Posts Tagged ‘Call of Duty’

I’m sure this wasn’t the vacation Jason Brody saw on the brochure. After jumping out of a plane, the quasi Jersey Shore opening sequence, and some crazy partying at the nightclub, I found myself tied up and at the mercy of the psychotic Vaas who pretty much told me that we were now his bitches. Well that’s not going to sit well with me. Only one thing left to do…escape. Well I almost got there only to watch my older brother die by the barrel of Vaas’ gun. Then it was “Run Forrest Run” all the way to a new path…The “Path of the Warrior.” After some training it was payback time. Time to rescue my friends, and put a bullet in the head of the man who said I was going to be his bitch. “Eye for an eye mother fucker!” Welcome to Rook Island and the masterpiece that is Far Cry 3.

Now I’ve never played the previous games in this series. For my first dip into this franchise I must say that I’m very impressed. Far Cry 3 is a fans that’s got some depth making it more than just your average first person shooter. Most of all Far Cry 3 is a lot of fun in psychotic paradise.

PROS:

Skyrim With Guns
Well that’s what some people are calling Far Cry 3. At first I thought that was a major exaggeration, but after an few hours of playing I was starting to agree with them. I found quite a few similarities with the Bethesda juggernaut except for the fact that there are no dragons or shouts to learn. Everything else is pretty much intact in terms of earning experience points, looting, learning valuable skills, crafting, raiding camps, and so much more. Far Cry 3 doesn’t have the hundreds of hours of role playing depth that games like Skyrim possesses, but for what the game does offer will still provide plenty of hours of memorable entertainment.

There’s So Much To Do And Explore
Like any open world sandbox game Far Cry 3 offers so much more than just the main storyline. Exploration is key and Rook Island is your playground. There’s so much to see and do which can be a bit overwhelming at first, but most sandbox games are pretty much like this so it wasn’t something that I’m not already used to. My initial thoughts were that when I think of islands I think rather small, but once I started climbing radio towers the island began unveiling itself ala Assassins’s Creed and that was pretty cool. Getting around the island is also quite striking with vehicles, or maybe even taking a hang glider for a more arial tour. I found myself wanting to hunt, craft, and explore even more than completing the main story which is a big plus. Plus there’s also all the side missions, outpost clearing, and so much more.

Hunting Animals
One of the more interesting things to do while on Rook Island is hunting the various wildlife that populate the landscape. Now Far Cry 3 is nothing like the Cabela’s hunting games, but Ubisoft Montreal sure made it fun. Hunting down animals is more than just killing and skinning them. Their hides are also used to craft useful items including ammo pouches, healing items, and so much more making things a bit easier on myself. Now when it comes to hunting animals let me just tell you that nothing felt more satisfying then killing a shark. Oh and there’s the part where I was punching him too which was really awesome.

Survival Instincts
Saving my friends meant doing everything I could just to stay alive. I am a warrior, and death is not an option. Through my adventures on the island I cut various plant life and used it to create healing items beyond just bandaging myself up when I got a little too shot up or mauled by animals. The game does feature regenerating health (bummer), but it has to be activated and if works through segments. Overall, I liked the fact that it made me think twice about running and gunning into an enemy outpost and employ some sort of strategy instead like tagging enemies so that I can utilize a more stealthy offensive. Sometimes being more like Sam Fisher is better than Rambo.

Multiplayer
The developers at Ubisoft Montreal could’ve just mailed in some average multiplayer to tack on to the game, but they didn’t. Instead what they did was put together a multiplayer experience on par with dare I say Call of Duty to appease to the fans. Killstreaks are found here in the competitive gameplay as well as a unique reward for the highest scoring player of the winning team. Not only is there a competitive arena, but a co-op campaign is also available complete with it’s own separate story adding another layer of depth to a pretty solid game. Overall, Far Cry 3 has a strong multiplayer option with a large community of players putting itself with the elite multiplayer of Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Gears of War games.

CONS:

Far Cry 3 is a pretty solid game, and throughout my adventure I can’t really find anything negative to say about it. I’m not calling the game perfect, but it sure is close to being one of the better offerings I’ve played on the Xbox 360 to date.

IN CONCLUSION

Far Cry 3 is an open sandbox game that’s full of action, adventure, and thrills. It’s also an all out attack on my senses especially when I’m dealing with Vaas, or maybe when I was on some serious mind-altering drugs (yes, you can take drugs in the game, and the effects are more than just staggering around and a blurry screen). The game has exploration, hunting, punching sharks, awesome weaponry (check out the bow and the awesome flamethrower), and hours upon hours of entertainment both in single player and multiplayer. Far Cry 3 is of the best games of 2012 and a must buy. I think I might also have to buy the previous games as well.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-14 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

After the disappointment that I suffered through in Modern Warfare 2, I said to myself that I was officially done with Call of Duty. Javelin glitches, speed skating glitches, negative XP glitches, idiots who rather not complete objectives and just boost for the damn tactical nuke. I think you get the point. At that point I started hating the game and the series as a whole. As a result I eventually caved in and bought the Hardened Edition of Black Ops that next year. I loved the campaign and the awesome zombie mode. The multiplayer was still “meh” to me even though I liked spamming the RC car. The following year Modern Warfare 3 was released. I stuck to my guns and skipped it, because of the disappointment of Modern Warfare 2. So here I am today deciding about Black Ops 2. Sure I’m sick of Call of Duty compared to other shooters on the market, and the E3 demo sucked, but I eventually decided to give it a chance. In the end I’m glad that I did.

PROS:

It’s Like Being In An Action Movie
I don’t know what it is with Infinity Ward and Treyarch, because every year when a Call of Duty game is released I feel like each developer is trying to out Michael Bay one another. Basically, Call of Duty plays out like a huge summer blockbuster with tons of carnage, cussing, guns, destruction, and plenty of explosions to keep me hooked in. No need for an epic story. Just give me “shock and awe” along with plenty of body bags for the virtual dead and everything will be just fine. Well Black Ops 2 provided all of that in it’s unique blend of Cold War and Future War eras and it was pretty cool. I just wish they had a better plot like the first Black Ops game had.

Improvements In Multiplayer?
Did I just say that? Well yes I did. Black Ops 2’s competitive multiplayer is a big step up over over the first Black Ops game. Score streaks now take the place of kill streaks making other players work a little harder to get that special attack they crave. There’s also a heavier emphasis in completing objectives in certain gametypes to help curb away the wannabe snipers who just sit around and camp out waiting for kills to come to them. Seriously guys, let me just rant by saying that being a sniper in a Call of Duty game is just plain stupid. Complete the objectives! We don’t need an eight man team with seven snipers and one person trying to win the game. In other words…Play Smart! Just keep in mind that I’m only here for the fun of the game, or until everyone starts cheating. If that happens I’ll go back on my hating spree.

Endless Customization
Black Ops 2 has tons of customization options that had me busy for hours deciding on what I want to do with each of my custom loadouts for multiplayer. What type of kickass guns do I want? How about perks? Do I want more or less. More perks come at the expense of less weapons, but I can be faster and more like a ninja as I knife randoms with ease. Of course I can go the other way and be more like Rambo. The best part is that using these customizable options allows me to tailor a multiplayer experience to my liking as well as having the tools to conquer each game mode.

Zombies!
The main reason I purchased this game. The zombie mode has been fleshed out a lot more to include some new game types along with the traditional Survival mode. Tranzit allows me to travel to each map via a bus. While traveling I had to beware of hitchhiking zombies coming along for the ride as well as trying to kill me. Grief is also pretty badass as two teams of four take on the zombie horde. Last team standing along with winning the round wins the game. Grief does add a lot of fun and strategy to the game. Sure you can’t hurt the other team, but you can always find ways to screw them over giving me the advantage. Zombies is where I’m spending most of my time playing, because it’s addicting and fun. With that said I once again raise the question to Treyarch. Why not make a stand alone zombie game?

CONS:

Strike Force Is A Bit Of A Letdown
So what is Call of Duty. A First-Person Shooter or a Real Time Strategy Game? The RTS missions called Strike Force sound like a good idea, but they come off as rather retarded. The idea was for me to control the actions of unmanned vehicles to complete various objectives. Sounds great and all In theory, but what it really boiled down to was me taking control and doing everything for myself since my unmanned attack grunts are not very helpful in the long run. Each vehicle and deployment look very kickass, but in reality they kind of suck. Going through these missions is more of a pain in the ass, because all I want to do is go back to the action.

Missing That “Wow” Factor
Black Ops 2 is a pretty good game, but what the series has been missing lately has been that “Holy shit! I can’t believe that happened” type of moment. The main example that I can think of would be the nuke scene in Call of Duty 4. I thought that moment was crazy when the nuke went off and my main character during that mission died. The first words I had after that moment was “What the fuck just happened!” Since then the Call of Duty series hasn’t had anything that would even measure up to that moment. Sure Black Ops 2 has branching paths based in my decisions and tons of action, but I want something that I’ll remember for a long time. Since Call of Duty 4, I feel like the developers just mailed it in and said to Activision “Here’s the new Call of Duty game. Now let’s release it and collect our millions of dollars.”

IN CONCLUSION

So I actually liked Black Ops 2. Does this mean that I’m officially back with the Call of Duty franchise? Well…I would have to say “No.” The game does pack in plenty of fun and tons of replay value in the multiplayer department, but I still believe that the developers need to add that extra punch that made Call of Duty 4 the benchmark of the series to date. The Black Ops games so far have been a positive step in that direction. Maybe what Activision needs to do is stop milking the cash cow and watering down the series with yearly installments. This will make the games more fresh and entertaining as well as generate less hate from some of the internet trolls out there. Just making a suggestion for the better. Overall, Black Ops 2 is a good game making my purchase well worth the money.

Developer: Activision, Treyarch
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-16 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

Master Chief Is Back!

It’s been five years since the last appearance of the iconic Master Chief in Halo 3. The Halo rings were destroyed, 343 Guilty Spark was destroyed, and Earth was saved. The Chief and Cortana however were last seen drifting in the far reaches of space on the fractured UNSC ship Forward Unto Dawn. The Chief has gone back into cryo sleep and tells Cortana to wake him when he’s needed. Now after more than four years in space a new threat along with Covenant called the Prometheans has arisen. Add onto that Cortana’s AI is deteriorating. What does the Chief do? Kick ass, take names, and once again try to save the day. It’s time for me to take part in a brand new Halo trilogy. The Reclaimer Trilogy.

PROS:

The Story Drew Me Right In (Spoiler Free)
343 Industries sure did their homework because Halo 4’s story was amazing right from the start. I was hooked right away as the action ramped right up after the awakening. I was able to really feel the tense drama between Master Chief and Cortana throughout the campaign. Then again I’ve taken quite a keen interest in the adventures of the duo since the original Combat Evolved game more than a decade ago. At no point did I feel lost, bored, or wondered what the heck was going on. Halo 4’s story is gripping, intense, and kept me interested in between all the gunfights with Covenant and Prometheans forces.

The Visuals Are Absolutely Stunning
It’s not very often that I talk about a game’s graphics. Actually I never do, but I need to comment on the visual eye candy of Halo 4. It’s amazing. The sheer amount of detail is awe inspiring. I had to pause for a moment, pull out the disc, and put in previous Halo games just to see all the differences in both character design and the overall environment. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. While the graphics look impressive on my 1080p HD television I’ll bet that it still looks just as good on any standard television as well.

Amazing Sound
What makes Halo so unique is the amazing soundtrack. It’s almost tells a story in itself with tones that spell out the drama along with energetic beats when the action heats up. I absolutely loved it. Along with the music comes with the sounds of the weapons themselves. 343 Industries did a complete overhaul with weapon sounds making them sound even realistic than ever before. Now It really feels like I’m here to kick some ass with some awesome weapons.

Spartan Ops
Along with the thrilling campaign 343 Industries replaces Firefight with a new episodic campaign entitled Spartan Ops. The new campaign has weekly episode updates bringing me a whole new story taking place after the event s of Halo 4. Featuring both solo and co-op play Spartan Ops is quite addicting giving me even more Halo bang for the buck. It’s also great to play in between all the competitive multiplayer action. Sure I’ll miss Firefight, but all I’ll have to do is change discs to Halo: Reach and everything will be just fine.

Multiplayer Is Still Awesome
Besides a well done story, Halo is also known for some of the best multiplayer action online on Xbox Live. Yes, I said it. No, I’m not bragging. I honestly seem to enjoy Halo’s competitive multiplayer a little more than Gears of War, Battlefield, and Call of Duty. Halo: Reach made some radical changes in the multiplayer formula, but still kept it’s fun factor. Halo 4 continues that tradition by making a few tweaks here and there, but still keeps the core mechanics intact making me want to put on my Astro A50 headsets and kick some ass online. Forge mode is also back allowing me to create new game types along with making a tweak, or two, in popular maps just to change things up. Finally, there’s the customization factor allowing to create my own unique Spartan along with loadouts catering to my competitive needs.

CONS:

Honestly, throughout my gameplay time with Halo 4 I really couldn’t find any nagging issues that brought the game down for me. Maybe I was too hooked on the epic story and action to even care. It’s extremely rare for me not to have some sort of negative about a game, but I’m at a loss with this one. I’m not saying that Halo 4 is perfect, but I will say that this game is the closest thing to a near perfect experience.

IN CONCLUSION

Bungie handed 343 Industries the keys to the palace, and clearly they didn’t disappoint. Sure I had my doubts in the beginning, but they were quickly dashed once I got underway in the campaign. Combat Evolved was the bar in my opinion when it came to Halo games. Halo 4 has clearly surpassed that bar, and now sets the standards for what a first person shooter should be. I didn’t think that the Halo series needed a new trilogy, but this new Reclaimer Trilogy is a welcome addition. I can’t wait to see what 343 Industries have next up their sleeves with Halo 5, but I will say that the expectations will be at an extremely high level. Hopefully they’re up for the difficult challenge that lies ahead. Until then it will be more of the campaign, Spartan Ops, and multiplayer for me. Welcome back Master Chief!

Developer: 343 Industries
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-16 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

This is the question I’m asking myself today. I’m sure everyone has seen the latest trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 featuring the new Avenged Sevenfold track “Carry On” by now. Call me interested, but is it enough to sway me back to the franchise I’ve loathed as of late. Hmm…

Now I’ve always been against the franchise since Modern Warfare 2 and the ridiculous amount of cheating in the game’s multiplayer. I did play Black Ops back in 2010 and enjoyed the thrilling campaign along with the ever so popular zombie mode. The other multiplayer is still kind of “meh” to me except for the remote control car bomb which I used a lot. Every time a new map pack arrived, I bought it just for the zombies map. Pathetic I know, but I was that addicted. I also have both World at War and Black Ops Zombies games on my iPhone and iPad. Maybe it’s just me, but Treyarch really has something going here. Why not just have a game with just zombies?

The new zombie themed trailer gave me that Left 4 Dead kind of vibe as survival is still the name of the game. The horde of zombies continue to make their way through would be defenses, but the new portrayal of what is called “Tranzit” features more in terms of both exploration as well as tight defenses while telling a unique “B” movie story. There’s also a 4v4 team based competitive zombie matches as well as the classic gameplay seen since World at War. Once again I mention the topic of why doesn’t Treyarch make a zombie game?

So I sit and think. Yes, I was really unimpressed with the demo I saw at E3. Yes, every GameStop clerk across this country thin that Call of Duty is the greatest game ever (it’s the only game they know and talk about), because of the multiplayer. I personally haven’t liked the multiplayer since World at War because it hasn’t truly evolved. It’s just rehashed shit, but filled with glitchers, cheaters, and wannabe snipers ruining the experience. Plus Battlefield is much better. Treyarch’s new emphasis on the zombies game mode has really got me interested, but Is it enough to make me pay $60 for a copy, or should I wait? The answer will come soon.

GAME STATUS: Raven’s Rock leadership eliminated. Mission accomplished.
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 18 out of 52 (355 Gamerscore)

For my original review of Ghost Recon Future Soldier click HERE.

The ending of Ghost Recon Future Soldier reminds me of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Eraser. The Ace is on the train tracks. The Ghosts are ordered at the last second not to kill him (this after killing the other six high ranking members) which draws some fire from the team. The Ace talks some shit to try and get me to shoot, but i hold back. Orders are orders. In the end the Ace gets his as he’s smashed by an oncoming train. At least “I” didn’t kill him.

When I completed the main campaign the first thought that popped in my head was “that was awesome!” Ghost Recon Future Soldier lived up to it’s lively expectations. Whether it was going silent or going balls to the wall in a hail of bullets with tons of explosions, the game never went to the monotone notion of run and gun. Strategy was important and I used it to the max. Coordination firing was badass, and removing all the squad orders for more quick response actions like choosing who your team kills first made battles more intense. Active camo was also a huge hit for me.

Other than all the action and Michael Bay orgasmic moments I also got a kick out of the Gunsmith option. Whether I was using my controller or the Kinect I was having fun customizing my weapons with various parts and colors. It took me awhile to get the handling down of choosing my loadouts, but I soon became hooked and customizing took preference over battling either with the campaign or online.

The online multiplayer however had both it’s highs and lows. My highs center around the Guerrilla mode where my teammates and I kicked ass for awhile while getting some wicked head shots. Playing co-op in the campaign was not bad either even though I had a lone wolf or two without their headsets. The lows came around after a few weeks of play. Competitive team matches like Decoy turned crappy when at least half of my team started camping as snipers instead of working on targets. I kept telling them that we need to compete the objectives, but all they said was “I’m a sniper, I’m a sniper!” That led me to the response of “Then go back to Call of Duty noob!” By the way those players sucked! Sadly a large majority of the games I played online were like this which killed my buzz.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! WHAT’S MY ORDERS?

While Ghost Recon Future Soldier was a great game I couldn’t see myself playing the campaign multiple times. The story and cutscenes were rather bland and had me saying “meh.” The multiplayer became disappointing after a few weeks of play due to some players stupidity. My message to them: Stop being snipers! Learn how to play the game. Honestly, with so many shooters out there for me to play now and in the near future I’m not going to have the time to continue playing so I’m giving Ghost Recon Future Soldier an honorable discharge to the trade in shelf. Thanks for the fun Ubisoft. Now where’s the new Rainbow Six?

Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-12 (online)
Price: $59.99

What a week! I’m not even at the show this year and I’m exhausted. Press conferences, endless gameplay videos to watch, the NBA Playoffs, and spending time with my nephew at home has worn me out. I’ve basically seen everything I needed to see from this years big event. Now with the 2012 edition of E3 winding down it’s time for me to pick my winners and losers of what is considered as the video games “Super Bowl.”

Keep in mind that my main consideration centers around the Xbox 360 as well as iOS gaming on my iPad and iPhone, but I will say that the Wii U is pretty awesome. Anyway…moving on.

WINNERS

UBISOFT: This should come as no surprise. If any one company stole this show it would be this one. Ubisoft brought in the big guns with games that include Assassin’s Creed 3 and Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Both of these games look amazing and are on my buy list. However, what really blew my mind was a brand new game that was not a sequel called Watch Dogs. The upcoming sandbox game centers around how the world is watching you, but also allows you to take advantage of today’s hi-tech electronics and use it to your advantage in key situations. Check out the demo below to see this game in action.

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HALO 4: 343 Industries sure had some big shoes to fill with original developer Bungie moving on to another project. I had my doubts about the return of the iconic Master Chief considering the fact that I thought I “Finished the Fight” back in 2007 with Halo 3. The game’s Legendary difficulty ending said otherwise. The storyline for Halo 4 was kept top secret for the last year so Since the debut of the teaser trailer at last year’s E3. This year the gang at 343 Industries needed to show something of the camapaign to get me excited. They did and they succeeded. Both new and old enemies, Forerunner weaponry, and Spartan Ops for some co-op action. Count me in.

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TOMB RAIDER: Is it me, or does this game look a little familiar to another popular Playstation franchise. Uncharted maybe? Crystal Dynamics may be hearing the about the similarities, but this origins story of the legendary Lara Croft is outstanding. I’ve never been big on the Tomb Raider series as a whole, but this game has me wanting it right now. It’s mature oriented and has a sense of danger all around it as Lara fights for survival at every turn. It’s an awesome action/adventure game.

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Now it’s time to move to the ugly side of the show where I talk about what didn’t impress me one bit.

LOSER

CALL OF DUTY: BLACK OPS 2: This series is now officially “dead” to me. Last year, I didn’t buy Modern Warfare 3 due to no real interest in the campaign and the fact that the multiplayer absolutely sucks. I did enjoy the campaign in the first Black Ops game back in 2010, and of course there was the awesome zombie mode that carried over from World at War. I wanted to really give this game a chance, but after watching the uninteresting demo from the Microsoft Press Conference that mostly featured camping and sniping I felt that it was time to move on. This year’s zombie mode may be good, but I’ll wait until it’s on my iPad.