Written by John Rios
Admittely, I'm a Transformers geek of Unicronian proportions. I have a collection of Transformers from the 80’s to the present day - both sealed and opened, an Autobots tattoo, and even had figures of Optimus Prime and Arcee in tux and dress atop my wedding cake when I tied the knot. So as you can imagine, being tasked to review this game without bias is a huge undertaking, but here we go..
Entries in activision (9)
Written by John Rios
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 releases on November 8. Hey, that's this week! Preorder now, if you haven't already. That is of course, providing you're not content with your purchase of Battlefield 3. Or not planning to throw every waking hour of your winter away on Skyrim.
This fall's somewhat-but-not-quite similar military shooters are vying for your attention (and money). As much as people like to believe that these two games can coexist, they simply cannot. They are too much alike. Have you ever walked down the street and spotted someone who looks sort of like you? At the moment where the two of you glance at each other, the intergalactic threads of time and space begin to unravel and bolts of plasma rain down upon the ethereal plane; instant enemies. Yep, that's exactly what happens each time a copy of Modern Warfare 3 crosses paths with Battlefield 3.
One releases in a few days, one in a few weeks, but both have released newish 'launch' trailers to get you hyped up and get your wallet open. So readers, where will your money go, Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3 or both? Personally, I could go either way, but will probably buy Modern Warfare 3, as more friends of mine will be throwing their money at Activision as opposed to EA.
When GoldenEye Reloaded was announced, I let out a long, drawn out sigh. Another remake we don't need that will probably fail at capturing the magic of the original and end up as a perpetual bargain bin title. GoldenEye was the first-person shooter back in the day, mostly because of the 4-player split screen deathmatches that are near impossible to find in current gen titles. At New York Comic Con yesterday, I got a chance to play the new GoldenEye, and the 4-player deathmatch no less. I came away feeling thoroughly nostalgic and extremely impressed.
Aside from the bump up in graphics, many changes and additions have been made, all seemingly for the better. Before we started our match, game altering modifiers were set. In this case we got to play with Paintball mode, a GameStop preorder exclusive that replaces blood stains with multicolored paint. Shoot the rainbow! Once the game got underway, it was all good. Off the bat I noticed how good the control scheme felt in my hands. While many shooters these days take liberties at whipping up their own new control schemes, GoldenEye Reloaded feels along the lines of a Halo or Modern Warfare. As soon as I sat down, I felt right at home.
It was very fitting that I was handed a controller which was attached to Odd Job, my favorite twerp from the N64 days. A chat with one of the developers revealed that Odd Job would no longer have his 'unfair' height advantage, where players would say he's too short to be hit. That's right around when I would say "you just suck, step yo' game up!" But alas, this is a moot point now. Aside from having a primary and secondary weapon, Odd Job came equipped with two flash grenades and 3 hats - yup, 3 blade-brimmed domes of spinning death - awesome. My one complaint would be the grenade and hat attack, activated by pressing LB and RB respectively on the 360 control, were a little too slow to leave the hand after pressing the button. The game as a whole is pretty fast paced, so having to wait for your secondary attacks to launch is a bit of a pain.
I played a Golden Gun match, where the object is to get the Golden Gun! There is only one on the map - clearly marked in your minimap - which you must track down and get kills with. The good thing about the Golden Gun, one shot kills. Conversely the clip can only hold one bullet, so that's a lot of reloading. Unfortunately I didn't get into any slap fights, or give the killer RCP90 a spin, or burn watch lasers, or frustrate dummies with proximity mines. I guess that stuff will have to wait for release.
GoldenEye Reloaded is due out on November 1. As a retail title, I'm not sure if the game will command $60, as all I had a chance to try was the multiplayer. But rest assured it was a blast, and might be worth the investment a couple weeks after release if you can find it at $45 or so.
Do you like war and modernism? A fan of explosions and crumbling buildings? Here is an entire days worth of those vitamins in a neat 90 second package. In Modern Warfare 3, Makarov is bringing the destruction to our shores, an injustice that surely no soldier will stand for.
How do you guys feel about Modern Warfare 3? Are three developers two too many? Do the yearly Call of Duty releases feel too much like sports games, with marginal improvements and an updated roster of guns? Do you desire more explosions? Very well then.
This weekend, Activision has outed one of the worst kept secrets in the industry; Modern Warfare 3 is coming. Just in time for E3 too, what grand timing! Call of Duty games will never stop coming, Activision will see to it until their final breath of bankruptcy. But the question is, will you keep playing said games?
Before I fire off into any type of grand rant, let me say this: I enjoyed Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2. I didn't like any of the older Call of Duty games, nor World at War. I bought into the hype of Call of Duty: Black Ops and quicky tired of the copy-and-paste experience. So what should I expect from Modern Warfare 3? Well right off the bat, the next chapter in the Modern Warfare series has several strikes against it. First, series developer Infinity Ward is a shell of its former self. After a bitter falling out with Activision over unpaid royalties, the evil empire fired IW head honchos Vince Zampella and Jason West. As most good soldiers would, more than half of Infinity Ward's longtime staff resigned, leaving with their captains. Due to the loss of more than a few good men, Actvision restaffed Infinity Ward, keeping alive the name Zampella and West created like some sort of dev house Frankenstein.
Well, something must be wrong with the new Infinity Ward. Maybe Activision didn't trust the folks they plugged into the holes to stop the bleeding. Modern Warfare 3 will be developed by three, yes three studios. The restructured Infinity Ward will craft the campaign together with Sledgehammer Games. The multiplayer component will be handled by Raven Software. Too many cooks in the kitchen? How will the game deliver a consistent experience when there are three different groups working on it? It would require incredible attention to detail, and unification not seen since the Berlin wall toppled. Can you tell that my trust in this task isn't the strongest?
Activision's cash grabbing ways of releasing a Call of Duty title every year means they have very strict deadlines. As Black Ops was crafted by Treyarch, Modern Warefare 3 has been in development since Modern Warfare 2's release in late 2009. That's plenty of time to create a strong game, however with all the drama that's torn through Activision and Infinity Ward since, one would think there would be set backs, conflicts, disagreements and so on. You know, things that would disrupt a development cycle. If so, we haven't heard any of it; Activision keeps cracking its whip to get its next cash cow on store shelves for Holiday 2011, even if it means Bobby Kotick creating character models and animations on his own.
Have you heard that Activision wants you to pay up for multiplayer? It's been mentioned on dozens of occassions by various outlets, and is a pretty well known fact now. Activision considers free multiplayer a gift to the player, and after so many gifts, it's due time to start collecting dividends. The Call of Duty franchise is one of the most successful of our time, especially multiplayer, which keeps the attention of millions held for hours a day, even months (or years) after initial release. Servers and maintenance and the like are expensive, so why should Activision be satisfied with your $60 entrance fee? A nominal stipend to play online - including some extras to make you feel like you're actually getting something in return for your money - is no big deal, right? Actually, it's a huge deal. Should Activision continue along with this plan, the online game model will drastically change. Only a sliver will be put off by the online fee, with enough children convincing their parents to pay up for Activision to consider the experiment a success, thus opening a can of worms that would have been better off untouched. Though none of this is has been mentioned in regards to MW3 let alone finalized, it's only a matter of time before the discussing heats up. Call of Duty is at the peak of its popularity, and there is no better time to introduce an online play fee. I pray I'm wrong.
I'm not sure where I read it, but I remember someone writing Call of Duty has become the sports games of shooters; new players, slight graphical updates, but the same old game. I used to like Modern Warfare, but these days there are too many strikes against Activision for me to begin caring. Besides, I'm much more a fan of space marines than modern day soldiers, anyway. Pink needles, chainsaw bayonets, and powered armor defeat an M4A1 any day of the week.
What is your take on Modern Warfare 3? Are you amped to get your hands on it? Will you be willing to pay a subscription fee for online play should it come to that? Let us know in the comments.
Death, Taxes, and Spider-Man games are the three constants in the world today. 2011 is not exempt from this rule, as we are reminded with the announcement of the latest Spider-Man title, Spider-Man: Edge of Time.
Developed by Beenox (the team behind last year's ho-hum Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions) and published by our overlords at Activision, Spider-Man: Edge of Time lets you assume control of both the old classic Amazing Spider-Man, and the looks-awesome-but-never-quite-caught-on Spider-Man 2099. The action gameplay will feature a "cause-and-effect" mechanic, where the actions of one Spider-Man will directly influence and change the timeline of the other. Not sure if this can work more ways than one, because I don't think events of the future can alter the past. Or can they?! Mind = blown.
While you're busy trying to wrap your mind around riddles of time and space, I'll be drafting up the script for Activision's 2012 Spider-Man title, Italian Spiderman. Spider-Man: Edge of Time is due out this fall for Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, DS, and 3DS.
Medal of Honor is trying to woo you with its edginess. Real soldiers overlooked the development process of the gritty war title, did ya know that? Also, they had a Taliban faction before those scheming politicians made them change the name. True story! So with all that MoH has going for it, how'd it do? Not too good.
Enter Black Ops. With Medal of Honor, Black Ops' primary competition in the gritty war action genre, receiving merely pedestrian reviews, it's time for Treyarch's Vietnam tale to take it's place atop the realistic war action genre. I've called it something different twice, should I just call it first person shooter genre? Eh, whatever.
The Modern Warfare games made for very cinematic single player experiences. Black Ops looks like it's going to take that and run with it. I mean, pistol on the table, ratty headband, Deer Hunter anyone?! If the game's intensity can be anything close to that brilliantly suspenseful Russian roulette scene, Treyarch will have won my heart.
Treyarch has finally confirmed one of the worst kept secrets ever, the inclusion of zombies in Black Ops. After the success of the zombie mode in Call of Duty: World at War, how could they not? Dead Ops, as it's called, is a four player co-op romp against the undead horde. Preorder the Hardened or Prestige edition, and the four zombie maps from World at War can be yours at no extra cost! No word on whether or not the normal edition cheapskates can get some zombie lovin' yet though. This site has been put up by Treyarch to tease zombie mode. It features creepy music, surveillance video, and people in military clothing shuffling around clumsily. How very zombie-like!
And for the coup de grâce, the multiplayer customization trailer. The level of customizing Treyarch has added is awesome, allowing you to paint your face, choose different camo types for your clothing, and put your clan tag or personal logo on your weapon. And no longer are you able to access all unlocked gear once you reach a certain level, now you have to be the required level on top of purchasing the item with currency earned through fragging and completing challenges. Just like Halo: Reach! Which is just like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2! Which is just like.. Damn, so much idea sharing going on, I'm losing track.
It goes with out saying, Call of Duty: Black Ops is going over the top to keep gamers reeled in. With the dissolution of Infinity Ward (thanks, Kotick) Treyarch has to show the world that they're comfortable being in the drivers seat of the Call of Duty series now. Black Ops is a step in the right direction.