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Cowboys and spaceships: Black Ops 2 can save CoD

Thursday, 3 May 2012 09:26 GMT By Patrick Garratt

The unthinkable has happened: Call of Duty is no longer predictable. Patrick Garratt says the direction of Black Ops 2 is one to be appluaded, and may well show how the entire franchise can be saved from stagnation.

The worst thing Activision could have possibly done at this point is to push out “another CoD”. Black Ops 2 isn’t just a perfect response to the current climate: it’s a clear indicator of what the current climate is about to become.

These are the moments that truly test a brand. Call of Duty has worked to a ludicrous degree, and its builders are more than aware that stagnation will kill it: the only choice is to innovate. And so we have Black Ops 2, a game set in the future that really doesn’t look all that much like its predecessors, and what may very well be a defining release for the entire Call of Duty franchise.

It’s easy to say it’s just more of the same, as our own Brenna Hillier did this morning, but for many faithful fans exactly the opposite is true. There’s been some wincing in the last 24 hours, as Activision revealed its next major Call of Duty release to be properly futuristic, a setting more in line with weapon-guessers like Ghost Recon than the “realism” we’ve learned to expect from CoD. Is this Call of Duty? Is this special forces with UAVs and Castro at the end of an AK barrel, or, as one baffled MW3 addict put to me yesterday, “cowboys and spaceships”?

There’s a very simple answer: it doesn’t matter if you’re a player. In fact, the plain difference between previous releases and BLOPS2 is great news, as it means current multiplayer communities in MW3 and Black Ops are less likely to be fragmented by a clone of the same formula. For some reason people think that a new direction means you’re being forced to play something you don’t want. In truth, Black Ops 2′s push into the future is exactly the right move for the brand as it can now start to soak up gamers who prefer a sci-fi edge to shooters. No one’s saying you have to stop playing Black Ops and MW2, if that’s what you want to play. The communities surrounding previous games are incredible strong: stay there, if that’s what suits you. If it doesn’t, try the new take.

Black Ops 2 may well save Call of Duty from what is apparently its peak. It’s likely to hold hardcore multiplayers in their respective chosen instalments while offering something entirely different for those looking for something fresh. Before it was announced, it was taken as gospel that everyone knew what it would be. That Treyarch and Activision have been bold enough to tread completely new ground should be commended: Call of Duty can no longer be called “predictable”.

We’re going to get 60FPS Call of Duty gameplay infused with Bond-style war gadgets and Los Angeles getting bombed back to the Stone Age. You’re not excited by that? What the hell’s wrong with you?

There’s been much comment about dragging in elements from other futuristic franchises, such as Battlefield, but so what if that’s true? CoD is always about super-speed action, so why isn’t throwing mechs and machine gun-toting quadcopters into the mix a reason for joy? We’re going to get 60FPS Call of Duty gameplay infused with Bond-style war gadgets and Los Angeles getting bombed back to the Stone Age. You’re not excited by that? What the hell’s wrong with you?

Call of Duty isn’t just Activision’s big shot: it’s the biggest shot in core gaming. This series has expertly covered World War II, the Cold War and World War III, and the games that do so continue to be played by millions of people. The push in the shooter space over the coming years will be for the futuristic setting, with Microsoft and Respawn both aiming major products at the genre in the near- to mid-term. The worst thing Activision could have possibly done at this point is to push out “another CoD”. Black Ops 2 isn’t just a perfect response to the current climate: it’s a clear indicator of what the current climate is about to become.

We will all buy and play Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. CoD is the market. The fact Activision is openly innovating with its biggest franchise is something to be applauded. Stop moaning. Put your hands together. Then put them in your pockets on November 13.

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55 Comments

  1. Karooo

    But does it need saving? :P

    Okay, reading the article now.

    Edit: Pat > Brenna. Take my money now, Treyarch!

    #1 3 years ago
  2. StolenGlory

    What bugs me about a great deal of the shit that people are flinging in the general direction of this game; is that they are only worried about the superfical aspects.

    Fucking NOWHERE have I seen any of these posters make any mention in any great detail of the actual gameplay changes that have occured with the game (something more significant than the change in setting in my mind), such as the branching camapign structure, the RTS sections or anything else that the game is doing completely differently.

    A critical point of view is all well and good, but folks really shouldn’t just latch onto the obvious (the setting) and ignore the rest.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. Pytox

    Ugh why does the hype train already start …

    #3 3 years ago
  4. KarachiKid

    This is a massive article to write using your one free hand. Your passion for this series is mind boggling. I for one believe the series has ran its course. I got as far as MW2 before putting the series to rest. I refuse to pay £40+ for a reskin. And the multiplayer I found boring and shallow (I’m a BF fanboy, admittedly).
    Unless they change the engine, rather than just the setting then they’ll never see my pound sterling.

    P.S. Setting it in the Korean War or something from the past which has seldom been used elsewhere would pique my interest over war robots any day.

    #4 3 years ago
  5. locus2k1

    From what I hear, the game alternates between the not-too-distant-future and also the 1980s, it makes me intrigued on how Zombies/MP will be handled – will it be future weapons, 80s weapons or an amalgamation of the two? Could it be there that there will be two completely separate MP systems so ones who like the futuristic weapons play in N-T_D-F servers while those who like 80s weapons can go and play on the other servers.

    Honestly though, whatever comes out at the end of the development cycle I plan to stick to what I have done with every release since MW2 and that’s only buy it if I can get it for £25 from Tesco’s (I fortunately always need points/wallet funds around time of release, huzzah for crazy promotions) :)

    #5 3 years ago
  6. polygem

    good article. i agree. this is a smart move. i enjoyed blops. i loved the changes they made there. even if only minor, they were very welcome. not enough to make the cod experience really new or even just fresh but just enough to keep things interesting. mw3 turned me off completeley. i still feel a bit tired of the cod franchise in general but blops 2 looks indeed quite interesting.
    the cod gameplay still is among the best shooter mechanics of this world. 60 fps, good hit detection and fast paced arcadish shooting….never gets old really but even this winning formula needs a new spice here and there sometimes.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Maximum Payne

    @5 MP will only take place in future.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. The_Red

    Here I gotta side with Pat over Brenna though I disagree about the “what is apparently its peak” part. Of course I only speak about the single player but to me, original Black Ops was the peak in terms of campaign quality (its gameplay wasn’t as perfect as MW2 but still). MW3′s campaign was dumber than a budget FPS shooter from mid 2000s.

    “Treyarch and Activision have been bold enough to tread completely new ground should be commended”
    Also I don’t think Activision is one of the bold ones. If I’m not mistaken, some of the old Infinity Ward members wanted a more futuristic COD but Acti opposed them. If anything, they’ve just give Treyarch free reign here hoping that name COD sells itself.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. absolutezero

    Call of Duty Black Ops

    TWO

    TWO

    Fresh and Original! TWO.

    Why not CoD in space, with zero g ship battles and lasers, why not Call of Duty VIKING with hand axes and arrows. Real time rape and pillage. No this is not an amazing huge change, this is CoD aping 2142 the long lost Battlefield game no one remembers. Actually I just don’t really care anymore, theres going to be another one next year anyway so why get all worked up about this one?

    #9 3 years ago
  10. Lounds

    I loved 2142 brilliant game, infact my first proper PC shooter, Although I played UT at college.

    I hope DICE make 2143 now. Because that game in frostbite 2.0 would be epic.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. G1GAHURTZ

    Some good points, Pat. Theoretically, I should be interested in futuristic gadgetry in CoD like I’m interested in Rising or Ghost Recon.

    I’m just still trying to adjust to this bizarre redirection…

    Seriously, I’ve watched the video dozens of times, and I still can’t bring myself to feel enthused about it.

    I just want to see the multiplayer right now.

    The SP holds no interest for me at the moment, from what they’ve shown.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. noherczeg

    That 60fps bullshit again. Game looks like shit, but well, it runs on 60fps wow, what an achievement. Oh and I’m not talking solely about the details of it, I’m talking about the whole picture wich is tossed at me, and it tells me that fps numbers are only an excuse.

    “Los Angeles getting bombed back to the Stone Age” Still the same plot. Mean foreigners attack poor USA, wich is saved by a few heroes at the end. Oh wait, awesome plot says mean foreigners STEAL OUR OWN ROBOTS FROM US wich we built to destroy them, and our classic heroes save us from our own army now.

    The folks who like the series always say that they like it because it’s the same, and it’s good as it is, so I’m not trying to convince anyone, but find it rather impressing that they are yet again hyped for it.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. Bloodyghost

    Is it innovative because of riding on horseback?
    Did Future and 80s warfare combat really change the repititive formula?
    Is 60 FPS REALLY worth talking about THAT MUCH?
    It was a good argument when we first found out they they had a real great engine for its time that could lock in 60 but now its just the SAME OLD SONG AND DANCE routine.

    This article shows bias for the series, and for that I grin and tell my opinion.

    I rather get Warfighter over this. Hell, I am giving my attention to the 343 band for their efforts on Halo 4. So far I know they changed more about Halo 4 from 3 and Reach then any of the Call of Duty’s combined.

    Also I hated Black Ops, and weirdly I was one to love MW2. Something about Treyarch’s Call of Duty’s really lack that special sauce that the old IW team put into MW creating the mega momentum.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. viralshag

    @13, Have you ridden horseback in any other COD games? (I actually don’t know.)

    There’s a difference between being innovative for the industry and innovative for your own games/customer base. Just because most of us gamers have done it a hundred times somewhere else doesn’t mean that all the players who solely play COD have. And so to those fans, this IS something new.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Bloodyghost

    @14 Thats where the problem lies. Some. Sorry. Most! Of the Call of Duty fanbase don’t even pay attention to the lukewarm single player and Day One the stats will show everyone invested into the Multiplayer. Thats why CoD is big. Multiplayer. Zombies and Online Competitive game types (well for Treyarch that is, the new IW its more of “Spec Ops and Online Competitive”).

    So riding on innovation where the single player lies is a desperate attempt and by watching the trailer I get a clue that its pretty much Hollywood Bay inspired combat and scripted scenes again.

    I would love to see vanguards in the Multiplayer game lobbies not moaning over broken mechanics or needed patches but to recommend others a game thats considered something just a bit fresher and better!

    All I heard with my time with the past installments was bitch and moan even though they bought the game like sheep with fellow sheep gamers. So it makes no real sense to me why no one can not just cut the fat and move on.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. TMRNetShark

    @ALL

    If you hate the game, why comment about it? I bet you that even if you complain and everything, the game will still sell well. Hell, a couple of you nay-sayers may even buy it yourself. Love and hate are tightly intertwined.

    I will be buying the game because Call of Duty is a fun game to play online and co-op with your friends. If you disagree… *points to Xbox Live/PSN top ranked multiplayer games*

    IN the Top 20 games, MW3 is #1… Black Ops is #2… MW2 is #6… and COD 4 and COD 5 hold the 18th and 19th spots respectively on Xbox Live. So deny until your blue in the face… Black Ops 2 (just like all the games before) will sell well.

    #16 3 years ago
  17. viralshag

    @15, I get what you’re saying but for a lot of the guys I know, they will finish the embarrassingly short SP portion of the game – thoroughly enjoy it – and then move on to the MP for a bit or quit.

    For many non-gaming gamers where a COD title will be their one definite game purchase of the year will consider an 8 hour “explosive” campaign and a couple hours of MP as money well spent.

    Again, referencing the guys I know, they do not commit a fraction of the time I do to gaming and do not have anywhere near the amount of game experience to compare COD to something else.

    I just think the “hardcore gamers” need to realise that this is a game for that one-time buyer as much as the big COD-fans. Just accept this is the FIFA of FPSs.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. DSB

    Honestly I think it’s just as likely to get rid of players as it is to win more, or win the people who have already jumped ship.

    It’s worth considering that none of the people who play CoD right now, have played it because of technology porn. It’s gone from WW2 to Modern Warfare, all relatable stuff. Now they’re gonna be taking the master chief route, and at least for me, that takes a lot of the appeal out of it.

    But then to me, CoD was always identical with Infinity Ward, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that MW3 was the first CoD to show a decline. Whether it’s the Zampella and West effect that many were expecting or not, it’s definitely gone in the wrong direction for me. It’s a step back rather than a step forward. I’m more interested to see what Medal of Honor is going to do this year.

    For me, going into the future just feels like a classic case of jumping the shark.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumping_the_shark

    #18 3 years ago
  19. G1GAHURTZ

    If you hate the game, why comment about it?

    Because they feel angry at their own insecurity.

    They feel like they’re being forced to like something, which they don’t, so they can’t resist the urge to try and justify the fact that they’re going against popular opinion by trying to join a group of like-minded whingers on the internet.

    They’re haters.

    First they’re afraid of going against the group. Then they get angry because they want to be accepted. Then that leads them to hate the game. Next, they will probably join the dark side

    #19 3 years ago
  20. TheWulf

    Brenna’s article is still the most compelling one for me. What they’re doing doesn’t change the fact that it’s another ‘dumb fun’ game. Will it have personality? Only time will tell, but what it sounds like to me is that Patrick is overselling it by overlaying his hopes and dreams over what it’s ultimately going to be. In other words – hype.

    It’s very likely not going to live up to his description, nor is it likely going to be anything even remotely like it. What he’s described does sound interesting, yes. But could a developer like Treyarch really pull this off? Honestly? Probably not. I mean, I could sell you a turd if I did it in the way that Patrick did, but I’m not sure that it’s intellectually honest to do so considering that we haven’t played the game yet.

    And really, everything about the game thus far seems to support Brenna’s take on things, rather than Patrick’s. But we’ll see. Now we just have to play the waiting game.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. OlderGamer

    The one good thing, and maybe bad depending on how you look at it, is that Acti are giving the fans what they want. More of the same.

    And what else can be done with a game like this? It is a formula game and is limited by its concept(design and mechanics). It is what it is, your a fan or your not.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. TheWulf

    @19

    I’m sorry, but that just sounds like a massive, bitter, and somewhat egotistical kneejerk. So, people who don’t agree with something and perhaps aren’t into something are sub-human now?

    You do realise how much of an anti-intellectual troglodyte you’re being here, right? Seriously, you’re saying that anyone who has an opinion about something that isn’t positive is insecure. Therefore, every non-positive opinion you’ve ever had about something is insecure.

    We both know that that’s complete bollocks and that you’re talking out of your pucker.

    This is just the anti-intellectual bullshit I’ve come to expect from some gamers. Of course it isn’t insecure to not like something. It just illustrates that the demographic for someone isn’t 100%, as the illusion is painted to be. I’ve never enjoyed ANY of the Call of Duty games.

    I sit down, play something, and don’t enjoy it… and I don’t enjoy it because I’m insecure? Good grief, I’m sorry, but you’re being an idiot.

    And then you go on to cite the ‘dark side?’

    This is almost as bad as that time when someone failed at an argument with me so badly that they had to resort to politics in order to make a cheap stab at me. Really, try harder.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. TheWulf

    @16

    It’s not a matter of posting out of hate, it’s a matter of not giving the illusion that there’s a 100% favourable consensus for something. Expecting people to shut up just because they dislike something is ridiculous. I’ve had to put up with some absolutely nonsensical arguments against Guild Wars 2 – but I wouldn’t shut these people up.

    I’d feel like some kind of Internet crazy if I believed that everyone who disagreed with me wasn’t allowed to post.

    It’s that whole notion of how I may not agree with what people have to say, but I would still absolutely defend their right to say it regardless. What a silly, idealistic notion, eh? The world would be so much better if we could censor the people who disagree with us, wouldn’t it?

    Sigh.

    #23 3 years ago
  24. G1GAHURTZ

    I mean, I could sell you a turd if I did it in the way that Patrick did, but I’m not sure that it’s intellectually honest to do so considering that we haven’t played the game yet.

    Pat can’t sell you anything. It’s the game that sells itself.

    Pat tried his hardest to get us all to buy Vitas.

    Did you buy one?

    #24 3 years ago
  25. TheWulf

    @24

    You misunderstood. I was talking about how it read more like a marketing spiel than anything else. It was very hype-laden.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. G1GAHURTZ

    @22:

    U mad bro?

    #26 3 years ago
  27. TheWulf

    @3

    Yeah, exactly. People haven’t even played this game, yet. So it’s perfectly reasonable to be negative about what it sounds like as that’s just being cynical. I’m very cynical of their current choice of theme and approach, and I think they’re just trying to (as was pointed out) jump the shark in regards to Modern Warfare.

    Whether it’ll actually go that way remains to be seen. But expecting complete positivity sight unseen is impossible.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. TheWulf

    @26

    You don’t have anything better than a meme, do you?

    Okay then.

    #28 3 years ago
  29. OlderGamer

    In the other cod opinion piece, I worte a long winded bit on why something close to 30million people buy these games.

    “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. ”

    I honeslty think a large bulk of the purchases are from lite/casual players that feel compeled to not feel left out and go along with the crowd and own the game. They aren’t the same one spending 500hr playing of course. But if you look at the numbers of concurent and even peek players playing, obviously most people that buy the cod games don’t continue to play them online for very long. They tinker with them and then stop playing. Yet, unexplainably, line up to buy the next one.

    Leaves some of us dumbfounded.

    #29 3 years ago
  30. TheWulf

    That’s pretty much it, yes. That’s what I have against the ur-game in general. It’s a case of flashiness over substance. It reminds me of someone who wants that mate who’s physically perfect, but has absolutely nothing in the brains or emotional department – essentially just an automaton.

    And the majority convince themselves that that’s basically what they want from a relationship. But if you can’t get intellectual worth out of that relationship, then it’s doomed to failure. This is why the best body to bang is nowhere near as worthwhile as a person you can actually relate to.

    But that’s exactly what these games are – airheads. Brainless musclemen, jocks, or bimbos who pride themselves on just being not very bright. Who take a perverse kind of pride in being shallow and not having any kind of personality at all.

    Will Black Ops 2 apply to this? I don’t know for sure, but from what I’ve seen thus far it does look like it’s jumping on the ur-game bandwagon, yes.

    #30 3 years ago
  31. G1GAHURTZ

    But seriously…

    I never said every single person. You know very well that I’m talking about the people that come back to forums, day after day, year after year, and read every single article about a game that they claim to hate.

    Honestly, I hate the game God of War.

    I genuinely can’t remember the last time that I read a single article about it or clicked on a single link to a story about the game.

    Why do these people, whether you’re from them or not, feel the need to click on so many CoD stories. Then to scroll down, think of a comment, start typing, finish and post their comment, then come back and read replies to their comment?

    Why are they so obsessed about discussing something that they claim that they want nothing to with, and that clearly wants nothing to do with them?

    Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

    Whinging. Moaning. attacking. Trolling.

    These people ARE insecure.

    If they weren’t, they’d spend their time focusing on something that gives them pleasure, rather than something that they claim to “not give a sh*t about.”

    It’s not just one or two harmless commments, and you know it.

    #31 3 years ago
  32. DSB

    @29 I think your data needs a recheck. There are more people playing CoD, and for a lot longer, than Skyrim.

    I also don’t see how casual players would get anything out of a game like CoD. If your reflexes aren’t honed, and you aren’t familiar with how the game is played, then most of your sessions will be spent getting slaughtered over and over again.

    I don’t think that sort of experience can sustain repeat business.

    I think a lot of people are in a hurry to squeeze those 20 million purchasers into a box, but I think that’s partly because they need to believe that (maybe because they like Mario Kart better, wink wink) and partly because they don’t quite realize the kind of demographic they’re dealing with, in a 20 million sub set.

    20 million is everybody, from Kim Kardashian to lonely basement guy. It’s more common than Madden and FIFA put together.

    #32 3 years ago
  33. DrDamn

    @29
    As mentioned by DSB. Check the XBL Play charts. CoD games – not just the latest – dominate the *play* charts.

    http://majornelson.com/2012/04/17/live-activity-for-week-of-april-9th/

    CoD:MW, CoD:WaW, CoD:MW2, CoD:BlackOps, CoD:MW3 all in the top twenty with MW3 taking top spot and BlackOps (over a year old) second.

    #33 3 years ago
  34. OrbitMonkey

    @DSB, what do you know eh? You suggesting CoD is played by some group other than status obsessed teens?! :-P

    Truth is FIFA, PES and CoD are some of the only games I know, that grown men are not embarrassed talking about in public…

    #34 3 years ago
  35. G1GAHURTZ

    I’m shocked that people still believe that the majority of people who buy CoD don’t play it regularly.

    #35 3 years ago
  36. DSB

    @34 I’m saying that 20 million is bigger than a lot of actual countries and cultures.

    Saying that the entire population of Sweden are a bunch of frustrated, anal-retentive, booze-fearing virgins whose idea of fun is picking berries and lighting their own herring-farts strikes me as a generalization that can’t really stand on it’s o… Wait, that one’s actually spot on.

    But there are a lot more people playing CoD than the population of Sweden, actually twice as many. Making a generalization on a population that size, when it isn’t Swedish, Finnish or Fleksnes (Norwegian) is pretty much assured to be 95% false.

    And 5 out of 3 dentists agree on that.

    #36 3 years ago
  37. viralshag

    @34, They should be if they play PES!

    /FIFA Fanboy ;)

    #37 3 years ago
  38. Gadzooks!

    DSB wins the thread with objective straight talk and the facts to back it up.

    First time I’ve wanted a + button here.

    #38 3 years ago
  39. OlderGamer

    “I also don’t see how casual players would get anything out of a game like CoD. If your reflexes aren’t honed, and you aren’t familiar with how the game is played, then most of your sessions will be spent getting slaughtered over and over again.

    I don’t think that sort of experience can sustain repeat business”

    Agreed. But if you take things ot an extreme you would see that every buyer of a cod would play it online. And for massive amounts of time. Of course thats an extreme, reallity is a bit different. I think there is a few subsets within the same demographic.

    In other words, not all CoD gamers are the same. Like you said DSB 20 million covers everyone(we a lot of different types of people anyways).

    There are bound to be people that buy the game, play for a couple of hours and put it down. And just as likly as people that sink hundreds of hours into it. But if you take a look at the online usage numbers(I don’t have a link to them, but have read them), you will see that the most online activity is during the games launch. Makes sense right? Sure. But as time goes on it dramaticly falls. Not as much as some games, but thats not my focus or my point.

    My point is that some people seem to think that there are 20million rabid cod fans that play online non stop. I don’t think so. I don’t even think those rabid fans make up the bulk of the games sales.

    I think most games have more casual fans then rabid ones. I think that is why there is a dumby down of games and a push by pubs to have their games more accsessable. In order to reach as many sales as possible.

    Everyone of my youngest sons(he is 16yr old) friends owns several versions of CoD. But you know what they play? World of Warcraft. I would say they play BF3(which almost all of them own) about as much as they play CoD.

    I think omp fps games have tremendious buying appeal, esp for certian demographics. They find the games cool, and they want to own a piece of that cool. But they don’t actual play them very much. After buying BF3 for my son, and helping his friend(who bought a used copy) buy some dlc/online pass why they weren’t playing it when they spent the weekend together. They both said they were bored, there were too many godly players, and they were tired of losing.

    Just like you, it boggles my mind why they would even want the game in the first place.

    I used the Mario Kart comparison because Mario Kart generaly outsells CoD. Both games play MP online and offline. And while Mario Kart eclipses CoD sales, we don’t read three and four website “articles” in the same day talking it up. And Nintendo doesn’t spend the same amount marketing it as Acti does. The game, Mario Kart, more or less sells itself.

    And because it does, you don’t get people hating on it in forum after forum. Day after day. It just is. you like it or you don’t, you buy it or you don’t.

    In some ways, to some people, CoD is like a villan. Like Deacon said, he dislikes it because he would like game industry focus on something other then CoD that he would enjoy more. I think a lot of people feel that way. they keep waiting for the omp fps craze to go away(I don’t think it will completly). So CoD comes to be the face of an evil villan some gamers love to hate.

    #39 3 years ago
  40. polygem

    “….Pat tried his hardest to get us all to buy Vitas.

    Did you buy one?….”

    i was hesitating. i did read said article. i bought one. i blame said article. good thing. i don´t regret the purchase.

    Topic: i love shooters. there was a time i totally enjoyed cod. i´ve become a bit bored by it now. the formula still works perfectly though. they should get their lazy asses togehter and figure out what to change in the creativity/story/artwork department. there are not many changes needed in the basic gameplay, maybe more modes, like they already did in blops. love or hate the game. it plays like a dream. one of the franchises with great, smooth gameplay mechanics. it looks like they try to make some well thought out changes here and for that reason i start to get some interest in blops 2 again. mw3 was (for me) a huge let down.

    @13: i totally agree with the halo 4 part. it looks like they really tried to focus on the strengths and tried to eliminate (the very very few) weaknesses of halo. i am so much more excited about halo 4 this fall.

    #40 3 years ago
  41. DSB

    @39 When you say it like that, then I mostly agree. But I don’t think more people leave CoD than any other game. Some might walk away, and some are obviously liable to pick it back up after a while.

    That’s usually how it goes for me. 14 days to a month of regular playing and then total apathy until I get the urge again.

    I’m not sure I buy the Mario Kart comparison though. Mario Kart isn’t just any random old game. It has barely changed in terms of gameplay since the SNES days, and personally I think Sonic and Sega Allstars deserves far more praise because of that, for actually trying to take it further.

    It’s like noting that Counter-Strike has about a third more people playing it than CoD does at the moment.

    You can’t really use that to say anything about CoD, just as you can’t use Mario to say anything about Sonic. Very few games enjoy that kind of prestige and success.

    Also:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0LfLk9lLEg

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_HOMVConcM

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjqJ80PSfrY

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM7F_9fim84

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJkEiQpQEm0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLrAZlxS7F0

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aby732_qQS8

    #41 3 years ago
  42. OlderGamer

    Yea I am not bitching about cod DSB as a game. And if you look long term at online usage number, cod is amoung the best in concerant numbers. Just that those sales numbers and online usage number show a hella gap. Meaning that there is a large mass of buyers that either play once in awhile or not at all.

    I find it interesting is all. Esp when talking to the physcology of why people love to buy the game.

    Love the comercials lol

    #42 3 years ago
  43. DrDamn

    @42
    http://majornelson.com/category/top-live/

    BlackOps was top right up until MW3 was released – when big titles like BF3, Gears 3, Skyrim etc were released BlackOps stayed above them. How does this back up the hella gap you are talking about? This is a full year after release.

    #43 3 years ago
  44. OlderGamer

    Doc it has to do with number of total copies sold Vs % of those copies being played online. Also need to factor used copies sold etc.

    It has nothing to do with other games sold or played online.

    Just a pulling an example of what i am saying out of thin air.

    Top 3 games played online:

    Game A 1.3million users
    Game B 1.2million users
    Game C 1.1million users

    Game sales:

    Game A 30million
    Game B 5million
    Game c 2million

    You could say that less % of buyers of Game A play online. And a higher % of players buying Game C played online.

    The gap, Doc is the % of owners that play said game online. Not the pure number of online players. And NOTHING to do with other games.

    #44 3 years ago
  45. G1GAHURTZ

    You’re just inventing those figures to suit your argument…

    #45 3 years ago
  46. DrDamn

    Other games do matter when you consider that Gears or BF will be selling significant amounts week one, but still get beaten by a game almost a year old. What ever percentage of total sales that is doesn’t matter because the pure number itself is significant enough.

    #46 3 years ago
  47. OlderGamer

    Never said I wasn’t.

    #47 3 years ago
  48. OlderGamer

    No it does matter, your not understanding.

    It is not a CoD vs other games perspective. And I am not attacking the game so relax. You know what never mind. All you guys wanna do is argue the validity of cod.

    I already wrote:

    “The one good thing, and maybe bad depending on how you look at it, is that Acti are giving the fans what they want.”

    Also:

    http://www.vg247.com/2012/05/03/bread-and-circuses-why-black-ops-2-is-just-another-shooter/

    I was looking at why CoD does what CoD does, not weather or not it is worthy of those numbers. I wasn’t speaking of the quality of the game.

    #48 3 years ago
  49. DSB

    The problem is you have no idea how many of those are unique users, or how long they play.

    They might play on different days, they might play at different hours of the day. They might play for five hours, they might play for one hour, or they might play for 10 minutes. Some might only play weekends, some might only play weekdays, some might only play mondays, some might only play fridays.

    You can’t get that number just by looking at concurrent users.

    I think it’s obvious that most people won’t be playing all at once, after the buy, but it’s just as obvious that you don’t really have a way of knowing how many actually do.

    60.000 concurrent users could be showing you anywhere between 60.000 and 5 million depending on how many you reckon are unique, and for how long they stay.

    #49 3 years ago
  50. OlderGamer

    Agreed DSB. It is hard to factor in all of the varriables. Prolly impossible to be honest.

    Used games sales being another hard to track number.

    You might be able to factor in map packs sold, but still prolly not.

    #50 3 years ago
  51. DrDamn

    @OG
    I’m not on about game quality either. I didn’t buy MW3 and didn’t play much of Blops. The thing is you aren’t backing up any of your speculation with stats or facts. Where I’ve linked to several bits of info which directly contradict *some* of what you are saying.

    #51 3 years ago
  52. HeavyD-Love

    Black Ops 2 is sounding pretty damn good right about now!

    #52 3 years ago
  53. IL DUCE

    No matter what setting its in the difference remains the same BS has been around since 2007 and not much has changed besides from updated graphics and different settings…not to mention, this is essentially CoD’s version of Ghost Recon Future Soldier…just like MW2 took a bunch of crap from Ranbow Six Vegas 2…this just looks lame as every other CoD…black ops was disappointing as was MW3…and I lost interest about 2 weeks after buying both games @ launch…this is the beginning of the end for CoD…or at least I can hope it is, but sheep will continue to eat this crap up so I doubt it

    #53 3 years ago
  54. IL DUCE

    And how is this anything new? Its once again the same CoD reskinned…cuz unless you watched this video on acid, nothing looks different whatsoever…still a bunch of mashed up set pieces in single player, and the multiplayer remains to be seen but I doubt it strays from the tried and true carbon copy formula…if you want something fresh play Battlefield, much better game than CoD and actually makes you feel like you’re in a war, it doesn’t just flip the “M” upside down to show “WW3″ to make you feel like you’re in a war

    #54 3 years ago
  55. Gadzooks!

    Il duce, you really should read articles before commenting on them, something you have clearly not done here.

    #55 3 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Sony has announced your free PlayStation Plus games for the month of February. Come February 3 in North America and February 4 in Europe, Plus members on both side of the pond will be gifted with the following: Transistor (PS4) Apotheon (PS4) Yakuza 4 (PS3) Thief (PS3) Rogue Legacy (PS Vita|PS4|PS3) Kick & Fennick (PS […]

  • Life is Strange launch trailer and final dev diary released

    With the first episode of Life is Strange releasing tomorrow, Dontnod Entertainment has released the last developer diary for the title as well as the launch trailer. Titled Creating Arcadia Bay, the video provides more information on the licensed soundtrack as well as the voice actors behind Max and Chloe. It also touches upon how […]

  • LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers out this year

    LEGO Jurassic World and LEGO Marvel’s Avengers have been announced by Warner Bros., the former was outed by Toys R Us and then teased at the end of LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, if you recall. LEGO Jurassic World encompasses all four Jurassic Park films and will be made available in June for 3DS, PC, […]

  • Pokemon, Super Smash Bros. top Nintendo’s million units sales list for Q3

    Nintendo has posted a list of titles which have sold millions of units as part of its quarter three earnings release. Global unit sales of 3DS titles for the nine months ending December 31, 2014: Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire: 9.35 million (life-to-date, same) Super Smash Bros.: 6.19 million (life-to-date, same) Tomodachi Life: 2.11 […]

  • How to take a screenshot on Xbox One: a lesson in frustration

    Trying to do just one simple thing seems to have 360 steps with Microsoft – why is the Xbox One’s functionality such a car crash? “The Xbox One’s definition of usability is in fact the exact opposite – this is a console designed to make life inconvenient for its players unless they sign up for […]

  • Game of Thrones’ Westeros is being made in Minecraft by 125 people

    WesterosCraft, the project dedicated to creating the entirety of Game of Thrones’ Westros has resurfaced. There are more than a few ambitious Minecraft projects, but hardly any as impressive as WesterosCraft. We first came across it all the way back in January 2013, but it looks much better now. “I would say the world is […]

  • Dying Light exploit gives you unlimited money and items

    Dying Light has been out for just over a day and an infinite money and item exploit is already out there. A simple exploit has been discovered in Dying Light that lets you duplicate weapons, all of which you can sell for profit. Win/ win. YouTuber PowerPyx lays out the steps in the handy video […]

  • Sunset Overdrive concept art is as jovial as the game itself

    Sunset Overdrive is a colourful game which is partly due to its concept art. The concept art featured below is created by Vaughan Ling, one of the concept artsists who worked on Sunset Overdrive. Anyone who’s played the game will immediately recognise the locations, weapons, character designs and general atmosphere of the game through these. […]

  • Get an extended look at the PS4 version of Project CARS

    The PlayStation 4 version of Project CARS has been shown in 1080p 60fps. The video below is captured by racing game enthusiasts Team VVV from a preview build. You can see different racing disciplines being demonstrated here, on different circuits. The game’s impressive visuals get even better when the weather gets worse.

  • Battle Pod is the Star Wars arcade game you’ve waited your whole life for

    Star Wars: Battle Pod is an arcade game that lets you replay the battles of the original trilogy, and features an incredible cockpit. If you’ve never played a game at an arcade before, Star Wars: Battle Pod will definitely be the one to change your mind. It’s an arcade cabinet out of a classic Star […]

  • CoD Exo Zombies: how to unlock the Ride of the Valkyries Easter egg

    To no one’s surprise, Exo Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has some Easter eggs. The first Exo Zombies Easter egg, of surely many more to come, has been discovered. It’s a musical one that involves Richard Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries. How you unlock it is not as convoluted as you might […]

  • Dying Light is sub-1080p on Xbox One, full 1080p on PS4 – report

    Early analysis of Dying Light on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One has revealed a few technical details about both ports. Digital Foundry has produced some analysis of both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One ports of Dying Light based on some early testing. Both versions manage a solid 30 frames-per-second, only dipping below that in […]

  • Battlefield 4 Second Assault DLC free to all EA Access members

    EA is offering Battlefield 4′s Second Assault expansion free to anyone with an active EA Access subscription. Anyone with an active subscription to EA Access can download the Second Assault expansion pack for Battlefield 4 starting January 29 and through February 28, free of charge. All you need to do is find it on the […]

  • The Witcher 3 is getting optimised, but no visual downgrade

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the final stages of development and developer CD Projekt RED is making sure optimisation work doesn’t impact the game’s visuals. The Witcher 3 art producer, Michal Stec, spoke to Eternity in an interview and was asked whether the team will downgrade the visuals to get better performance. “No. […]

  • Can’t download Dying Light on PS4? Here’s a fix

    If you’ve bought Dying Light on PS4 and you’re having trouble downloading it, you’re not alone. Here’s how to beat the bug. Techland’s Dying Light is stumbling out of the blocks a little this week, with many PS4 users experiencing problems with their full-game downloads. A bug’s to blame. Your console thinks you’ve already installed […]

  • What The Witcher 3 owes to Skyrim – and how it surpasses it

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt owes more than a nod to Bethesda’s Skyrim. I went to see The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and had a great time. I went in a fan of the books but not very experienced with the first two games. I came out with The Witcher 3 top of my gaming […]

  • Dragon’s Dogma Online has great monsters

    Dragon’s Dogma Online looks pretty rad – an undesirable quality in a game unlikely to come west, from our perspective. The first Dragon’s Dogma trailer was released this afternoon; admire its beauty below. The free to play online RPG was announced for PC, PlayStation 3 and PS4 overnight, but Capcom doesn’t intend to bring it […]

  • Xenoblade Chronicles X map about five times the size of last game’s

    Xenoblade Chronicles X is not a small game. This week’s Famitsu has a feature on Xenoblade Chronicles X giving some details on Monolith Soft’s next RPG and first Wii U game. According to Siliconera‘s translation of reports on the feature, the game’s map is about five times the size of that in Xenoblade Chronicles. The […]

  • Take on Mars expected to hit beta in April

    Take on Mars, the space sim from Bohemia Interactive will soon be reader for wider consumption. According to a new Take on Mars development roadmap, the sim will go into beta at the start of April, with full release expected in June. The project is currently available via Steam early Access, but between now and […]

  • Can you guess the next Mortal Kombat X character reveal from this fatality audio clip?

    Mortal Kombat X will have at least one very liquid-sounding fatality. NetherRealm is revealing Mortal Kombat X’s cats one character at a time, and has promised a new reveal during a community Twitch stream tomorrow. It also provided the following teaser video – it’s audio only, and apparently taken from a fatality sequence. What’s your […]

  • Nintendo Creators Program now recruiting YouTubers – PewDiePie, others weigh-in

    Nintendo has opened a Creators Program designed to ensure creators get a slice of ad revenue from videos featuring Nintendo assets, and some prominent YouTubers aren’t pleased with the company. Update “What Nintendo are missing out on completely is the free exposure and publicity that they get from YouTube,” wrote Felix Kjellberg (PewDiePie) on his […]

  • Xbox Live issues under investigation

    Can’t sign into Xbox Live? Microsoft is on the case. Xbox 360 and Xbox One users report being unable to sign in to Xbox Live. Microsoft is already aware of and working on the problem. “Our team is hard at work right now trying to get this resolved. Thank you for staying patient while we […]

  • Make money from your non-Valve mods with Steam Workshop

    Valve has opened the money-making side of Steam Workshop to third-party titles, giving enterprising modders more ways to make money. Steam now hosts curated Workshops for Dungeon Defenders: Eternity and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare, the first non-Valve games to support the scheme. What that means is that community members can create, vote on and eventually even […]

  • Check out DmC: Devil May Cry’s new manual lock-on

    DmC: Devil may Cry developer Ninja Theory has released a video showing off the new, controversial lock-on mode. The new manual lock-on is causing quite a stir, although its reception is probably better than the white-wigged Dante who makes fans even more upset than the original makeover. “The primary purpose of this video is to […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes looks pretty fun

    Dragon Quest Heroes is yet another Omega Force take on an existing property – like Hyrule Warriors or the One Piece games. And it looks pretty sweet. We haven’t heard much from Dragon Quest Heroes here in the west because it hasn’t been confirmed for release outside Japan. This isn’t terribly surprising as we still […]

  • Square Enix to reveal new PS4 game this weekend

    Square Enix is doing something pretty mysterious right now. The Final Fantasy publisher is teasing something called Project Code Z. The project, which Square Enix is tweeting about in Japanese, English and German, is due for reveal at Tokaigi 2015 on Saturday. It’s a PS4 game, but that’s all we know. There’s a website you […]

  • Tetris has crowned its first known western Grand Master

    Tetris fans have a new western champion. Tetris is one of those gaming obsessions that goes much deeper than you might expect. For example, did you know that some versions of the game assess your performance and over you the chance to become a “grand master”? Turns out that’s a thing, and according to Polygon […]

  • Ken Levine’s next game teased as “sci-fi-ish” small, open-world RPG

    A series of tweets from BioShock creator Ken Levine has shed a sliver of light upon his next project. According to Levine he and his team are considering something a bit sci-fi and contemplating first-person mode. The team is developing the game for PC with a large in scope, expandable, systems-based narrative where more can […]

  • Become a lynx in new Shelter 2 trailer

    Shelter 2 casts players in the role of a lynx, which makes for quite a different experience to the badger of the first game. The first Shelter game had you evading predators, but in the second, you becomes one yourself. That doesn’t mean there are no dangers to face, of course. Judging by the trailer […]

  • Why King of Fighters 13 isn’t coming back to Evo

    Evo, the premiere western fighting game tournament, has dropped support for a few previously favoured titles. King of Fighters 13 had a loyal following, but isn’t featured in the Evo 2015 line-up. “Many things go into what games makes it to Evo, but the most obvious one is, ‘Is the community playing this game?’” Evo […]