Pixel Count: How Do You Like Your Shooter Campaigns?

Welcome back to “Pixel Count Tuesday”!

Having just wrapped up Crysis 3, I’ve been thinking about the way shooters are leaning these days in terms of how their campaigns are structured. Very few games walk the line the that Crysis 3 does by having its levels be a blend of openness and linearity; most of the time, games are just corridor shooters like Call of Duty or open-world type affairs like Far Cry 3.

While it does have a lot to do with the mechanics (Call of Duty would never work as a semi-open shooter in its current form), it also boils down to personal taste. Some people can’t stand linear games, while other get turned off by games that are too broad. What about you guys? What kind of shooter floats your boat?

What kind of shooter campaign do you prefer?

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Skyrim Dawnguard DLC and Black Ops 2 Revealed Updated

call of duty black ops 2 screenshot

These two bits of news are kind of small so I’m smushing them together to get a decent sized post out of them. Hope you don’t mind.

In news that will surprise no one, Activision has announced the existance of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which will finally make the long rumored jump TO THE WORLD OF TOMORROW. More like 10-15 years down the line, but still. Yes, this Call of Duty will take place in the future, as the second Cold War makes its way to Los Angeles. There’s a trailer tonight airing during an NBA game but the leaked screens show tiny quadrotor remote control helicopters and a trooper in a full-face helmet with a big old gun (looking very Battlefield 2142 to me). Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will apparently be out November 13. The trailer is out now:

Continue reading Skyrim Dawnguard DLC and Black Ops 2 Revealed Updated

Poll: Best or Worst Generation of Games?

Let’s face it: this generation has been one of a kind. Some of the best quality games we have ever seen. And some of the worst service and disasters we have ever seen. As consoles have become more complex, there is a lot more room for errors and I don’t think any opportunities for screw-ups have been missed. But…the games, man! They are so good! But are they enough to overcome the PSN Hack, the Red Ring of Death, the terrible DLC debacles, the DRM nightmares, constant patches due to broken games on release day and the countless other crap we suddenly have to deal with now?

I mean, Uncharted, Gears of War, Bioshock, Call of Duty, Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Portal and the Arkham series, just to name a few, are all amazing new franchises that stand with some of the best all time. But is the high quality of the product enough to call this the best generation? Or is the terrible state of things for us consumers too much for these stellar games to overcome? Hit the poll and then hit the comments!

Is this the best or worst generation of video games?

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The Case Against Annualization

modern warfare 3As the end of this generation draws near we’re seeing an increase in the amount of franchises that are taking a stab at faster release cycles. Call of Duty has been pulling this trick for a while but even titles with a bigger scope like Assassin’s Creed and Dead Rising are trying to give us a new game every year.

The term “new game” may be a bit of a stretch because in the rush to meet the deadlines a lot of these titles are getting flak for not adding enough to previous iterations. While waiting years for a game may be painful, is it preferable to basically buying what equates to an expansion pack? Continue reading The Case Against Annualization

GamerSushi Asks: Call of Duty and Videogame Vampires?

Game Vampires

While reading Game Informer issue 220, I ran across a section called “Feedback.” In here they list responses from readers and one in particular caught my eye. The response was entitled “Call of Duty: Time Vampire.” What follows is the entry and Game Informer’s response.

“This letter is coming from a previously avid Call of Duty online player. Recently, I’ve begun to actually think about what I’m wasting all these hours of my life on. I decided to pop back in my copy of CoD: WaW, and after getting shot up quite a bit, I quit in frustration. Then I moved back into my comfort zone with my usual gaming selection: Black Ops. I played for a little while and suffered more than my share of frustrating deaths. Then I rage quit and walked outside, thinking about what I had just endured. I asked myself, “Aren’t video games supposed to be fun? Why am I wasting hours upon hours of my life on such a meaningless and even disturbing experience? Why does my kill/death ratio even matter?” I then stepped back and realized that Call of Duty is just a massive waste of time. I went into the barracks option and looked at the amount of time played. It read 10 days, 18 hours, and 34 minuets. Call of Duty, you were like a leech, sucking away at me and my time. I’m glad to be rid of you.”

Matt Bernsdorf
via email

Then GI responded with this:

“So we’re guessing you don’t plan on subscribing to Activision’s new monthly Call of Duty: Elite service?”

So the article hit me in a way that may surprise some people. I felt like this letter was totally worthless, as was the response from GI. I talked about it with my girlfriend and she agreed that the article seemed pointless. Games within themselves are just that, ways to waste time. They are for entertainment, like a movie or a book. They are for you to spend your free time and have fun, two things that the author seems to be re-thinking.

I have spent 8 days 2 hours and 31 minuets playing Black Ops alone. I have had horrible games and been frustrated, but I never consider it an absolute waste of time. I play with my friends and I have fun. To me it seems the author of the letter is not having fun, which leads him to believe that said games are a waste of his time. What I find interesting is that this can be taken to more than just the Call of Duty series and FPS games. I guess MMOs and RPGs are all wastes of time, too. What’s the point? Why should I go for the best weapon or armor? Why should I level up?

I find that it defeats the whole purpose of gaming all together. Perhaps he has grown out of videogames, but I feel he is just being a bad sport. So what do you guys think? Is Call of Duty a total waste of time? Are videogames in general worthless vampires that suck away at us? Give me your thoughts!

Source – GameInformer

The Curse of Annoying Online Teammates

Black Ops

We’ve posted a lot in the past about online multiplayer. Everything from awesome moments of pwnage to griefers to foul-mouth bigots and the racists who love them. But as I was playing Call of Duty: Black Ops on Sunday with my brother, something new occurred to me to ask the wise veterans of the GamerSushi community (that’s you guys and gals).

Team Deathmatch can only take you so far. Sometimes, the urge to work together, to be a part of something greater than yourself rises from somewhere deep inside you and you find yourself playing objective games…with strangers…online. You can probably see where this is going already, but I saw some of the dumbest things of all time on Sunday.

During a game of Domination, people running past enemy flags, instead of stopping and capturing them. Not an enemy in sight and they can’t be bothered because apparently they still think they are playing team deathmatch. Then, during Search and Destroy, you get people who defuse or plant the bomb while standing up, in plain sight. No crouching or going prone, or hiding behind the box to maybe buy yourself a few more seconds of precious time. Just morons.

And the icing on the cake for me was when you die and you can watch your teammates play while you wait for the round to end. You get people camping and sitting still when time is running out, practically forfeiting the round. Also, I guess some people had ADHD, because if there is even one moment where they can’t shoot someone, they switch weapons, just to have something to do. Switch back and forth and back and forth and oh look, an enemy just shot you in the face while you were playing with yourself.

Whew. Sorry. I had to get all that out. So those are my complaints. What are some of your biggest annoyances from teammates while playing online? This is a safe zone: no one will hurt you here. GO!

Player Investment in Multiplayer: A Necessary Evil?

gears of war 3 beta unlocks

The Gears of War 3 beta is coming out next Tuesday, and I get to partake in it thanks to my holding onto the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm. As I was checking out the Gears of War 3 Beta Featurette that Eddy posted a few days ago, I noticed that Epic Games has taken a cue from their fellow developers and added a bit of player customization into the game, namely the ability to paint your weapons with a variety of colors (and a few other treats as well, I’m sure).

In an age where the game trade in business cleans up and publishers are trying to get people to hang onto their games, player investment in multiplayer has become a predictable addition to any big budget title. While Battlefield 2 was the first game I can think of that pioneered this (and I’m holding to that), Call of Duty 4 brought this out in a huge way. Even Halo has had a bit of that with the different armor pieces in Halo 3, and went whole hog with it in Reach.
Continue reading Player Investment in Multiplayer: A Necessary Evil?