Bread and circuses: Black Ops 2 is just another shooter

Thursday, 3 May 2012 08:07 GMT By Brenna Hillier

A lot of people are extremely excited about Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Brenna Hillier? Not so much.

I still don’t give a shit about it. Call of Duty is the Da Vinci Code of games: entertaining but basically stupid, and the only association a good 90% of its consumer base has with the medium.

You know who’s excited for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? Kim Kardashian, a woman famous for being famous. You know who else? The barely literate Facebook acquaintances who used to play sport at my high school, and a woman I met down the pub the other night who told me I’d probably be attractive if I plucked off my eyebrows and drew them on with pencil.

Call of Duty has crossed the boundary from bestselling game to mainstream cultural force; a thing which brings in more bacon than movies and Harry Potter; something everyone’s heard of even if they don’t know their consoles from kangaroos.

I still don’t give a shit about it. Call of Duty is the Da Vinci Code of games: pretty entertaining but basically stupid, and the only association a good 90% of its consumer base has with the medium.

I’m not very good at shooters, and I’m not hugely into multiplayer, so naturally I’m never going to be overly moved by what Call of Duty brings to the table, no matter how spectacularly and skilfully it does it. But even with that in mind, I really had hoped that this time Treyarch was going to do something sufficiently different and tempt me into the biggest selling franchise in our industry.

After all, Black Ops surprised me with how different it felt; the Cold War environments and conflicts seemed like a breath of fresh air. The future setting of Black Ops 2, on the other hand, comes at a really bad time. It’s not sufficiently removed from Modern Warfare 3′s “near future” to look startlingly different, and coming right as Ghost Recon: Future Soldier goes into overdrive makes it look played out.

Treyarch’s second stab at Black Ops. Brenna
doesn’t like it.

That’s an accident of timing and fashion, and I should probably get over it, but nothing else I’ve heard moves me, either. The promise of “non-linear campaign moments” seems restricted to recurring multiplayer maps which have minimal impact on the game. Access to gadgets and future tech isn’t a promise to move outside of the “run from the start to the end and shoot” pattern the last three Call of Duty games have espoused.

Call of Duty isn’t a sports game; it doesn’t have the lure of roster updates to push me into yearly iterations. So where’s the difference? What is it about Black Ops 2 that’s supposed to make it supplant its precursor and Modern Warfare 3 in my life?

Maybe we’ll get an answer to that over the next few months, but right now it really looks like the answer is “nothing.” Just as Hollywood expects us to flock to another big dumb action movie and publishing houses expect us to read the latest big dumb spy thrillers, the industry expects me to line up for another big dumb shooter, forking over my dollars for the same thing over and over again because the explosions are a different colour this time around.

Yeah. No. I think I’ll probably have plenty else to keep me occupied come November.


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  1. The_Red

    Kim Kardashian part really broke my heart :)
    I really don’t care about another shooter (Specially a military shooter) but the B-movie madness of first Black Ops was really sweet and something unlike any other COD or even most modern shooters. I wasn’t an OBVIOUS B-movie like House of the Dead Overkill but one crazy conspiracy theory actioner with many unique moments.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Erthazus

    I can’t wait for Call Of Duty Black Ops II to come out!!!! The graphics look crazy! (c) KK

    Yeah, the graphics look gorgeous… From 2003-2005 and it’s sad actually. You can recycle the same thing with each generation of consoles. That’s just so sad.

    P.S. Some troll said to her “Bitch you dont even play xbox ”

    :D ahahaha

    #2 3 years ago
  3. TheWulf

    Well said, to be honest.

    The thing is is that both of us are underserved demographics, Brenna. There are less games I’m interested in now because they’re more safe than ever. Just the safe shooter, and little else. When even XCOM has apparently fallen prey to becoming ‘just another shooter,’ then something is wrong.

    Let me highlight a startling thing – Mass Effect seems unpopular. It isn’t. It’s often not what the majority wants, but the thing is is that due to the amount of money put into it, it has to capture everyone as an audience. I’ve pointed out before how terrible a cancer the concept of the ur-game or ur-film is. But that’s what’s befallen Mass Effect and the likes, it’s a damned shame.

    The thing is is that if with Mass Effect they’d put less money into it, not gone so insane with the graphics, and marketed it more at a demographic that likes artsy, idealistic space operas, then it would have done great. But with a greedy publisher at the helm, they push for every IP to be that ur-game. And when something goes bad, it looks bad for the developer, but it really shouldn’t. The fault is squarely with the publisher, their marketing department, and their economists who’re too bloody dumb to realise that this ur-game nonsense just…


    It really doesn’t. It might have used to, but only when people were foolish enough to buy into it, but with each year that passes, less and less are buying into it. As I’ve said before – variety is the spice of life. There’s only so much of the same thing even the most genuinely mediocre and average person can take before they snap and decide they’ve had enough.

    There was nothing significantly different, for example, between any of the Call of Duty games, really. They were all very, very samey. A strong sense of verisimilitude there.

    And again, you have these unserved demographics. There are games which, if people considered making them, I would throw ridiculous amounts of money at. The way I see it is this: Would I pay $60 for a mainstream game that’s designed as an ur-game that does nothing for me? I often hope that a game will at least have some emotional and intellectual punch. Just explosions and sexual objectification… well, doesn’t do it for me. That never clicked.

    So, I could spend $60 on that. Or two games like that would cost me $120. But on the other hand, would I pay $100 for a game that’s targeted directly at me as something I really want? Yes. This is where the economy is seven sorts of fucked up. The gauges for what people want, and their methods for understanding what people want, how big those groups are, the level of funding they should put into which groups, and how to target these properly at particular groups is… all wrong.

    It’s like television – which is as broken as gaming at the moment.

    SyFy uses ratings to measure interest, that’s bollocks. And what happened with that? SyFy DROPPED Stargate Universe, DROPPED Caprica, and now… now they’re a channel about wrestling. A wrestling channel names SyFy. This is because ratings…

    And this makes me want to head-to-desk.


    RATINGS. …why…

    I mean, if you think about it, most of the people who’d watch something like SGU are tech savvy. They’re likely students, or computer owners. But are they looking at iTunes sales of episodes? Are they looking at people watching it on their online channels? Are they looking at any of their DVD box sales? No. They’re looking at ratings.

    Sorry, segue rant over.

    But the point is is that it’s all wrong. The film industry has started to figure this out, but the games industry, and likewise the cable companies are just floundering and still trying to understand what I’ve always understood.

    Which is:

    1. You need to understand your audience.

    2. If you understand your audience, then you then know the means to monitor how popular something really is.

    3. If you can do that, you know how much money to put into something.

    4. You can use this knowledge to target further things at that demographic.

    So an indie company, for example, may start out with a small game and would then move on to increasingly more ambitious things as they test the waters to see how receptive people are for that sort of thing. One example of this are Frictional Games, who started off with an episodic series, moved onto one full game, and are now doing another.

    But the big publishers are still trying to make these bloody ur-games.

    I think we’re at a precipice, really. It’s only a matter of time before something breaks.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. tatsujin


    #4 3 years ago
  5. Erthazus

    “Let me highlight a startling thing – Mass Effect seems unpopular.”

    Uh-uh. Mass Effect is a mainstream shooter with bad and short dialogs and it is not that big a difference compared to Call Of Duty. Sorry.

    Not the strongest example and sales for the RPG/shooter genre are good.

    #5 3 years ago
  6. TheWulf


    Why should everyone have rainbows bursting out of their arse about everything? Honesty is an undervalued quantity on the Internet, to be honest, and I’d rather have someone be honest about how shallow and insipid some parts of the mainstream have become than… you know, becoming equally shallow by openly supporting it.

    Not everyone has to agree that something is going to be the greatest thing ever just because it’s a brand name. It reminds me of those people who only drink a certain pop/soda just because it has a certain brand attached to it, they drink that and never even try anything else, and that’s just amazingly sad.

    I mean, I think of all the people who spent so much money on that and have never tried something like To the Moon, Gemini Rue, and so on, or all the people who’re now hating on Mass Effect just because it did something out of the ordinary that wasn’t tits and explosions… and yeah, I’m a little bitter about it too.

    It’s just another bloody shooter, and one that’ll likely sell more than it deserves. Not everyone has to be happy about this. In fact, I think this proves that the number of people who’re unhappy about it is growing.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. TheWulf


    Yes, because shooters have character building and characters you care about, like Garrus, Tali, Legion and so on.

    They’re nothing alike. Do try again, because that was so much fail that you just made the fail whale blush.

    If you can point out one shooter that has this kind of emotional strength, then I might be inclined to believe you.

    Shooters are dumb fun, they do not make you think or feel.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Erthazus

    “Yes, because shooters have character building and characters you care about, like Garrus, Tali, Legion and so on.”

    I don’t care for each character you just said because first of all they are pretty much nothing special to me. Characters have a very good personality, that’s for sure, but nothing special.

    I do care about characters in FPS games such as Half-Life 1-2, Bioshock for example. I do care about characters in my Witcher 1-2.

    But Mass Effect is a great example of how you do a game that can please “everyone” with cool marketing campaign such as when EA put a copy of the game at Space or whatever, Holywood voice actors and simplified RPG/Shooter mechanics with simple dialog mechanic.

    Mass Effect is Call Of Duty in RPG genre. I’m not saying that it is bad, but nothing special.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. KAP

    Brenna I don’t agree with you most of the time but this time IM FUCKING WITH YOU, such a good read.
    All these gamers are quick to call many titles repetitive except the ones they love, COD being one of them.
    Next year it’ll be the exactly the same “oooooo look you can battle on the moon, how is that not different huh?”
    We’re on our 8th Call Of Duty title…. 8th.. and people are still super excited is mind boggling?!

    Just proof that 90% of gamers are brain washed idiots.
    And anyone that don’t agree well, least we know what you got in your disc tray right?

    Brenna: “Yeah. No. I think I’ll probably have plenty else to keep me occupied come November.”

    KAP: “Couldn’t of said it better”

    #9 3 years ago
  10. TheWulf


    “I don’t care for each character you just said because first of all they are pretty much nothing special to me. Characters have a very good personality, that’s for sure, but nothing special.”

    Why do they need to be special? Not everyone needs to be Superman. But that’s another problem with entertainment if you ask me… it plays up to macho male power fantasies far, far too much.

    Yes, they’re just average people – average people who’re aliens, yes. But that also makes them far more interesting and intellectually compelling to me. (Because real people ARE flawed.) They can’t move mountains, they can’t punch through buildings, they aren’t perfect paragons of moral goodness like HL2′s Alyx, but they have believable motivations, and I came to care about them.

    “I do care about characters in FPS games such as Half-Life 1-2, Bioshock for example.”

    Explain what they did for you.

    I already gave you a link. In that one, short scene, gobbledegook words gained more meaning to me than any of the words I’d heard spoken in English that day.

    Keelah Se’lai.

    To give yourself, your entire being, your mind, body, and if you believe in such a thing, your very soul to allow the birth of a new race. That’s powerful, poignant stuff. And if that’s unable to move you, then… I don’t know what to say.

    But if that doesn’t get anything out of you, then Legion is more human than you are, that’s for sure.

    “But Mass Effect is a great example of how you do a game that can please “everyone” with cool marketing campaign such as when EA put a copy of the game at Space or whatever, Holywood voice actors and simplified RPG/Shooter mechanics with simple dialog mechanic.”

    Except it didn’t. In fact, you’re completely missing the point, which just shows that you don’t even know what the argument is. I don’t even know why I’m trying to argue with you, beyond trying to illuminate you.

    Mass Effect was never designed to be an ur-game, it wasn’t super popular in the way Call of Duty was, it never was, and 3 less than any of them. But the thing is is that funding was pumped into it, so yes, it had great visuals, top tier voice acting, and so on. But that also riddled it with impossible explanations.

    That EA wanted to market it as an ur-game didn’t actually make it one, that EA wanted to pour all this funding into it didn’t change what Bioware was trying to do with it. EA wanted an ur-game, but Bioware wanted to do their own thing, so it wasn’t the huge success that EA was hoping for. This is what I’m trying to explain to you.

    This is why the notion of the ur-game is a cancer.

    “Mass Effect is Call Of Duty in RPG genre.”

    No, it’s not. Because as I’ve already explained to you – Call of Duty has no intrinsic artistic, intellectual, or emotional value. Whereas Mass Effect has ALL of these things. This is what you fail to understand.

    The ending WAS very artistic, it was an artistic sentiment. This is what many people failed to understand. And those who did understand it still didn’t really grasp what they were attempting to do. One sentiment I’ve heard one too many times is that “yes, the ending is very artistic, but that doesn’t belong in a videogame.”

    That… doesn’t… belong… in a videogame.

    That’s the ur-game cancer, right there. People believe that these ur-games can’t be anything other than dumb fun. The publishers believe it, too. This is why they keep trying to push to remove emotional, intellectual, and artistic worth from big name developers.

    Understand yet?

    “I’m not saying that it is bad, but nothing special.”

    It’s special, but you don’t understand why because you’re part of the ur-game problem. I’m kind of hoping that one day you won’t be… but I think that that might be like wishing for the moon.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Ali Hayas

    Let me start by saying that I don’t give a damn about how a celebrity thinks about a game, last thing I want to do in my life is to be a guy who stalks those people.

    You have made some valid points, CoD isn’t the game you would show the non gamers to prove that games can be smart and demanding. With a pretty linear structure that is accelerated even more by the action sequences, the game doesn’t really need you to think about nothing more than how / When to reload… Heck 5 years old brother finished CoD4/6/7 before me (he gets scared by 5 for some reasons) and he doesn’t understand a single English word other than the basics of any games menus. I on the other hand, with 15+ years gaming, I see myself stuck in games like Sherlock Holmes Adventure than are not linear and are really demanding for time and efforts to solve.

    What makes CoD stans out at the beginning, was the declining qualit of MoH ( look around those times, we had a very diversed FPS genre games), the game generated a well rounded success that mainly involved hard core gamers but the true leap forward was with MW1, which was able to attract the casual gamers and with them the eyes of the media providing every lasting chance for the words to be spread, CoD turned out becoming he game every player needs, whether he is casual/hard core, whether he plays online or offline. You have to admit, MW1 was so flashy, filled with action sequences and played in a very linear way, but ain’t that what the casual gamers need. Not every console owner has got the time to invest into playing games that are hard, demand such a high learning curve. So for those who can’t really afford the time, do the efforts, the game that features epicness and satisfying flashy sequences was their cure for their daily casual gaming.

    If you asked a Final Fantasy fan about a unknown character in the past, he would give you the answer, ask a CoD’s fan about the vents. That took place in he last game, he won’t remember.

    It didn’t stop there, Activision started to use the numbers, afterall, numbers don’t lie and the legend of CoD having the largest online playing community spread with every CoD breaking new records. This way, a large portion of gamers who are convinced that the series ain’t evolving, kept buying them for the simple fact, that gamers are moving on to the next game.

    What would stop the train ? Obviously not a millitary shooter, but a game the needs a casual learning curve, have it be an FPS or even a fighter ( Do yo remember when Tekken used to sell very well).

    Sorry. For the long post but I had to say that. :/

    #11 3 years ago
  12. TheWulf


    “If you asked a Final Fantasy fan about a unknown character in the past, he would give you the answer, ask a CoD’s fan about the events. That took place in he last game, he won’t remember.”


    Why must you be so much more succinct than I am?

    You know a game has worth if it has left a memorable impact on you. Whether that impact was emotional, intellectual, or artistic in nature. Whatever the case – if it left an impact then it had worth. Call of Duty and shooters like it completely lack that impact. Because there’s no passion there, the game has no soul.

    This is because the moment you try to give something a life of its own, that essence of soul, you immediately put the project in danger. Make the game about anything other than explosions and tits and you’re in danger of offending someone’s sensibilities. For example – put a gay character in your game and you chance pissing off your homophobic customers.

    But the more risks a game takes, the more of an impact it has, the more memorable it becomes. The notion of the ur-game is one where–as you’ve so eloquently explained–the game has no impact because it’s that safe that it doesn’t even try to be its own thing. It’s a husk. It might be a fun to play husk, but it has no sense of individuality.

    It has nothing there that says “I am me.”

    In my opinion, a good game is almost self aware – it carries the personality and views of its writers and designers with it. It doesn’t worry about risks, because they believe in what they’re doing. And that’s where the passion comes from, and you feel it. This is why a Final Fantasy fan can remember past characters, because those games had impact, but a Call of Duty fan couldn’t.

    Exactly that, yes.

    The thing with not making an ur-game is that you run the risk of people actually not liking it. (See Mass Effect 3 and how the lead writer there felt about the public reaction, which I completely agree with.) Some will like it and some won’t. But the ur-game tries to strip out ALL semblance of personality and depth in order to be compatible with the widest group of people. And thus it has no impact.

    I mean, there are games I might not like, but at least they’re memorable. But Call of Duty doesn’t even leave an impact. It’s eminently forgettable in all of its forms due to its ur-game nature. Once you’ve seen one man with a gun making explosions, you’ve seen them all. Frankly, I think that the combat is the least fun part of Mass Effect, for example. More fun is exploring Sci-Fi environments and talking with some truly magnificently written characters.

    The ur-game is never offensive, because it has no personality to be offensive with. Instead it has the crime of just being mind-rottingly dull and boring, being completely devoid of any kind of character, of any identity of its own. And that’s what I want to see go away.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Erthazus


    “The ending WAS very artistic, it was an artistic sentiment. This is what many people failed to understand. ”

    the ending was artistic??? Give me a break. Art is a subjective thing and btw i don’t hate the ending, i actually liked it, but saying things like it was Art. Bullshit.

    “Why do they need to be special? Not everyone needs to be Superman. But that’s another problem with entertainment if you ask me… it plays up to macho male power fantasies far, far too much.”

    No one asks them to be something like Superman, but all the characters in ME series are pretty much a cliche Sci-fi soap opera characters from old stuff that was before it.

    “Explain what they did for you.”

    These characters from Bioshock or Half-Life did nothing for me, but they all felt very fresh and natural to me. It was a very interesting adventure with these characters.

    “Mass Effect was never designed to be an ur-game”

    Ur what? Stop saying stuff like you are something special.
    Mass Effect was a simple shooter with RPG elements.

    Baldurs Gate 2 on the other hand (from Bioware) is a masterpiece in RPG genre, while Mass Effect is nowhere near that masterpiece. That is the most dumbest example ever.

    Hello! Mechanics are mediocre in Mass Effect. Do you understand that or not?

    Mechanics and that is important for RPG genre. Mechanics is the most important part of any videogame. Game design is what makes a game art.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. Freek

    I’m not that into CoD either but this one does seem to be trying verry hard.
    GiantBomb had a mini podcast about Black Ops 2 and they talked about what Treyarch had shown off to the press.
    The story is branching this time round, with different endings and characters that will live or die based on what you decide during the missions.
    And that actually does sound intersting, rather then “minimal impact”. They’ve also foccussed their new tech on facial animations, to try and tell a more interesting story rather then “everything blows up on screen-MW3″.

    If you’re going to take a huge shit on something, atleast be proffesional enough to know what you are talking about.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Ali Hayas

    @TheWulf :

    That’s why I loved CoD because of BO/Treyarch. Their games leave some mpact on me even if little. The characters in TreyArch’s games aren’t as developed as FF or BioShock, but the team knows how to just let them stick in my mind. That’s why you saw people going mad when they saw Woods and I have read a lot of comments asking about Mason, Weaver and Hudson and even Reznov as they expect some events to happen in the past within BO2′s story.

    I honestly remember nothing of MW2, so little in MW3 and nothing in MW1. I don’t care about the characters created by Infinity Ward and their cheesy scripts.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. Jonabob87

    The fact that you insinuate that Treyarch aren’t doing anything new with the franchise either means that you’ve never played the ones before it or you’ve forgotten to read up on any of the details of Black Ops 2.

    I’m not sure where you’ve gotten most of this to be honest. The non-linear gameplay smacks of completing missions on multiplayer maps? What? How exactly do you come to that conclusion? Quite an assumption considering the only detail given has been that the missions will be non-linear (all of them) which actually hints at the opposite being true to what you’ve said here.

    “Access to gadgets and future tech isn’t a promise to move outside of the “run from the start to the end and shoot” pattern the last three Call of Duty games have espoused.”

    No, because gadgets and future tech aren’t relevant to mission design, and the non-linearity of the missions alleviate that pattern instead.

    Go and do some reading about a game before you write attention seeking articles like this. It’s all fine and well not being interested in Black Ops 2, it’s another thing to write twaddle like this.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. OrbitMonkey

    Lovely words of wisdom there from a someone who admits to not really getting shooters… What really gives this little diatribe that ring of truth, is the fact the author still wets her knickers over the latest Assassins Creed and like totally loved that world changing RPG, skyrim…


    That being said. As someone who actually has spent hundreds of hours playing CoD… I’m disappointed they’ve gone near future…. Not really looking forward to shooting lotsa robots and have to admit… I’m a little concerned here :|

    #17 3 years ago
  18. Fin

    Will Black Ops 2 be fun? Ya.


    #18 3 years ago
  19. Gadzooks!

    Oh dear, another deliberately provocative opinion piece?

    VG247, your once great news site is slowly turning tabloid press. Stick to facts and let the forumites sling shit around.

    #19 3 years ago

    ^^ Agreed.


    the industry expects me to line up for another big dumb shooter, forking over my dollars for the same thing over and over again because the explosions are a different colour this time around.

    The industry doesn’t expect you to do anything. Activision/Treyarch don’t represent the industry and never could.

    Why don’t you write a piece on why the people who buy Wii Sports games are all stupid compared to you, as well?

    It’s a sign of insecurity from you that you feel the need to justify your non-participation in playing a video game.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. PEYJ

    I agree with you Brenna, and I love the public distance you make to a big player on the market. As for the opinion pieces – keep them coming. Gaming sites that only do news and nothing else are boring and probably doomed. A large one needs to embrace several aspects of writing and the industry.

    Good job.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Da Man

    Excellent point, #20 Ghz. As usual.

    #22 3 years ago


    #23 3 years ago
  24. Deacon

    I’m with Brenna here. This is all just healthy discussion. The articles that excitedly gush over the next iteration will be hated on, just as an article effectively saying ‘so what’ will.

    I’m with #21. Don’t see a problem breaking up the news with a few opinions pieces – however provocative some of you may find them.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. viralshag

    It seems fine for people to get excited over every Mario game that comes out, why not let people just enjoy their COD?

    I pretty much hate Mario/Nintendo games and I couldn’t give a shit about what they do for players or the industry but I don’t hold it against someone for playing them.

    They’re not spending your money to buy COD, so why not just leave them to enjoy their game.

    #25 3 years ago

    ^^ +1

    #26 3 years ago
  27. absolutezero

    There is no where near the levels of hysterical hype surroudning new Mario games. Like when New Super Mario Bros 2 got announced, I think it had a whole 1 news piece devoted to it.

    The front page is almost entirely BLOPS 2 GET HYPED YOU MISRABLE FUCKERS.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Freek

    @24 Opinion pieces are fine, it’s what drives modern gaming sites. But in order for you to write an opinion you do need to know what you are writing about.
    Comming from a position of “this will probably not be different” when Treyarch held press meetings explaining exactly what is different with this CoD is down right unprofessional.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. viralshag

    @27, Yeah but who’s to blame for that? This very article berating it is a news piece about COD? Does Acti ask for all these posts or do sites do it because they know so many people will give them clicks regardless of whether they hate the game or not?

    It’s hard to complain about the hype articles when there are anti-COD articles too, it achieves the same thing in the end – more posts about COD.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. OrbitMonkey

    ^ I firmly believe that it’s the CoD haters who get more worked up over each new release…

    Each year it’s “Rage, cod is hype shit, noes moar!!” etc etc. Whenever I tall to my mates about a new CoD, it’s “You getting it? Yep.”

    #30 3 years ago
  31. viralshag

    @30, Agreed. “COD hater” and those firmly against the game are their own worst enemy because like you said, they fuel the publicity fire more than anyone.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. SolomanAu

    @thewulf and Erthazus
    wow you guys need to get a life, its only a game, writing an essay on the pros and cons of an unreleased game that no-one knows anything about except the developers is the height of arrogance. Neither of you fools know anything and both of you waste your time writing shitloads of nothing to justify your shallow internet existence. (now for my own opinion) its going to be the same as the last couple of COD’s because the consoles haven’t changed power magically and they are going to use the good old unreal engine….shit now this post looks like your big arse posts sorry :-(

    #32 3 years ago
  33. Bloodyghost

    YES THIS ARTICLE IS EXACTLY how I feel. Thank you VG247 for both sides of the war on this. For I do not wish listening to bias towards the series, but rather the naysayers who agree with me and others with an attention span and IQ of something bigger than your own age.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. OlderGamer

    Interesting. But with predictable reactions.

    Fans are going to defend and non fans are going to hear a rallying cry.

    Let me give my own unque take.

    First up age.

    As we age our tastes and expectations change. What we look for changes and what we will tolerate(over look) changes. Most people will either walk away from games or become more selective to the point of being cynical(like me). We may not enjoy the same movies, music, TV, or Books we may have enjoyed 30 years ago. Games are just another form of media, and pron to the same transformation. I know I am not the same person I was even 10 years ago, let alone 30 or 40.

    Makes sense that what games we want to play will change over time.

    Next up crowd mentality and mislabeling ourselves.

    What? Its where hype, peer preasure and marketing come into play. If CoD sells 30 million copies, and you don’t like it, you ask why? You question your cred as a gamer. What is wrong with me? Everyone on my friends list is playing the game, so I buy it too. Pubs feed off of and fuel that with a marketing and preorder push. You haven’t even played the game yet, no one has, and your telling me you want to drop 60usd(plus commit to future dlc) for it?

    Its the whole “if it is cool, I want it” stuff. Its like a style, going along with the crowd. But it is all preception, created and manipulated by the pubs(and the media strings they pull). All working to create a buzz. What do I mean? Mario Kart Wii sold 40 million copies(on one system, not across six), and yet it doesn’t recieve the same attention from forums, core gamers, or game media. You don’t feel compled to buy Mario Kart Wii, because 40 million people play it.

    And that is why I say Hype, Peer Preasure and marketing. We are being manipulated and most of us don’t even know it.

    Mislabableing ourself? Thats the end sum of the results of Hype, Peer Preasure and Marketing. Thats the industries goal. EA wants to sell you on the idea you love EA Sports games(and need new ones every year). Acti does the same with CoD. And when we buy into it(regaurdless of the games quality or inovation or even distinction from last years version), we allow them to change the way we view ourslef as gamers.

    Maybe you enjoy a FPS once in awhile, but you don’t need a new one. Your very happy to play the old one you have. You certianly aren’t a hardcore fps fanatic. But you might think you are. I did this with BF, I genuanly enjoyed BF bad Co One, was happy with it. So I preordered Bad Co two. Did the same with BF three. Of them all i enjoyed Bad Co one the most. I had the most fun with it. I didn’t need the next two purchases. I was happy with the one I had. If you look at your game shelf and see a sequental string of CoD(for example), but only play about 10-30 hours on each one or you only play SP campagins, you have fallen for their trickery. And you will prolly even go so far as to defend yourself from an acusasion like that. Do some soul searching, your mislabaling yourself. And the industry thanks you.

    Its a lot easier to sell everyone the same game when they all think they want and need the same game. If you stood up and said, “enough, I have three cod games already” or EA Fifa games or whatever, the industry would crap their pants over night. They want as many people thinking about and buying the same games as possible, and they spend millions in marketing to convince you to do just that.

    So many gamers think they want games they don’t and buy games they don’t enjoy. And are unhappy. They often mislabel themself and many often wonder why they don’t enjoy games as much today as they once used to. Regaurdless of your age, you prolly have a “golden age” of gaming. Gaming, when you think back, was much more fun and enjoyable, with better games, then you have now. Thats what I am talking about.

    Be honest with yourself. If you have the past four of a game franchise and are even remotly on the fence about the next one…don’t buy it. You can’t really get mad at the dev/pub cranking out the same franchises over and over. They will do that until it stops selling. Just find something else to play.

    This one is going to cause flames, but it is the truth. Stop playing childerns games. And yes I am talking about alot of M rated games(amoung others). In part to do with understanding who you are as a gamer, but also take a hard look at what your playing. The games themselves. if your 30 years old and grabing something like Lolipop chainsaw, its time to grow up. If your playing Halo and noticing all of the foul mouthed kids, thats your clue, its time to move on. If your playing on a console, yet craving a deep gameplay experience, your lost.

    Console gaming has become the lowest common denominator of gaming. And really the bulk of the games are aimed at(outdate demographicaly ways of thinking) kids and teens. If your unhappy with what your playing, it is prolly because you don’t recongize this.

    A few years back(Xbox one) PC devs were hearded onto consoles(thnx MS). the idea was to round up the market onto one platform(western market/xbox), and have PC devs(think of them all, from Bungie to Epic to Lionhead and so on) be able to easily reach the masses. Well gaming took a hit. PC gaming took a huge hit. And there became little place for actual mature gamers to go. By the launch of the xbox360, it was very clear that MS had created the platform they wanted. Now instead of playing high quality PC games, we had dumby downed console games. Creativity was tossed aside in favor safe big budget hollywood style shooters. Gameplay was tossed aside in favor graphics. And depth was discarded for acsessability. Welcome to main stream.

    What we are left with(in part due to a lingering generation that won’t die) is a hella lot of gamers bored, jaded, cynical, and often times down right angry. Esp if your not a fan of CoD. Or Uncharted. Or Gears. Or Halo. Or, oh wait, those are all shooters? Hmm, interesting.

    Sure, some of todays big games have roots in yester years PC. But instead of playing 64 on 64 PC omp, we are told and convinced that 8 on 8 creates better balance. Thats part of what I mean by dumbied down game experience, add in smaller maps, poor AI, limited customization, large hit boxes in place of actual control/acrucey, all down to consoles limitations and restrictions. And that is just shooters. Played a great racer latly? Console RTS? Even Elder Scrolls(used to be on PC) games are handicaped by consoles. So many games are made for consoles and ported to PC. Again Lowest common denominater.

    Fellow gamers we have been robed. No doubt Blops II will sell very well. No doubt the next gen of Sony/MS hardware will fly off of the shelf. No doubt some of you think I am crazy, lol. But sadly, there is no doubt that the cycle will continue.

    Do yourself a favor. If your bored of or worn out on what your playing today. Log on to Steam. Browse their indie selections. You will find creative, affordable games that place gameplay above glitz and glitter. You will likly rediscover why you enjoyed games to begin with.

    I figured sense the theme was opinion pieces I would let it fly. Scary, ‘huh?

    #34 3 years ago
  35. Deacon

    Those who enjoy it should continue to do so. We should all enjoy the games we play without the need to belittle others for their choice. I’m well aware that I struggle to do this.

    I dislike the franchise for the simple fact that it’s (unfounded?) success has and will continue to jeopardise the development of other games. Games that would probably appeal to me more. That’s pretty much it.

    People go off bands when they get popular, feeling that they can’t like something now that it’s gone mainstream. I don’t doubt that a lot of the haters do so for this reason alone.

    The way they have a stranglehold on the FPS market is just not healthy for the industry as a whole. That’s how I see it anyway.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. DSB

    Two things here:

    “I still don’t give a shit about it.”

    Wouldn’t that kinda defeat the purpose of an opinion piece?


    “Call of Duty is the Da Vinci Code of games: pretty entertaining but basically stupid, and the only association a good 90% of its consumer base has with the medium.”

    I get the point, but I’d say Assassins Creed is the Da Vinci Code of games. That game was openly humping Dan Browns leg since day one.

    I’d say CoD is the Transformers of videogames. It makes no sense, and it has no class, but it’s loud, visceral and manly.

    Overall though, I don’t think any of this is categorically wrong, except maybe for the sports aspect. I don’t know if you play sportsgames yourself, but if we were only buying them for the rosters, which are updated in our old versions anyway – usually within weeks – I reckon we’d have to shoot ourselves in the head, because that’s just giving money away for a service we’re already getting.

    We buy sportsgames because they’re an iteration on something we enjoy.

    NHL might not have changed since 09, but if NHL 12 has a different face-off mechanic or goalie AI to NHL 11, then sadly, being one of EAs sports junkies, I need it because it’s new, and better. Even if it’s basically the exact same game as the last one.

    It’s the same thing that has caused all these guys to flock around CoD. I think Madden (or maybe FIFA) was the only series that had been close to raking in the same kind of numbers until CoD came along, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence.

    There is a twisted sporting sort of purity to those games, and the fact that you don’t have to start over every time there’s a new one is probably just as likely to be an advantage as an offence, depending on who you ask.

    #36 3 years ago

    Two things here:

    “I still don’t give a shit about it.”

    Wouldn’t that kinda defeat the purpose of an opinion piece?

    Spot on.

    #37 3 years ago
  38. Gigabomber

    Another refreshing, elegant opinion piece.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. Dralen

    Well I don’t really give a shit about Mario or Call of Duty. They’re both just rehashed games that need a proper reboot or just need to disappear forever. I’m more fond of the latter personally…

    #39 3 years ago
  40. IL DUCE

    +1…right on Brenna

    #40 3 years ago
  41. Da Man

    OlderGamer, what’s harder a 2 vs 2 or 64 vs 64?

    Please, play video games properly before writing an essay on them.

    #41 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Nintendo has updated the North American end of the eShop with Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars, OlliOlli and a demo version of Azure Striker GUNVOL. Your full update is below. eShop Mario vs. Donkey Kong: Tipping Stars – Wii U, 3DS – Cross Buy OlliOlli – Wii U, 3DS – Cross-Buy Proun+ – Proun+ […]

  • Rock Band 4 confirmed for Xbox One and PS4: supports old instruments and 2,168 songs

    Harmonix has lifted the lid on the long-rumoured Rock Band 4, stating it will support 2,168 previously released tracks and last-gen instruments on PS4 and Xbox One. The game will be out this year. Harmonix has yet to reveal specific features for the game, but it has been built with a completely new engine. As […]

  • First run of Rodea the Sky Soldier copies on Wii U come with Wii version

    The first print run of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will come with the Wii version packed in, NIS America has confirmed. The publisher confirmed today in a press release that anyone who buys the first run of the retail version of Rodea the Sky Soldier on Wii U will find the Wii […]

  • Unreal Tournament 4 lets modders sell cosmetic items to players

    Unreal Tournament 4 is a game built with the help of the modding community. So it’s only natural that it will feature a marketplace where all cosmetic items can be sold. Epic Games has confirmed that it will allow modders from the community to sell the cosmetics items they’ve created on the game’s marketplace. The […]

  • D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is coming to PC – rumour

    SWERY 65 has shown off D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die running on PC at GDC this week, teasing that a possible port may be on the way. D4: Dark Dreams Don’t Die is SWERY 65′s latest project. An episodic detective affair, D4 came out on Xbox One last September and utilised Kinect as its main […]

  • Valve’s Lighthouse, VR controllers and more explained

    Valve’s less-talked about prototype VR controllers and its Lighthouse technology have been shown in more detail. When HTC announced Vive, the VR headset it’s working on with Valve, it mentioned “base stations” and ergonomic controllers. Now we know what they meant by that. The controllers are still in prototype phase, and will look better when […]

  • Listen to two professional Counter-Strike players explain why Dust2 is so popular

    Hear what makes iconic Counter-Strike map Dust2 one of the most popular maps in shooter history from two former eSports players. Sal “Volcano” Garozzo and Shawn “FMPONE” Snelling are both retired professional Counter-Strike players who are currently working as designers. At GDC this year, the pair hosted a panel titled “Community Level Design for Competitive […]

  • Core Morpheus hardware locked in, no plans for wireless version

    Sony has finalised the core hardware for its VR headset Project Morpheus, and does not currently plan on releasing a wireless version. SCE Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida spoke to Gamespot at GDC and confirmed that the core hardware of Morpheus is “pretty much done” but that “lots of tweaks and improvements” are still being […]

  • Watch the full Phil Spencer keynote from GDC 2015

    The full GDC 2015 keynote of Xbox boss Phil Spencer is now available to watch. In case you missed last nights’s Phil Spencer keynote at GDC 2015, the whole thing has been made available to watch on YouTube. The address is titled “The Future of Gaming Across the Microsoft Ecosytem,” and it’s where Spencer announced […]

  • Elite: Dangerous won’t be “dumbed down” for Xbox One

    The Xbox One version of Elite: Dangerous will in fact be the same as the PC one. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier came out on stage last night at GDC to announce the game making its console debut on Xbox One. Some have feared that the port would not provide the same experience as the PC […]

  • Virtual reality: by gum, it’s really happening

    Virtual reality has exited the realm of peripheral gimmick and turned into something that just might go mainstream. VR has an uphill battle ahead of it. The tech is going to be expensive, and there are a number of problems that need to be solved before it could be considered an inclusive technology (motion sickness, […]

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor takes Game of the Year at GDC Awards 2015

    And the winner is: Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor beat out Alien: Isolation, Bayonetta 2, Destiny, and Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft to win Game of the Year at the Game Developer’s Choice Awards 2015. Elsewhere in the awards, Ustwo’s mobile hit Monument Valley was a stand-out favourite, with wins in the Innovation, […]

  • Alien: Isolation was prototyped in third-person – video

    Alien: Isolation is one of the most effectively scary triple-A games in years, but it didn’t start off a perfect creation of pure terror. Creative Assembly prototyped Alien: Isolation in third-person perspective before they nailed down the final approach. The developer revealed this during a GDC 2015 presentation, and it’s a good reminder that games […]

  • Madden 15 added to EA Vault

    Madden 15 is now included in EA’s all-you-can-eat subscriber service. Madden 15 is the ninth game to be added to the EA Vault, a stash of games available on demand for EA Access subscribers. It's still Madden Season for EA Access members – Madden NFL 15 is now in The Vault for all members. Go […]

  • Source Engine 2 doesn’t have hidden costs or royalties – but is Steam exclusive

    Three major engines went free at GDC 2015, and each of them is monetising in a different way. There’s been a heck of a lot of discussion about development tools and the costs associated with them during GDC 2015. First Epic announced that Unreal Engine 4 would be free, bar royalities on successful releases. Then […]

  • Final Fantasy creator hates sequels

    Final Fantasy, a byword in prolific franchises, was created by a man who hates sequel. Final Fantasy games are famous for being reinvented with each core release, and it was not until series creator Hironobu Sakaguchi began to withdraw from the franchise after Final Fantasy 9 that we started seeing regular sequels and spin-offs. Speaking […]

  • Guardian complaints led to the closure of Destiny’s Loot Cave

    Destiny players are to blame for the shuttering of the much loved Loot Cave. Early in Destiny‘s history, many players got hugely excited about the “Loot Cave”. Accessible shortly after starting the game for the first time, this high-volume spawn point allowed players to stand in one place, taking out waves and waves of low-level […]

  • Xbox and PC games boss Phil Harrison to leave Microsoft – rumour

    Microsoft Interactive Entertainment Business VP and EMEA head of games Phil Harrison is rumoured to have thrown in the towel. Microsoft has not issued a statement on Harrison’s alleged departure, despite repeated questioning by press at GDC 2015. Instead, word comes via multiple sources speaking to GamesIndustry at the show. According to the rumours, Harrison […]

  • Metal Gear Online commentated trailer explains stuffed dog – but not invisibility

    Metal Gear Online developer Kojima Productions has provided significantly more insight into how the multiplayer side of The Phantom Pain works. Metal Gear Online is the online multiplayer component of Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain. Konami hasn’t shared a great deal about it yet, but we did see a very cool Metal Gear […]

  • Elite: Dangerous Xbox One trailer shows off space MMO

    If Elite: Dangerous looks this good on Xbox One we have nothing to complain about. Microsoft revealed Elite: Dangerous is coming to Xbox One this year during its GDC presentations today. We don’t know very much about the port, but I suppose we ought to have expected it; Frontier Developments has a very close relationship […]

  • Battletoads to appear in Shovel Knight Xbox One

    A Battletoads remake must be on the horizon. Right? Right?? The Battletoads will appear in the upcoming Xbox One version of Shovel Knight, Yacht Club Games revealed today. The Battletoads drop in for a fight! Shovel Knight is headed to Xbox One and meets up with @RareLtd brawling trio! — Yacht Club Games (@YachtClubGames) […]

  • The Division pre-alpha footage leaks, Ubisoft says it’s well out of date

    The Division fans finally got a look at Ubisoft’s MMO this week, but the publisher has said the footage is not in any way representative. Pre-alpha footage of the The Division was leaked this week, but has since been thoroughly smacked down by takedown notices. All that remains are a few screenshots and a GIF: […]

  • Microsoft HoloLens designer killed in hit and run accident

    Very sad news out of Redmond this week, as Mike Ey was killed in a tragic accident. Ey, 30, was one of the key project designers on Microsoft’s HoloLens AR headset. He was killed on Saturday morning in a rear-end collision. The driver of the second vehicle fled the scene but was tracked down by […]

  • AMD throws support behind VR with new low-latency anti-nausea tech

    GPU manufacturer AMD has released a new SDK compatible with “a broad set of VR devices”. Called LiquidVR, the tech is designed to “bring better content, comfort, and compatibility to VR applications” including games, simulation, entertainment, education, social media, travel, medicine, real estate and ecommerce, apparently. AMD said maintaining comfort and realism in VR environments […]

  • Danganronpa 3 in the works, but a long way off yet

    A new Danganronpa is happening. Danganronpa 3 is in the very, very early production stages, writer Kodaka Kazutaka has confirmed. Nothing about the project is “set in stone”, Kazutaka told Polygon, so there are no details to share yet; the characters and story may change several times before being finalised. The writer said he’s weighing […]

  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League 2015 schedule announced

    Major League Gaming has announced the full schedule for the 2015 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare MLG Pro League. The eSpots firm revealed two more seasons of Pro League, a live Relegation tournament for Season Three, and a season ending World Championship with $250,000 up for grabs You can watch all the action on […]

  • Happy Birthday PlayStation 2, you are almost old enough to drive

    Amidst all the GDC 2015 hoopla today, we forgot to wish PlayStation 2 a Happy Birthday. The system turned 15 years old today, going by its March 4, 2000 launch date in Japan. It was released in the west that autumn, and had shipped 100 million units in less than six years post launch. PS2 […]

  • Here’s what the final version of Valve’s Steam Controller looks like

    A look at the updated Steam Controller has surfaced via a hands-on post from Polygon. Valve said what you see in the images below is the final version of the controller. The controller has gone through numerous revisions since it was first revealed, but it seems Valve has decided on two touch pads which work […]

  • The Sims, SimCity developer closed down

    The Sims 4 developer Maxis has been shuttered, EA has confirmed. The Sims, SimCity and the rest of the Sim franchise has traditionally been helmed by Maxis, which had its flagship studio in Emeryville, California. Now EA has confirmed with Kotaku that this studio is being closed. “Today we are consolidating Maxis IP development to […]

  • Gigantic MOBA coming to Windows 10 and Xbox One with cross-play

    Today during GDC 2015, Microsoft announced that the new IP from Motiga called Gigantic will be cross-play enabled. Slated for Windows 10 and Xbox One, the five-on-five third-person battle arena game allows the player to select from an array of heroes with distinctive powers and play styles. Players will then make their way through areas […]

  • Here’s a look at Unreal Tournament DirectX 12 gameplay

    Epic Games is creating Unreal Tournament using Unreal Engine 4 running on DirectX 12, which Microsoft says “sets a new bar for visual fidelity.” DirectX 12 is a single API developers can access across Windows devices, which can result in a 20% improvement in performance over DX11 running on the same machine. The Unreal Tournament […]

  • Wireless adapter for Xbox One controllers out later this year

    Microsoft announced at GDC 2015 today it will that all wireless Xbox gaming accessories will be designed for and supported on both Xbox One consoles and Windows 10 PCs moving forward. Later this year, a wireless adapter will be released, allowing current Xbox controllers and future devices to be used wirelessly on PCs. This will […]