Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Articles RSS Feed | Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network What Happened to Linear Games? And Are They Due a Resurgence? Thu, 17 May 2018 14:43:47 -0400 Miles T

The gaming world as we know it today is a very different phenomenon than what it used to be. Today, a large proportion of video games are large-scale, open-world giants with a huge amount of content and massive time sinks for our limited daily hours. A lot of games releasing can average roughly around 30-40 hours of playtime minimum to witness and complete the majority of the their content, and some can frequently eclipse 80-100 hours. While this may seem initially fantastic -- and for many people, it really is -- for others like myself, it’s starting to take a real toll on my enjoyment and satisfaction from playing, despite offering exceptional value for the price.

Most games now are behemoths, requiring a huge amount of commitment of both our time and our energy. Frequently requiring us to dedicate our restricted number of leisure hours, they can be a daunting demand in comparison to a few years ago, a period when games could be enjoyed more leisurely and with less required of us to embrace them. I wanted to explore this shift in how current-gen games have a vastly different design compared to previously, and see if we may be due a resurgence for shorter, more compact and more compelling experiences than we are being exposed to presently.  

The Established Norm

The years between 2007-2013 saw the linear, roughly 8-12 hour video game reach its established peak. Coming fresh off of the heels of the goliath which was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the PS3 and Xbox 360 era saw the release of an incredible roster of tight, compact, and relatively short video game experiences. In the span of these six years, we were delivered remarkable adventures in the shape of the BioShock franchise, various Call of Duty campaigns, the Killzone series, God of War 3, the Uncharted series, and even underappreciated gems, such as Vanquish and Spec Ops: The Line, to name but a few.

The end of this time period also saw some of these franchises arguably reach their narrative climax. Take the universally glowing reputation that World at War’s campaign received, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves being considered one of the best games of its generation, BioShock: Infinite with its unforgettable twist ending. Excluding their multiplayer and co-op components for a moment, these games delivered a linear structure of single-player action that I don’t personally feel has been matched since. I still distinctly remember *that* reveal moment at the end of Spec-Ops, so integral to its core concept it was woven into the fabric of its run-time. We as a community still get goosebumps from the simple phrase of “Would you kindly?” and how it dramatically altered our perception of video game autonomy. Even looking towards the hype around Halo 3 to "Finish the Fight" or the moment Dom sacrificed himself in Gears of War 3these were emotive moments that resonate even more strongly because we weren’t bombarded with fluff; we were given handcrafted moments to fondly remember.  

My point is, these games reached the height of their success because of the work and love that was invested into their single-player campaigns. They were relatively short, but they were packed to the rafters with quality and care. Many of these games held as many intimate moments of reflection as they did blockbuster, screen-bursting action sequences. The pacing of the moment-to-moment story was perfected, the development of heroes or villains was rich, the enjoyment of their sequences was unmatched. Then, built on the shoulders of these excellent games came one of the pinnacles of the linear, story-driven experience: The Last of Us.

Each of these games was more than worth the price of admission at the time, usually around $50-$60. They created emotional connections, characters we cared about, and story endings we yearned to see but were disappointed to witness end. Metal Gear Solid 4 was a game that defined the previous generation of consoles for me; it's one of my favorite video games of all time, and at one point, I had finished it on the hardest difficulty in under 4 hours, having replayed it almost 14 times.

So what changed in the intervening period between 2013-2017? Open-world and large-scale video games had definitely existed before then, and arguably, there were even more substandard games then there are now. Some games breaking the 100+ hour mark for completion wasn’t particularly novel, either. However, I believe these were the years that defined the shift from focused, single-player experiences with limited time requirement to the expansion of games in size, costs, and in some cases, even quality.

The Rise of Open World

The release of Fallout 3, which was to be followed by the seismic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, put into motion the early changing of the metaphorical guard from the aforementioned linear video game into the new, altogether larger, open-world paradigm of video game design. With developers such as Ubisoft and EA seeing the power of the new generation of consoles, bigger and shinier became the new order of the day. Open-world games appeared to flood into the market from 2014 onwards.

Watch_Dogs 1 & 2, The Division, The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Syndicate and Rogue, Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 4, Dying Light, Mad Max, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, No Man’s Sky. The list could reach unfathomable lengths. Established open-world franchises flourished as gamers flocked to pick up the next release, clamoring to get the most content for our hard-earned cash. Even traditional series, such as Metal Gear Solid and Ghost Recon weren’t immune to the lure of the open-world design, with The Phantom Pain and Wildlands pursuing this endeavor with differing success. The scale and sheer level of adoration of huge video game landscapes can also be reflected in the game of the year contenders of the last few years: Horizon Zero Dawn, Fallout 4, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, The Witcher 3: Wild HuntThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Phantom Pain, Final Fantasy XV, and Batman: Arkham Knight were all frequently discussed and deemed worthy of the accolade.

This dramatic change in the way developers approached delivering video games to their audience has been negotiated from a few different perspectives. For example, a larger, more expansive and open map allows for more gameplay opportunities and mission variety. It’s far easier to pack smaller and larger tasks into an overarching map than have to create each one individually within a particular level or restrictive segment. Additionally, the rise in developing, creating, and producing games has been increasing as the popularity of the industry has skyrocketed. Games are now multi-million dollar investments, which means publishers were looking for methods to increase their revenue pool from each product. Open-world games therefore made more sense going forward, as they are much easier to monetize and create paid short-cuts for. The final point I’m going to explore is the notion that linear games and single-player experiences simply became unpopular, no longer the golden child of the industry.

Filling the Quantity With Actual Quality

While many of the previously mentioned game of the year contenders have been outstanding in their own right, with some of them even being a part of my contenders for best games of all time, this shift in design has also brought with it a multitude of issues. The first and most notable problem for me has been the gluttonous implementation of filler content: huge, expansive maps covered in needless icons, utterly pointless and unsatisfying collectibles, side content relying on depressingly boring fetch quests or menial tasks. Grinding has become part of the regular game experience now, filling XP bars to unlock inorganic skill trees. While not as prominent in something like Breath of the Wild or The Witcher, filler content has decimated the enjoyment of potentially excellent games like Watch_Dogs or Wildlands, with some of the worst offenders being Assassin’s Creed Unity and Rogue (really, 200 animus fragments?!). Unnecessary padding had been prevalent in many games beforehand, but the alarming increase in the frequency of it being used had certainly been noticeable.

It would be a fair accusation to say that much of the side material developed for these gargantuan games is largely blubber, the majority proving to be cheaply and sloppily executed. Sadly, this created the significant problem of games having artificially inflated run-times, where the meat and satisfactory course of the main game remain relatively short but are buffered by all the unnecessary busywork. The main story then started to suffer as result -- it’s hard to take the end of the world or the hero’s quest to save a realm seriously when you can run around for 3 hours collecting feathers or completing odd jobs for random NPCs. Who could forget the infamous fetch quest from Dying Light that tasked players with the heroic and immediately urgent task of ... gathering coffee beans.

Personally, I found this busywork started to break my immersion in the world and my empathy with the core cast. For example, when returning to the main quest line in AC: Origins, I could sometimes have forgotten which major figures I was undertaking my Medjay work for by the time I’d finished clearing out those 10 extra side quests I’d unlocked. All of this was relatively forgivable at first; the odd, boring side experience in Fallout 3 or The Witcher could sometimes emphasize just how fantastic much of the content was. But in games like Shadow of War or Wildlands, they’re forced into the main path of progression and diminish what would otherwise have been a compelling experience. This is where I feel the loss of linear experiences hindered some of these more recent games, detracting from the quality of their core gameplay loop and integral story.  

An Open World, an Open Wallet

Filler content didn’t prove to just be a bane towards our time, however; it also became the means through which many of these open-ended and large-scale games began to monetize their designs, alongside multiplayer components. Some means through which games inflated their length was to utilize XP bars, experience points, and branching skill trees that could fill multiple screens. These were far less prominent in the years prior to 2013 -- especially in single-player campaigns for the FPS and third-person action-adventure genres.

The increase in their use allowed the development of microtransactions to speed up player’s progression -- XP boosts, in-game currency double earnings, purchasing top-tier weapons through pre-order deals, or in-game stores all started to become frequent. Normal. Expected. The casual player with extra disposable income had the means at their fingertips (or credit card) to buy their way through the unfulfilling side content. No game in the last few years better exemplified this than Shadow of War, whose final act for many players was a tedious chore to play through, suspiciously designed to cater to those who were willing to unlock their bank account for a quicker ride through. It undercut its core gameplay and diminished people’s satisfaction with what would otherwise have been a brilliant experience.

While it may have made sense from a business perspective for companies to pursue this form of design, it created sandboxes devoid of interesting, quality moments. So many forgettable quests, lost opportunities, and miserable grinding just to reach the next section we actually wanted to see. As a trend, microtransactions are showing little sign of truly slowing down their march, so open-world time-sinks are likely to continue to be the flavor of the day so that some developers can continue to hoover up their profits.

So Linear, So Mainstream

Another reason for why we witnessed an influx in overly indulgent game design around this period was the interesting change in players' expectations and desires from their standard video game experience. Around the time of Skyrim’s release, people became dissatisfied with 8-10 hour, highly structured and restrictive games. Call of Duty single-player offerings became criticized for being too scripted, repeating obvious and done-to-death set pieces, offering bombastic action that had lost its luster because of a lack of agency and choice. Gamers became disillusioned with corridor shooters, funneled action games and bottleneck entertainment that offered little variety. Generally, the linear video game became stale, lacking the fresh ideas that revolutionized the gaming industry and catapulted them to be king of the hill.  

People wanted vast landscapes, freedom of choice in gameplay, and a more casual-friendly sense of easy progression through a video game’s content. It became mainstream to pour vitriol on yet another "Halo clone" or "wannabe Call of Duty," to the extent that many players no longer wished to pursue traditional games. With this in mind, it was the perfect opportunity for teams to create a new “norm” -- and so began the shift in focus.

Freedom of choice and autonomy to play the way we wanted became powerful selling statements on the backs of boxes. Series like Far Cry and singular games like No Man’s Sky offered us a previously unimaginable level of immersion and belief in our own ability to control our fate. It was the perfect foil for the tightly woven and restrictive games that had dominated before them. Pouncing on this newly discovered popularity, open-world games surged to the top of charts and received rave reviews.

Nowadays, we can see that much of this notion of autonomy became something of an illusion. Sure you can take any means of transport to attack an outpost in Wildlands, but why would you when the ground vehicles handle horribly and a helicopter gets you there 10x faster? Of course you can ignore all of these monotonous side quests, but what if I lose out on all the best items in the game? Absolutely, I could choose to scout out a location before laying siege in Mad Max, but what’s the point when it all plays out the same way as it would by steamrolling straight in? This conflict in the game's marketing versus its actual offering created experiences with a void of real engagement. You have choice, but it's an artificial, largely meaningless choice, initially promising but over an extended time, devolving into routine.

Are We Due an Influx of Smaller, Linear Games Again?

Moving into 2018, we’ve already seen a couple of hugely ambitious, time-consuming games be released: Monster Hunter: World and Far Cry 5. What we have also seen, though, has been a weariness towards massive games, with some signs that the linear, more compact model may be finding its audience again.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a phenomenal game that took 6-7 hours to complete, one of my contenders for the best game of 2017. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy demonstrated there is still demand, ideas, and quality for the more streamlined experience (excluding chapter 4) that had been opened up somewhat in Uncharted 4. Episodic and story-exclusive games have risen from nearly non-existent to being a prominent genre in the current market, thanks to the appeal and intrinsic quality from titles like Life Is Strange, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, What Remains of Edith Finch, and many more. We’ve also seen a slight scaling back from traditional open worlds into more refined, open-area focused design, a la the new God of War or NieR: Automata. Resident Evil 7 proved a huge return to form for Capcom, dropping the bloated campaigns of RE6 for a much more deep, nuanced, and terrifying survival-horror experience. Quality and meaning are beginning to find their way back into the medium, and developers are being encouraged to make games that don’t just drain our time but make those spent hours rewarding and satisfying again.

Given the massive shift that occurred in the years between 2013 and 2018, it’s unlikely we’re suddenly going to see a monumental change to the ratio of open-world versus linear games. The extraordinary rise in the level of microtransactions, the ease of creating expansive landscapes with reused assets, and the demand for more casual and approachable progression systems means we will still be forced to endure some games that treat our time as frivolous and expendable.

Finding That Middle Ground

There’s genuine hope for the future and the horizon we have before us, however. Bethesda is supporting brilliant franchises in The Evil Within and Wolfenstein. Later this month will see the release of Detroit: Become Human. We’ve had remakes of classic shorter games like Crash Bandicoot and Shadow of the Colossus, with Spyro due for the spruced-up treatment this year. Call of Duty returned to its narrative roots after the more open-ended Infinite Warfare with WWII. There appears to be demand for the return to the older form of video game, and I think that’s fantastic.

Sometimes, it’s nice to be able to sit down, play a game over a weekend, polish it off, and move on, fondly remembering the brief and exciting time you had with it before progressing on to the next in the long backlog of games. Never overstaying their welcome, they allow developers to craft a well-paced, enthralling game that never insists on making you do things that simply aren’t fun. There’s absolutely a place for massive, extraordinary games that ask you to plow over 50 hours into them -- just see Persona 5 as an example. But sometimes it’s great to have a game which doesn’t require you to put dozens of hours into it to get the full experience.

With Red Dead Redemption 2 around the corner and more AAA games looking to deliver that bang for our money, I hope the industry can find its equilibrium. Too many of either form of video game, or too much emphasis upon one genre, causes over-saturation and a diminishing sense of enjoyment. The gaming world needs variety; it needs linear, story-focused and single-player experiences just as much as it needs another Grand Theft Auto or Far Cry.

It may not necessarily be where the money or the hype is, but it may just be where an audience including myself finds ourselves getting enveloped in memorable narratives all over again. Now, would you kindly grab that controller and get playing?

2007 vs 2017: A Decade in the Making Sun, 31 Dec 2017 14:15:34 -0500 H. Rhodes Hancock

Around a decade ago, I watched a video on GameTrailers called the Top 10 Years of Gaming, and the #1 was 2007. Considering that this video was made and uploaded at the tail end of 2007, it almost seemed presumptuous to call a year that was just on its way out the “Best Year in Gaming.” Now here we are, 10 years later, and people are already declaring 2017 to be another “Best Year in Gaming.” And you know what, both are right.

2007 and 2017 are two great years in the history of video games. 2007 gave us Assassin’s Creed, Mass Effect, Portal, Modern Warfare, BioShock, and Super Mario Galaxy. 2017 gave us Cuphead, NierAutomata, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Breath of the Wild, Persona 5, and Super Mario Odyssey. And those are just all I can name off the top of my head. The sheer volume of quality games that came out in both years is amazing.

However, in retrospect, it wasn’t just the quality and the quantity of the games released that made it a historic year for the medium. It was how those games changed the landscape.

[Image courtesy of BioShock Wiki]

Take BioShock for example. The ideas it helped popularize have become so commonplace that its impact almost feels subdued. The way it uses audio logs to tell you its story, or how you are given moral choices that will impact the outcome of the game, were brought into the mainstream by BioShock and have become mainstays of video game design to the point that those once revolutionary mechanics feel clichéd.

How about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare? Not only did it break the military shooter subgenre out of World War II and into the modern era, but it also promoted the perk system in multiplayer and (for better and for worse) the idea that single-player campaigns could be highly scripted, cinematic roller coaster rides where you are taken from one set piece to the next.

In fact, when you think about it, the franchises and trends that defined 2007 either reinvented themselves or were phased out. In 2007, the Assassin’s Creed franchise begins. In 2017, the franchise gets a soft reboot with Assassins Creed: Origins. In 2007, the Call of Duty franchise does a huge shakeup by going to the modern era after the World War II setting begins to grow stale. In 2017, the Call of Duty franchise decides to go back to the World War II setting after the modern era setting grows stale. In 2007, Half-Life 2: Episode 2 ends in a huge cliffhanger that will ultimately set-up Half-Life 3. In 2017, Half-Life 3 is released in the form of a plot summary on Pastebin.

2017 feels like a new chapter is currently being written. The Nintendo Switch is blurring the lines between handheld games and console games. The surprise success of Nier: Automata saved Platinum Games. SEGA’s long-standing Yakuza franchise finally broke out of its niche. Cuphead surpassed the sales of the more heavily marketed Star Wars Battlefront II by a huge margin. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild reinvented the open-world mechanic.

The game industry is always changing. But this past year, just like 10 years ago, is where we are going to see the roots of many defining trends for years to come. Games will start taking cues from Breath of the Wild and how it constructed its world, while companies will begin to start assessing the Nintendo Switch and its potential after its first lucrative year.

What do you think? Are we gonna see some trends emerge from this year like we did from 2007's releases? What's it gonna be like reading this article in 2027? Let us know in the comments.

An Interview with Drift0r, the YouTube Call of Duty Wizard Mon, 08 May 2017 16:34:04 -0400 ReverendShmitty

Brad Overbey, better known by his online alias Drift0r, is a successful YouTube personality best known for his Call of Duty coverage. His famous In Depth series, which has covered Call of Duty since the first Black Ops over six years ago, has gained him a lot of respect from the community, as he presents hard numbers and facts to statistically show which weapons, attachments, and perks are the best to use.

With 1.2 million subscribers and 292 million views, his channel's influence has brought him into the top echelon of first-person-shooter YouTubers, granting him access to private events with publishers and developers such as Activision and Dice.

Drift0r managed to carve out a slot in his busy schedule of covering Call of Duty World War II news, streaming Overwatchand his new Sniper Ghost Warrior In Depth series, to talk to us about the future of his channel and Call of Duty.

Disclaimer: To ensure full transparency, the interviewer is a longtime subscriber, sponsor, and moderator of Drift0r's main and secondary channel.

GS: To start off, I’m curious how this last year has been. You adamantly stuck to your guns and refused to cover Infinite Warfare, so you replaced its coverage with Modern Warfare Remastered In Depth, while also reviving the Drift0rPlays channel for other games like Heroes of the Storm and Overwatch. How has all of this affected you and your channels?

D: In short, this has been the hardest and most costly decision that I have ever made. Maybe ever. MWR In Depth did okay-ish for a short while but was never as popular as Infinite Warfare content. Audience interest in it died much quicker than I expected. This caused me to lose about 80% of my income for the last six months and is projected to stay at 80% loss for the rest of this year. I also have been losing subscribers every single month, except for this one. Subscriber growth is finally back in the green. The greater CoD Community and many of my fans viewed this decision a betrayal.

I have always provided guides and the community has always supported me in return. Deciding not to post a game for moral reasons was not viewed highly by everyone. Of course, many of my fans understood and continued to support me, but not all. Perhaps more frustrating was that I became a scapegoat for various things and the CoD community outside of my fan base. The last six months has been incredibly difficult for me.

Reviving Drift0rPlays was a VERY recent decision and mostly just so that I can stream more casual Overwatch. I plan to promote it some after I've been streaming on it consistently for a few months.

GS: Looking toward the future, are you at all concerned with the so-called “Ad-pocalypse”? You said on Twitter that your CPMs are pretty high and most of your Non-Ad-Friendly strikes are reversed within an hour, but do you fear it will only get worse?

D: I am very afraid. I feel that I may be next on the chopping block. Imagine working a job that pays $10/hr but is subject to being permanently reduced to $1/hr based on the decisions of AI chatbot. Google/YouTube means well, but they frequently make broad sweeping changes with no warning or input from creators. They can change the monetization rules, copyright rules, ad types, community rules, or how the search engine works at any time for any reason. Seeing this happen to other CoD channels worries me.

GS: Do you have any ideas, theories, or just thoughts in general, about how consumers can affect the more restrictive ad strikes facing their favorite channels and creators?

D: Be vocal about it and keep watching whatever they want is the best thing.

GS: Throughout the years, you’ve had a few expansions for Drift0r as a brand, including merchandise (both professional and homemade), owning part of Team EnVyUs, and Drift0r Mobile. Are these indicative of your long-term goals with the Drift0r name?

D: I have no idea, honestly. I should be more proactive in brand building with merchandise and complementing services. However, I'm lazy and tend to just focus on my videos. Brand extensions tend to kind of come and go at random for me. I also am kind of bad about following up on designs. Long-term goals seem impossible to me. Given how YouTube works, it feels as if I am surfing a wave of chaos and liable to fall off any given moment.

GS: Pulling back to your short-term goals, how hopeful are you that this year’s Call of Duty WWII will be less supply-drop focused, more in-line with your personal ethics, and therefore permitted to coverage on your channel?

D: Primarily, I hope that CoD WWII is a great game. I want it to be good from a gameplay standpoint. If the game itself plays well, then it will do well on YouTube. Supply drops of some kind are almost certainly coming, but I hope that they are more consumer friendly and/or era authentic. If it gets too silly, it will push people away. Also, having poor long-term value will push people away. Supply drops would not be nearly as bad if I could carry them over from game to game.

GS: Following up on CoD:WWII, you said during a livestream that you prefer a modern setting over returning to World War II, but would gladly take this over another title like Infinite Warfare. Do you think WWII will bring the resurgence of players that Call of Duty lost over the last few years?

D: It is hard to say if CoD WWII will bring players back because you then have to ask where they left from. Are they fans of CoD4? MW2? The Black Ops series? Black Ops before Jetpacks? Advanced Warfare? Ghosts? All of these games are very different and many players seek to return to the roots in different places. What I am hoping is that WWII will bring in people from outside the CoD community.

GS: With a promising new title like CoD:WWII on the horizon, do you plan to continue smaller-running series such as Overwatch In Depth after its release?

D: I adore Overwatch and think it is the best shooter made in the last decade. I will absolutely continue streaming, playing, and making In Depth for it. My In Depth episodes might be a little slow, but I do them for my own enjoyment. Breaking down characters helps me learn about them, too.

GS: Your channel has also prominently featured non-video game related videos about a bevy of topics like economics, religion, psychology, spirituality, and a variety of personal stories from your own life. Can your fans expect this type of (occasionally controversial) video to continue as your channel grows in popularity?

D: I probably won't ever quit making the personal, religious, philosophical, or political videos. Part of doing YouTube is making content that is important to you. Sometimes those topics are important to me, and I want to talk about them. Also, sometimes I see it as doing some good in the world to try to encourage critical thinking. Often times, those videos are the most satisfying for me to make. What I really need to do is find a better platform for them that isn't gaming but can still generate similar views.  

GS: With your channel featuring a number of series throughout the years and your background of creating short films, do you ever consider returning to creating original content? If so, could you tell us about some of your ideas?

D: I am a bit of day dreamer and have hundreds of half-baked ideas and short scripts sitting around. The problem with short films and original content is that they are HARD. They are much harder and more expensive than you think. Some people do it and make it look easy. However, that is not true. Often, they spent years learning how to do these things quickly and efficiently. YouTube as a platform generally doesn't reward high-budget or high-effort videos. Single day filming and 1-2 day edits are the limits of profitability and sustainability for most channels.

All that being said, I want to turn some of my dream stories into comic books. I tried contacting some people in the comic book industry and got a lot of "I don't care." I think doing some script doctoring would be fun, along with film consulting. I actually love acting and being on camera, so anything like that would be super fun for me. Honestly, I think movie studios should be having YouTubers do cameos in films for easy promotion.

GS: If you were elected Lead Designer of the next Call of Duty with absolute authority and creative control, what would your setting be and how would it affect gameplay?

D: I would set it in the late 1980's during the end of the Cold War. The single player would be 90% stealth missions and have very few big action set pieces. It would all run as covert ops type stuff -- a lot like CoD 4. The story would focus on characters struggling with moral choices, incorrect/incomplete information, and unexpected consequences of their missions.

I'd love to see it have a few unique failure states that are technically valid endings, such as causing nuclear war, falling through ice, or going to jail for shooting an ally. Hoard mode would be Dinosaurs and take place in the Congo River Basin where Mokele-mbembe supposedly lives.

Gameplay would ideally have the CoD 'feel' in that everything is smooth, fast, and not clunky, while still having a few extra punishing features for realism. If it gets a VR mission, I would love for the player to control a robot to spy on people... or do a HALO Jump in real time.

GS: In addition to checking out your pair of channels, how else can people get at and support you? Anything you want to shoutout or tease?


GS: Bonus: Are you aware, that as of the time of this writing, you follow 666 people on Twitter?

D: I follow and unfollow people all the time. Don't worry too much about the numbers.

Thank you Drift0r for taking the time out of your busy schedule to speak with us.

You can catch him on his main channel, where he's usually covering Call of Duty and troubles of the mind, his second channel, where he streams casual hangouts in games like Overwatch and Heroes of the Storm, and on Twitter, where he relays his strange day-to-day interactions.

This is How Call of Duty Can Once Again Be King of the Hill Thu, 12 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Will Dowell

The Call of Duty series is on a decline. Sales have been down and new releases have become stagnant. Its very own fan base has started moving on to other shooters like Overwatch, Battlefield 1, and a few to Titanfall 2, while newcomers ignore future releases. Activision seems to know this, but instead of revitalizing the franchise, it seems to be wringing the cash cow dry until there is nothing left. All is not lost, since Call of Duty is a monumental franchise it can afford to take risks smaller titles wouldn't dare doing. This is how Call of Duty can once again be the king of first person shooters.

Take a Break

This may be the most important move Activision could make currently. Go the way of Assassin's Creed and take a break from the yearly sequels flooding the market. It only takes repetition to make a good thing stale, and Call of Duty has saturated its market with mediocre games. Spend this time to focus on new IP's and to craft a truly amazing game. Every Zelda title is nearly the same game at its core, but with high polish and patience, Nintendo creates an experience that wows consumers almost every time. Rockstar does this as well with the Grand Theft Auto series going strong even with its numerous sequels. Being patient and creating a demand for a new Call of Duty game will allow you to capitalize fully on each individual sequel.

Look to the Past

The Call of Duty franchise has some of the most influential shooters in recent memory. Modern Warfare is still considered one of the best games of all time, turning shooters into the modern age. What Call of Duty forgot was that these games had a sense of pace. Yes, you went through battle after battle, but their were quiet moments amidst the chaos. All Ghillied Up is considered one of the best levels in the Call of Duty franchise and it consists primarily of sneaking past guards in silence. These old games created pacing which allowed these big set pieces to be even more spectacular. The modern titles fail to do this; throwing as many set pieces it can in hope something is memorable.

This leads to the second lesson these older games could teach Activision, that all games need a focus. The memorable Call of Duty games stuck to a few ideas and used them to their full potential. Starting with Black Ops 2 however, Call of Duty had wildly different levels with little connection in tone or context. Instead of diving deep with a few core mechanics, Call of Duty only provided a shallow experience with its overabundance of useless features. Call of Duty must re-find its core mechanics and use them to engage both fans and newcomers alike.

Find Its Niche

Before Call of Duty reinvented itself with Modern Warfare, it was an engaging WWII shooter franchise that was moderately successful. They had a niche audience that could be pleased through releasing quality content. Now, instead of finding a niche audience to please, it shoots for the largest audience possible and fails to truly please anyone. Without a focus, Call of Duty just meanders throughout phases, never committing in hopes of rekindling the power it had with Modern Warfare. Modern Warfare however was a product of the times, it showed off new realistic graphics and introduced a new style of multiplayer. Call of Duty will likely not have that type of success ever again, and the sooner it realizes it needs to please an audience instead of becoming the next hit, the better the games will become.

Gamers have moved on to the next big star and Call of Duty must now provide something unique to attract gamers. Adapt or die.

Now all is not lost for this aging franchise. As long as Activision provides a polished, engaging experience, Call of Duty will not die off. Activision just needs to understand that their time for fame is waning and they must appease an actual fan base instead of just trying to get attention.

Trying to replicate the success of Modern Warfare is impossible, but there are numerous ways to maintain a successful franchise. If Activision truly wants this franchise to succeed in the long term, it must focus on making quality titles that have a purpose instead of fast cash-ins just meant to make money.

Everything You Need To Know About Activison's Holiday Call of Duty Perks Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:28:06 -0500 JakeElman

'Tis the season for giving, getting, and aiming down the sights at some twelve year old with a microphone.

With the holidays upon us, Activision has made it clear that Call of Duty players -- both those on Infinite Warfare and the Remastered edition of Modern Warfare -- won't have to pay a single cent for their gifts this month. 

In an email released to the media on Thursday, Activison confirmed the long-awaited 'missing' maps for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

"On December 13 players who own Modern Warfare Remastered will receive the remaining six remastered multiplayer maps: Bloc, Countdown, Pipeline, Showdown, Strike, and Wet Work, along with the Hardpoint and Gun Game modes being made available in Modern Warfare Remastered for the first time."

This is welcome news for players who have had the game since day one, and those who have been waiting for a more 'complete' version before buying. When the game first released last month, the available maps were the Ambush, Backlot, Bog, Crash, Crossfire, District, Downpour, Overgrown, Shipment, and Vacant.

[Image via Activision]

Unfortunately, there is still no word on the Broadcast and Chinatown maps, which served as DLC for the original game. But Activision did announce the return of the 'Winter Crash' map, which is seen in a trailer below.

Snow maps are always fun, and it's really great to see how much effort went into these newer maps. Like with the rest of Modern Warfare Remastered, it would have been so easy just to do a basic port -- but Activision and Raven went in, cleaned everything up, and gave fans the best remastered version of a game we've seen so far.

In a separate blog post, Activision's Kevin Kelly teased:

"We’ll be running a 24/7 Winter Crash playlist beginning on December 20 that will last through the holidays, and we’ll have more details soon."

Also in that blog post was news about the following:

Shoot 'Em Up

Players that have clocked in time on both Infinite Warfare and last year's Black Ops III will receive a new gun: the prototype Hailstorm – Thunder pistol. 

"The Hailstorm – Thunder is extremely shiny (and deadly), and features a three-round burst along with two perks: Whirlwind, which is a fast cycling auto burst that increases recoil, and Focus to reduce idle sway while aiming down sights," Kelly explains. "So, jump in the game today and equip it in your loadout to show some pride."

It is unclear if those who played Black Ops III on a previous generation console will be treated to the perk as well. More info on how to obtain the gun is coming in a few paragraphs. 

This gun sounds absolutely fantastic, with the whirlwind feature especially standing out. When you're playing, however, look for many players to try testing it out in their first few sessions, leaving them wide open for a nice headshot.

As harsh as taking advantage of players who are testing their new weapon out may sound, the battlefield is a time where being harsh matters. That is especially true in times of warfare...Infinite Warfare.

[GIF via FOX]

 Activision explains that in order to get the Hailstorm pistol, "players who own both Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Call of Duty: Black Ops III and have logged into Black Ops III with a live internet connection and played Infinite Warfare during the offer period."

What's interesting about the wording here is that the system is actually checking to see that you've logged into both rather than simply going off system data and cloud saves. If you're someone who traded in Black Ops III recently, then you may be in a bit of trouble...

'Tis The Season

[Image via Activision]

In addition to the new gun, all Infinite Warfare players also will have access to a new map: Genesis. Well, technically the map is a new-look one, as Genesis (or the Headquarters for the Division of Mechanical Evolution) is getting a 'festive new look.'

Kelly also wrote:

"There will be a 24/7 Genesis Holiday playlist, ready to spread cheer, goodwill, and high KDRs."

The high KDRs are a must, really.

On another note, I was admittedly surprised at first that we're not getting any 'new' maps for Infinite Warfare. With how many maps that are being added to Modern Warfare Remastered, however, only getting one revised map makes sense. 

[Image via Jake Elman]

But Wait, There's More

In addition to everything else, Activision is promising gifts for all players who log in right around the time of Christmas. It's a twelve day streak of gifts, in fact.

"These freebies range from big Salvage and Key bonuses, to winter-themed personalization items, and even winter-themed Common, Rare, and Legendary prototypes! Twelve Days, twelve awesome gifts for free, just for logging into the game. Just remember to log in every day from December 21 through January 1 to get that day’s bonus."

With the update coming on December 13, I fully expected them to do a 12 day streak starting that day so it would end on Christmas. But, at the same time, I do like the idea of ending it at the start of the new year. 

What You Need To Know

First off, major props has to go to Activision for giving fans -- regardless of what version of the game they bought -- all of this free stuff, even those who may have only bought the standard edition. 

Speaking of the standard edition, I need to emphasize this because it will get lost in the holiday fever. Just buying the standard edition of Infinite Warfare is not going to land you the remastered version of Modern Warfare. You need to purchase the Legacy or Deluxe Editions and have the physical copy of Infinite Warfare inside your system to play Modern Warfare Remastered.

The hopes people had of Activision releasing Modern Warfare Remastered as a standalone game for the holiday season seem to be on hold for now, though it is certainly possible that we could see the legendary game show up on the PlayStation Store right around Christmas.

With Activision having the exclusive rights deal with Sony and PlayStation, I would not be surprised in the least bit if PS4 users got a notification one day saying that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered was available for download. How much the game would cost, however, is a different story. 

[Image via Activision]

As you might expect, these bonuses are all valid through 11:59 P.M. PST (as Activision operates out of California). While there is no confirmation yet that Activision may do something similar to what Rockstar Games does with their 'holiday updates' on Grand Theft Auto Online and keep them running into the new year, expect that date to remain firm until told otherwise. 


Players are also encouraged to use the hashtag #TisTheSeason on social media. Who knows, maybe using that will lead to a perk or two of its own...

To keep up to date with the latest Call of Duty news, make sure to follow @CallofDuty, @InfinityWard, and @RavenSoftware

5 FPS Games That Would Make Amazing VR Experiences Mon, 31 Oct 2016 05:54:47 -0400 Caio Sampaio

The idea of designing alternative realities started in 1935, in a short story written by Stanley G. Weinbaum. At the time, most people regarded this concept as the mere imagining of a writer, but some did not. Scientists started to turn this idea into reality, but progress remained stagnant for many decades, due to the lack of computational power to render virtual worlds.

Nowadays; however, we live in an era in which the technology required to use Virtual Reality (VR) already exists and the video game industry is starting to use it in full force. As gamers wait anxiously to see which upcoming release will feature VR, we invite you to look back, at five first person Shooters that would be ideal candidates for implementing this technology.

It is important; however, to first establish a few concepts behind experiences in this medium.

How to know a game can make the most out of VR

Video games consist of allowing the player to interact with an audio and visual product, in order to create an experience. The conjunction of the audio and visual elements evokes the mood of the game -- the feeling it sends to its audience.

Virtual Reality aims to enhance the visual portion of the player’s journey by creating a more immersive experience, which emphasizes the “feel”, or the tone, the game has.

While developers can use VR in any game, this technology will be better used if implemented in productions that can deliver a clear mood to its players, The game world must be rich enough that it's augmented by VR, thus allowing the game to create a more engaging experience.

Productions that do not evoke a particular feeling in the audience will not be able to use VR to its fullest. But there are other aspects that a game designer must have in mind, in order to craft a narrative for Virtual Reality.

VR is all about immersing the audience in another world and letting players feel as the protagonists of the story. Having said that, a game that suits the prerequisites for a compelling VR experience must not have cutscenes -- because they take control away from players, break the pacing of the narrative and also break the immersion thereof, thus defeating the purpose of VR.

Another important element to be aware of is having a silent protagonist. As previously stated, in order to create a more immersive experience, players must be in control at all times. If players listen the protagonist speaking in a voice that is not theirs, this may break the immersion of the game.

Instead of allowing the protagonist to drop a line of dialogue, designers should create the experience in a way that the actions of the player will do the talking for them. The player is not meant to merely control the protagonist. The player is supposed to BE the protagonist -- and VR drives that home.

So these are the three basic criteria to determine whether a first person shooter can use VR to its fullest: the game must evoke a feeling in their players, keep cutscenes at a minimum and have a silent protagonist.

So now, with that in mind, let's look at five games that meet these standards and could easily deliver amazing VR experiences.

1. Half-Life 2

In 2004, the video game community was able to become Gordon Freeman and fight the Combine forces one more time, with the objective of escaping from City 17. Throughout the experience, developers emphasized the tone of the game, loneliness, by making players feel alone in the vast universe of Half-Life 2 -- and they used a simple technique as the key device to accomplish this.

In a video game, what matters is what seems real, not what actually is real. With this said, in the majority of the maps in this game, players see constructions that they cannot enter, whether near or far into the horizon, as seen in the image above.

The objective is to communicate the size of the universe and make it seem larger than it actually is. Developers accomplished the feeling of solitude by making the protagonist feel small in comparison to their surroundings.

The implementation of VR can improve the experience by emphasizing this tone. No matter where players look, there will be nothing but a vast area, with no one there.

VR can also deliver a more compelling experience when players are in close quarters, facing the zombie-like enemies of this game, which can make for memorable jump scares.

2. BioShock

Released in 2007, the first title of the franchise introduced players to the underwater dystopia of Rapture -- and most importantly, to the story behind it. As players traveled through the streets, they met the enemies of the game, known as Splicers, which were mutated individuals whose lives took a wrong turn.

Featuring deformed faces and tumors on their bodies, they meet one criteria to become characters in a horror story: the uncanny.

The "uncanny" states that we, as human beings, tend to rely on patterns when reasoning. For instance, we have the belief that people are humanoid figures, with two arms and two legs. This inner logic is our comfort zone, but once something challenges our belief, it creates discomfort on us. This is the uncanny and also the reason why horror games and films often feature monsters that have similarities with humans. They discomfort the audience.

In BioShock, developers used this principle when crafting the enemies of the game, considering that they are human, but have features that are not usually seen in people -- thus challenging the notions of how humans are supposed to look like and making the audience feel uncomfortable.

The developers used this principle not only to design Splicers, but also to craft the entire game. Nothing in the city of Rapture is 100% equal to what we know in real life. This may be unsettling and even intimidating at first, but after players get used to it, the uncanny creates curiosity and the need to explore. As Atlas said in the beginning of the game:

“Whatever you thought you knew about right and wrong, well, that doesn’t count for much down in Rapture”

Virtual Reality can add to the experience by allowing players to get a closer look at the world of BioShock and its citizens, in order to enhance the uncanny element for the players and add to their curiosity.

3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

In 2007, the Call of Duty franchise left World War II behind, as it shifted its attention to contemporary conflicts. Critics and players praised the title and many other games tried to replicate the same success -- but they failed, ultimately because they did not mimic one element of Modern Warfare that was crucial for it to thrive.

In Call of Duty 4, players perform the same activity during the 10 hours story mode. Shoot, cover, run and repeat the cycle. Explained this way, the experience does not seem compelling, but the developers ensured players would not get bored by making each shootout occur under a different circumstance, thus changing the tone of the production.

In certain scenes, players would feel empowered after using a machine gun to defeat dozens of enemies -- and in others, intimidated after falling for an ambush, for instance. The game uses a variety of tones, in order to make the activity of defeating enemies seem different each time, as the scenario and the setting are altered.

Considering that the constant shift in the tone of the game was a key element for its success, the immersion virtual reality provides to players has the potential to emphasize the various feelings the game transmits, making it more compelling.

4. Fallout: New Vegas

Released on October 19th, 2010 by Obsidian Entertainment and Bethesda Sotfworks, the fourth installment of the Fallout franchise allowed players to explore the wastelands around what once was the pulsing city of Las Vegas, now known as New Vegas.

The game starts with players in a small town far away from their destination, but the shining city of New Vegas stands out in the horizon. The main goal is using it as a visual clue to guide players, but developers used this technique several times throughout the game, for another purpose.

As players explored the wasteland, they would often see buildings from a distance. Considering that each town offers a story regarding what happened in that location, players felt motivated to continue playing, in order to reach the small town they had just seen from a distance and explore it.

This adds to the mood of the game, which is hinged on curiosity and the desire to explore more. Added to the dazzling visuals the vast wasteland produces, implementing Virtual Reality in this game would improve the experience as a whole.

5. F.E.A.R.

Watch your every step, for it may be the last. This is the premise behind this game, released in 2005 by Monolith Productions. This mix of a first person shooter and a horror movie that puts players in the shoes of the commander of the F.E.A.R. unit -- an elite team trained to deal with supernatural enemies.

Using elements from Japanese horror films, F.E.A.R. relies on a combination of suspense and jump scares, in order to keep players on the edge of their seats. Due to the close quarters nature of this game, its maps rely mostly on a sequence of corridors and corners -- and one of the most compelling elements from this production is the difficulty for players to anticipate the scares.

Combining these two factors, the result is an experience in which players never know what to expect behind each door and around each corner, thus making it an ideal candidate to receive VR support, as it would add to the feeling of suspense and make the bones of players cringe even harder.


While, unfortunately, we cannot go back in time and design the games we love specifically for Virtual Reality, it is important to think of which elements would make them a compelling experience for VR. These lessons learned from the games of the past will help developers to craft the productions of tomorrow.

Let us know which games you would like to see in VR in the comments section.

Five Games to Look Forward to in November Sat, 29 Oct 2016 09:21:36 -0400 StraightEdge434


1. Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon


Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon are upcoming RPG games developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo. 


Both games will be the first installments in regards to the seventh generation. Each title follows a young Pokemon trainer as they journey with their friends and catch Pokemon on the fictional island of the Alola region, based on Hawaii. 


Apart from introducing many new Pokemon, Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon will have a new type of Pokemon known as Alolan forms. Those forms are based off Pokemon from previous generations. 


Both games will have new battle mechanics, moves known as Z-Moves, improved graphics, and much more.


Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon will both be available worldwide on November 18 for the 3DS. 


To learn more about the games, click here.


2. Dishonored 2


 Dishonored 2 is the sequel to Dishonored (2012) developed by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It is a stealth action-adventure game. 


Dishonored 2 gives you the option of playing as one of the two characters, Emily (pictured above), or Corvo (Dishonored).


Players can also choose to complete the entire game either through violence, or through stealth, not killing anyone.


And just like in the prequel, Dishonored 2 will allow players to either accept or reject the gift of supernatural powers and abilities from the start.


Dishonored 2 will be available for the PS4, PC, and Xbox One on November 11.


Click here for more.  








WATCH_DOGS2 is the second installment in the WATCH_DOGS series, developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. 


The game is open-world and takes places in San Francisco. Players assume the role of a character named Marcus Holloway, a member of hacker group, DeadSec that tries to take down the ctOS 2.0, the city's security and surveillance system. 


The title is a sequel to WATCH_DOGS (2014) and features new hacking mechanics. WATCH_DOGS2 will also have a multiplayer experience.


WATCH_DOGS2 is set to release on November 15 for PS4 and Xbox One, and November 29 for PC.  


Click here for more information.


4. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, or simply known a CoD 4, has received a complete makeover thanks to developers from Raven Software. The title will have enhanced graphics for the campaign, and multiplayer. 


The original title was first released back in 2007. However, when Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has been announced for 2016, it was also announced that a remastered version of CoD 4 will be released. It is fair however to point out that the only way to obtain CoD 4 remastered is to purchase a collector's edition of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (for now at least).


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will be released alongside with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare on November 4 for PS4, PC, and Xbox One (but only if you plan to get a collector's edition!).   


5. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare


November is known as "Call of Duty month" among gamers. And that is for a good reason since every year, every Call of Duty title is released in November. This year, it'll be Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision. 


The entire setting is set in the future, particularly our solar system. Players will be able to fight enemies in space, as well as pilot a fighter called "Jackal" in combat. The title will also have a zombie and multiplayer experience, both of which have been renovated with unique gameplay features and mechanics. 


Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be released on November 4 for PS4, PC, and Xbox One.


Click here to learn more.


As October nears the end, gamers have set their eyes on the next month. November packs plenty of releases, including the release of the PlayStation 4 Pro (November 10).


The following list showcases the top five games to look forward to in November.

How Does Infinite Warfare Differ From the Modern Warfare Series? Thu, 27 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Timothy J. Ralston (TehMadCatter)

Back in 2007, Infinity Ward had released a groundbreaking game, titled Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, a sequel to the previous entry released in 2006, Call of Duty 3. Modern Warfare was the true start of multiplayer first-person shooters, along with an incredible campaign, fantastic graphics for the time, and a class system that made you want to try every single weapon.

Jumping to 2016, with the release of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, a lot of old fans of the Call of Duty series were disappointed with the release trailer of the game, some saying that the series is going too far with the futuristic aspect the game was given back with Black Ops 2.

While the open beta did show a little tease of the multiplayer (something I spent the whole second weekend on), it just didn’t have the Warfare feel to it, and almost felt like another version of Titanfall, Halo or Destiny, making it seem like it’s a new game as a whole.

Some people like this feeling, while others don’t, and miss the classic feeling of the Modern Warfare series. I, for one, completely miss the original style of Modern Warfare (though, if you purchase the "Digital Deluxe", you get the remastered Modern Warfare and season pass), and would like to see the series take a different path in the upcoming games.

To bring back Price, the real main protagonist of the Modern Warfare series, for one final fight in a modernized new released game would be incredible, and possibly the most heartbreaking since chances are, they would end up killing Price in the end. Sadly, as expected, the series seems to just go for the future.

The weapon system had also changed drastically, first starting out with a perfect inventory of weapons to choose from in the Modern Warfare series, all based on actual guns. Black Ops did the same thing, but ended up creating possible futuristic weaponry that we could see on the battlefield in the next ten to twenty years.

But as more games were released, the weapons became more and more nonsensical, and just started to look really unnatural and really ridiculous in a way. Plus, as the games furthered on, the perks became more and more unnecessary, as they really don’t do that much, compared to how great the perk system was in Modern Warfare 2.

Though, to say Infinite Warfare could be a bad game, is not up to us yet since the full game has not been released just yet, but expectations for the game aren’t as high as they were before. Fans of the old Call of Duty series are even switching over to the newly released Battlefield 1, while some are planning on getting the game just for the remastered Modern Warfare.

Safe to say, the open beta certainly opened my eyes -- after I swore off the series since Black Ops 3 -- to experience this game just for the multiplayer. Which, I hate to say is since it is somewhat addicting. Plus, Kit Harington as the main villain for Infinite Warfare is something I can't wait to see.

If you liked this article, check out GameSkinny for more information on everything gaming!

SAG-AFTRA Releases List of Games being Struck Against Fri, 21 Oct 2016 12:30:59 -0400 Clayton Reisbeck

Today, SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) is conducting a strike in protest to the unsuccessful negotiations for a new contract that would allow for residuals for successful games, safer working conditions, and transparency with voice actors for the projects that they'd be working on.

Along with the strike today, SAG-AFTRA released a list of around 200 games that would be struck against. The entire list can be found on SAG-AFTRA's website.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare Remastered

Looking through the list shows many titles that are clearly project names without official titles, but the list does hold some pretty big titles that are supposed to be very anticipated in the next few years. This includes games such as Injustice 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the Crash Bandicoot remaster announced at E3 this year, and Kingdom Hearts 2.8. The list also has some titles that are already released, such as Team Fortress 2 and Shadowrun: Hong Kong.

Those titles that are just represented with project names are also interesting to see. Certain titles that I found intriguing were a couple from Formosa Interactive called "Blood Dragon" and Brothers in Arms. Other project titles of note are from EA titled "American Football '17 and '18" and "Hockey '17 and '18." I think it's safe to assume that those are the next installments in the Madden and NHL series, respectively.

madden 17

Now if this strike goes on for an extended period of time, we could very easily see some delays from these games. The issue I foresee is the companies just hiring someone new to do the voice work. SAG-AFTRA only represents about 25% of voice actors today, so finding someone who isn't part of the union probably wouldn't be hard for the companies being struck against.

Whatever happens to these games, SAG-AFTRA is going to fight for this new contract. Their previous contract was written back in the 90's and hasn't been updated to reflect the current culture of video games.

Which games are you surprised to see? Leave a comment and let me know!

FPS in 2016: a year for the record books? Thu, 12 May 2016 05:17:00 -0400 Eric Adams

Funny how with a beta here, a new trailer there, all of a sudden we have a huge year on our hands in the gaming community. Unfortunately, for those who dislike the genre, FPS is about to have quite a year. The games lineup set to release in the coming months is so impressive that it is impossible for fans to not be excited about at least one upcoming game.

From the big name titles to the out-of-left-field choices, there is something for everyone this year. Especially for a genre that is usually shut off to a large amount of gamers. 2016 for the FPS genre could likely challenge even the greatest of years in the past. Take a look at a few of the games that are likely to be the reason why.


Well, when I’m wrong, I’m wrong. Last week before Overwatch released its open beta on console, I posed the question ‘what if it isn’t all that great?’ Well, I was met with ‘you should play the game before coming to that conclusion’. Life lesson kids, play it before you hate it because you may just love it and boy do I love Overwatch.

Apologies to those in the Slack chat whom I shamed with my doubting of this beautiful game, I was young and naïve a week ago but I now see the light. Overwatch is tons of fun and truly something different. Blizzard has done a fantastic job jumping into the arena shooter genre and making an impact. The game is based on heroes that do battle against other heroes over a certain objective. The game modes are nothing new, and the maps are hit or miss, but the game has characters have plenty fun to offer. A roster of 21 heroes will certainly allow you to find at least one you’re comfortable using. The constant head games you play trying to combat the other teams 6 heroes are endlessly entertaining -- now just get rid of Bastion and this game will be perfect!

 Overwatch will release on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on May 24th, 2016.


It’s kind of weird to think Doom may have the least amount of buzz -- positive or negative -- around it, especially with some of the other games I mention. That is a shame because id Software have created a hell of a good time, 'no pun intended.' Doom is a tour de force in blood and gore. While shooting is required, it is not inherently necessary, as 'Doom guy' has no problem destroying demons with his bare hands -- or even a trusty chainsaw.

From the ability to turn into a demon, to the constant Easter egg nods to the old games, this version of Doom will not disappoint. The recent beta periods, and all of the gameplay videos released, have looked promising and this should be a really fun and fast-paced blood fest.

Hell opens up when Doom releases on May 13th, 2016 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.


Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare


Stop throwing tomatoes at me while reading this and let me explain. I don’t care how much you hate Call of Duty. The idea of going further into the future has ruffled the fans’ feathers and they want blood. Just as Activision and Infinity Ward are set to burn at the stake, the announcement that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare remastered was made. When fans found out that the game wouldn’t be sold separately, and would have to fork over $80 for the Legacy Edition in order to relive the glory years, they went back to disliking the reveal trailer.

18 gazillion dislikes later and Call of Duty has been dragged through the mud, but who knows? Maybe Infinite Warfare will surprise and redeem the franchise. Until we see gameplay and play it ourselves, we can only wait and see. Perhaps Activision, in a panic move, will decide to make the remastered Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare a standalone affair. However unlikely that possibility is, the game will likely still sell well.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare blasts you into space on November 4th, 2016 and will be available for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Battlefield 1


World War 1 never looked so good. EA and DICE were rumored to be working on a Battlefield game set during World War 1 but when it was actually announced and revealed in a kick-ass trailer, the shock and awe set in. Fans flocked to the closest electronic device to put the trailer on loop and heap praise on the developers at DICE.

The Battlefield 1 reveal trailer has already been named the most liked trailer of all time, and that was in less than a week, and without even revealing gameplay. While the worry over server function is always present when discussing DICE, the recent server stability of Star Wars Battlefront -- at least on consoles -- should help ease the nerves.

Battlefield 1 will release on October 21st, 2016 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

That’s not all…

There are plenty of other FPS titles that are well worth gamers’ time coming out in 2016. Games such as Homefront: The Revolution, Battleborn, Shadow Warrior 2, Superhot, LawBreakers, and plenty of other titles all have something unique to offer fans. The FPS genre is getting one solid addition after the other this year. Which game are you most excited for? Let me know which game and why in the comments section below.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare takes on space combat Mon, 02 May 2016 09:05:28 -0400 David Fisher

Call of Duty has often been criticized for not doing enough to freshen up the series. Perhaps that is true, but if the reveal trailer for Infinite Warfare released today has anything to say about the latest entry, it's that it will have at least one interesting experiment: space battles.

That's right. In wake of the absence of craft-to-craft combat in Star Wars: Battlefront, Infinity Ward appears to want to take on space battle in the upcoming Call of Duty installment: Infinite Warfare.

Taking a look at the footage in the header (or on YouTube), we can assume at the very least that there will be space battles in the single-player campaign. Whether this will be an on-rails segment like many previous vehicle segments in Call of Duty games is unclear based upon the trailer itself. We can assume, however, that if it does become a part of the multiplayer we may be up for some serious overhaul of the Call of Duty formula.

Fans of the Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare can also look forward to a remaster of the original game that served as a template for every Call of Duty afterward. Both Call of Duty: Modern Warfare - Remastered and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be launched on November 4th, 2016. Anyone who preorders Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition will receive both games.

Call of Duty 4 remaster to include multiplayer support Fri, 29 Apr 2016 10:37:49 -0400 Eric Levy

Infinity Ward and Activision's remaster of Call of Duty 4:  Modern Warfare will include the game's campaign along with 10 multiplayer maps, according to a leaked advertisement for the upcoming shooter. Check out the ad for yourself below:

The ad, which seems to be for Canadian retailers, states the next game in the Call of Duty franchise -- titled Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare -- will be released on November 4th, 2016. The standard edition will be priced at CA$79.99 (which is roughly $60 in USD) while the Legacy edition, which includes the Modern Warfare remaster, will be CA$109.99 (about $88 in USD). The ad, which first surfaced on Reddit, doesn't reveal which maps will be included with the remaster.

Details on the upcoming Call of Duty game first leaked earlier this week, when the game's full title was outed on the PlayStation Store under the must-play section. Between the PlayStation Store leak and this new advertisement, I think it's safe to say we'll be fighting alongside Captain Price and the SAS again, come November.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare VS Battlefield 5: Who will emerge victorious? Tue, 03 May 2016 07:59:07 -0400 Eric Adams

The 2016 first-person shooter race is on and many are vying to be the best of the bunch. Two of the contestants have long been considered the 1A and 1B of the genre. Battlefield 5 is set to release sometime in the fall with an official announcement on the next offering from DICE coming Friday, May 6th. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was just announced and will release on November 4th, 2016. Most notably, the new Call of Duty will include a Legacy Edition that will offer fans an updated version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It seems as if both titles will be waging war in the fall, but which is the better game? We should take into account all that each has to offer.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

The latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise will be more of the same. A futuristic, sci-fi shooter that pushes the boundaries on ordinary fps is still the MO. While that news may discourage fans from the Modern Warfare age, fear not because the big news surrounding the new CoD is that it will include an updated version of Modern Warfare within the Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare.

While it is wrong to completely ignore Infinite Warfare, people will no doubt be buying the Legacy Edition just to toss the new game aside and return to the game that made them fall in love with the franchise. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the greatest game in the Call of Duty franchise. You can think it was Modern Warfare 2 or World at War even, but Modern Warfare is the one and only king in this long line of games. The idea of bringing it back will certainly boost sales for Activision and Infinity Ward. It is a slam-dunk, home run of an idea whether you like the franchise or not.

Battlefield 5

Saying all of that makes it seem like Battlefield 5 has no chance, right? Wrong. Battlefield 5 could possibly be taking a page out of the Call of Duty playbook by sending the game back to the World War I or II era of warfare. While these are merely rumors, the thought of Battlefield taking on a World War I or II type setting is very exciting. Some may say "it has been done before," but it has never been done through the scope of a Battlefield game. That is what makes the idea interesting and fresh.

Not to mention, the reason some (most) people are peeved about Call of Duty and their sci-fi approach is because the World War II setting worked so well for them. If Battlefield steals their mojo and creates an awesome trench warfare game, it could cause an even bigger outcry toward Call of Duty.

Tale of the Tape: Battlefield 5 VS Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Price: $60.00 for Battlefield 5, $80.00 for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition

The price is notable, as you will not be able to obtain a copy of Modern Warfare without purchasing the $80.00 Legacy edition. While Battlefield 5 is sure to have some type of premium edition that will include the season pass, the main game will cost $60.00 like any other game. Is the $20 extra worth it for a game people have already played?

Setting: Far future for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, WWI for Battlefield 5?

While Battlefield 5 has yet to reveal the location of the game, it is certainly not going to be a futuristic setting. It will be grounded, and it will not include thruster packs or any of that science fiction mumbo jumbo. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will include everything from The Terminator to space warfare. They are two completely different offerings in terms of settings. If DICE confirms the WWI or II setting for Battlefield 5, then we’ll have a true sci-fi VS trench warfare shooter competition on our hands.

Verdict: To Be Determined

Nobody knows which game will be better at this moment in time. The idea of Modern Warfare being packaged with the new Call of Duty means that Infinity Ward is pulling out all the stops. They want to make this a memorable year in the cycle of mostly forgettable games. Battlefield 4 was the most successful game in the franchise and is still performing well to this day. If Battlefield 5 wants to let the good times roll on, then a DICE created trench warfare game might be the way to go. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will arrive on November 4, 2016, for PS4, Xbox One and PC. Full details on Battlefield 5 will be revealed at 4 p.m. on May 6, 2016, on the EA Twitch page. 

Which game do you think will be a better addition to the fps genre? How do you feel about Modern Warfare making its return to prominence? 

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare will likely get remastered alongside next CoD Wed, 27 Apr 2016 06:44:13 -0400 Eric Adams

Rumors have been swirling around the latest Call of Duty title, and it seems as if Infinity Ward has settled on Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Representatives of the company believe that the new first-person shooter will be set ‘in the far future’ and will make Black Ops 3 look ‘ancient’. While a sci-fi shooter is not exactly what the fans have asked for, something they have asked for may finally be coming to fruition.


A recent Reddit post indicates that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare will be remade and included in a so-called ‘Legacy Edition’ of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. While it still has yet to be confirmed, this would be a wise move for Infinity Ward, because fans have been clamoring for the first two Modern Warfare games to be remade and re-released for the new consoles.

We likely will not have to wait much longer for an official announcement on the next Call of Duty, as the new title is slated to be revealed as soon as next week.

While a futuristic shooter isn’t exactly what the fans want from Call of Duty, they will gladly settle for a remastered Modern Warfare. We’ll all know more information soon enough when Infinity Ward officially unveils plans for the 2016 edition of the FPS juggernaut.

5 Best Call of Duty games Tue, 10 Nov 2015 05:59:13 -0500 astik_anand


1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

2007, Infinity Ward

You agree with me right? Modern Warfare is undoubtedly the best CoD game so far. The game was the first one to carry the series forward from Word War II to modern time wars. It had a brilliant campaign, which was appreciated by all. Moreover, it provided strong but balanced online content.


Killstreaks in multiplayer mode of CoD first debuted in this game. Its campaign brought a new level of immersion and intensity never seen before. MW managed to break Halo 3 sales records and became the best-selling video game in November 2007.


It also won Best Game and Best Graphics awards from various websites and received overall positive reviews. The game was and still is a masterpiece and hence is at the top of our list.


What do you think of this list? What are your favorite Call of Duty games? Be sure to comment below.


2. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

2009, Infinity Ward

MW2 finds a spot here largely because of the multiplayer experience it provided, this, however, does not mean that the campaign of the game failed to impress. Players everywhere praised the in-depth story mode, mini missions, and multiplayer.


The game introduced Special Ops co-operative mode, which allowed players to play locally on different campaign maps. Though Spec-Ops was one of the very few additions to the series it certainly played a huge part in earning it the second spot on this list.


Now for the last one.


Drumroll, please.........


The best Call of Duty game so far is......


3. Call of Duty: Black Ops

2010, Treyarch

This successor of World at War is the seventh game to be released under CoD series. Within 24 hours of release it managed to sell over 5.6 million copies; by 2011, 25 million copies were sold worldwide making it one of the best-selling video games in US, UK and Europe.


The game introduced crossbows with bolts and explosive ammunition as well as Dragon's Breath rounds and ballistic knives. It undoubtedly presented a compelling campaign and delivered a break from the modern war scene as in Modern Warfare. Following its prequel, Black Ops earns a spot on this list.




4. Call of Duty: World at War

2008, Treyarch

At number 4 comes World at War, the first game in Black Ops series. The game brought World War II setting back to Call of Duty. It is considered to be the fifth mainstream game of the series. The game introduced co-operative mode to the series.


The game's story is told from the perspectives of a US Navy Officer and a Red Army soldier and is based on many historical battles. It was praised by critics and praised by players. The realistic combat and good graphics along with a nice story earns it the fourth spot on this list. Also, those Nazi Zombies maps that you love, World at War is to be thanked for that.


5. Call of Duty 2

2005, Infinity Ward

This masterpiece, set during World War II, was the launch CoD title for Xbox 360. The game was praised for its graphics, sound, and gameplay and as a result sold very well. It featured a total of 27 missions that were divided into four campaigns, three stories, and perspectives of four soldiers.


The game was presented very well. The story was nice and strong. By the way, if you ever wondered which game brought health regeneration to Call of Duty, it is none other than the second game in Call of Duty series, which has the fifth position in our list here.


The FPS family


Call of Duty: Black Ops III was released last week across all platforms, and let's just say it's not the best we've seen. So, I thought of looking back at the franchise to list 5 of the best Call of Duty games -- excluding Black Ops III, obviously.


Call of Duty, aka CoD, games should require no introduction but here it is anyway, the series started in 2003 with the release of the first game titled Call of Duty. The series launched on PC and later expanded to consoles. Some earlier titles were based on World War II, though the majority have more recent or futuristic settings. They are one big happy FPS family.


With the introduction formalities out of the way, here are the 5 best Call of Duty games.

What could Call of Duty: 2016 possibly be? Wed, 28 Oct 2015 23:16:06 -0400 BlackTideTV

Call of Duty: Black Ops III hits store shelves on November 6th, 2015 - a mere eight days away. As with any successful video game franchise, a new release always brings speculation about future titles in the same series, even when a it has just launched. Activision's Call of Duty might be the world leader for speculative fans, with its strange development system, devoted fanbase, and consistent formula for a game that's always the same, just tweaked differently each time.

Currently, one of the biggest industry secrets is the identity of Call of Duty: 2016 (CoD16). What could it possibly be?

The Call of Duty Development Cycle 

For the sake of relevance, this article will focus solely on releases in the last decade.

  • Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward) [2007]
  • Call of Duty: World at War (Treyarch) [2008]
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Infinity Ward) [2009]
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops (Treyarch) [2010]
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer Games) [2011]
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops II (Treyarch) [2012]
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts (Infinity Ward) [2013]
  • Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (Sledgehammer Games) [2014]
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Treyarch) [2015]
  • Call of Duty: 2016 (Infinity Ward) [2016]

Activision's dev cycle is particularly amusing to keep track of. For eight long years, Call of Duty development was shared between two studios: Infinity Ward and Treyarch. Due to disputes between Infinity Ward and Activision during the making of Modern Warfare 3 in 2011, Sledgehammer Games joined to complete the title, earning the necessary credentials to put forth their own Call of Duty title in 2014 and created a three year development cycle in the process.

Now, each year a new Call of Duty is made by a different developer, essentially giving each developer three years to work on their next game. The start of the three year development cycle was CoD: Ghosts by Infinity Ward. Next was CoD: AW by Sledgehammer Games and finally, in 2015 Black Ops III will be released. But what comes next?

CoD16 will be an Infinity Ward title. They are contracted to develop it, there's no doubt about it. They've been working since the release of CoD: Ghosts in 2013, but what have they been working on? There is no news regarding the topic of CoD16. Zero. Zilch. But fan speculation is running amok.

The options Infinity Ward has for CoD16 are: 

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4
  • Call of Duty: Ghosts 2
  • New Project
  • Modern Warfare Collection/Remake
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4

Arguably the most loved CoD series, Modern Warfare brought Call of Duty to the big leagues. With releases like CoD4: Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, Infinity Ward dominated video games sales with exquisite, never-before-seen multiplayer action, an engaging career mode, and co-op missions. When fans are asked what their favorite Call of Duty is, the answer is almost always between MW2 and the CoD: Black Ops series. 

In 2011, CoD: MW3 was largely regarded as unpolished. Due to the legal falling out between Activision and Infinity Ward, the game got a bad rap and didn't do so well. Two years later, excited fans were ready to get back on the Modern Warfare bandwagon. Unfortunately for them, CoD: Ghosts was announced. 

Call of Duty: Ghosts was the last Infinity Ward game. Modern Warfare fans remain unsure of a future title, and no word has been given for or against it. Many members of the classic Infinity Ward team responsible for the Modern Warfare series left during the dispute, so there is widespread belief that the new team simply favors Ghosts and will not turn back.

--------SPOILER ALERT--------

The likelihood of Modern Warfare 4 being CoD16 is slim.

The campaign concluded in Modern Warfare 3 when the in-game villain of the entire series finally died. If they were real, the characters in the game would be moving into office jobs at this point in their military careers - not to mention one of the protagonists is dead. MW3 is a perfect conclusion to a full CoD trilogy.

To continue the series, Infinity Ward would have to reboot it: add all new characters, villains, weapons, plot, setting. They'd really be creating an all new series anyways. For this reason alone I don't foresee Modern Warfare coming least, not in this way. 

Additionally, writers often work titles well in advance. The writer of CoD: Ghosts probably had the script for Ghosts 2 ready before the first game even sold a copy. 

Call of Duty: Ghosts 2

Speaking of Call of Duty: Ghosts 2, the likelihood of the sequel being CoD16 is very high. 

As pointed out above, writers often work a small amount into the next title if they know a sequel is possible. This is so they can leave necessary cliffhangers to keep audiences aroused. The original CoD: Ghosts uses this exact technique.

--------SPOILER ALERT--------

The major villain in Ghosts is an agent named Rorke. Formerly a Ghost operative, he seeks revenge after one of the Ghosts leaves him behind. On a revenge-fueled rage, he seeks to rule the world through terror... blah blah classic bad guy stuff.

At the end of the game, players get a chance to shoot Rorke in the chest, which they gladly do after all of the heinous things they've see throughout the game. Boom: .44 Magnum shot in the heart. Dead, right? Wrong.

When players pull themselves out of the water (where they shot Rorke) and onto the beach, they see their victory as the ODIN (essentially a massive orbiting satellite missile launcher) rains hell on enemies in the distance. Then you get kicked in the face by none other than Rorke himself. Credits roll.

Additionally, if the game is beaten on it's hardest mode, an extra cut scene can be found at the end of the credits where players appear to be in some sort of cage.

The stage has been set for another CoD: Ghosts adventure. 

It makes the most sense for CoD16 to be Ghosts 2. The story is set up, the characters are fresh and ready to be grown upon, and the setting and style don't need to be revitalized. However, the way that CoD: Ghosts might come back could make it an extremely different game from the original. More on that later.

New Project

It seems ridiculous that Infinity Ward would start an entirely new project from scratch. They just did this with Call of Duty: Ghosts and they've had three years to work out the kinks for a sequel. Although, new movement mechanics featured in both Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games' titles might influence this possibility. But for now, the chance of this happening will remain slim.

Modern Warfare Collection/Remake

Modern Warfare collection is actually highly possible, though not necessarily as CoD16. Activision has been discussing this idea for quite some time, eventually coming to the conclusion that fresh, new games are more important. 

In an interview with Game Informer, Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg said, "If done well, I think [remasters] can be great," and, more importantly,

"I would love to play Modern Warfare 1 or the original Black Ops. There's certainly a deep well there. No announcements, but it's something we talk about and think about a lot."

He also noted that,

"[Activision] need[s] every body [they] can get to make the content [they're] already committed to for [their] new games. It's always a matter of finding great people to do that work."

Based on these comments, a Modern Warfare collection would most likely be made by an exterior developer. Infinity Ward is obviously tied up working on Activision's "new games". Additionally, Activision would be worried about letting fans down by releasing a remake instead of a new game at feature Call of Duty time. So a Modern Warfare collection is possible, but probably not for CoD16, unless it's been kept on the hush-hush.

The Verdict

When the big picture is really analyzed, the CoD16 hype dies away. It's almost painfully obvious what the game will end up being. If it needs to be spelled out: G-H-O-S-T-S 2. Everything is set up for that game; the train is rolling. Three years in development better have been good for it, as there really isn't another clear direction for Infinity Ward to take.

As for the question of how they will tackle Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 (or whatever CoD16 ends up being)...that's a different topic entirely, and an adventure for another day. Advanced movement, setting, plot, multiplayer... competition with Treyarch and Sledgehammer Games has never been higher, and Infinity Ward really has to bring it this coming year.

Stay tuned for a sequential article detailing my speculations of advanced movement, among other things, for Call of Duty: Ghosts 2.

The 10 greatest guns in video game history Mon, 19 Oct 2015 10:10:09 -0400 Rob Thubron


1. The Gravity Gun - Half-Life 2


I realize that putting the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator - more commonly known as the Gravity Gun - at number one in a list of game weapons may seem a bit lazy, but there are plenty of good reasons why it beats all others to become the greatest video game gun of all time.


Firstly, much like the Super Shotgun in Doom 2, it’s one of those guns that is mentioned almost straight away during conversations about the game it appears in. And considering that Half-Life 2 is possibly the greatest single-player shooter of all time, it’s a testament to the gun’s quality that it’s so often singled out as one the game’s best elements.


Secondly, it was the immensely popular Gravity Gun that influenced the physics-based gameplay present in titles such as Bioshock, Dead Space and, most famously, Portal


And, of course, it’s simply a brilliant Half-Life 2 weapon. In addition to being able to move/throw objects, it can also release an energy blast that forcefully propels a targeted object backwards. Everyone who's played the game remembers the joy of throwing an explosive barrel into a group of combine soldiers, or blasting a saw blade into one of Ravenholm’s many zombies.


But the Gravity Gun reaches peak awesomeness once it becomes supercharged after exposure to the Citadel’s Confiscation field. Not only can it now pick up and punt any organic matter (i.e. bad guys), killing it instantly, it can also move much bigger, heavier objects.


The fact that the Gravity Gun is still regarded as the greatest video game gun of all time, eleven years after Half-Life 2’s release, speaks volumes. More than just a weapon, this gun is a tool, a toy and one of the biggest influences on a generation of similar game weapons that followed.


2. The Super Shotgun - Doom 2


The grandaddy of all video game shotguns and arguably still the best incarnation of the double-barreled weapon. Doom 2’s super shotgun actually made you pity all those demons, but not enough to stop you shredding them like blood-filled balloons. The BFG may be the most powerful weapon in your arsenal, but nothing matches the feeling of the Super Shotgun.


The rhythmic click-snap-bang of the firing and reloading sequence is mentally ingrained on all those who played the game - few weapons use sound in a way that invokes such feelings of power. It may seem like it takes an eon to reload, but that's the price you pay for having such a monstrous gun. And from what we've seen so far of the new Doom game, it appears that Id Software is set to introduce a new, even more awesome Super Shotgun to the world.


3. The Cerebral Bore – Turok 2, Turok: Rage Wars, Turok 3


Have you ever thought that a sharp projectile ripping through a person’s body just isn’t a gruesome enough way to kill someone? If so, maybe you should seek help; but you may also be able to satisfy your bloodlust by trying out Turok’s Cerebral Bore, one of the most brutal guns ever seen in video games.


This weapon works by locking onto the brainwaves of a nearby target. Once fired, the homing projectile will seek out the enemy and attach itself to the hostile’s head, killing them by drilling into their skulls and exploding once it reaches the brain.


Even with Turok’s very dated graphics, the site of an enemy’s blood and brain tissue pouring out of the projectile’s suction channel isn’t for the squeamish. The noise of the drill adds to the effect, and the explosion – which decapitates the unfortunate target – is the icing on the blood-covered cake. Truly one of the coolest and most imaginative guns of all time.


4. The Railgun - Quake II,III,IV


Quake’s Railgun is an absolute monster of a weapon, but one that takes a fair bit of skill to use proficiently. It's essentially a sniper rifle without the scope that fires depleted uranium shells. Its awesome killing power and perfect accuracy making up for the painfully slow firing speed.


The Railgun is excellent against some of Quake II’s monsters; it can even take out the Makron, supreme leader of the Strogg, with 20 direct hits. And nothing beats that feeling when a few bad guys line up perfectly, enabling one Railgun shot to travel through them all.


But where this weapon really comes into its own is in Quake III Arena. Hitting another player in this multiplayer-focused game may not be the easiest feat, but achieving it means instadeath for them and a great sense of satisfaction for you.


5. The Experimental MIRV - Fallout 3


I realise that classifying a shoulder-mounted launcher that fires eight miniature nukes at once as a ‘gun’ may be pushing it, but it’s not the only weapon on this list that takes liberties with the term. Anyway, it’s absolutely awesome, and whether it’s a gun or a terrifying weapon of mass destruction, it deserves a place here.


Fallout 3’s experimental MIRV is a unique version of the Fat Man (mini-nuke launcher) that essentially turns it into shotgun able to deliver eight nukes simultaneously. The MIRV deals more damage than any other weapon in the game, as you would imagine. Using VATS with this beast so you can watch the carnage unfold in glorious slow motion is truly wonderful.


6. Flak Cannon (Unreal series)


The trouble with a lot of shotguns in video games is that they all fire a similar type of ammo. The Flak Cannon from the Unreal series changed this by introducing a gun that uses ionised flechettes as projectiles. This gives enemies on the receiving end of the Flak Cannon the same sensation as having a bucketful of hot coals blasted into them, which is never a nice experience. Using this gun is simply one of the most enjoyable experiences in video games.


The flechettes are launched in a spread pattern that can bounce off walls, or as frag grenades that radiate the terrifying ammo in all directions - although managing to hit anyone with this secondary fire mode is another matter. And the cannon works perfectly within the short corridors and verticality of Unreal Tournament 99's levels.


7. The Golden Gun - Goldeneye


It's surprising to think that the third biggest selling Nintendo 64 game of all time, Goldeneye, was originally designed to be a Virtua Cop-style on-rails shooter. Thankfully, someone believed that making a brilliant free-roaming FPS on a console in 1997 was possible, and so the legendary Goldeneye was born.


One of the coolest and most memorable weapons from the game is the Golden Gun, made famous by assassin Francisco Scaramanga in James Bond’s The Man with the Golden Gun (played by Christopher Lee, the real-life step-cousin of James Bond creator Ian Fleming). In the game, this weapon requires a reload every time it fires a single bullet, but that bullet kills with one hit. Very handy in the solo missions and even better in multiplayer. In fact, an entire multiplayer scenario - The Man With The Golden Gun - is based around the weapon.


8. The Flailgun - Bulletstorm


Personally, I really enjoyed Bulletstorm, although its lack of depth has resulted in it being called the video game version of Pacific Rim - shallow, but fun.


One of the most enjoyable, OTT weapons in the game is the Flailgun - a weapon that manages to brings together death, destruction, and comedy. This fantastic example of badassery fires two grenades linked together by a chain. The grenades explode after a few seconds, but can be detonated quicker by the player. Is it sadistic to laugh as an enemy frantically tries to escape a chain wrapped around their neck, only for the grenades to explode and turn their head to mush? Probably, but maybe they deserved it.


You can even use the Flailgun to turn an enemy into a human bomb by wrapping them up in a projectile and kicking them into a crowd. If all that still isn’t enough for you then there’s an alternate fire mode that superheats the chain itself, causing it to cut through bad-guys like a hot chainsaw through squishy butter.


9. Winchester 1887 - Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Call of Duty: Black OpsCall of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, and Call of Duty Online.


By their very nature, video game shotguns are intense powerhouses of death. But sometimes they can be so insanely powerful that their very use could be considered a war crime.


This was the case with Call of Duty’s Winchester 1887, a gun that was initially so overpowered, Infinity Ward had to release two patches to fix it. With its beautiful, lever-action reload and magnificent stopping power, few shotguns could match the original Winchester 1887.




10. Duplet Shotgun with Quad-barrel attachment - Metro games


Why are games set in post-apocalyptic futures so much fun? Because of the home-made weapons. The Duplet is one such gun - a firearm built from scratch in the Metro's tunnels. It may have been put together by a depressed, drunken Russian, but it still has enough stopping power to make a Nosalis think twice about eating you.


Despite the limited ammo capacity and slow reloading time, once you have the quad-barrel upgrade for this shotgun you’re ready to take on the worst this radiation-soaked world has to offer. With four barrels firing simultaneously, nothing offers more close-range firepower in a single blast.


“Guns don’t kill people,” so some NRA members like to claim. These folk obviously haven’t played many video games, where digital guns have been responsible for the deaths of billions of people... and monsters, of course.


Virtual ethics aside, there have been countless video game guns over the years that have made even the most ardent anti-firearm pacifists jump up and yell “YES! Eat hot fiery death, mother*******!,” while blowing the head off yet another henchman who probably only works for an evil corporation because it pays well and has a good health plan.


So what video game guns are regarded as the best? Which are the weapons that stick in your memory more than the actual game itself? Bringing together firearms such as shotguns, sci-fi rifles, and miniature nuke launchers, here are the ten greatest guns in video game history.

Top 3 Call of Duty games and the ones that didn't make the cut Fri, 18 Sep 2015 08:03:20 -0400 Sergey_3847


You can buy most of these games with huge discounts today, which is a good idea if you really want to feel the spirit of the series. However, step-by-step, everything inevitably moves towards the end. Each step is the choice of the direction on the way, and at times leading to a dead end. But sometimes it is possible to realise that you made the wrong move somewhere and overcome the obstacles.


It must be hard for such a huge corporation as Activision to change its direction. They want to play it safe and increase the profit, instead of increasing the quality and actually trying to make their games better or even go against their plans and principles - it’s understandable. So, judging and criticizing them is pretty much meaningless at this point. Black Ops 3 comes out on November 6, 2015 and you can check everything for yourselves.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

The initial feeling of the new game, which is open for beta testing at this stage, unfortunately hints to the fact that it’s not even trying to be unique, and it looks almost like a mashup of Crysis 2, Advanced Warfare and even Titanfall. Black Ops 3 also feels heavier and slower, the character physics resembles Battlefield Hardline, which at first is quite annoying. You somehow constantly feel that something is wrong.


However, the multiplayer has a few interesting moments, for example, some unique abilities have been added to different classes. This can be a special weapon or a skill, such as the bow with explosive arrows, or an electric gun, a grenade launcher, acceleration, or a teleport. The problem is in the timing, as in order to use all this stuff properly you need some time to prepare, which is impossible amidst the insane action. So, what’s the point?


Black Ops 3 is not a revolution, even if Treyarch really wants to win the hearts of both hardcore players and casual gamers - it just doesn’t seem to click in any special way yet. The answer to this hides in Activision, the publisher of the series, and its shareholders who only think of their profits, thus releasing games without investing enough time and effort into the development process. If this trend keeps going, then we won’t see another really good Call of Duty game for a very long time, or maybe ever.

Honorable mentions

Call of Duty: World at War. This is the best attempt by Treyarch so far and the last World War themed Call of Duty game in the series. It also had a massive success (although not as huge as Black Ops), so why didn’t Treyarch release another one set in the 1940's? It is easy to criticize shooters, but Treyarch managed to give a convincing setting worth of admiration in World at War. The game is full of deep and extensive gameplay with a carefully constructed single player campaign. It is a solid, confident shooter that has much to offer.


Call of Duty: Black Ops. Let’s not get past another example of Treyarch trying to make a good game – the first Black Ops. If Modern Warfare feels somewhat traditional, Black Ops just turns everything upside down. It is a true blockbuster of a game having an almost perfect multiplayer. Well, the plot of a single player campaign is a bit dull, and some missions look like a self-parody, but this is just a small drawback to a really good game.


And, the last game on the roster is the upcoming Black Ops 3 from Treyarch. Let’s see if we can expect any sort of breakthrough for the series once again.

1. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

When people talk about Call of Duty they rarely mention the plausibility of the events or the efficiency of an AI mostly because they don’t really matter here. The first thing that comes to mind instead is the scope, the craziness and the setup of an incredibly epic missions and accompanying cutscenes. Of course, it’s a purely individual experience and every gamer has their own favorite, but out of all Call of Duty games only Modern Warfare has missions that leave you in a state of genuine awe: the execution scene, the nuclear explosion, Chernobyl, escape from the ship, etc.


You will say that we’ve seen all this many times lately. And, you will be right, but Modern Warfare was the first game that delivered all this in one package with a solid execution.


Another important thing to mention is that the game has an almost perfect balance of gameplay and cutscenes. They don’t intervene or interrupt each other, but really help keep the flow of the game going. Just think about it, the game was released in 2007 and its elements are still being used today. That’s quite an achievement.


This was also the first Call of Duty game to finally stop the theme of World War 2 and move the action towards modern days, hence the title. The multiplayer was so well thought out that it had eventually spawned thousands of servers. Even today Treyarch, another developer of the Call of Duty series, can’t achieve the heights of game development that have been set by Infinity Ward, but we do hope that one day the breakthrough will eventually happen. And, the upcoming Black Ops 3 will finally offer something that will make us forget about Modern Warfare.


Now let’s look at some of the honorable mentions.

2. Call of Duty 2

The first Call of Duty game set the vector of development for the whole franchise. But the actual Call of Duty in all its glory arrived only two years later in 2005 in the form of its incredible sequel – Call of Duty 2. It was definitely the number one military shooter of its time. This was also probably the first game that made you really keep your eyes open at all times, as the enemies spawned almost everywhere.


Even if you play it today the action is so tight that you simply have no time to think about anything, even the story. Infinity Ward made everything possible that Call of Duty 2 would reserve all the capacity of your attention. It also broke a few seemingly important rules, such as health bar, which was completely eliminated, and even a single player campaign. It just threw you right in the middle of the shootout and turned all your experience into a brutal roller coaster.


Now, let’s move away from the gameplay and talk about the graphics. We shouldn’t ignore the fact that this game used motion capture, which allowed the actions of soldiers to feel authentic. The rest like facial expressions, gestures, lip movements, animations, etc. – were also way far ahead of its time.


Locations had been designed with so much precision that it was virtually impossible to find any flaws. Houses weren’t just giant matchboxes, using the same types of textures, but each had its own unique characteristics. If you got tired of a certain location you could immediately jump out of the mission and start another completely fresh location, going from city to desert and back. This freedom of choice, which today is considered a usual thing in games, made Call of Duty 2 stand out from the rest of the pack.


Now onto the number one Call of Duty game.

3. Call of Duty: Ghosts

This must be the most divisive and controversial game in the whole series. And, this choice may enrage some of you, but let’s look at Ghosts once again and maybe this time you will find something good in it. That’s why let’s begin with the main issues everybody has with this game – a rehashed story campaign and an underwhelming graphics. In addition to that, if you look at the system requirements, which are extremely demanding, this turns out to be the real problem.


But hold on a second, is it really all about the graphics and system requirements? Probably not, just look at some of the other great games that have been released recently (e.g. Watch Dogs, Shadow of Mordor, Dark Souls 2, etc.). Behind the graphics Call of Duty: Ghosts delivers an entertaining single player campaign, which unites the elements from both the Modern Warfare and Black Ops titles.


The variety and the scale of missions and cutscenes add up to an already epic status of the franchise. The ending must be one of the best, if not the best, endings in all the series. Let’s take the mission in space, for example, which angered a lot of critics who said that shooting in space was impossible. So what? It’s just a game and it should be fun. Of course, it’s illogical, but where is logic in other games or action movies for that matter.


However, Ghosts has one huge downside – the relationships between the characters, specifically the dramatic encounters with Rorke, the game’s main antagonist. This is a completely unnecessary set of events for a CoD game. And, this is not the first time Infinity Ward includes some downright terrible characters in their games. For this sole reason, Ghosts takes only spot #3.


The year 2003 was quite eventful for the gaming industry, and one of its biggest events was the emergence of the first Call of Duty. This was a busy game, constantly expanding the limits of gaming community to its extremes. And, every new game in the series tried to awe its fan base by pushing these limits even further. Later on, epic cutscenes and stories alongside the trademark multiplayer made Call of Duty into one of the biggest game series in the world.


Even today, despite being constantly attacked by critics and the so-called game connoisseurs, Call of Duty’s huge sales numbers continue to surprise. This is probably the main reason why the games in this highly successful franchise keep coming out on a regular basis, but when you think about it, in comparison to some other bestsellers there’s maybe too many Call of Duty games at this point – eleven games (or twelve, if you consider an upcoming Black Ops 3) in the main series and maybe another twenty or so spin-offs for consoles and portable devices.


That's without considering such titles like Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, which was basically the prototype for Call of Duty games developed by the same guys that had founded Infinity Ward, the much praised developer of some of the best titles in the franchise.


Anyway, no matter if you’ve never played a single Call of Duty game or you consider yourself a pro, here are top 3 Call of Duty games for you and some extra thoughts afterwards.

5 Problems In Gaming That Have Been Around For A While Wed, 19 Aug 2015 06:41:10 -0400 Stan Rezaee

According to many old school gamers, we are living in a dark age of gaming thanks to all the filthy casual gamers and lazy developers. It’s no longer about making good games but to quickly release a new title then milk it dry before moving on to the next cash cow.

Most of us old school gamers need to realize that we are not living in a dark age because many of these problems in gaming have been around for a long time. From sleazy freemium games to constant re-releases, gamers have seen them back in the days when the N64 and PlayStation were king.

These are five common problems in gaming today that have been around for a long time.

5. Series Never Changes

Gamers hear this a lot about franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin's Creed, every game in series is the same with little changes. Despite a few tweaks, it’s going to be the same game with the same gameplay, same story, same events and same predictable plot twist that any gamer could see coming. By the fourth title, you know exactly which character is going to be killed-off and it's not even going to bother you. Call of Duty is the obvious target while Ubisoft has faced similar criticism, but at least they put more of an effort than Scott Cawthon and his Five Nights at Freddy's series.

It’s easy to say developers have become lazy or publishers have become greedy and are trying to milk a series, yet gamers forget that this has been going on for a long time. This has been going on with hit franchises since the 90’s, yet a lot of those games are now seen as classics.    

Today considered a classic, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and San Andreas were sometimes criticized for having the same gameplay as Grand Theft Auto III  with only minor changes. Even today, some gamers felt that Grand Theft Auto V was no different than its predecessors. Resident Evil 2 is often hailed as the best game in the series and one of the most iconic PlayStation games, but its gameplay was exactly like its predecessor. Also one should ask what is difference between Doom and Doom II in regards to their gameplay.

Developers are going to operate on a “don’t fix it if it isn’t broken” mentality when having to release a new title within two years after the release of the original. To make up for the lack of changes in the gameplay, they will be more focused on expanding the story and character development.

4. HD Remakes

The Next-Gen consoles is the next stage of the gaming industry and yet almost the majority of games being released are just HD remakes. Most of the hit titles released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are just HD versions of games from the last console. Grand Theft Auto V, The Last Of Us, and the Halo series have all been re-released on the Next-Gen consoles while there is very little original titles that takes advantage of the new hardware.

Looking back, this is not a new phenomenon as past console featured a variety of updated versions of titles from the last console generation. Some of the early games for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 2 were just ports of successful PC titles like Far Cry and Unreal Tournament. Going even futher one could also recall some of the early games for the Nintendo 64 were ports of hit PC games. Titles like Doom 64, Duke Nukem 64, Asteroids, Command & Conquer were available alongside many original launch titles.

Gamers seem to forget that it takes time for developers to switch over to the hardware of the new console. Publishers also would like to see which console is going to be the dominant one so they know who their main audience is going to be. Hence, the early games of a new console are going to be ports from the previous console generation or the PC.

3. Freemium Games

Freemium has grown to become a cancer of the gaming world as developers make s*** games then try to milk stupid casual gamers just to advance to the next level. It's because of parasites like Angry Birds and Candy Crush Saga that is ruining the gaming industry as developers are trying to focus more on half-ass mobile games.  

However the concept of paying to play has been around for a very long time, only it was once known as the arcade. Gamers had to pay $.25 - $2 to play a game that would last depending on a person's own skill set (but it didn’t last that long). Sure the games in the arcade were a better quality compared to the freemium games today, but paying $1 to play Time Crisis 2 is still a rip-off.

When the consoles began to dominate the gaming market, arcades became obsolete and would soon fade away. In its absence, the freemium market emerged to take its place thanks to rise of smartphones. Now gamers could enjoy that arcade feeling once again only by paying to play very dumb games that offer no real satisfaction.

2. Too Many Re-Releases

Resident Evil 4 was the game that changed the concept of horror survival, yet Capcom has re-released it so many times that it has become annoying among gamers. This has grown to become an annoying trend among gamers who are craving something new and original. Yet when a publisher is constantly re-releasing the same game, it's obvious they have gone bankrupt regarding creativity.  

Yet gamers seem to forget that publishers are always re-releasing their games. Want proof, guess how many times the original Resident Evil was released for the PS1? Answer: three times! There was the original release, a Director's Cut and the Dual Shock Edition. Meanwhile the original Doom has been re-released on almost every handheld device ever since the release of the Gameboy Advance.  

Rockstar Games is also guilty of this as they have re-released Grand Theft Auto III, ViceCity and San Andreas on multiple systems. Originally released for the PS2 followed by a PC version while Xbox gamers had to wait a few extra years. All three would be later re-released for the PS3 and Xbox 360 as part of an anniversary edition followed by a mobile phone port. Metal Gear Solid 2 and 3 were re-released as Substance for the PS2 followed by an HD remastering for all major consoles and part of the Legacy collection for the PS3.

So why do publishers re-release their games? Part of it is they feel the new hardware could improve a classic title while also wanting to introduce their games to a new generation. Resident Evil 4 on a Next-Gen console means nothing to someone who played it for the PS2 or GameCube but Capcom is hoping that it will introduce the series to a new audience.

1. Online Trash Talk

Besides lag, the one thing we all hate about multiplayer games is the trash talk and the lack of sportsmanship within the community. Call of Duty fans have the unfortunate luck of being seen as the lowest common denominator of the multiplayer world. They are often labeled as being pre-teen brats who are constantly using homophobic and racist slurs while lacking any sense of sportsmanship. Sometimes an old school gamer wonders why can’t they be more like those who play Counter-Strike or ArmA, a gaming communities that has a good concept of sportsmanship while no tolerance for trash talk

However we all need to remember that at one point, we were all 13 while thinking it was cool to use homophobic and racist slurs. Back in the day it was no different, we were all calling each other “f****-noobs” followed by “suck my ****” during a game of Counter-Strike (or some other multiplayer game). Every single one of us has a story about seeing trash talk or doing the trash talk, so get-off your high horse.

The only reason Call of Duty gamers are slapped with this label is because of the games demographic while those of us who play Counter-Strike got old and matured. The minute a new popular shooter series comes along, it will be the older Call of Duty fans that will be bickering about the trash talk and immaturity of a gaming community.

Hence, branding a fan base as juvenile is almost the video game equivalent of bickering about how the next generation is stupid and will doom us all. 

Was there any gamer problems you agreed with ot felt were missed, share your thoughts in the comments.

The Most Iconic Character Deaths in Games Mon, 17 Aug 2015 03:59:59 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

There's nothing quite like the death of a beloved character that allows them to meet their demise in a memorable fashion. Games are no strangers to having characters die, but these are some of the most iconic and memorable deaths to date. Since we will be looking at deaths of characters in various series, consider yourself warned of spoilers.

Now then, prepare to experience ultimate sadness. 

Sarah: The Last of Us

The opening to The Last of Us remains one of the most memorable and powerful beginnings in any game. While we knew what to expect, thanks to pre-release interviews and previews, the death was no less dramatic.

After having some quality father-daughter time, Joel and Sarah meet up with Joel’s brother in order to flee their neighbors who have become homicidal. After multiple close calls and encounters with bloodthirsty humans, Joel and Sarah make it to the edge of town where they are stopped by a soldier. Despite Joel’s pleading, the soldier receives orders to open fire, wounding Joel and leading to Sarah’s death shortly thereafter.

With great voice acting and framing, the scene is powerful and deeply affecting. Even worse, for those of us who are parents, this added an additional fist of emotional gut-punching.

John Marston: Red Dead Redemption

Red Dead Redemption was a powerful story about family and the unfulfilling pointlessness of murderous revenge. Also hunting - gotta get those skins yo! John was recruited by some shady lawmen that are holding John’s family hostage to hunt down members from his old gang, who kinda shot him up and left him for dead.

After doing all that was asked of him, Marston retires to his home and is ready to spend time with his family. After some daily routines of establishing his farm, a posse of men led by the marshals shows up at Marston’s house, eager to wipe the Marstons out in an effort to hide the government’s involvement with a former outlaw.

The resulting gunfight sees Marston going down in a blaze of lead and glory, and it's forever embedded in our memories.


Mordin Solus: Mass Effect 3

Mordin was the embodiment of the quirky scientist. The salarian had a unique, albeit slightly broken, way of speaking, a constant desire to work, and rarely allows his conscience or personal feelings to affect his judgment. In the series you learn Mordin helped develop the genophage, a disease that affects the krogan and essentially hampers the ability of the krogan to reproduce, crippling the krogan race.

After dealing with a Reaper on the krogan homeworld of Tuchanka, you discover you can help develop a cure for the dreaded genophage disease. Once you have the cure, you try to broadcast it via the Shroud, but due to previous salarian sabotage, someone must travel to the top of the Shroud in order to override the sabotage. Whoever travels to the top will not be coming down though.

Surprisingly, Mordin volunteers to sacrifice himself in order to broadcast for the genophage disease he helped create. He seeks to make up for his involvement in the creation of the disease and other mistakes by breaking the curse of the dreaded genophage. While it is possible to stop Mordin, by killing him, or allowing him to live and participating in a form of genocide, no other outcome has the effect of watching Mordin sing “Scientist Salarian” while becoming engulfed in explosions. It’s a rather touching scene and a fitting end to a fantastic character.


Andrew Ryan: BioShock

BioShock remains a landmark title and an intriguing look at choice in games, among other things. Andrew Ryan is the founder of the underwater city of Rapture where there are practically no inhibitions on science or anything really. Needless to say, things go downhill rather quickly.

Your character Jack braves the horrors of Rapture in his quest to find Ryan, get some answers, and get the hell out of Dodge. Upon confronting Ryan, you learn Atlas, the person you have been communicating with the entire game and your guide, has been manipulating you and using mind control to force you to do his bidding. The resulting scene is entrenched in the minds of players everywhere as Ryan dies, adhering to his philosophy and to prove a point. Memorable indeed.


Sgt. Paul Jackson: Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

The Call of Duty series has always been known for its grand set pieces, but nothing prepared us for this moment. Sgt. Jackson and a group of US soldiers are attacking the location of what they believe is a terrorist’s hideout. It turns out it was a decoy and is housing a nuclear weapon which is about to detonate. Jackson makes the decision to rescue a soldier who fell behind and then the fireworks happen.

To this point, deaths in games were not uncommon, but FPS games rarely featured the death of playable characters. This moment changed that. Unfortunately, it also led to the further CoD entries adding an obligatory “shock” moment and struggling to top the one before. Regardless, this moment remains effective.


Lee Everett: The Walking Dead: Season One

You’ve rescued a little girl from zombies and ensured her survival through countless perils and near-death situations. You deserve a break right? Well Telltale said, “Psh, whatever. Screw that noise.”

After everything that has happened and all Lee has done to ensure Clementine’s safety, Clemtine is kidnapped, and a rogue zombie bites Lee, sealing his fate. You can cut off the bitten appendage, but nothing will stop the inevitable creep of the Reaper.

Once you free Clementine from her captor, Lee and Clementine make their way through a horde of zombies and hole up in an abandoned storefront. Once here, Lee shows Clementine the bite and informs her of his impending death. You can have Clementine shoot Lee to cut his suffering short and prevent Lee from becoming a zombie, or you can choose to allow Lee to die and later turn into a zombie, presumably. This scene led to many tears shed in the real world along with Clementine’s digital tears. So many feels…

Jenny: The Darkness

The Darkness is a criminally underrated game, and you really owe it to yourself to play. Jenny is the love interest of the main character, Jackie Estacado. The two have essentially known each other their entire lives and are hopelessly in love. What’s even better is Jenny is conveyed realistically and comes across as a believable character instead of just eye candy.

There’s even a touching moment that allows you to sit on a couch with Jenny and watch To Kill a Mockingbird, among other things. It’s an intimate moment that isn’t too uncommon from what people do in real life. Of course, things end poorly.

Possessed by the titular demonic power of The Darkness, Jackie constantly resists the demonic power in an effort to keep some semblance of free will. The Darkness will have none of that and proves to Jackie his free will is no more. Jackie’s uncle is holding Jenny hostage in the orphanage where Jackie and jenny grew up.

When Jackie attempts to rescue Jenny from his homicidal uncle and a crooked police chief, The Darkness renders him helpless and forces him to do nothing but watch while the brains of the love of his life are splattered over the wall. It’s brutal. It’s gut-wrenching, and I’ll be damned if it doesn’t provide motivation to kill those crooked jerks.


Dupre: Ultima 7 Part Two

The Ultima series is one of the influential and well-regarded RPG series in gaming. While the eighth and ninth entries are held in spite by fans, they aren’t enough to blight the legacy of this franchise. Dupre is first introduced in Ultima II, which was released way back in 1982. He remains a constant companion and a series stalwart.

During the events of Ultima VII, Dupre becomes possessed and becomes the Bane of Wantoness, proceeding to slay many innocents. He was eventually cured by the Avatar, the playable character. After this, you learn in order to mend the broken pieces of the Serpents of Chaos (which keeps the entire universe in balance and from self-destructing) a human sacrifice of one who is in “balance” is required.

Only five people are candidates and straws are drawn with the Avatar drawing the short straw. When the time comes to sacrifice yourself, Dupre throws himself in the crematorium, stating he cannot take the guilt over the lives he has claimed. His last words are, “Let it be said Sir Dupre died bravely!” A noble sacrifice indeed. Start the video at the 4:50 mark.

Meryl: Metal Gear Solid and The Twin Snakes

Solid Snake is a stoic soldier who is focused only on the mission and feels nothing along the lines of love, or so you might think. In Metal Gear Solid, Snake encounters Meryl, a soldier held on the island Snake is infiltrating. Meryl assists Snake during some of his battles before they both become kidnapped.

Snake is then being tortured by Ocelot who tells Snake he must resist his torture, which is essentially pressing a single button repeatedly. If you fail, you aren’t shown the consequences until the last confrontation with Liquid Snake at the end of the game. During the confrontation, you spy Meryl, but aren’t able to get to her with Liquid around.

After temporarily getting rid of Liquid, Snake rushes over to Meryl for a happy reunion filled with smiles, laughter, and good times! And she’s dead, all because you could not resist the torture. So it’s completely your fault. I’ll be in the corner popping some anti-depressants now.

Wander: Shadow of the Colossus

It’s a story we’ve heard a thousand times before. Man’s girlfriend dies. In order to bring her back, guy proceeds to listen to strange voices and kill sixteen colossi. After slaying the final titan, man becomes possessed by evil because the colossi were guardians to ward evil away. Man dies and girlfriend is shortly resurrected after his death. All that and he never got to see the fruits of his labors.

Aeris/Aerith: Final Fantasy VII

You knew it was coming, but people still mourn to this day. While characters in games had died before, the death of Aeris was unexpected and accompanied by a beautiful score; ensuring players will never forget this scene. ‘Nuff said.

Were there any iconic deaths I missed? Should any of these entries have been left out? Sound off in the comments!