the same

Yes, I’m sure it will have all the same gameplay mechanics that made Black Ops and all the other Call of Duty games before it fun.  And I’m sure there will be a few differences here and there: newer guns, newer maps, a newer story.  But it’s looking to be basically an elaborate expansion pack.  Vice City wasn’t an entirely new GTA; it was the same game, repainted and given a new story.  Not until GTA IV came out could we say we actually had a sequel.  Sadly, that appears to apply here as well.  I’m sure that MW3 will have a great story, I’m sure I’ll waste hours trying to beat it on veteran, and good God I’m sure I’ll waste weeks playing online.  But just as I recently got burnt out with Black Ops (and sold it back), I worry the same will happen with MW3 but far sooner.  This fear, in my opinion, is well grounded considering that MW3 looks to just be an huge map pack bonus with new weapons and nothing truly new or innovative.  Of course, I’m not asking that they create an entirely new engine and revamp every aspect of gameplay.  They will obviously stick with what works, and more importantly, what makes money.  That makes sense to me.  But at the same time, any form of excitement for MW3 (and trust me, I have plenty) is still somewhat stifled by the fact that I worry I’ll be getting more of the same.

At the same time, I will say that I have heard promising reports about Call of Duty: Elite.  Apparently, because it blends the social networking aspect into the gameplay, it should reduce the amount of screaming 12 year olds online and not a moment too soon.  It’s yet to be seen if that will be successful, but it would be great to actually discuss the game with teammates as opposed to now where you’re barraged by racial slurs by a kid in his mom’s basement, smoking his dad’s weed.  And Elite comes ‘free’ if you buy the hardened version, which also will come (unconfirmed) with a special gun and all released map packs will be at no extra cost.  Considering those can add up over the course of a year to be about the same price as a second game, the upgrade seems financially worth it if you’re a serious CoD fan.

Whether or not the game is just more of the same, CoD is undeniably a fun series and one I look forward to playing.  I had taken a break on CoD and didn’t get MW2 when it came out, so I was refreshed and ready when Black Ops was released.  I played it hard for months on end.  Now, I’m worried MW3 won’t be a different enough experience to keep my interest or give me a sense of newness that draws me in.

On a related note, it appears that MW3 will not contain the wildly popular zombies mode, but instead will feature a survival mode, one similar to Hoard on Gears of War.  While I’m sure it will be tons of fun to play, especially locally, I can imagine that there is disappointment in the fact that zombies had a certain lore, an overarching story behind it, something I doubt a simple survival mode would have.  But at least we’ll be getting maps that allow the amount of players the maps were designed for, unlike:

Battlefield 3 is strictly limiting the amount of players per map on consoles

Battlefield is certainly the franchise trying to catch up to CoD’s success here, but what it may lack in genre dominance may be compensated for in the overall gameplay experience.  Battlefield 3 adds vehicles, multiplayer class systems, and huge 64 player multiplayer, which are all things CoD doesn’t have.  And 64 player multiplayer is something Battlefield 3 itself doesn’t have if you’re playing on a console.  That in itself is not something to detract from Battlefield 3 to be sure, especially seeing as CoD doesn’t allow for close to that many players on a map.  But its something that Battlefield can’t hold over CoD’s head either.  The real problem becomes apparent when you consider that the maps were created for PC play, as DICE has repeatedly stated as their platform of focus.  This means that you will have certain maps, certain HUGE maps, that when ported to the console, will be huge empty maps.  Playing a 24 person game on a map designed for 64 player battles will leave a lot of lulls between the action.  That in turn detracts from the other offering in this game, vehicles.  Take a look at this.

Ok, in theory, that looks awesome.  To hop in a jet, to bomb the hell out of the players on the ground, to get into dog fights with other players, that would be amazing.  Hell, that should be enough right there to tip the scales in Battlefield 3’s favor, right?  On a PC, I’m sure it plays out that way.  And if I had a computer good enough to run that game, and if I didn’t just prefer a controller to a keyboard so damn much, I’d probably buy it on the PC.  But I’ve got a great TV and no interest in computer games that are more easily played on consoles, so that leaves me with the console version.  And that leaves me with this scenario.  Getting into that jet, but there aren’t enough people to bomb, there aren’t enough people to dog fight.  It seems that DICE created a great game and then stripped it of its most important component when porting to console:  the players!  Hell, they’ve already got only half of the framerate that CoD boasts, so cutting graphics might not have been an option.  But reducing the size of the game’s participants, in a game made for epic multiplayer, really almost kills the entire concept for me.

All in all, I’ll probably get both, I’ll probably play both, enjoy both, and have a terrible K/D ratio in both.  Some people of course will inevitably like one over the other, including myself, but I think it’s too early to conclude which may end up having the better online gameplay.  In my experience, CoD will keep me in my safe zone, Battlefield is the risk taker.  Battlefield leaves a lot of room to disappoint, but also a lot of room to blow me away.  CoD will be familiar, but will it be too much of the same?

In the end, at least I know I’ll be getting Skyrim.