The other day I was all excited about the release of Modern Warfare 3, after enjoying the first two games so much, I was sure the third one would suck me in just as hard. What you see to the right is an image of how long it took me to complete the single player campaign: 5 hours, 31 minutes, 20 seconds.
You have got to be kidding me.
I’m sorry, but when a game is that short it isn’t a game, it’s an expansion pack. And that is what has been happening since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The first game was a classic, and now they are simply tweaking each release and putting all of the emphasis on the multiplayer aspect of the title. While online play is nice, there has to be something said for playing the campaigns as well. And at $60, a game should last longer than watching half a season of a sitcom on DVD.
As for the multiplayer … the magic is gone. I finished the campaign and logged in to play someone online games, and after two rounds I ejected the disc and logged into Amazon to trade the game in. Luckily with the pre-order guarantee I had picked the game up for $51.99, and I got $35 in trade in value, so my three days of play ended up costing me $16.99 … I should have just rented it.
Perhaps my taste in games has changed, or maybe I’m just not as forgiving as I once was, but this has left a seriously bad taste in my mouth for gaming in general
Like clockwork, it’s time for another entry in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series. Or, in other words, “that time every two years where Sean disappears.”
Actually, unlike with Modern Warfare 2, I haven’t been counting down the days this time around. I still preordered a copy, I’m still about to pop it in and check it out, but somehow I just don’t think the obsession I have had in past years will be there. Between a combination of work, getting ready for a vacation and more, I just don’t have a ton of time for gaming any more.
… course that doesn’t mean I won’t be giving it a healthy go.
Well, here’s a new twist: Lets option the rights to a trailer and turn it into a movie.
Last February a trailer was released for an upcoming zombie game called Dead Island. The trailer very deftly got the point across that that the story would be about a zombie outbreak out a tropical resort, but between the reverse nature of the trailer’s story telling, the music and the imagery of the little girl, the trailer was a huge hit with non-gamers.
Almost immediately there was a war on for who could secure the rights to this story in the ultra-hot zombie genre. There was a lot of back and forth, but it was announced today that Lionsgate has picked up the option for the film.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this covers the whole game and not just the trailer, but obviously the story you see in the video below will play a major role in the film. As Joey Davidson speculated over at TechnoBuffalo, this could actually go on to become the best video game adaption ever, but of course that isn’t saying a whole lot considering the other entrants in the film genre.
Check out the trailer, and get ready for Dead Island – The Movie.
Who’s up for a review of a game months after it came out? I know I am!
Released last May, Red Dead Redemption (affiliate link) held no interest for me. Many people referred to it as “Grand Theft Auto in the old west”, and considering I haven’t played any GTA games, and I’m not a huge fan of cowboy stories, I saw no way this game would be to my tastes.
Boy was I wrong.
After numerous stellar reviews, I picked up a copy on sale figuring that the reviews couldn’t be that far off the mark, and I was growing weary of first person shooters any way. So, a game that most people say takes 70 hours to complete sounded like a welcome diversion. It took me a while to get around to starting it as my work schedule is so nuts, but now I can’t put the game down, and I’m only about a third of the way through it.
You play as John Marston, a former criminal who has been retained by the government to go after a former crime partner. While this is the driving force of the game, there is so much to do in the world that you sometimes have to remind yourself to get back to the main story. You can set off on “stranger missions” which are little side stories given to you by random characters you meet, hunt bounties, hunt wild game, play gambling games such as Texas Hold ‘Em, clear out gang hideouts and on and on and on.
The graphics are top notch, especially considering the size of the world, while the gameplay is responsive and easy to pick up. And most importantly, the story is engaging. You want to know where it’s going, and what will happen next. Unfortunately, I stumbled into a major spoiler while looking up how to do something in the game, and I’ll leave it out of this post, but trust me, you have no clue what’s coming towards the end.
Is Red Dead Redemption for everyone? No, of course not, no game is, but I think you may be surprised just how many people it is for. As someone not into this style of game, or even the setting, I can say it won me over, so I imagine it could do the same for a good number of you out there.
Maybe the world just wanted to shake off the horrors of disco, but by golly 1980 was made of total awesomeness when it came to pop culture.
Yesterday was the 30th anniversary of the release of The Empire Strikes Back (the second or fifth Star Wars film depending on how you want to look at it). Yesterday U.S. time was also the 30th anniversary of Pacman being released in Japan, while not the first video game, it was the first to enter true mainstream acceptance. Coming up in July will mark the 30th anniversary of the first Gundam model going on sale, and while not hugely known in America, that franchise has gone on to sell 400 million model kits world wide.
Did someone just flip a switch at the stroke of midnight on Jan. 1st, 1980 and declare it the year of awesome? Not only that, but a good chunk of the decade went on to be pretty spectacular for the world of pop culture (where my heart obviously resides). The first year of the 1980′s was just packed with iconic and famous films such as Caddyshack, Raging Bull, The Elephant Man, Fame, Private Benjamin, Xanadu … just seeing if you were paying attention. There is no denying it was a pretty stellar year for film, though.
I think I shall try to ignore the fact that all of this is making me feel old, and I remember seeing The Empire Strikes Back nine times in the theater …
So, after a week of playing a game I waited so long for, what did I think?
Let me just say right up front that I have NO delusions about this post influencing anyone on this game. This thing is a juggernaut that I could say “It literally kills puppies”, and people would still buy it. Also, considering how many millions of copies have already sold, no one is going to really care, but I figured I might as well express my thoughts since I talked it up so much pre-launch.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare had a fairly good single player mode, and a fairly coherent plot.
… what went wrong this time?
The plot felt like something that would fit better in a season of 24 with conspiracies, shadowy government plots, rogue military officers, double crosses and more. At least in the first game you were working towards an actual enemy, and this one just felt like Infinity Ward, the makers of the game, had a bunch of random ideas for scenes and then went, “how do we string these together?”
There was also the issue that this had to be one of the shortest single player games i have ever gone through. It only took me about 5 & 1/2 hours, and considering that I am not some hard core gamer, that is just ridiculously short. The game play is solid with excellent controls, and the game is gorgeous to look at, but it is just way too short.
Significantly missing from this game was any sense of gravitas. While the first game made me actually move to the edge of my seat a few times while in a firefight, this time I just felt like I was being led by the hand through an amusement park. During one of the major chase scenes I was trying my hardest to catch the villain, only to realize at the end I was never going to be allowed to catch him so I could be led to the next scene.
In short, if you aren’t going to play online, I would skip the game, but as every one knows, Call of Duty games get their real value in the multi-player modes.
Infinity Ward basically took everything you loved about the last multi-player in CoD4, and turned the knobs up to 11.
Weapons – Better … really, that’s all you can say. They are better. They look better, they handle better, the sound effects are improved and in general they just seem like they are all around better.
The fact they also made your secondary weapons more broad helps a lot. Instead of waiting for the perk that allows you to carry more than a pistol, you can carry machine pistols, shotguns or pistols from the outset. It makes a lot more sense from a military perspective, being restricted to pistols never made much sense.
Play – The “Host Ended The Match” pain in the butt is a thing of the past as the host will now migrate to another player if the host should happen to leave. The matchmaking also seems to be a bit quicker, but that could be chalked up to the millions of people currently playing.
Experience Points – This may be my one complaint about the multi-player. There are so many ways to earn experience now that the screen always seems to be busy telling you the 500 ways you just earned some more XP. ”+50 for ending a kill streak … + 100 for revenge … +100 for longshot …” you get the idea.
The XP just flows so fast it seems like Infinity Ward may have coddled the lower rung players a bit much in giving them faster ways to rank up. I am not the best player, I admit it, but even I think they went a bit overboard in how many ways you can earn them now.
Grenades – Not too get too specific, but … oh thank you almighty Infinity Ward for getting rid of the rain of grenades we all suffered through various maps in the previous games.
Maps – The maps seem a bit more complex, and a bit “blind corner” happy, but they do seem a bit more balanced and “realistic”. By that I mean you really do have to be aware of your complete surroundings from looking up at roof tops a lot more than you did in the last game, checking more balconies, preceding with a lot more caution through alleys and so on. In short, these maps are not suited to people who just want to run without thought, there are consequences to just about all of your actions.
Perks – We now earn XP for using perks? We even earn basically for just having a perk installed that has nothing to do with what you are doing … er, okay, that makes no sense, but whatever.
Multiplayer Conclusion – If you liked CoD4, don’t worry, you’ll still love this one.
It basically depends on what you want from the game. If you just want it for the single player, skip it. If you are the least bit interested in the multiplayer aspects, it’s a must buy.
After six months of teasing video footage, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is finally here!
I’ve tended to not do many “personal” posts any more, but this is one of those days I just want to bang out my work and get home so I can start playing MW2 as soon as humanly possible. I still need to get at least one more blog post written after this, hit the gym and then I can get down to killing terrorists all over the world.
I have actually structured like the last two weeks of my life around today so I could “take the day off” without feeling guilty. I have two list posts for next Monday already written so I don’t feel like I am shirking those duties tonight, did some extra house cleaning so I don’t have to worry about that and bought my dogs diapers so I don’t have to take them out … okay, that last part is a bit of an exaggeration … maybe.
Of course I am now fearful this game won’t live up to my expectations, and considering games now cost $60, that’s a lot of money to put down on “hope”. Everything I’ve seen and heard makes it sound like it will live up to the original, so here’s hoping everyone is right.
I am sure I will post a review in a few days, but until then, you can find me on and off Xbox Live as RUDEBOY71 … feel free to join me if you feel like kicking someone’s behind … meaning mine.
In case you missed the other Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 posts, here they are.
The official launch trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has hit TV and the Internet now … and wow.
If you haven’t guessed by now, I am beyond excited for this game, and my only hope now is that it lives up to the hype. From everything I’ve seen so far, it will. It has now been reported to be the most pre-ordered game ever, so if it does suck … well, expect mobs with pitchforks and torches beating down the doors of game developer Infinity Ward.
Any way, here is the launch trailer for the game … I am going to have to put on another bib before I watch it again.
In case you missed the other videos, here they are.
CBS has decided people love TV … and they love video games … so they should mix them!
Licensed properties have been a staple of the video game industry since its inception. Sometimes the games work, but most often they don’t. It’s hard to capture the essence of another medium in a video game, but this isn’t stopping television network CBS from licensing a truck load of shows into video games for 2010.
Worth Playing has the synopsis for each of the upcoming games … my thoughts after each one …
The Amazing Race (Ludia Inc.)
Get ready for around-the-world competition with the video game based on the eight-time Emmy® award-winning television series The Amazing Race where team players split up in pairs for a remarkable journey across exotic locations in a race against time. Players will face frantic challenges and tasks as they navigate through detours, roadblocks and other unpredictable game elements from the show. Working together strategically throughout the game is essential as each team tries to discover hidden clues that are crucial to getting them to the Pit Stop first – and one step closer to ultimate victory at the check-in mat. This video game will be launched throughout North America across multiple platforms in tandem with the show’s 16th season.
Sean’s thoughts: I love the Amazing Race, like crazy love. I dream of going on the show constantly (mainly with The Diabolical Miss M as my team mate … whom I imagine I would carry in my pocket due to our size differences), but the idea of playing it on a game console? Um … I guess it could be somewhat challenging? Maybe something on the Wii where you would have to be physically involved?
This game is perfect for any fan of the show Survivor. Players will be able to live like the contestants on Survivor. With challenges such as fishing, collecting food and participating in Immunity challenges, players will compete to outwit, outlast and outplay in order to be crowned the ultimate sole Survivor. Available on Wii & Nintendo DS platforms.
Sean’s thoughts: This is a horrible idea. 90% of Survivor is the conditions you live in, you will never be able to capture that in a satisfying manner on a video game screen.
AVAILABLE FOR HOLIDAY 2010:
Diagnosis Murder (Merscom)
Available in early 2010, this is an adventure game where the player must find different items in a scene to use as clues in order to solve the mystery. Available for the PC/Mac, this video game will be sold on most casual gaming websites and at major retailers.
Sean’s thoughts: … this show has been off the air for almost 9 years. Who in the world is the target demographic for this title? My 88-year-old grandmother?
Criminal Minds (Legacy Interactive)
In the Criminal Minds game, players will be able to take on the role of different members of Behavioral Analysis Unit to solve a series of five shocking crimes. In order to track down the killers and solve each case, players will need to examine crime scenes for clues, interview witnesses and suspects, analyze evidence and build a profile based on real-life criminal profiling techniques. The videogame is slated to launch in the fourth quarter of 2010 on the PC.
Sean’s thoughts: I’m going to guess the already released CSI games must be doing well …
Ghost Whisperer (Legacy Interactive)
Debuting in early 2010. Ghost Whisperer will be the first-ever video game based on the hit series. Written by Emmy Award-winning television writer Lance Gentile, the PC game calls for players to embark on the adventure of helping the recently departed move on to the afterlife and providing closure to loved ones left behind.
Sean’s thoughts: Having never watched the show, I’m guess it’s going to involve talking … a lot of talking.
The Hollywood Squares (Ludia, Inc.) This timeless TV game show experience comes to fans everywhere on the platform of their choice. The Hollywood Squares game will feature all the favorite elements of the show as played on television, as two contestants play head-to-head in a bid to win money and prizes. Nine open-faced cubes make up the tic-tac-toe style “board” for the game which are occupied by celebrities/TV personalities. The stars are asked questions and players judge whether their answers are true or false, all the while incorporating outrageous “zingers” and “bluffs” to fuel the fun. Each correct answer earns the player a square on the board, and the first player to mark three squares in a row wins the game. Additionally, the game will incorporate bonus video of the funniest moments from the TV show. The North America-wide exclusive deal will result in games across major platforms including PC/Mac, consoles, iPhone™ and iPod® touch. The first of The Hollywood Squares games is slated for release in 2010.
Sean’s thoughts: Eh, I actually kind of enjoy The Price Is Right on my iPod Touch.
I guess there is a market for everything these days. I don’t personally see myself buying any of these except maybe the Amazing Race, and I would need to see a lot of really good reviews for it before I would, but obviously someone has convinced all of these companies there is a market for these. Wish I knew … I have a bridge I would love to sell them …
Well, glad someone took the time to actually record video of what I’ve always talked about happening in the online gaming community.
Duncan Riley over at The Inquisitr stumbled across a video on YouTube entitled “Halo 3: Homophobia Evolved”. This was a video recorded by an openly gay gamer who spent 11 nights recording his interactions with other players of Halo 3. I’ve talkedtwice before about the sort of thing, and also about the young people you encounter, but it is hard to convey that absolute vitriol that comes from these people unless you hear it.
The video contains extremely harsh language, you have been warned.
Luckily I find players on Call of Duty 4:Modern Warfare to be far more polite, and you never hear this amount of garbage on that game, this seems fairly restricted to the Halo games for some reason. I actually skipped buying Halo 3:ODST when it came out a few weeks ago because of the way its online community acts.
Kinda makes you fear for the future of the United States, doesn’t it?
The third trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 aired tonight on television, and of course that means it showed up online pretty quickly afterwards.
While I’m primarily about playing the online portion of this game, there is no denying that this single player footage looks astounding. The scene of the guys going up the stairs in the shadows looks so close to real life that it is almost creepy.
And it certainly looks like the fight comes to the United States this time … whoa.
Come on Nov. 10th, hurry up and get here already!
In case you missed the other videos, here they are.
The most important part of call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 has been revealed: the multiplayer game.
While the single player campaign is fun, but the true value in video games any more seems to reside with the multiplayer experience. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare has barely left my Xbox 360 in 2 years thanks to the multiplayer aspects, so I have been waiting to get some sort of hint as to what we could expect from the follow-up.
While most people are “ooh” and “ahh” about the fact you can get an AC-130 gunship after an 11 killstreak (for non-players, that is 11 kills in a row without you dying), I’m a bit worried by other things the video shows. Sticking grenades? No… please no. That’s what Halo 3 is for, not Modern Warfare. I’m hoping that is some sort of special playlist as opposed to the standard Deathmatch, but if it isn’t… well, hopefully I’ll adapt to it. Looks like a few new guns, definitely a new rocket launcher and at least one new scope (looks to be heat sensitive).
While the gunship is a nice touch, hitting that long of a killstreak is fairly rare, but it does solve a complaint I always had in the first game. In Modern Warfare 1 you got radar at 3 kills, air strike at 5 and helicopter gunship at 7… then nothing. If you did get an 11 killstrike, or 15, or 20, you got nothing. It sometimes paid to allow yourself to die just so you could go through the kill bonuses again. So, this really is something that needed addressing.
Any way, the video is below, and it just makes me want 11-10-09 to get here that much faster.