Yikes. So apparently, Call of Duty: Black Ops isn’t only a fairly good time and a fun game to play, it also cures cancer, makes sandwiches and prints out posters of Christina Hendricks. Wait, no. It doesn’t actually do all that other stuff. So why in the world are people buying it like the future of the free world depends on it?
Regardless of the reason, Call of Duty: Black Ops has sold over 14 million copies worldwide, and more than 8.4 million in the U.S. alone. That means that it has barely passed the likes of great gaming staples such as the Mass Effect and Uncharted series combined. It’s also sold more than Grand Theft Auto 3, Ocarina of Time and Metal Gear Solid. And Halo 3. So maybe that doesn’t mean it’s outsold everything, ever (the Super Mario games will probably always stay on top), but dang if this isn’t still impressive.
It’s seriously hard to wrap my head around the sheer juggernaut capabilities of the Call of Duty franchise. Every year it gains more and more steam, and it’s hard to imagine that it won’t outlive its welcome some time in the next few years. That being said, I plan on buying it soon.
Who’s still loving this game which is apparently the Chosen One of all things video game, ever?
Rooster Teeth is back once again, this time showing us the amazing versatility of Halo: Reach. Forge mode, for those of you unfamiliar with the game, is a level editor of sorts, allowing you to tweak weapon layouts and add pieces of geometry to maps. While you can’t change the base layout of the level, you can add little additions to it, like ramps off of cliffs and floating platforms in the middle of nowhere. This functionality forms the basis of the video that RT put together, which combines Halo: Reach’s malleability with the old fashioned game Horse.
The hosts say it a couple of times in the video, but this just shows the amazing versatility of a game that ostensibly shipped as just a First-Person-Shooter. The fact that you can put away your guns and play home-made games of your own devising within minutes speaks volumes for Bungie’s design.
For a company that hasn’t exactly made the best-shooter-ever-in-history, it seems that Crytek sure has a lot to say about the game industry these days. Earlier this year, they were waxing philosophical about Uncharted 2 and a few others. Now, the CEO, Cervat Yerli, is taking a few shots at consoles in general, essentially saying that the console market is keeping PC gaming from being all that it can be.
Here’s Yerli’s stance on the matter:
As long as the current console generation exists and as long as we keep pushing the PC as well, the more difficult it will be to really get the benefit of both… PC is easily a generation ahead right now. With 360 and PS3, we believe the quality of the games beyond Crysis 2 and other CryEngine developments will be pretty much limited to what their creative expressions is, what the content is. You won’t be able to squeeze more juice from these rocks…
Until the PC market creates comparable revenues, companies are not going to spend enough on the PC SKU of a game.
Honestly, it seems strange to me to blame consoles for being wildly successful compared to PC endeavors. To me, that puts the onus back on PC developers to up the game in a major way. So what do you guys think? Agree/disagree? Is the console generation holding back PC gaming? And if it is, does it even matter until the PC market can show competitive sales?
Despite the fact that Microsoft has said that they’re not looking at HD remakes, it’s hard to deny the fact that a Halo: Combat Evolved re-release with updated graphics would move a crazy amount of copies.
According to CVG, who pulled the information from UK magazine Games Master, 343 Industries is hard at work on a revival of Halo: Combat Evolved using the Halo: Reach engine. According to “industry chatter” cited by the magazine, the game would hit on Halo: CE’s tenth anniversary in November of 2011 with a true sequel to Halo 3 following up in 2012.
While this is all speculation, CVG points out that this release schedule would fit with 343’s plan to release a new Halo game every year a la Call of Duty or Assassin’s Creed.
Tag this as the most vaguest of rumors for now, faithful readers, because the only actual Microsoft big-wig quoted is UK Xbox manager Stephen McGill who thinks a current-generation Combat Evolved would be a “good idea”.
What do you guys think of this possibility? Will it happen, or is a Halo: CE remake just a pipe dream?
In the past, we’ve seen a series of Mythbusters videos for popular online shooters Modern Warfare 2 and even Halo 3. Thus, it was only natural that Defend The House continued their popular series of multiplayer Mythbusters with a brand-spanking-new entry for Call of Duty: Black Ops.
This edition of the informative yet hilarious videos tackles a few key questions, such as whether or not care package helicopters can be shot down, or how to shoot down Valkyrie missiles. The most important issue it tackles, though, is this: can a man dive over a rocket? Really, it’s a question that needs answering, not just in Black Ops, but every day life. Lord knows it’s kept me up at night.
Have you run into any of these issues in your own online escapades? In general, how do you guys feel about Black Ops multiplayer so far?
Growing up surrounded by my brother and a mess of loud and sometimes obnoxious friends, I was no stranger when it came to gaming and trash talking. Whether we were swapping one-shot kills in Goldeneye, making fun of each others’ created characters in Wrestlemania 2000 or swapping insults during bouts of Bushido Blade, the smack we talked ran freely like milk and honey in the Promised Land. In my mind, this was just the way gaming was: friendly, fun and all in good sport. We dished out only what we could take, and only occasionally did the bad blood spill over into the real world, and usually it was the other way around.
My first extended stint into online gaming came with my late discovery of Counter-Strike my freshman year of college. What started as something just for pure fun soon grew into a relatively serious hobby. It was only when I dived in more deeply that I saw the gritty underbelly of the online world: griefing, racism, verbal threats and rage.
Occasionally, I feel like I get so caught up in how today’s games look that I’m only really impressed by unique art styles, rather than raw graphical horsepower. We’re getting to a point where games just look a little better each year, but nothing truly jaw-dropping seems to hit. Sure, there are games that look great, but rarely do we have one that just floors us. So when they do, we notice.
Take the new Unreal Engine 3 trailer, for instance, which highlights some changes Epic have made to the already gorgeous graphics package. Considering how many games are utilizing the Unreal Engine nowadays (Mass Effect, Batman: Arkham Asylum, Bioshock, Gears of War 3), it makes me hungry to see some of this in the near future. The question is: can consoles support something that looks remotely like this? Or will this be PC exclusive until the next batch of consoles drop?
Crazy that this is real time graphics these days. Your thoughts?
Well, we’ve been waiting forever, and it seems that Bethesda’s addiction machine, I mean, Elder Scrolls, is gearing up for another entry into the long running franchise. That’s right, Eurogamer Denmark is reporting that Elder Scrolls V is well into production, and it’s so far along in fact that they’ll be doing voicework for the game over the next few weeks.
While the reporters that supposedly saw the game are sworn to secrecy through blood pacts (also called NDAs), there are a few things we know about the game. Namely, that it’s a direct sequel to Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, rather than a standalone tale set in the same universe. I know this should really excite fans of the last game, and I’m sure the idea of jumping right back into those events is going to encumber people with happiness like so many extra pieces of armor. Maybe I can try and actually finish this one instead of robbing houses for 35 hours.
I probably don’t even have to ask this, but is anyone else excited about this? What do you guys think a direct sequel to Oblivion could entail? Anything in particular you want to see in Elder Scrolls V?
The GamerSushi Show is back, and this time in a newer, more awesome format. You see, while we enjoyed all the podcasts of old, they were starting to become large and scary monsters. At 2 hours plus, it gets harder and harder to find the time to not only record, but also edit and get them ready for release. On top of that, we felt that every 2 weeks was not as fun for you guys. Ideally, weekly content is better.
So as a result, we decided to shorten the podcast down to 1 hour, and attempt to release it for you guys each and every week. This is much more manageable, and I think the product will be much better for it. It forces us to move from topic to topic, and doesn’t allow us to get too bogged down in one particular discussion.
In honor of this new format, and the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in theaters, I’ve titled this week’s edition “Reducto”. In it, you’ll find discussion about Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Fable III, a new game from Nick where we grade industry events (such as Diablo III heading to consoles) and a bit more. What stinks is there won’t actually be a follow-up next week because of the holidays, but you can expect one the week after.
The year is 2001. On a rainy October day, I run from the parking lot into the dorm, covering my head with a Best Buy shopping bag as I try to avoid getting swallowed up by the weather. After a not-so-quick elevator trip, I’m in my dorm room, tearing into the packaging of a Playstation 2 game. I curse once or twice as I pull at those little security labels, the ones that cling to your fingers like plastic mosquitoes and refuse to let go.
As the game spins to life, I am in a city. Just like the world beyond my windows, the world in the looking glass of my TV is consumed by rain. Soon enough, I am pulling motorists out of their vehicles with ease. I’m causing mayhem. I can go anywhere I want. I learn fairly quickly that this world has a name: Liberty City. The game I’m playing is Grand Theft Auto 3, and this is the first time I have ever seen it in motion. The experience waiting for me catches me completely off guard.
The Konami Code. The Blood Code. Debug mode in Sonic 2. Great relics of my youth, tall bastions of gaming greatness. These are a few of my favorite things.
Or at least they were, back when cheat codes were still the cool thing to do. Growing up, finding ridiculous cheats was like taking the shackles off of a game, making it some feral beast that could do what it willed. Why, you could see Lara Croft’s pixel jubblies. Or spawn a tank in GTA III. Or become completely unstoppable and play Doom on Nightmare with God Mode turned on (my personal favorite).
Anyway, seeing the news that Goldeneye 007 has a big head mode stirred up whatever center of my brain produces nostalgia. Seriously, whatever happened to cheat codes? Are they still a part of games and I’m just missing them, or what?
What are some of your favorite cheat codes in video games?
Last night, I fired up Halo: Reach for the first time in several weeks. I think it was something of a coping mechanism, since I know I’m going to be holding out on Call of Duty: Black Ops until around Christmas. It was pretty nuts to see everyone on my friends list in the new CoD, and meanwhile I was playing the classic space marine scenario.
The funny thing is, I had a lot more fun than I expected to, even though I’m itching for Black Ops more than I can say. One of the things I’ve always loved about Halo is the ability to have these isolated little firefights, epic stand-offs between you and one other player that feels separated from the rest of the match. The only reason this is possible is because of the way the game’s health system works. I remember Goldeneye playing much the same way back in the old days.
It seems that as time goes on, more shooters go in a different direction. Like Counter-Strike, the health in CoD pretty much works on the “one shot, one kill” method, which is a big part of what makes it so addictive I think. The ability to respawn and immediately jump back into the fray and rack up more kills has a lot of appeal to it, for a totally different reason than a shooter like Gears of War or Halo.
Thinking about these two styles of play, I thought I’d make a poll to see what you guys think. Got a preference?
Call of Duty is something of a phenomenon, a strange black hole that gamers throw their money into year after year. No matter how tired we get of the previous entry, there’s something that keeps us coming back to the franchise even when we swear that we’re done. It used to be the tight, focused single player mode, but that’s given way to the addictive multiplayer component. Now that Modern Warfare 2 has bruised our fragile psyche in that respect, it’s fallen to the underdog, Treyarch Studios, to breath life back into the franchise.
Even though Treyarch is pegged as the B-team for Call of Duty, churning out sequels in the off years, they’ve never really had a chance to strike out on their own. Seemingly forced to make games based on World War 2 after their audience had moved on, every Call of Duty that didn’t have the Modern Warfare moniker was almost destined to fail. Something different happened this time, though, and this new Call of Duty is set on the sidelines, focusing on the deadly Black Ops special forces soldiers who went behind enemy lines and did the dirty deeds no one would know about. With a new era and a new focus, does Call of Duty: Black Ops deliver the goods?
It seems like everything’s been Call of Duty around these parts lately, no? Considering it’s probably going to end up as the year’s largest release, I guess you can’t really blame us too much. If you don’t believe me, check out the reports that Black Ops moved 5.6 million copies and defeated Modern Warfare 2 in day one sales. Yeah, it surprised me, too.
Anyway, the franchise seems to just build on itself every year, no matter who’s in charge. Eventually though, it stands to reason that at some point, people will get tired of the same formula. There are only so many time periods to exploit, after all. Which is why it’s interesting to hear rumors that Call of Duty’s next entry, developed by Sledgehammer Games, will take place in the future. From Gamasutra:
That unit hasn’t talked specifically about what it’s doing with the franchise. But industry sources say Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty will be set in the future and feature, for lack of a better term, space Marines, a very big step for a franchise that has historically based itself on realism.
Could this be the Call of Duty game that is due out next year in 2011? What about the title that the leftovers of Infinity Ward are still working on? Only time will tell, I guess.
What do you guys think about these rumors? Would Call of Duty: Halo be a good direction for the series to go?
Remember in the first Batman movie when Joker is watching Batman do his superhero thing, and Jack Nicholson famously quipped, “Where does he get all those wonderful toys?” I kind of feel like that every time I read interviews with Valve, who are just so good at what they do that it astounds me. Whether you like their games or not, you have to admit that they’re at the very least smart, and good at talking about games.
To me, the most respectable thing about Valve is the drive to always one up themselves, and to continue delivering experiences that will give the most value to their customer base and build up community around games. Take their recent interview with Game Developer Magazine, where project manager Erik Johnson talked primarily about Portal 2 and what it means to create a sequel for a much anticipated title.
Reading over the article, it seems like Valve really understands what made the first Portal click so well for such a huge audience. Check out some awesome quotes after the jump.
Only in this fast-paced, Internet-savvy world in which we live could a series that is only 7 years old warrant a retrospective, but in all honesty, it’s probably a good thing that GamePro has created one. Personally, I didn’t pay attention to Call of Duty until the first Modern Warfare, mainly because I had been a Medal of Honor fan and after I soured on that franchise, I wasn’t looking to get into another World War II FPS. But after borrowing Call of Duty 4 from a friend, it only took an hour of multiplayer and I was hooked. It also helped that I tried the game out on a Double Experience Point Weekend.
After that, I rented World At War and was pleasantly surprised and I own and still play Modern Warfare 2, although I know many of you are still upset with that one. Now I am looking forward to playing Black Ops when I get it for Christmas. So that’s my personal Call of Duty dossier. What about yours? After reading the retrospective, I realize I missed out on quite a bit. When did you enter the series? What was your favorite entry? Answer now, that’s an order!
Call of Duty: Black Ops is finally out my friends, and it’s getting good reviews across the board. From what I’ve seen, the praise is ranging from “best Call of Duty yet” to “It’s OK, but it’s Treyarch so it’s better than I expected”. Honestly, I think by this point that Treyarch have proven themselves to be a competent studio. Sure, Call of Duty 3 was a little rough, but for a franchise off-team, they’ve managed to turn things around pretty significantly (I mean, they’re no Obsidian).
In honor of this monumental release, I thought I’d get a little roll call going. Who has Black Ops, and what do you think of it? Have you tried the campaign, multiplayer or zombie mode? What do you think of all the new additions that Treyarch has made, and what about the omissions? I was a little disappointed to hear that Spec Ops mode isn’t making a return. Lastly, what platform are you gaming on? Personally, I’m going PC, but I’m tempted to pick up a 360 copy just for the achievements. I know, I know, I’m terrible. Alright, hit me!
If you listen to me at all in the many avenues for my ranting and raving, you know that “fanmade” anything is one of the least favorite words in my dictionary. I’m a firm believer that it’s more valuable for people to spend their time making their own creations rather than piggybacking on the creations of others. However, I accept that in these modern Intertubes, there’s just a culture that doesn’t always appreciate that.
Anyway, I’m about to be a bit of a hypocrite, because I think this fanmade Half-Life 3 test footage is kind of neat. It features Gordon Freeman doing some animations we haven’t seen him do before, and seems to take a bit of inspiration from the big scripted events of some more recent FPS games like Call of Duty. Obviously, nothing quite compares to the day that we finally see something out of Valve regarding Half-Life 3 or (Episode 3 or whatever they end up calling it), but a boy can dream, yes?
Alright fanboys, it’s time to polish off your sticks. I know that we all just love to argue until we’re blue in the face about the lists that other game sites come up with, so I thought I’d bring a new one to your screaming attention.
You see, ScrewAttack just recently released a video that goes through what it considers to be the top 10 online multiplayer console games. They cover everything from Call of Duty to Phantasy Star Online, and manage to have a few other surprises on there as well. One only imagines how much different this would have looked if they had included PC titles on here as well. In fact, I think only a couple of these titles would have made the cut if they opened up the criteria in such a fashion.
So what do you guys think of the list? What other games would you include on there if PC games were added? Go!
Whenever we’re feeling magnanimous or simply not lazy, we like to try and keep you guys posted about gaming deals that can help you save a buck or two. Especially during the fall downpour, it’s nice to be able to get as many games for as little money as possible.
Right now, GameStop has a few special trade-in offers towards upcoming titles Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (November 16) and Call of Duty: Black Ops (November 9). They also have some ongoing deals that extend to Kinect as well as Donkey Kong Country Returns. Check them out, unless your name is Scrooge McDuck and have money spraying from your ears and have no need of these kinds of things. In which case, I hate you. Not really.