Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Articles RSS Feed | Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Get Spooked with These Halloween 2017 Events in Your Favorite Games Thu, 12 Oct 2017 15:36:11 -0400 Josh Broadwell


Absolver: Halloween 1.08 Update


Sloclap and Devolver Digital released Absolver's latest update recently, which includes new seasonal gear, among other updates and accessories.


Your 1v1 Combat Trials matches can now take place at night, but more importantly for some players is the fact that all 6 Marked Ones are sporting Halloween masks--Halloween masks that can be dropped upon your victory. You can check them out in the trailer above.


There are a couple of other important inclusions in the update. One of them is the Prestige system, which lets you advance your Absolver beyond level 60 and provides additional subsystems to help you grow them even further. Each level gained nets you a Crystal, which you can use to reset attribute points.


The random loot drops from Combat Trials have been replaced with Rift Disks and Rift Coins, items that can be traded for rare gear. You also can acquire Rift Disks by trading in Crystals.


There's a new, more intuitive inventory management system included in the update too. And the other major addition? You can now be bald.


Hearthstone: Hallow's End


It wouldn't be Halloween without Hearthstone! The Hallow's End event is back, and the Headless Horseman is your master of ceremonies. He's taken control of the tavern, which you'll find has been remade to match the seasonal mood, but there's more to the event than just that. Once each week during the Halloween spectacular, the Headlass Horseman will be handing out card packs and an Arena ticket.

  • Log in before October 30 at 10:00 pm PDT to receive two Whispers of the Gods packs and an Arena ticket.
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  • Log in between October 31 at 12:01 am PDT and November 5 at 10:00pm PDT to recieve two Knights of the Frozen Throne packs and an arena ticket.
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Arena Matches

There's a brand new dual-class Arena match for the duration of Hallow's End too. Each Hero is wearing a special Halloween costume; you'll choose both a Hero and a Hero Power and then receive cards from both classes, alongside your neutral cards.

Tricky Tavern Brawl--Now Through Oct. 28

Don a costume and travel throughout the countryside to find the Headless Horseman and put an end to his tricksy deeds. What costume you'll wear is Discovered once the Brawl begins, and each costume has its own deck featuring cards from across the classes, plus a passive Hero Power.


Fortnite: The Fortnitemares


Epic Games' Fortnite is yet another hero shooter joining in the Halloween fun. The Fortnitemares Fortnite Halloween event, starting October 26, brings with it a brand new stage: Hexsylvania. Hexsylvania is full of creepy catacombs and long hallways lit only by the dim light of floating candles and is covered with dense fog that obscures your path. There are plenty of other good things in store, too:

  • 25 new story quests
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  • 2 new spooky creatures -- Vampire Taker and Pumpkin Head Husk
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  • Spooky llama you can buy with candy
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  • 8 Hexsylvanian-themed heroes of each class and gender
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  • New weapons -- pumpkin launcher and gravedigger
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  • New storm effects and visuals
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There are some new Halloween skins on sale in the store too, purchasable with V-bucks.


Character Skins

  • Skull Trooper
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  • Ghoul Trooper
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Weapon Skin

  • Reaper Skin--Pickaxe
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Fortnite Patch 1.8


All of this is part of the much larger Fortnite update out now, and here are the details about it.


The patch implements different types of rankings to help you see how you stack up to the competition in these categories:

  • Total wins
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  • Solo
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  • Dual
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  • Squad
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There are two types of leaderboards too, and they all automatically reset on Wednesday of each week.


Division Leaderboard


These are based on different groups, or divisions, of players.

  • Each division is made up of 50 players competing against each other.
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  • Players are automatically assigned to new divisions each week.
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  • Each match type gets its own division.
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Friend Leaderboard

  • Compare and compete with your friends by turning on "friends only" on the board settings.
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Team Chat

PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players who own a microphone now have the option for team chat in their games, and it's a default setting. PC players have voice options too--added in the last update--but they need to push talk to activate it, and it's bound to the Y key. Chat isn't mandatory, though, and can be deactivated in the  Audio Options menu.

Slurp Juice

This consumable item is a major new piece added in the update. It grants the user one health and one shield per 25 seconds and can restore your health all the way up to 100. You'll find them in the same areas where you find other consumables, and you can also stack up to 2 of them.


Season Levels

These seasonal perks are a way to help level up your character and get exclusive items into the bargain. The first level gives you the ability to raise your character to 100 and displays your level in your banner. It also adds banner flair from levels 2-49 so you can display your prowess for all to see.


There are two seasonal awards for progressing through the first season as well.

  • Level 10: Unique seasonal banner
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  • Level 25: Unique seasonal glider
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Daily challenges are the way you raise your seasonal experience points, with a new one provided every day and the ability to have up to 3 active at one time.


Clash of Clans: Halloween 2017


Fans of Clash of Clans won't be surprised to hear that Supercell appears to be gearing up for yet another seasonal event. Details aren't confirmed as of yet, but here's what seems to be in store.


Supercell is introducing two new troop types: Pumpkin Barbarian and Giant Skeleton Troop. The Pumpkin Barbarian is a regular Barbarian dressed up as a pumpkin and with an extra shield -- a pumpkin shield, of course. Don't let the images you might have seen fool you either. The Pumpkin Barbarian doesn't have low HP; that's just for the shield.



The Giant Skeleton has its own unique characteristics that actually encourage you to let it get defeated. It carries around a giant explosive that goes off when it dies. It can even destroy structures like spell factories.


This year's Halloween obstacle is a baby dragon skull. Like other obstacles before it, it costs 25k elixir to remove and gives you 75k in return.


We'll post more as it becomes available, so check back soon!


Pokemon GO: Halloween 2017


Niantic finally announced what dataminers already discovered: Halloween introduces Generation III Pokemon from Ruby and Sapphire! The event runs from October 20th at 12pm PST to November 2 at 1pm PST.


As in previous years, there will be higher chances of finding the returning spooky Pokemon, including Houndoom and Gengar, but you'll also get to catch Gen III's Ghost types as well--Duskull and Dusclops, Shuppet and Banette, and Sableye. And, starting in December, Niantic will be slowly rolling out additional Hoenn Pokemon, though which ones and when specifically have not yet been stated. However, you'll also want to be on the lookout for the special witch-hat-wearing-Pikachu seen in the trailer.


Special boxes are on sale too, with items including Raid passes, Super Incubators, and, of course, candy. Pokemon will be earning twice as much candy as normal during the event too. There's also a Gen VII surprise in store, in the form of a Mimikyu hat you can get for your avatar.


Guild Wars 2: Shadow of the Mad King


The Mad King returns in Guild Wars 2 for yet more Halloween mayhem! The event brings with it numerous spooky diversions for your gaming pleasure, from battles to puzzles and more besides!


The Mad King's Labyrinth


Find your way through the maze, knocking on doors to trick-or-treat, if you have the courage for it. Watch your back, though; monsters prowl the maze, looking for an easy meal. If this all gets too much for you, there's always the Lunatic Inquisition you can try instead, the event's PvP mode


Ascent to Madness


Face off against the Mad King himself--Oswald Thorn. Study his tactics carefully if you want a chance for survival. But be careful--you never can tell what a madman might do next.


The Mad King's Clock Tower


Race your way to the top of the crumbling, haunted clock tower. Mind your step as you go, because one wrong move sends you tumbling into the rising tide of horrors below.


Lion's Arch Festivities and More


Drink in the Halloween atmosphere at the creepily bedecked Lion's Arch, and you might even have Oswald Thorn himself drop in for a game of Mad King Says. But of course, it wouldn't be Halloween without treats, and there are plenty to go around, including Halloween skins, weapons, and armor.


Rocket League: Haunted Hallows Event


Rocket League''s first ever Halloween event is here! It runs until November 6th at 10am PST, and it introduces a brand new form of currency for a limited time: Candy Corn.  You'll be using this throughout the event, so here's a short guide to help get you started.

What is It?

Candy Corn is your spendable reward that you use to purchase Haunted Hallows Crates, alongside Decryptors and other Halloween items. You receive Candy Corn as a reward for completing an online match, so it's a simple and intuitive system.


Your Candy Corn will disappear one week after the event ends, but everything you purchase with it remains in your inventory, including crates. To spend your candy, click the Special Events button on the main menu, and go from there.


What Can I Get with It?

The Haunted Hallows Crates are your the main draw for spending your Candy Corn, and they contain a variety of items for your Halloween enjoyment. These items are separate from the ones you can purchase in the event store as well.


However, you can also purchase Decryptors with Candy Corn, Decryptors are a new way of unlocking crates in Rocket League and, for now, can only be purchased with Candy Corn. Be sure to note that crates unlocked with Decryptors cannot be traded.

Anything Else I Should Know?

There are two other ways of obtaining Haunted Hallows crates. One is through regular online play; there's a chance a crate will drop at the end of each match. The other is through purchasing them directly, with real-world money. However, like crates unlocked through Decryptors, Haunted Hallows crates bought with money cannot be traded. The crates won't be updated for next year either, which means you can wait an entire year to open them, if you so choose.


Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money Zombie Outbreak


What happens when zombies and killer zombie raykins invade your neighborhood? Well if you want to know, check out the Trailer Park Boys Halloween event, running until October 20th!


Take down the zombie horde before they become out of control, and seek out the source of the creeping plague by taking on the evil raykins. Depending on your performance, you may just unlock a raykin for your wrestling arena too, which boosts profits for your ring.


Minecraft: Spooktacular Server Events


Sandbox fans aren't left out of the Halloween fun either! Mojang's server partners are running several different Halloween events from Friday 13th (quite appropriately) until October 31st. From trick-or-treating to fleeing from zombies, there's plenty to keep you in the Halloween spirit.


The lobby received a Halloween makeover, featuring pumpkins, glowing green goo, and spiders, but there's more lurking in the dark than the eye can see right away.


You'll need to keep an eye out for a tiny skeleton wandering around the lobby, and if you catch him, you receive a cave spider zombie jockey as a pet to accompany you until Halloween. But beware: the hunter can easily become the hunted. Zombies prowl the lobby, looking for their next snack. However, you can always take a break and enjoy the Haunted House parkour course too--if you dare.


There are changes afoot in the lobby here too. The entire lobby has taken on an eerie Halloween-themed neighborhood look, complete with spooky skins for your characters. Get your skin from the Jack-o-Lantern by the spawn point, then head over to the house for your treat--but be prepared for tricks too. You can also bring along one of the limited time DLC pets, including blaze, wolf, or mooshroom, among others.


On top of that, you can play the Halloween themed SkyWars map, where every island is a grave, and you have to keep on your toes to ensure it isn't yours.


The Mineplex event is all about rewards. The Pumpkin King has arrived, and he brings with him an assortment of quests, each with their own rewards, on a three hour basis. There are also flaming pumpkins that will randomly appear in games, each offering prizes to those who smash them, from gems and keys, to Top Rank.


This one has its own limited time DLC too, in the form of trick-or-treat boxes you can gift to your friends (or hoard for yourself). They contain lobby effects, potions, costumes, and food.




Paragon: Shadow's Eve


If Overwatch or SMITE just aren't your favorite, you'll be happy to know Epic Games' Paragon Shadow's Eve event is now live. It brings several new skins and banners, in addition to the return of some old favorites, and the event runs until November 1.


New Skins

  • Narbosh Bash-O'-Lantern
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  • Infernal Wukong
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  • Crypt Goddess Yin
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Returning Skins

  • Spider Witch Belica
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  • Murdock Dock-O'-Lantern
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  • Mephisto Gideon
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  • Franken-Grux
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  • Sweet Dreams Khaimera
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  • Feline Queen Sparrow
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  • Skullbot TwinBlast
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Banners and Chests

There are three new banners, featuring the three new skins, you have a chance of winning in a chest after each match. Each chest also gives you the chance to win one of the new or older skins, alongside the usual keys and tokens.


The in-game store is also running a 25% discount on these additional Halloween skins.

  • Silver Ghost Kwang
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  • Death Mask Sevarog
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  • Undertow Gideon
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  • Biofreak Murdock
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  • White Tiger Greystone
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  • Grux Pelt Khaimera
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Be sure to check back for more details as they come in. For now, let us know in the comments which of these you're playing or planning on playing!


CoD: Infinite Warfare -- Willard Wyler's Halloween Scream


Call of Duty: WW2 might be coming out soon, but that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy the series' latest offering in the meantime. Willard Wyler's Halloween Scream is back, with some frightful extras to help spook out your game.


Every week, there will be a free Halloween-themed Supply Drop at the beginning of the week. At the end of the week, you'll get a free Halloween cosmetic item and an extra drop on the 30th, including:

  • Zombie Ear (Friday the 13th)
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  • Calling Card and Emblem (Friday the 20th)
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  • Gravestone Accessory (Friday the 27th)
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  • Zombie Mercenary RIG (Monday the 30th)
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Extra Modes

Boss Battles


Starting Friday the 13th, you can re-challenge select bosses from the zombie campaigns. Do note that you have to own the respective DLC packs in order to access these battles.

  • Zombies in Spaceland + Rave in the Redwoods (Friday the 13th)
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  • Spaceland + Shaolin Shuffle + Attack of the Radioactive Thing (Friday the 20th)
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  • Spaceland + Director's Cut + The Beast from Beyond (Friday the 27th)
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The event also features the return of fan-favorite Carnage DLC map, along with double XP. This one lasts until November 1.


Elder Scrolls Online: Witch's Festival


The Elder Scrolls Online Witch's Festival makes its return this year as well, with a glut of new content for you in the Crown Store. However, a good chunk of it is limited to certain periods of time, so make sure to note the dates for your favorites listed below. Note, too, that everything listed is available on all platforms.


Like the creepy witch's cottage you see above? It's called the Coven Cottage, and it's for sale from October 19 through November 1. It's allegedly guaranteed not to be haunted...but who knows?



Ditch your regular mount for Halloween and pick up one of these eerie rides instead:

  • Shadowghost Guar (October 12-16)
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  • Zombie Horse (October 16-20)
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  • Shadowghost Wolf (October 19-23)
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  • Shadowghost Senche (October 26-30)
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  • Jackdaw Daedrat (October 12-November 1)
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Personalities, Polymorphs, and Masks

Dressing up for Halloween is the perfect chance to play around with a new personality, and Halloween in ESO is no exception.



  • Zombie (October 19-November 1)
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  • Scarecrow Spectre (October 23-27)
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  • Pumpkin Spectre (October 23-27)
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Hats and Masks

  • Deep Elf Executioner's Hood (October 12-November 1)
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  • Moonshadow Wings Mask (October 12-November 1)
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  • Jhuna's Owl Mask (October 16-20)
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  • Rajhin's Cat Mask (October 16-20)
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  • Dibella's Doll Mask Pack (October 19-November 1)
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  • Nightmare Demon Mask Pack (October 19-November 1)
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Black Desert Online: Halloween in Wonderland


Kakao Games and Pearl Abyss are bringing a unique new crossover and aesthetic to Black Desert Online starting October 18. As the above trailer shows, it centers around mysterious wormholes linking Wonderland to the world of Black Desert -- and, of course, the White Rabbit plays an important role. But so do you: you're enlisted by the White Witch to assassinate the Black Witch.


Other Halloween additions include spooky makeovers for central hubs like Velia and Heidel, and there will also be special Alice in Wonderland- themed areas and props, like the Mad Hatter's Tea Party.


Of course, it wouldn't be Halloween without costumes, and there'll be plenty of those. The Angelic and Demonic Queen outfits are two notable inclusions, and you can also dress your horse up with the Skeletal Horse Set. Throughout the event, you can wear Scarecrow Masks and Halloween pets Neurotic Cabby and Witch Hat Charlotte make their return this year too.


More information is set to come next week when the event starts, so be sure to check back!


Paladins: All Hallows Evie


Paladins: Champions of the Realm's treat bucket is full to bursting with the All Hallows Evie patch. There's something for everyone in the Little Box of Horrors chest, from exclusive VIP content and items to new skins for your favorite characters, making this Halloween 2017 event full of scares and delights.


All Hallows Evie Skins

Hi-Rez has included a number of well-designed skins for this Halloween 2017 event, including --finally!-- the tantalizing PumpKing.

  • Evie Bewitching (Epic)
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  • BombKing Pumpking (Epic)
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  • Grover Blightbark (Uncommon)
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  • Mal'Damba Wickerman (Epic)
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  • Strix Raven (Rare)
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The Strix and Mal'Damba skins are connected to the Harrowing Horrors Quest Line -- which involves paying crystals and defeating a set number of enemies -- so keep that in mind. Strix's outfit is tied to the new "Give 'em a Scare" Harrowing Horror quest (more on that later) and once you unlock his, you can get Ma'Damba's as well.

VIP Content

This content is exclusive for VIP members and includes the Bruce Buffer announcer and a special dance for Pip. However, you'll also get the Nightmare Mount, a horse with ram's horns --of course-- and green glowing hooves.


All Hallows Evie Accessories and Weapons

The Little Boxes of Horror could contain a number of other things, including costume pieces for your heroes or, for some, weapons.


Available Weapons

  • Pumpking's Bomb (Epic)
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  • Bewitching Broomstick (Epic)
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  • Blightbark Throwing Axe (Uncommon)
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  • Pip's Boo Blaster (Epic)
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Available Accessories


Note: All of these are rare.

  • Parasite (Seris)
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  • Screech (Androxus)
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  • Ghoulish Goalie (Jenos)
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  • Lil' Andy (Ruckus)
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  • Grave-Robbers' Spoils (Torvald)
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All Hallows Evie Quests

The Halloween patch also brings three new Harrowing Horror Quest lines with it:


A Night's Haunting

  • Heal for 200,000 health
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  • This unlocks the next quest, Toil and Trouble, and a spray for Wickerman
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Toil and Trouble

  • Win 10 Games
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  • This one gives you Strix's talon rifle and leads to the last quest
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Give 'em a Scare

  • Accumulate 40 kills
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  • As mentioned, this unlocks Strix's costume
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SMITE: Departure to the Afterlife


Hi-Rez Studios is offering a Halloween 2017 event for SMITE players, too. It comes in the form of its Departure to the Afterlife event, which is part of the latest SMITE patch, 4.19. It includes plenty of features to help infuse your game with some frightful fun.


SMITE Halloween Skins

There are six new skins in the Departure to the Afterlife event to help put you in the Halloween mood. And of course, they're all appropriately afterlife themed:

  • Grim Reaper Thanatos
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  • Trick or Treat Cupid
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  • Warchief Raijin (Odyssey)
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  • Hachiman Mastery
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  • Yurei Susano (Odyssey)
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  • Mummified Izanami (Odyssey)
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Other Departure to the Afterlife Treats

In addition to the new God skins, the Halloween map makes a return appearance, alongside the Scary Potion. You'll also get some new Halloween chest items, including the Cupid and Thanatos skins mentioned earlier, a  Jack-o'-Lantern Jump Stamp, and the Spooky Music Theme. 


The patch itself includes the return of foul-mouthed announcer Tactless Tina, which may or may not count as frightening, depending on your viewpoint -- and your playstyle.


Overwatch Halloween Terror 2017


Overwatch's Halloween Terror event is back! And the best part is that there's even more to it this year, from new skins and new items to Halloween-themed arenas and a brand new game mode. You've got a good while to enjoy this hero-shooter event, too: it runs from now through November 1.

PvE Brawls

Dr. Junkenstein makes his return in Junkenstein's Revenge, and Blizzard added an endless mode for it -- appropriately named "Endless Night"-- to really test your skills as you battle endless waves of enemies fighting to gain entrance into the castle. You can also choose from four additional characters for this mode: Genji, Torbjorn, Zenyatta, and Widowmaker. Alongside that is a brand new leaderboard to record the highest scores and see who made it the farthest.


New Skins

In addition to the skins from last year's event, there are eight new skins for the 2017 Overwatch Halloween event:

  • Dragon Symmetra
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  • Van Helsing McCree
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  • Jiangshi Mei
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  • Corsair Ana
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  • Cultist Zenyatta
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  • Totally '80s Zarya
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  • Viking Torbjorn
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  • Vampire Reaper
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Spooky Arenas

Two maps have received a Halloween makeover as well. During the event, you can play in spooky versions of the Hollywood and Eichenwalde maps.


Loot Boxes

In true Trick-or-Treat style, there are also Halloween themed loot boxes for you to purchase. These loot boxes contain a wide variety of things, from new skins and voice lines to avatars, emotes, and even last year's items -- some of which you might have missed.


It's that time of the year again! Developers are slowly starting to unveil and release their yearly Halloween events. And for gamers, there's a lot to choose from. Every year, there's a wide variety of games that offer Halloween events, from Final Fantasy XIV to Pokemon GO and Paladins to Overwatch and beyond. The events themselves include a multitude of different updates and skins as well, including additional game modes, accessories, and item skins.


To date, there are only a handful of games whose 2017 Halloween events have started or been revealed so far, so this piece will be updated as we continue to get more information about what's to come. For now, check out what's currently on offer to help get you in a spooky frame of mind.

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare: Attack Of The Radioactive Thing Easter Egg Hunt Tue, 11 Jul 2017 09:58:17 -0400 Ty Arthur

Zombies In Spaceland, which is perhaps the best Call Of Duty zombie mode yet, just got a whole new map and cast of characters with the Absolution DLC.

It's now available for PS4, though sadly the Xbox One crowd will have to wait a bit for Absolution. But if you follow our guide, you'll be ahead of the curve and ready to rock when it arrives!

So what's the new retro zombie theme this time around? Its a black and white '50s creature feature with none other than Elvira herself making an appearance, in addition to Seth Green as a cast member.

Much like the base Zombies In Spaceland for Infinite Warfare, there's Easter eggs galore to be discovered if you put in the time and effort with Attack Of The Radioactive Thing! Let's get started.

CoD: Attack Of The Radioactive Thing Easter Egg Guide

There are quite a few steps to make it all the way through this complicated Easter Egg, and it can take more than an hour. The end goal here is to build a zombie part by part, arm a nuke, and eventually unlock a boss to blow up.

First you have to switch from black-and-white mode to full color. Leave the spawn area and open the door at the power station to activate glorious color mode.

Head back to the building with the red bricks along the bottom and the tri-color pennants hanging from the top. On the back side look near the door to find the seismic wave generator blueprint.

Seismic Wave Generator Blueprint

Head inside the door and place the blueprint on the table, then go right back to where you were outside and grab the first piece just a few feet over from where the blueprints were located at the edge of the building.

Add the first part to the build table, then run to the other side of the building and go towards the swing set. The second part is across from the swings on the ground next to the Port-A-Potty.

Drop that part off, then go towards the front of the building to grab the third and final piece sitting on the red bench. Drop it off and grab the finished product.

After completing the build, head over to the beach (you'll have to spend $1,250 to unlock the wood pallet door blocking access) and look for a zombie arm sticking up out of the sand. Grab the switch in the hand.

Grabbing the Power Switch

Place the seismic wave generator you built earlier onto the ground where the power switch was found. After waiting a bit, the device will eventually excavate the arm, which is the first zombie part you need.

Place the power switch on the power box outside the plant, then head inside the movie studio building and talk to Elvira.

Hoof it all the way back to the building where you built the seismic device and you'll see the wall opposite the build table now has an open safe.

Well, hello there!

Grab the book inside the safe and return to Elvira to get the test tube component. We've got to fill the tube by melee killing zombies with a specific weapon.

Go up the ramp by the power station and unlock the door there. Head through the building (this is the back side of the Beachside Market) and look for a shark lying on the counter behind the cash register. What's he doing there? Who cares -- just grab the knife sticking out of the shark's side.

For most enemies at this point in the game, its a one-hit kill weapon. Get melee kills until the vial fills up and then take it back to Elvira, who will get up and follow you.

 A shark's loss is your gain...

When she gets up, grab the mirror she drops on the couch, as you'll need this to animate your zombie later. Now go outside to the blue circle floating in the air by the cars so Elvira will open the Pack-A-Punch.

There's an important part to remember here depending on where you are killing enemies: if you kill a green mist soldier zombie with the shark cleaver, he will drop a leg component you need, so pick it up! Keep track of where the soldier zombies are located, because the leg will stay where it originally dropped and it won't respawn if you keep killing more of those enemies.

After using the Pack-A-Punch, hit the orange button on the blue wall to change the portal destination, then leave through the portal to grab the zombie head sitting on the counter next to the fan inside the RV.

Head back towards Elvira's movie studio. Look for a tree that can be seen through the open gate. Before doing anything to the tree, look down at the left side of the open gate on the ground to find a component you'll need much later.

Now you need to blow up the tree with an explosive grenade, which can be done by cooking the grenade so it's almost ready to go off and then chucking it up towards the leaves.

       Blow up this tree!

Run down beneath the tree and grab the leg that falls after the tree catches fire (if you don't see fire, you didn't do it right and have to try again). Note that this part can actually be done anytime after you talk to Elvira and get the vial.

If you didn't kill any of the soldier zombies yet, now is the time to do so to grab the second zombie leg.

Travel to the pool and grab the crowbar in the room located up the stairs from the Bombstoppers machine. Head over to the RV park area and enter the bathroom building. Smash the one intact mirror on the wall and grab the piece that falls into the sink.

Go outside back into the RV park area and look for a large metal fire pit. Inside the pit through the thick metal grating you can see the second zombie arm component.

Grilled zombie arm!

Head over to the side of the gas station and look for a stack of boxes on a green hand cart. Grab the control box part sitting on top of the boxes, then return to the same building where you found the shark knife (the Market).

Install the control box next to the freezer room door, then press the green freezer button on the other side of the wall (opening the freezer costs $750). Quickly leave the room or you will lose all your health as the freezer turns on.

Wait for the cold air to stop blasting, then go back in the freezer and smash the pig carcasses with the crowbar, then grab the zombie torso hanging in the middle.

 Zombie Torso

Head to the front of the Beachside Market building and smash the mirror on the passenger side of the classic white car sitting outside, then grab the mirror off the ground.

Return to that first building where you built the seismic device and go inside the room where the wall safe was located. Look on the desk and pick up the punch card that's now sitting there.

Go back through the white CDC tunnel into the original spawn area and place the zombie parts on the gurney against the wall. Set a mirror piece on the table covered in cups to the left of the gurney, the second mirror on the green MRE box to the left, and the final piece on the back side of the room.

 Bringing back the dead!

Turn on the laser by interacting with the old timey computer device on the desk across from the gurney. This one's a little tricky. What you need to do is press Square (or X) when the light is under the same numbered dot as the number above.

So for instance if the number is 4, press the button when the fourth dot is lit as the lights move from left to right. Repeat this process until you hit every number that appears on the screen. The specific number combo will be random, but make sure you remember what your combo is because you'll need to know it later.

When you get it right, the laser turns on and re-animates the zombie. Now we're going to return to the number input machine and do the same code... backwards.

Entering the laser code

After all that work to return the zombie to life, now the laser is going to blow him up. Pick up the key that drops where the zombie was strapped to the gurney.

Head over to Ramon's and open the red garage door using the zombie key. Inside you will find a non-functioning nuclear bomb. Of course we're going to collect pieces to make it work again, because we're nuts and the world is filled with zombies.

Remember that component you picked up by the fence before blowing up the tree? That was actually the first bomb part. Run over towards the middle of the map (by the crashed bus and white truck), where there's red vehicle that crashed into some rocks on the side of the road. The next part is underneath the car.

 Finding the second bomb part

Now for the final part, go over towards the beach and look for the wood bridge. Underneath the wood bridge in the joint near the rock you can find the third piece. Bring all three parts back to the bomb and put it together.

We're not done yet though, because there's even more random components to find! Return to the beach and go up towards the picnic observation area with the benches. Grab the big blue number inputter piece sitting on top of one of the benches.

Head to the back of the market again and grab the next piece that looks like an alien bong sitting on the couch. While you are there, look underneath the edge of a desk to find a blue number combo you will need later (this number can change between playthroughs).

The final piece is on a bench in the RV park area and looks like some glass gauges.

 Totally not an alien water pipe. Nope, not at all. That's a "valve."

Return to the garage with the nuke and place the pieces on the workbench. Now we're going to go hit some valves with the crowbar based on the number combo you found under the desk earlier.

You can do the valves in any order so long as the number combo is correct, and they are located in the crowbar room by the pool, the power station shack, behind the gas station, and on the side of the Snack Shack.

To input the code, smack the valve while its on the first number in the sequence. So if your number was 5187, at the first valve you'd hit with the crowbar when the arrow is pointing at 5, then hit the second valve in the series when it's at the 1, and so on.

 Hitting the valve

After the code is entered in all four valves, return to the back room of the Market and grab the paper in the opened safe on the floor. The paper has... yet another annoying code on it, woo-hoo! Memorize or write down the code, because you are going to have to use it at the very end of this hunt when the number isn't readily available.

Next, we're running to another four locations to discover a code. The numbers are discovered by finding a code scribbled on certain surfaces around the map. Don't head to these locations yet though, just make note of where they are.

Look at the door with the handicapped symbol right outside the room with the bomb, underneath the main concrete bridge, on the green section of wall next to the fridge in the back of the Market, and on the fridge in the same RV that had the zombie head.

Head over to Elvira's studio and look for the series of TV screens covered in colored bars. Toggle the color of the game using the console there and change the game to a red tint.

Now go to all four locations previously listed and check to see if any of them have the "does not equal" sign (the equals sign with a slash through it). Make note of that number, because you can now discard it while trying to figure out the code.  

Go back to the studio and switch to green, then return to all four locations and look for the next "does not equal" number. Repeat the process with the blue tint and make note of the "does not equal" number.

That will leave just one number that didn't have the "does not equal" sign. Return the colors to normal at the studio and go to the one location that wasn't marked to find the number code you need.

Next, go to the front office of the hotel and look for a number up in the corner on the wall.

Return to the studio and go to the other side of the wall of television screens and look up. Inside the glass is a math equation, letting you know the answer is your two numbers multiplied together.

Yeah, math. Multiply the circle number you got by the number you found inside the motel and make note of the total. Now turn around and look at the TV set next to Elvira's couch. A series of "greater than," "equals to," and "lesser than" numbers will be shown with corresponding colors. Take note of which color matches your multiplied number.

So for instance if your number was 85 and the "less than 87" entry was blue, you know you need to go set the world tint to blue. You will probably have a different number and color combo, however. Go change the color tint again to match your color. Of course we're going off on another annoying jaunt across the map, this time to find six chalk boards.

 Chalk Board

The chalk boards are located outside the start spawn location, outside Elvira's studio, on the beach near the water, inside the RV park, at the gas station, and behind the Market. The numbers listed there are going to tell you how to make a chemical to use the nuke.

Before we can make the chemical, we're going to place some batteries at different locations -- you should already have these batteries just from them dropping as you kill zombies.

If you don't have them already, complete some waves and pick up the batteries as they fall. Set the batteries in the radios found at the motel office and power station. Listen to the broadcast to be told which chemical you have to make.

 Inserting the battery in the motel radio

Here's a full list of chemicals to make and how they are concocted. When you make your chemical, you have to input a code. Remember those chalk boards you looked at before? They tell you the code... sort of.

What you need to do is add together the two top left numbers next to each of the base chemicals, and then add those numbers together. Finally, subtract out your O number (the one found by changing the colors until you cleared out the three "does not equal" numbers) to get your final code.

For instance, if the radio told you to make Hexamine, which is made by combining glass cleaner and formaldehyde, you would add up the top two left diamond numbers for glass cleaner and formaldehyde found on the chalk boards, then add those two numbers together, and finally subtract your O number to get your code.

Take your base components and add them together at the chemistry set in the nuke room, and then enter your code. Yes, this is all ludicrously over complicated nonsense for a game about shooting zombies.

Put your final chemical in the nuke to activate the teleporter that takes you to the end of this Easter egg hunt (finally). After teleporting to the boss fight, push the nuke down to beach -- while dodging fireballs being flung by the radioactive monster.

 Pushing the nuke

Wait for the radioactive monster to eat the nuke, then head over to laser cannons and use them to strike the vulnerable spot on the monster's chest until he stops attacking.

Run back to the nuke launcher and hold Square (or X) on the area where the nuke used to be to activate the radiation that will start spreading. Run all the way back up the bridge to the point where you first teleported and fend off the zombies until the monster starts firing off laser beams.

When the lasers appear, return to the beach (by jumping over or ducking under the laser traps) and activate the nuke launcher again to be teleported inside the monster's stomach.

Now you've got to enter a code in the nuke. Which one? The one you got from the piece of paper in the safe after smacking the valves with the crowbar. If you didn't write this down, you're out of luck, because there's no way to access it from this area. After each member of your team enters the code, it's game over for the radioactive monster!

     Entering the nuke code

This was the quickest and most efficient way we found to complete the Attack Of The Radioactive Thing Easter egg hunt we've found so far, but of course you can grab the parts in different orders. Let us know if you managed to complete it any other way!

Need help with the rest of the Zombies In Spaceland mode? Check out our other Infinite Warfare guides here:

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.

4 Reasons Call of Duty Films Are a Terribly Bad Idea Mon, 17 Apr 2017 08:00:01 -0400 tofuslayer

About a year ago, Activision Blizzard announced their plans to release multiple films based on the Call of Duty franchise. According to Activision, the first film based on the game franchise could come out as early as 2018. I don't know when we ever asked for a CoD movie, and I don't think we need one.

Just... why?

Through the years, we've seen video game franchises expand to film with varying degrees of success and failure. If we've learned one thing from these narratives it's that a good video game does not always make a good movie. While variables like acting, directing, and sheer timing have an effect on the prosperity of a film, there are a few things that are crucial in making a solid video game movie. Plot, character development, and originality are just a few. We've seen from failures like the Assassin's Creed movie that an amazing game with an interesting plot does not promise a favorable outcome for the film.

Don't get me wrong, I have thoroughly enjoyed many of the CoD games throughout the years, but that doesn't mean I want to watch it in theaters. Frankly, I don't feel that CoD has the features necessary to translate to a watchable film that would remain true to the franchise.

1. You're not the main character anymore

Part of the reason we're invested in the CoD campaigns is that they are mission based. At least for me, the plot is secondary. It is more important that a campaign have well-crafted missions than a riveting narrative. Don't get me wrong, there's suspense and action at every turn, but will an audience be as drawn into a story where they don't actually get to play? When you look at the different campaigns we've seen from the Activision franchise over the years, are there any stories you'd actually want to watch as a film if you didn't actually get to shoot anyone? For me, the answer is a resounding "no."

2. It probably wouldn't be for gamers

Films like J.J. Abram's Star Trek appeal to a wider base with sexy leads and big-budget special effects, and rely less on the original characters and story. The first Star Trek was an enjoyable movie, but personally I felt like it lacked the nuance of the original television show. I feel like this will be the fate of the CoD movies. I don't see the same depth in the CoD franchise that Star Trek has.

CoD film makers would likely have to develop a character based plot line into the story and risk pulling the film away from the things that players love about CoD. There is a very high likelihood that the film would be loosely based on the games, with a generic Hollywood storyline inserted in. If the storyline doesn't have the right blend of exposition, character development, and violence while staying true enough to the franchise, it will fail. I don't know about you, but I don't really want to watch a film that abandons the idiosyncrasies of a game in order to widen the franchise's fan base.

3. It would be every other bad war movie

There are a lot of war movies, and not all of them are good. How many worthy action movies about war have you heard about in recent years? Now out of those, how many of them were more about the action and fighting than they were about the story of the people behind the guns? There are only so many epic explosions and realistic gory scenes you can watch before you ask, "okay, this is cool, but what's the point?"

In order to make a good war movie, the characters and their motivations must be primary, putting the action secondary. This sentiment is opposite to the CoD franchise. Perhaps it would be possible to take its characters and storylines and turn them into a decent movie, but at that point it would bear little to no resemblance of the franchise. It's a paradox, because if CoD wants to be a well-made action movie about war, it can't be a movie about CoD.

4. CoD is not Marvel, and will never be Marvel

Activision has said that they want the CoD movie franchise to resemble that of Marvel. I have so many issues with this, the first being that videogames are not comic books. Activision will never be Marvel, and CoD will never be any series of graphic novels. Ever. CoD games generally do not follow the dramatic structure that makes comics and graphic novels work in film adaptations. Marvel comics generally follow the typical "hero's journey" story arc (graphic representation below, as the full explanation may be a little long).

Most graphic novels and comics generally follow this arc or some sort of variation of it. The CoD series focus mainly on the "tests, allies, and enemies" portion of this structure, making it mostly action based. In order for Activision to make the CoD film franchise "Marvel-esque," it would have to develop and follow a story arc similar to this. Seeing as Marvel became a successful film franchise because they had a universe and characters that had proven themselves for generations, it was not a far step to turn their characters' stories into films.

The CoD universe, on the other hand, does not have this same luxury. They would essentially be starting from scratch and venturing into unknown territory. While this risk could prove fruitful, there is also the very real chance that it will not go well for them. Gamers are some of the harshest critics out there, and if Activision isn't able to create a compelling story that bears the defining characteristics of the franchise, there will be intense backlash from fans.

Some things just should not be done

Maybe I'm just cynical, but I don't really understand why acclaimed video game franchises feel the need to expand to the world of cinema. While there are plenty of successful film adaptations of books and graphic novels, video games generally do not make exceptional movies. As we've seen in the past, many video games try to translate into films that appeal to their fans, but ultimately fail.

Just because a video game is wildly popular, this does not necessarily mean that the storyline of the game is strong enough to captivate an audience without the actual gameplay. Cool costume design and big explosions do not necessarily mean a movie will be popular, and it definitely does not mean that it will satisfy existing or prospective fans of the franchise. The stars will have to align and Activision will have to do everything right in order to make CoD into a satisfying movie, and frankly I just don't think they will be able to hit the mark. In this case, the risk is not worth the reward.

Do you want to see a Call of Duty movie? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

What Can Disneyland Teach To Aspiring Game Designers? Fri, 20 Jan 2017 03:00:01 -0500 Caio Sampaio

If you wish to become a video game designer, it is wise to learn as much as possible about the field, but do not forget other mediums. Innovation is a vital element of the gaming industry and one of the keys for developing novel concepts is looking for inspiration where no one else is.

You can have your "eureka moment" and think of a new technique when watching a scene from a movie, reading a description in a novel or walking through an amusement park.

When it comes down to parks, Walt Disney World is the dream destination of most people around the globe, as it occupies the number one spot on the list of most visited theme parks on Earth, according to the website World Atlas.

This popularity did not happen without a reason. The experiences in the park are carefully constructed to push the human imagination to its limit and aiming to keep the Disney standard of quality in the park, the company developed a list known as Mickey's Ten Commandments.

This is a set of rules Disney uses when creating new attractions to the park, but it can also prove valuable to an aspiring video game developer, as parks and game design have a lot more in common than you may think.

Mickey's Ten Commandments are:

1- Know your audience;

2- Wear your guests shoes;

3- Organize the flow of people and ideas;

4- Create a weenie (visual magnet);

5- Communicate with visual literacy;

6- Avoid overload;

7- Tell one story at a time;

8- Avoid contradiction;

9- For every once of treatment, provide a ton of fun;

10- Keep it up!

In this article, we will explain each one of these rules and address how designers can apply them to design better games, but before talking about Mickey's Ten Commandments and their use in gaming, let's discuss  one core similarity between designing a park and a video game.

It is all about the experience:

Released in 2013 by Irrational Games and 2K, BioShock Infinite is a First Person Shooter that allowed players to be in the shoes of Booker DeWitt, a former solider who received the mission of travelling to the floating city of Columbia to rescue Elizabeth, a girl who spent her life incarcerated in a tower due to her ability to open doors to parallel universes.

The universe of BioShock Infinite (above) carries many references to Walt Disney World, from the art, to the design of the areas, where each one carried a specific theme, as in a Disney park.

The most important aspect to observe in this game; however, is that whilst its core gameplay mechanic consists of shooting enemies, the experience is larger than that.

As players walk through the streets of the city, they explore the area and uncover its secrets and pay attention to the slightest detail of the carefully crafted world, as they interact with its characters.

This occurs for a reason -- suspension of disbelief.

This is a basic technique of entertainment, which consists of making the audience accept the premises of a work of fiction, even if they are absurd in real life. The idea is to allow players to forget about the logic of the real world and immerse themselves in a fictional universe.

In order to "sell" the idea of a floating city in BioShock Infinite, developers created a set of rules through the story of the game and crafted every section of the experience accordingly, from the art style, to the soundtrack.

It is crucial that every aspect of the production communicates the same vision. A poorly placed element could break the immersion and ruin the experience of the player.

With this being said, BioShock Infinite is a shooter, but its success occurred due to the sum of its parts. Audio, art style, characters and many more elements that, when put together, created a whole experience.

Now, regarding Walt Disney World...

The central point of Disney, and any theme park, are the rides, but they alone cannot sustain the success the park has had. People do not go to Disney to ride a roller coaster, they go there, in order to explore the park and enjoy the experience as whole, to the finest details that compose the magic universe of Walt Disney World.

Just as BioShock Infinite is a shooter, but people do not play it solely for the shooting, Disney is a park, but people do not go there simply for the rides. In both cases, what people wish for is the whole experience.

The whole experience is what makes a game successful, not only its basic mechanics.

The whole experience is what made Disney successful, not only its rides.

This is the connection of game design and Walt Disney World. Their success depend on carefully crafted experiences, which need several fragments to come together and become an united piece.

This is a crucial lesson any aspiring designers needs to learn. A game is a lot more than just its gameplay.

With this said, it is time to analyze with more detail how Disney builds its parks and how these lessons apply to game design. In order to do this, we will take a look at the aforementioned Mickey's Ten Commandments.

1- Know your audience:

"Identify the prime audience for your attraction or show before you begin design."

In any commercial endeavor, it is crucial to determine who your target audience is. Any aspiring designer must understand that he may have to develop a game for an audience he is not found within.

If that is the case, it is paramount to discover the preferences of the target demographic, in order to determine the direction of the project.

This brief intro takes us to the next topic.

2- Wear your Guests’ shoes:

"Insist that your team members experience your creation just the way Guests do."

In this case, we should change "guests" for "players."

This second Mickey Commandment claims that a creator of a experience, as well as the people behind it, should see his work through the lenses of the audience. This is boils down to a single word: empathy.

The Marrian-Webster dictionary defines empathy as:

"The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner"

This skill is fundamental, because the designer needs to create a product that suits the taste of the target audience and if the designer is not inserted in this demographic, he/she may need to develop a game that is not fun for himself/herself.

In order to clarify this idea, let's see an example:

Imagine a 30 years old man, who needs to develop a game for a target audience that consists of teenage girls. The dissonance between the tastes of the designer and of his target demographic will make it hard for him to create a successful game, unless he develops empathy and starts to look at his design through the eyes of a teenage girl.

This is a tricky feat to achieve and in order to do so, the designer must know as much as possible about the players. Luckily, the field of psychology has some tools to make the life of a game designer easier in this regard.

One of them is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the Wikipedia entry explains what it is:

"It is an introspective self-report questionnaire designed to indicate psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions."

Once the volunteer answers all of the questions, a report is generated, which gives an overall look at a person's psyche, as the image below shows:

The video below shows the YouTube channel The Game Theorists using this test to analyze the personality of its audience, in order to determine the reason why players had certain preferences in the choice-based game Life is Strange.

                                  [Warning: Spoilers for Life is Strange]

After applying this test to several people who represent the target audience, a game designer will have a solid idea of what to aim for when designing the game, thus develop empathy.

So, now you have the tools to know the drives of your target audience. What comes next? Mickey's Third Commandment tells us.

3- Organize the flow of people and ideas:

"Make sure there is a logic and sequence in our stories and the way Guests experience them."

 In Disneyland, each area of the park tells a different story, but the designers of the park ensured to expose each narrative in a concise way.

In video game design, this Commandment is mostly associated with open world games, through the way the development team places the various points of the world in the map.

Take for example the world of Fallout 4 (below).

Each one of these locations tells to the player a bit about the story of the game, but it is important to know where to position these places. The game must deliver the story in a concise, logical and sequential order, otherwise the player may become confused and lose the interest in the narrative.

To prevent this from happening, the developers must take into account two factors -- the player's starting point in the world and the game mechanic known as "fast travel."

Have you ever wondered why in most games you can only fast travel to a location after you have traveled there for the first time? There are plenty of reasons, but one of them to is to ensure that the player will follow the background story in a logical order.

In most open world games, which parts of the story a location tells is based on how far from the player's starting point this place is. With this said, if a player walks closely to the starting point, regardless of the direction, he/she will only uncover simple details of the story, while the game reserves more in-depth information for areas further away.

If the game grants to the player the ability to fast travel to a location, without progressing through the game to arrive in it, it will risk breaking the narrative, as players will discover elements of the story out of sequential order.

With this said, as Mickey's Third Commandment states, it is paramount that a game designer creates an experience that tells a story in a concise way, even if it is fragmented, as in a Disney park.

4 - Create a wienie (visual magnet):

"Create visual 'targets' that will lead Guests clearly and logically through your facility."

In a park, it is important to add visual clues indicating where to go next and so is in gaming. Players need to understand clearly where to go, in order to proceed with the plot, but adding an element to act as "visual magnet" can be tricky.

As stated herein, the game designer must sell the "plausibility" of the fiction, in order to suspend the disbelief of players and allow them to immerse themselves in the game.

If you add a visual element to guide players, but it does not mix with the rest of the universe, you will break the immersion, as the visual magnet will be perceived by players as a foreign element.

An example of visual magnets being well implemented in a game is Journey, where developers added a mountain with a light beam coming from its top. Most importantly, through the art of the game, this visual element matches with the surroundings of the player, thus feeling natural and maintaining the suspension of disbelief.

A game which received mixed reactions regarding its use visual magnets was Splinter Cell: Conviction (below).

The game used text projected on objects and walls to tell to the player where to go. These had the intention of showing to players the thoughts of Sam Fisher, the protagonist. 

A poll on Ubisoft's official forum asked whether players wanted to have the option to remove these projections from the game. The results showed a perfect split. As we see in the comment from this poll, some users felt that the projected texts were intrusive and hurt the immersion of the gameplay.

This brings us to an important conclusion -- when designing visual magnets, it is a safer bet to use objects that are already part of the universe, as the mountain of Journey, so they do not stand out in a negative way, appearing as foreign elements, as the texts of Splinter Cell: Conviction.

This connects with the next Commandment from Mickey Mouse.

5- Communicate with visual literacy:

"Make good use of color, shape form, texture – all the nonverbal ways of communication."

"Always show, do not tell," is a basic rule of any medium that delivers a story and it has more importance in video game than in any other form of storytelling.

According to the video below from the YouTube channel Extra Creditsone hour-long television shows have approximately 20-30 minutes of dialogue, whereas in video games, this figure drops to ten.

This occurs due to the interactive nature of games. They allow their audience to explore the environment and receive information regarding the plot by observing the world around them, as opposed to relying on an exposition done by a character.

This reduces the number of words spoken in a game, but places greater emphasis on what is known as "environmental storytelling" -- telling a story through the world.

A game that mastered this type of narrative is BioShock (below).

In it, players survive as they explore the fallen underwater utopia of Rapture. The image above shows how the game uses visuals to tell portions of the story.

In this point of the game, no character has told to the protagonist when this society met its demise, but through the art of the world, players know that it happened during New Year's Eve of 1959.

This is just one example of tens, if not hundreds, of opportunities where the development team found a way to send a message to the player through the art of the game.

6- Avoid overload – create turn-ons

"Resist the temptation to overload your audience with too much information and too many objects."

You can tell a story through the environment, but it is important to avoid filling the world of the game with an overabundance of objects and information, otherwise you may confuse the player with an overwhelming amount of messages and visual pollution.

To achieve this goal, we can rely on a rule from film making, which states that every object that appears on screen must have relevance to either the story or to the development of the character.

This concept provides us with a solid idea when designing environments for a game. As an aspiring game designer, when creating your levels, you must discover which objects and visual guides are essential to the player, in regards to both combat and environmental storytelling.

If you add too many objects to a room, not only the will distract the player, but they will consume resources from the team, as additional time will be required to create them. In the end, everybody loses.

Keep it simple, but you should also avoid placing too few objects and make the world lose its life. Finding the right balance can be tricky and concept arts are usually the most useful tool to use in this case.

The world of Mirror's Edge is an example of a game that only has enough objects in the area to build the suspension of disbelief and allow players to navigate through the level in a challenging way, as seen in the image above.

Which brings us to the next topic...

7 - Tell one story at a time:

"If you have a lot of information divide it into distinct, logical, organized stories, people can absorb and retain information more clearly if the path to the next concept is clear and logical."

As previously stated herein, in a Disney park, visitors walk through different areas and each one of them have a different theme and mostly importantly, they all tell a different story.

The 7th Commandment of Mickey Mouse exists in order to ensure the audience understands the message being delivered in a concise way. To do this, it is crucial that all of the areas in the park tell a different story, but all of them connect somehow to create a larger narrative arc.

This same principle applies to game design, and to discuss a stellar example of this concept in practice, we will take a look at BioShock once again.

In The 5th Commandment of Mickey, we addressed the concept of environmental storytelling and its use in this production. In order to understand how the rule of "tell one story at time" fits in this game, we first need to answer why it relies heavily on environmental storytelling. It is all about the narrative structure of the game.

The most common type of story consists of three acts:

Act I - Introduction to the characters and the universe of the story. It ends once the conflict of the plot starts.

Act II - The quest of the protagonist to resolve the main conflict of the narrative. Ends with the climax.

Act III - A brief glimpse of how the characters and/or the universe changed after the conflict has been resolved.

This structure is mostly used in literature and films, but in video games, it changes a bit. Given that the selling point of video games is their interactive nature, developers try to put the player in the middle of the conflict as soon as possible.

For this purpose, they often use a literary device known as "in medias res", which means "in the middle of things". This concept consists of starting the story on Act II, in the middle of the main conflict, and BioShock made a masterful use of this technique by dropping the player in the middle of the conflict for the control of Rapture.

"But how did developers introduced players to the characters and the conflict erupting in Rapture without the first act?" You may ask.

This is where environmental storytelling comes into play.

Through the art of the fallen society of Rapture, players can get glimpses of how life once was in that city and through constructions, posters and propaganda, the audience can understand the events that led to the downfall of the city, thus delivering the information of Act I, while players explore Act II.

The story of Rapture; however, is very complex, to the point it was turned into the novel BioShock Rapture, written by John Shirley, so delivering this amount of information through the visuals of the game is not an easy task.

The story of BioShock consists of the player traveling through key areas of the city of Rapture (above) and each one of these locations tell a mini-story. The player reaches the area, but some event prevents the audience from moving to the next level. Players then need to complete certain tasks to overcome these obstacles and continue to the next part of town.

This is how BioShock managed to deliver a complex story in an understandable way. It broke down the story of the city into smaller narratives and delivered them to players one at a time -- one level at a time.

8 - Avoid Contradictions:

"Clear institutional identity helps give you the competitive edge. Public needs to know who you are and what differentiates you from other institutions they may have seen."

Every major video game franchise has an element that identifies it, regardless of that being a character, the art style, a gameplay mechanic of a combination of each of these factors.

The problem; however, is that as more installments of the series are developed, it can become difficult to maintain the identity of the franchise -- the reason why it became popular.

A series need to change over time, in order to keep its fans engaged, but this movement needs to be planned carefully. If the change contradicts one of the essences of the franchise, the fans will not be pleased with the result.

A prime example of how the lack of consistence can hurt a series is the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise, Infinite Warfare, which sold approximately 50% less than its predecessor.

With the franchise moving away from its military roots to pursue shootings in outer space, it lost its identity and the interest of its fans in the process. This is a clear example of what NOT to do when aiming to deliver some change to a franchise.

9 - For every ounce of treatment, provide a ton of fun 

"How do you woo people from all other temptations? Give people plenty of opportunity to enjoy themselves by emphasizing ways that let people participate in the experience and by making your environment rich and appealing to all senses."

This Commandment from the world's most beloved mouse stands for the autonomy visitors have in Disneyland. They can go to the rides, visit the areas and watch the shows in any order they wish and through all of the techniques created above, Disney created an alternative reality, via its parks, which provide a rich experience to all of the senses of a person. Even the smell of popcorn is added to some areas where visitors will watch a show, in order to explore people's senses to their fullest.

The most important aspect to observe here is the autonomy visitors have and how they can still enjoy the experience regardless of how they choose to spend their time in the park.

This is similar to the premise of GTA V, a game that allows players to explore an open world in any way they want and this is one of the reasons for its success. Through the autonomy it allows players to have when deciding what to do in the game, it pleases a broad audience.

This is a lesson every aspiring designer must have in mind. Of course, not every project has neither the scope nor the budget of GTA V, but it is important to allow players to have some autonomy on how they tackle the situations within the game. This not only adds depth to the gameplay, but also broadens the target audience of the project, thus making it more profitable.

10 - Keep it up!

"Never underestimate the importance of cleanliness and routine maintenance, people expect to get a good show every time, people will comment more on broken and dirty stuff."

Everything in a Disney park is built aiming for perfection, even maintenance and cleaning duty, as Disney strives to deliver to visitors the absolute best experience they possibly can. If you are an aspiring video game designer, this is the mindset you should follow.

Of course, it is impossible to be perfect, especially in the video game industry with the budget and schedule constraints teams operate under, but that should not stop you from trying anyways. When you do what you love, there is no excuse to not dedicate a 100% of yourself to delivering the best game you possibly can.

Do not use the circumstances as an excuse for delivering an underwhelming game, because players will only care for the quality of the final product, not the circumstances under which it was created.


These commandments developed by Disney have withstand the testament of time and are still relevant today, as Walt Disney World continues to be the most popular theme park in the world.

I made my best to summarize the applications of these rules in game design, but this is a complex topic and if you wish to know more details about the reasoning behind the art of crafting experiences at Disney, I recommend the book One Little Spark, which you can purchase for 14 dollars on Amazon.

Of course, these are only some guidelines you should follow when designing your game, but they show that making the right connections, it is possible to link two subjects that seem unrelated to each other.

So, next time your are watching a film, reading a book or walking through a theme park, remember to keep an eye on the small details, as it is always possible to learn from other forms of art.

As Steve Jobs said, innovation is all about "connecting the dots."

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.

Has The Call of Duty Series Failed Us? Sun, 01 Jan 2017 12:42:17 -0500 Mark_Gamer

I'm going to say something that might be a little controversial: The Call of Duty games aren't what they used to be. In fact, they've become pretty pedestrian. Here's why. 

Call of Duty World at War was the first video game I owned and it sparked my love for the series. But along the way I believe the series as a whole has lost its touch. Each entry used to stand as a historical escapism, from missions on the front lines of World War II to the Bay of Pigs mission in Black Ops, the Call of Duty games taught us more than a history class ever could in a fun, tense and interactive manner.

But flash forward to 2016 and recent entries have bombarded us with cyber-soldiers, space wars, exoskeleton suits and boosters on the bottom of our boots!

Of course, you may be completely unlike me -- and I respect you for that. You may be excited when you hear of this new tech and weaponry, but the majority of players my age or older who grew up in the age of Mason, Soap, Ghost and Price have tired of hearing about imaginary weapons and spaceships. CoD used to entice players into an out-of-ordinary-life experience that was also somewhat realistic. But the idea that players are hopping about in space or shooting lasers at each other baffles me, and it adds a somewhat goofy feel to the games.

Can you remember being new to gaming (having received an Xbox of PlayStation from santa)? Then storming the front lines of infamous battles in World War II, attempting to take back beaches and villages from the Germans? To me, that's what CoD is all about. Not this futuristic nonsense.

Remastering CoD 4 has been a much-needed breather for us old-timers, a good call by Activision on the whole. Bringing back Price and Soap and the amazing Modern Warfare multiplayer experience has been like nothing I've experienced from the series in years. While obvious fiction, the story-driven campaign is at least plausible (on a certain level), and really brings back to life the iconic missions of early CoD games, especially missions like 'All Ghillied Up,' often referred to as the most iconic mission of the entire franchise.

As the series moved forward, entries like Black Ops or Modern Warfare 2 were really where the franchise began to flourish in both single and multiplayer. Unlike other war games at the time, the multiplayer experiences found in those gems was second to none, while the campaigns offered an enticing and engaging story. 

But when Black Ops 2 came along, everything began to change. We saw the introduction of more and more futuristic methods of gameplay and sci-fi esque weaponry. Campaigns became less about the story and characters and more about spaceships and made up weapons.

The real emotion caused by deaths of major (and even minor) characters in earlier games was replaced by cold steel and disconnection of robots and machinery. Of course, you may like this move into the future and the allegory it (potentially) tells, and of course, you have the right to do so -- but I believe it's killing the franchise.

At this point, maybe the series hasn't fully failed us with the reboot of CoD 4, but in my opinion, for the series to survive and win back old players (like me), the developers must go back to their old ways and create games that move players. The introduction of futuristic aspects I'm sure does appeal to some players, but not the entire 

The introduction of futuristic aspects I'm sure does appeal to some players, but not the entire CoD community, and in this way, the devs have lost many long term fans to Battlefield or other games that either do future warfare better or have reinvented themselves by remembering their roots. 

At the end of the day, it seems high time that Call of Duty does the same. If not, the series will be stranded in the future -- where no one can hear it scream. 

Do you agree? Should the Call of Duty franchise take a step back to take two steps forward? Sound off in the comments below! 

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Free to Play on PS4 from December 15th to 20th Tue, 13 Dec 2016 02:43:56 -0500 Kris Cornelisse (Delfeir)

Interested in playing the latest Call of Duty installment, but not convinced it'll be good or varied enough to pay the price? Worry not, because the PS4 version will be available to trial from December 15th until the 20th.

All three game modes have limited access in this trial. This includes the first two levels of the single player campaign, multiplayer access with a Level Cap of 15, and the Zombies in Spaceland mode with a Level Cap of 3.

In order to access the trial, all you need to do is open up the PlayStation Store and search for "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Free Trial." Alternatively, you can access this through the Demos category on the Infinite Warfare page.

Please be advised that you will need an active PlayStation Plus account in order to access the multiplayer and Zombies features. You can, however, play the single player levels without.

In addition, it's worth noting that a fairly hefty 60GB download is required, as the trial is effectively the full game but with content gating. The caveat is that purchasing the game after the trial will not require a second download, but all progress for both single and multiplayer modes will be retained.

Whether this is an honest marketing move in celebration of the holiday season or a sign of comparatively low sales is anyone's guess. But hey, a free game is a free game, so if Infinite Warfare sounds like your thing, now's the time to try. Be sure to check out our review of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for more information.

What are your thoughts on Infinite Warfare thus far? Still on board the Call of Duty train or have you jumped to other shooters? Let us know in the comments!

Why Modern First Person Shooters Need a Reboot Thu, 29 Dec 2016 03:00:02 -0500 Caio Sampaio

The video game industry presents players with a vast range of genres, including Real Time Strategy, Massive Multiplayer Online, Puzzle and, of course, First Person Shooters (FPS), which was the most popular genre of the gaming universe in 2015, according to Statista.

2016 produced innovative experiences in the FPS genre, including Overwatch, Super Hot and Titanfall 2. Battlefield 1 provided players a quality production as they battled their way through World War I, but not everything was positive about 2016.

On the other side of the spectrum, this year has also given birth to forgettable games, such as Homefront: The Revolution and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. The industry should take the problems with these games as a wakeup call to create new design philosophies for FPS titles, because despite the aforementioned innovative productions of 2016, this genre has become stagnant, relying mostly on the same old tricks over the years. 

Considering that we live in a world that is constantly evolving, the FPS genre may lose its popularity if it fails to change along with the rest of society. With this said, whilst the genre is still the most popular, the industry must plan ahead and start thinking of ways to revolutionize this type of game.

What type of change am I talking about?

“There needs to be a reboot” is a broad statement, so let me break it down.

First, we must acknowledge that the industry should not deviate from its roots. This may sound as a counterintuitive statement, given the thought constructed in the first paragraphs of this article, but the idea is to improve from what the genre has done right and rework the sectors that were neglected over their years, in order to create an experience that balances innovation with a taste of the good old days.

In order to understand which elements of FPS need to change, we can take a look at the “8 kinds of fun,” a list created by the game designer Marc LeBlanc to describe the eight reasons why a player feels motivated to continue playing a game.

  1. Sensation: the use of sensorial inputs, sound and sight, in order to evoke emotions on players.
  2. Fantasy: the power a game has to allow players to perform tasks they cannot in real life.
  3. Narrative: makes players follow a story, in order to give a purpose to the actions performed in the game.
  4. Challenge: the obstacles players must overcome, in order to progress in the game.
  5. Fellowship: the interaction a player has with other players or with NPC characters.
  6. Discovery: the games as an unknown world, which the player must explore. This applies to both the universe of the game and its mechanics.
  7. Expression: games allowing players to express themselves. Minecraft is the best example, as allows players to create virtually anything they wish.
  8. Submission: a game cannot be challenging all the time, otherwise it will drain the player. “Submission” stands for the moments in the game that allows players to relax therein.

Now that we have a good idea of what elements constitute a game, we now need to analyze which are working well in FPS games and which need to change.

In the book Rules of Play, Katie Salem and Eric Zimmerman explain that whilst most FPS games perform well in regards to “sensation”, “fantasy” and “challenge”, they lack “expression”, “narrative” and “fellowship.”

These three elements offer good guidance on what to aim for in the FPS games of the future, but one game from the past has worked two of them with perfection -- narrative and fellowship.

I am talking about BioShock.

On November 8th, I published an article here on GameSkinny explaining which design techniques from BioShock should have been carried over to BioShock Infinite. Now, I will take the same approach and explain which lessons developers should learn from BioShock, in order to take the FPS genre to new heights, by implementing changes, but without altering their formula drastically, in order to prevent them from losing their identity.

"Human" enemies:

In BioShock, players fought mutated human beings, known as Splicers. In appearance, they resembled zombies. In most FPS games; on the other hand, the player faces soldiers, who are mundane in their looks. The enemies in BioShock; however, felt more human.

In several occasions throughout the experience of BioShock, the game presented players with the opportunity of observing the enemies from a distance.

Through actions and dialogues, players could get a glimpse on their stories and personalities, thus adding depth to their characters and to the universe of the game. This humanized feel made the enemies seem as real people, as opposed to simple shooting targets. By killing them, players felt they were reaping a life.

The best example of this technique in action is the Big Daddy. It looks as a monster, yet players can easily create an emotional bond with them, because it will not attack unless attacked first. This gives to the audience the opportunity to simply follow and observe its relationship with the Little Sister. What they do and the sounds they produce, communicate plenty about who they are and what their personality is.

This element is rarely present in most FPS games, which leads to the notion that the foes are nothing but lifeless bots, with the sole purpose of serving as a statistic of how many soldiers the player murdered throughout the game. Ideally, the game should allow for stealth gameplay mechanics, in order to permit the player to eavesdrop on conversations and witness the activities of the enemies.

The more the player knows about the enemies, the better, for this will allow them to have a deeper emotional connection with them, thus making combat more meaningful and improving the overall experience by creating a deeper universe, populated by real people, as seen in BioShock. There are other methods to achieve this objective and they work in conjunction, as the next topic explains.

Character design:

What you wear communicates a lot about who you are. This principle holds true whether the subject is a real person, or a fictional character. Foes in BioShock wear a vast variety of outfits and each one tells a bit, regarding who that person once was, prior to the events of the game. In BioShock this principles serves the purpose of reinforcing the notion that the enemies are real people, with lives that went wrong.

In most FPS games; however, the majority of enemies are soldiers, who wear uniforms. Their standardized appearance works against the overall experience, because it makes them feel as lifeless characters; bots that only exist for the player to slaughter, one by one.

In order to avoid the said scenario, developers of FPS games could change the main enemy of the game, which would add variation in clothing, thus making the enemies more human and, as previously stated herein, add depth to the experience.

Less is more: 

Through the two techniques presented herein, BioShock created unique enemies, who engaged the players in memorable fights. Each time players entered a battle was an event unto itself and they rarely encountered more than one enemy at once. This allowed the game to implement its vision of communicating to the audience that the citizens of Rapture are people as well. With few enemies on screen at the same time, it is possible for the player to listen and observe them; which would be impossible if dozens of enemies populated the area.

In most FPS games, on the other hand, enemies may appear by the dozens, which makes it impossible for the player to get an insight on who they are. Without this contextualization, the human aspect is lost, thus making fighting them a less appealing task. While BioShock emphasizes the importance of the battles by means of their scarcity, in Infinite, combat occurred often, thus making it lose its significance, due to repetition. As the saying goes “if everything is highlighted, then nothing is.” This is not to say that in order to make defeating foes a more appealing task, all developers need to do is reduce the number of fights.

This approach worked in BioShock due to the number of areas the player could explore apart from the main course of action of the story. This gives to players an interesting thing to do while not in combat, whereas in most FPS games, the lack of locations for the audience to dive into, in order to uncover details of the city, did not give much for the player to do asides from proceeding with the story and fighting with enemies.

With this said, in order to create a more meaningful combat experience in BioShock Infinite, the developers could have reduced the number of fights and enemies, whilst expanding the map of the game, in order to incentivize exploration. There is; however, another element from BioShock that would need to be implemented, in order to make this approach work.

The final touch:

The aforementioned topics explained how to improve “narrative” and “fellowship” in FPS games, but there is still another element left to be revamped -- “expression.”

While most people think of player expression in terms of choice-driven narratives, in Telltale fashion, creating this type of experience would consume significant financial resources and given that FPS games are already expensive as of now, adding the expense of building a story based on the choices of the players, would perhaps be a burden many studios cannot afford.

There is another way; however, to allow players to express themselves without implementing choices in the narrative. The game can present players with the opportunity to choose how to tackle combats.

When players think of this premise, they often consider open world games, but the expense of crafting a living universe can be another burden some teams cannot carry. Luckily, there are other methods to allow players to create their own fighting style, thus improving the “expression” factor of FPS games.

A game has done that with mastery -- F.E.A.R.

Despite being a corridor shooter, the level design of this games branches out in several ways, allowing players to observe the enemy and pick the best route, in order to have a tactical advantage. This may seem as an element that benefits the player, but there is a problem.

The enemies can use the same possibilities in their advantage, by using the various paths available to flank the player, which makes the route the player chooses even more important.

This game can teach a lot to modern shooters, because it presents players with meaningful choices, not in narrative, but in tactics and if the FPS genre will endure the testament of time, this is a title that must be used as inspiration.

The solution used in it to allow players to pick their own fighting style was not only relatively easy to build, but also smart, proving that if developers want to add choices to their games, creating smart content, instead of simply creating more content, is the key.


The FPS genre dominates the market today, but this fact cannot be used to reject change. We must remember that the world is constantly changing and the entertainment we consume must change along with it.

In nature, an animal that fails to adapt to a new environment becomes extinct eventually. The same principle applies to the FPS genre. If innovation therein becomes stagnant, it will perish one day. It may take a year or perhaps ten, but the bomb will explode one day.

With this being said, developers must dare to innovate in their designs, in order to please the audiences of today and prepare for the new demands of tomorrow. This will not be easy a task, but it is an urgent one.

Evolve or die.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Retail Sales Half of Black Ops III Sun, 11 Dec 2016 12:58:43 -0500 Sonny Go

While a drop in sales for the latest installment in the Call of Duty franchise was indeed anticipated, the number of sales Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare drew upon release was well below expectation, and indeed concerning for Activision.

Coming in at half of last year's Black Ops III sales, Infinite Warfare's slump does not bode well for the continuation of Infinite Warfare as a mini-franchise within the overall Call of Duty series. 

According to analysts, Infinite Warfare's retail sales for November 2016 were just around 50 percent of Black Ops III's first-month figures. Take note that retail sales are basically physical copies bought, and those sales do not take digital sales into consideration.

Many of those who did buy a physical copy of the game predominantly bought the $80 edition that came bundled with Modern Warfare Remastered, which, as of this writing, costs $20 more than the base game.

What's more, a significant portion of Call of Duty's player base is on console. Since this is the first Call of Duty title not released for the Xbox 360 and PS3, the market would undoubtedly be smaller for the release. 

However, there is a CoD following within the PC community, and comparing numbers on PC through Steam, the data from SteamDB, coupled with the latest console sales figures, is quite telling of the game's overall performance.

For instance, as of this writing, Black Ops III has over 5,900 concurrent players online, with over 6,800 players at peak in the last 24 hours. Meanwhile, Infinite Warfare has over 4,600 concurrent players, with over 5,100 players at peak in the last 24 hours. That means a game that came out a year ago is still beating the newest game in the Call of Duty franchise -- a game that came out just a month ago.

Other than the inclusion of Modern Warfare Remastered, most of the press that met Infinite Warfare's announcement was fairly negative for various reasons

While Infinite Warfare seems to be the most different-looking Call of Duty game in a long while, it has also somewhat alienated its core audience with its gameplay being different than that of the usual CoD fare (even more so than Advanced Warfare) and many considered it's gameplay to be encroaching a bit on the territory of Halo and Titanfall.

It being released around the same time as Battlefield 1 didn't help either. And while released earlier this year this Blizzard Entertainment's Overwatch has been steadily impressing FPS fans, and undoubtedly pulling some players away from CoD's core playerbase. 

However, while it's not like Activision will go bankrupt with this recent disappointment, it still doesn't bode well for the future of the Call of Duty series. 

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

Six Things That Would Make Me Give Up on the Video Game Industry Mon, 12 Dec 2016 10:17:26 -0500 Caio Sampaio

Throughout my life, I had the pleasure of being involved with different forms of entertainment. I studied playwriting in High School, worked as a film critic in my first year of college and now I am immersed in video games, a passion that started late in my life, at the age of 17, but only blossomed as the years went by.

When I first experienced interactive storytelling, I realized video games hold great potential to become the ultimate platform for narrative-driven experiences, in both depth and meaning, surpassing films and books. The prime example to support my reasoning is Ken Levine developing a story that can only be told through video games.

Moreover, games, through interactivity, can engage their users in a way that no other form of entertainment can. With this in mind, game designers have started to use their skills, in order to create experiences that motivate individuals to tackle real life problems.

Games can be a powerful tool for social change, as Jane McGonigal detailed in her New York Times bestselling book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World. The future for gaming seems bright in various fronts.

This industry continues to become more sophisticated each year, developing deeper and more engaging experiences and as the development curve for video games remains steep, the revolutions we are witnessing today are only the beginning.

While I love video games in their current form, the future of this medium is what excites me the most about it and also what makes me place games above all other forms of art.

However, as in any relationship, I may have to reevaluate my judgment over video games if certain expectations are not met in the long run. 

With this said, I compiled six future scenarios that, in conjunction, would make me give up on placing the video game industry on top of my priority list.  

Reason #1 - Lack of meaningful innovation:

As technology continues to grow in an exponential rate, new gadgets and novel ideas are created each day and the time spam between the development of one innovative product and another is getting shorter, due to a principle known as Moore’s Law.

This concept states that technology doubles its processing power every two years, as seen in the graphic below, designed by Singularity University.

Video game studios keep a close eye on the technological market, in order to spot opportunities to implement new technologies in their productions and gain an advantage on the competition. The current example of this process is the expansion of Virtual Reality.

I fear; however, for a future in which the time between the arrival of one revolutionary product and the other continues to get shorter, to the point that developers will not have enough time to fully explore one technology, before moving on to the next "big thing”.

If this scenario comes to fruition, it will hurt the innovation this industry can deliver, as developers will not be able to explore a technology to its limits.

Considering that I place the gaming universe on top of my priority list due to what the future holds. Lack of significant innovation is a scenario that could make me shift my focus towards other mediums.  


Reason #2 - Lack of focus:

The Final Hours of Portal 2 (above) is an e-book written by the video game journalist Geoff Keighley, in which the author details the development process of Valve’s Portal 2.

Therein, Geoff reveals the story behind the origins of the game, and how the initial concept diverged from the final product we all go to know. The original premise of the game featured a counterintuitive concept.

In an attempt to innovate in their design, developers at Valve produced an early version of the game that did not feature portals and included a much different story. The codename of the project was F-Stop. 

The development team; however, realized it had moved too far away from the essence of the franchise. Acknowledging its mistake, Valve restarted the design of the game and Portal 2in the form we all know, was born.

With acclaim from both critics and fans, scoring 9.5/10 on Metacritic (PC version), Valve managed to transform its bad start into a masterpiece, but not every developer can accomplish this feat. A prime example is the Call of Duty franchise.

Through the years, players complained that the series had become too repetitive and when the minds behind it decided to alter their formula, the fans reacted negatively to the change.

I am referring to the latest entry of the series, Infinite Warfare

Enthusiast asked for change and when they received it, they complained. This may seem as a paradox, but the issue was not the change itself, but how it was delivered.

It was so drastic; that the essence of the franchise fell into oblivion and this resulted in a lesser product in the eyes of the players. Without following the identity of the series, it was not a surprise that the sales were 50% down from Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

In the years to come; however, this issue might not be exclusive to Call of Duty. The problem of lack of identity might spread in the video game franchises of the future. 

As developers have at their disposal an increasingly large set of technological tools to work with, the problem of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare may affect the video game industry as a whole in the future.

In tandem with Reason #1, I fear for a future when developers attempt to harness the potential of several technological innovations at once and by “shooting at every direction”, the essence of long-standing franchises might be lost. Resulting; therefore, in a less engaging experience, which aspires to be many different things at once. However, it ends up pushing too hard towards innovation and failing to preserve what made it special in the first place.

Reason # 3 - Lack of focus (on writing):

Video games have delivered masterpieces in regards to writing, The Last of Us, BioShock and Mass Effect, to name a few, but these are the exceptions, unfortunately.

The overall standard for writing in this industry is considered low, if compared to other forms of entertainment, such as films and books.

The video above, from the YouTube channel Extra Credits, gets into further detail as to why the gaming industry often delivers poor narratives, but the biggest factor is the working conditions under which writers operate.

In many games, developing a narrative comes as one of the last steps in the development cycle, which means the writer needs to construct a story for a game that has essentially been already built.

With this said; video game writers usually need to face the frustration of having their imaginations limited by the constraints of the project, needing to adapt their ideas to a game that has been presented to them. This scenario limits the artistic freedom of writers and hurts the quality of their work.

The most notable example of writers delivering poor narratives as a consequence of the constraints of the project is the original Mirror's Edge game.

In 2011, the writer of the game, Rhianna Pratchett, spoke to the website ActionRip and commented on the reason why Mirror's Edge lacked a compelling narrative.

"DICE was a great company to work with, but Mirror’s Edge was a challenging project and an important learning experience for me. Unfortunately, because of the timing when I was brought in and a large amount of the script being cut (due to the late decision to remove level dialogue) the narrative wasn’t what I would’ve liked it to be. Thankfully, I got the chance to remedy this a little bit in the Mirror’s Edge comic series with DC. The story in those was much more along the lines of what I would’ve liked to have developed for the game."

This is the opposite of the working circumstances in other mediums, such as television and film, where the emphasis is in the narrative and all of the rest is built around that.

This trend in gaming is changing; however.

Some studios now have full-time writers as part of their design teams. These include BioWare, Ubisoft and Valve (above) and they aim to develop the narrative of their games since the initial concept, finding the best methods to combine storytelling with gameplay, in order to ensure both work together and deliver an optimal experience.

This shows a commitment from these companies to deliver compelling narratives and it represents the recognition that a good story is a fundamental piece to make a game be successful.

It is my hope to see more studios adhering to this modus operandi of placing more emphasis on writing and holding it as a crucial element of the experience.

Narrative design is a key component of the game’s design, after all, but whilst this industry has improved significantly from its roots, there still is plenty of room for improvement.

Developers are still discovering the language of video game narrative and this process of attempting new techniques, especially in the indie scenario, excites me, due to its potential to deliver more compelling and emotionally provoking experiences.

Considering the potential video games hold for storytelling, and given my passion for the art of telling stories, if the development curve in the evolution of video game narratives cease to be as steep as it is now, this will demotivate me to keep my excitement over the future of this industry.

Reason #4 - Lack of self regard:

Video games have come a long way since their conception, but they still have a long way to go. In order to improve the experiences of today and perfect the ones of tomorrow, we must learn from the past.

For this purpose, case studies have been created around games that are the best this industry has to offer to date, in order to understand what made them so special, but not everyone agrees that we should study games in depth.

Two years ago, I watched a video posted by the YouTube channel Extra Credits titled “Art is Not The Opposite of Fun” (above). As video games continue to become more complex, a worrying trend also emerges.

A portion of gamers believes that making a deep analysis of the products of this industry will make them worse. They claim video games are meant to be fun and studying them, in order to craft deeper experiences and develop their potential as a form of artistic expression, would hinder the fun they deliver.  

People perceive art as something boring or weird and some gamers fear that making games become more artistic will lessen their fun.

I must say, unfortunately, that I have witnessed this trend occur with my friends. In many occasions, when trying to talk about a game in a deeper sense, my peers would simply say, “it is just a game”, in an urge for me to stop “overthinking” about it.

If I speak about the potential games have to deliver experiences of art, people automatically assume I wish to make games become as boring and weird as people perceive art to be.

The image below portraits the reactions I get when I mention the development of games as a form of art.

“It is just a game”, this assumption needs to go.

We cannot demand better experiences if we, as a community, are not willing to mature along with this industry. The games designers create are a mirror that reflects us. They want us to buy their games; therefore, they create products to suit our needs.

With this said; if we are to ask for better content, we must grow together with the industry and attempt to discuss our games in a deeper level and that means embracing the possibility of having games as an artistic product.

Creating more artistic games; however, will not be easy. As Reason #2 stated, players can react negatively if games change in a way that makes them loose their essence, as happened with Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

With this said, the trick to making games mature as a form of art, without making them lose their fun, is ensuring that developers do not deviate entirely from what makes games special today.

Aiming for the future, whilst staying true to the past of games should be the goal of developers, so they may deliver productions with great artistic value, that are still fun to play.

But as the video from Extra Credits explains, there is a hidden reason as to why many gamers vilify those who study video games in depth.

They do not want games to change.

Many gamers love their favorite titles so much that they want them to remain as they are forever and as developers study new ways of delivering experiences through gaming, some gamers fear that the aspects they cherished dearly in their favorite titles will be a part of the past, buried seven feet under.

Whilst this is a comprehensible concern, we as an industry must acknowledge the potential video games hold for the future and unfortunately, techniques from yesterday may not entertain the audiences of tomorrow.

We must learn from the past, but never copy from it. We shall adapt what made games great today to the new reality of the future that is yet to come, but in a careful manner, so we do not lose the essence of gaming. We must evolve from where we stand, rather than creating something new.

This will be achieved through discussions on the topic, among professionals from AAA companies, indie studios and gamers, who should not think that games are “just games”.

AAA studios spend time and resources, in order to learn as much as possible about the art and science of game design. but if their target audience continues to diminish their efforts and they do not make a significant impact in revenue, studios may downscale these researches and progress in this industry may become stagnant.

Given that the biggest factor that compels me to video games is the prospect they possess, if this scenario occurs, I may have to reconsider what my favorite form of entertainment is.

Reason #5 - Lack of cultural plurality:

According to Newzoo, the top ten list for largest video game markets in the world looks as follows:

It is possible to see that the top ten rank is populated exclusively by countries from Asia, North America and Europe and it is no surprise that the major AAA studios in this industry are located in these continents, but other contenders are appearing quickly.

India, Brazil and Russia are examples of emerging markets in the video game industry and their indie scene is growing rapidly. Due to the expansion of the middle classes in these nations, more people have gained the financial resources to afford a computer and work on a game with their peers.

If you do not live in an emerging economy, you may ask - “Does this affect me?”

Yes, it does and a lot.

The emergence of these economies can bring plenty of benefits to the video game industry. The countries mentioned herein have cultures that differ vastly from the nations that dominate game development.

Individuals from these emerging markets have a different perspective over the world, due to a different culture, and this influences the products they create.

The different culture and set of beliefs from these developers in emerging countries makes them tackle different themes and explore new ideas, because they look at games through a different set of lenses.

Every gamer benefits from this, because this growth of the industry in emerging nations will allow players from all over the world to enjoy new experiences, themes, ideas and a more culturally rich industry.  

The best example of cultural plurality benefiting the video game industry as whole was the development of games in Japan and how they differed from the games designed in the United States.

The video game industry in American soil develops mostly FPS games, in which the gun is seen as a tool to empower the player against the foes. In Japanese productions, on the other hand, a gun is perceived as an extension of the character and used as a mean to escape from a situation where everything went wrong. In Japan, the gun is a last resort.

This occurs due to a difference in culture. In the United States, guns are seen through the lenses of soldiers, whereas in Japan, they are perceived under the philosophy of the samurai.

With this reasoning, Japanese developers created games such as Resident Evil, Silent Hill and Metal Gear Solid (above), each of these productions representing a revolution in the industry.

If Japan had not invested in video games, many contributions of this country to this industry would not have happened. Now, imagine if more countries start to emerge and establish video game studios.

In the future, we may see several revolutions in this industry, as developers from various part of the worlds, with different cultures, would look at games in a different manner, as happened with Japan.

The biggest concern for this future; however, is politics. In emerging nations, unfortunately, corruption rates are very high, as seen in the map below, presented by Transparency International.

In the emerging countries, a corruption scandal can suddenly become public and change the entire governmental structure. Despite living in the USA for a period of my life, I was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where I currently reside.

Our former president, Dilma Rousseff, lost the presidency after a political scandal, being accused of improper use of government money. After the current president, Michel Temer, took control, the direction of the country changed drastically.

As everything may change with the blink of an eye in developing countries, due to the corruption levels thereat, the promising landscape of the middle class and the video game industry in these locations may shift suddenly as well and not for the better.

With few unfortunate moves, a government may wither the development of the video game industry in its soil, by halting the social progress done in the last few years.

It may happen in Brazil, as Michel Temer promises to cut social programs, which were intended to allow the population to raise above the poverty line. This can happen in Russia, India and any other developing country, where instability rules.

The middle class in these nations progressed quickly, but it might go the other way around just as fast, depending on which way the wind blows in the government.

I dream of a future in which the plurality of cultures making video games increases significantly; however, the political scenario might shift in a manner that stops the progress of the gaming industry in developing countries.

If this occurs, we may never see the cultural diversity they would bring to this industry and this lost potential could demotivate, because the future I envision would not happen.


Reason #6 - Lack of social engagement:

If you are reading this article, it means you have an interest in the video game industry and there probably has been people in your life who have claimed that gaming is a fruitless activity; a waste of time.

Luckily, not everyone adopts this reasoning. Some individuals recognize the superb job video games have done to retain the attention of their users. Some people even go further and reckon that video games have potential to save the world.

In your job or at school, you have probably felt at some point that you could not clearly see the reason as to why you are performing certain tasks. You perhaps felt demotivated to go on.

If you felt this way, you are not alone. According to Forbes, most Americans are unhappy at work. The reason varies from not seeing the impact their jobs have, to a detachment from the mission of the company. 

Video games; however, are on the opposite side of the trend, as they continue to become increasingly more engaging, but playing a game consists of completing tasks, as in a real life job. With this said, what makes people become attracted with doing virtual work, whilst they become more dissatisfied with their real life jobs?

In a video game, players feel empowered. They relate with the objective of the experience and most importantly, they receive a clear an immediate feedback upon completing a task. They see how their actions influences the virtual universe around them. They have a clear sense of progression. This motivates players to continue.

In real life, there is no such thing. Reality is broken.

In her book Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change The World, Jane McGonigal tells how we can craft a better world through gaming.

In her piece, she shares the techniques game designers use, in order to motivate players to become engaged in a video game. Her objective is to apply these techniques to real life situations, so they become more interesting and people become happier with their endeavors.

Using concepts from game design in non-game contexts is known as Gamification and it can be used to motivate people to engage in various activities, including those that can help others and save the world.

In 2007, McGonigal released an Alternate Reality Game, called World Without Oil. It was an experiment in which users needed to imagine themselves in a world suffering from a sudden oil shortage.

Players needed to work together, in order to create practical solutions to adapt to this new reality. The data gathered in this game has the intent of saving the world one day, as its Wikipedia article states:

By playing it out in a serious way, the game aimed to apply collective intelligence and imagination to the problem in advance, and create a record that has value for educators, policymakers, and the common people to help anticipate the future and prevent its worst outcomes. ”

We can see examples of video games causing positive impact even when they do not have the intention. The prime example is Pokemon Go stimulating sedentary individuals to go for a walk and sometimes even aiding to treat depression.

The potential video games have to retain the attention of users can be used to benefit society as whole, in various fields, including social change, happiness at work and even education, as the video below, from Extra Credits, explains:

The trend of using gaming for social good may help the video game industry to cleanse its reputation of “fruitless”, whilst actively changing the world. This premise should excite every gamer, but if it fails to continue, it might demotivate me to stick with this industry.


It is my sincere wish to see the video game industry thrive, for I believe it holds enormous potential in the areas mentioned herein and many more, which I did not cite in this article for the sake of its length.

While I enjoy the games of today, what makes me place video games on top of my priority list is the bright prospect of this industry. If for some reason, the brilliant future of gaming does not occur, I will continue to play, but my perception of this field as the ultimate entertainment platform will most likely change. 

The 10 Most Anticipated FPS Games of 2017 Thu, 24 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0500 Ty Arthur


Sadly, some of our most-anticipated games of 2016 were pushed back and haven't arrived yet, most notably Rising Storm 2: Vietnam, Sniper Ghost Warrior 3, and the maybe free, maybe not Lawbreakers.


While the waiting is getting unbearable, that at least means more shooters are coming soon! 2017 is shaping up to have a slew of really well-rounded offerings, covering everything from desert warfare to jungle sniping to crazy Giger-esque horror landscapes and far-future sci-fi dystopias.


What's your most anticipated 2017 FPS game, and what did we miss that should have made the list? Let us know in the comments!


Call Of Duty 2017


OK, so honestly, this is less a highly-anticipated game as it just a big old question mark that everyone wants answered. What's coming down the pipe, and will it be changed drastically after the fan flop of Infinite Warfare?


Call into question my gaming cred all you want, but I'm going to let you in a little secret here: although the basic free for all multiplayer is a let-down, the single player campaign was great, and the ridiculous '80s themed zombie mode was a blast to play.


Yeah, yeah, it's super cool to hate on CoD, I know, so go ahead and burn that effigy of me and let's move on already.


Whatever the new iteration will be has been in active development for at least two years by Sledgehammer Games, based on Activision's rotating developer schedule. They previously worked on Modern Warfare 3 alongside Infinity Ward and then subsequently handled Advanced Warfare, so that might indicate a modern/futuristic bent, but that's not a given.


Rumors are circulating that Call Of Duty 2017 will be set in Vietnam -- but who knows if that's actually true, since prevailing wisdom around this time last year was that Infinite Warfare would be Ghosts 2. It's a good bet whatever arrives with probably be accused of copying Battlefield if it's an old-time shooter.


What do you want to see from the 2017 Call Of Duty iteration, or are you tired of the yearly FPS entries altogether?




You may recall this slide from last year's most anticipated FPS games article, but that's how the game industry goes -- some titles make it out and some get pushed back, delayed, re-tooled, etc.


Lawbreakers has changed quite a bit from what was originally seen in years past, apparently ditching the F2P model and now focusing on high-flying, gravity-defying combat at hyper speed. Anybody want to place bets on if this can dethrone the current crop of high-tier competitive shooters?



Quake Champions


After the Doom reboot, of course the next logical step was a return to Quake! There's no solid release date on this one, so it might not arrive by year end 2017. But we're holding out hope. 


As a huge fan of Quake and Unreal Tournament 2004's absurd, hyper-fast combat, Bethesda's upcoming iteration has some pretty big shoes to fill, and will hopefully come to dominate the multiplayer and eSports arenas.





Does it get more old-school than this? Strafe is looking to pay tribute to those classic '90s shooters before cutting edge 3D graphics were even a pixel in Pac-Man's eye.


The tongue is more than a little in-cheek here (just take a look at that totally tubular trailer below) as developer Pixel Titans comments that this is "the fastest, bloodiest, deadliest, most adjective-abusing, action-packed first-person shooter of 1996."



Get Even


I absolutely love how messed up and genre-bending this game looks already. It's an FPS with both occult elements and drones, and there looks to be more than a little bit of a horror vibe that could go a psychological direction.


Based on the trailers, there's a Condemned atmosphere, but maybe even taken to a further level on the weird side, along with hints of Deadly Premonition. There's also reportedly going to be Oculus Rift support, for a completely immersive experience.


Lacking a specific release date at the moment, Bandai Namco has announced "Spring 2017" as the target window.



Insurgency Sandstorm


Officially announced back in February, this FPS sees New World Interactive getting publisher support for release on PC and consoles.


Considering the original Insurgency started as a mod, this is a big step for the team and something for modders around the world to look up to as what could come from your hard work.


A competitive beta is expected to launch soon for this realistic desert warfare FPS that has anticipation through the roof. Stay tuned for full info to hopefully arrive soon.



Inner Chains


This very different entry is both an FPS and a horror title, so we're putting it on both lists of our most anticipated games of 2017.


Another crowd funded success story, Inner Chains managed to go from indie effort to publisher-backed after getting buzz during the Kickstarter, and is now coming to Steam and consoles, with an early 2017 release date expected.


The setting is a dying "biomechanical" world, where organic creatures meld with machinery to create something like a fiery nightmare hellscape melded with a Giger painting.





A sorta, kinda sequel to the 2006 game of the same name (or maybe a reboot? it's not entirely clear), Prey has been in development hell for a long time -- at one point even being outright cancelled.


Now resurrected and slated for a 2017 release, this sci-fi shooter is looking to be very dark and also pretty story-heavy, which is not typically the strong suit of the FPS genre.


Considering the folks behind Dishonored are now at the helm, I'm expecting big things from 2017's Prey, and can't wait to see more soon.



Battalion 1944


Covered in our look at exciting crowd funded projects last year, this WWII shooter made a whopping 300% of its goal and clearly has high expectations from its backer base.


If boots on the ground and none of the jetpack sci-fi nonsense is what you're after, this is the game you want to play next year. It gets back to the basics of what made those early Medal of Honor and CoD games so widely regarded in the first place, but with a more modern presentation.



Destiny 2


First and foremost this looming behemoth on the horizon has to be mentioned, which even detractors have to admit is going to be huge.


Overwatch might be devouring the lives of online players at the moment, but there's no question Destiny really redefined the online multiplayer experience in the current generation of consoles. Granted, Destiny takes a lot of flak in forums by hard talking keyboard warriors, but it's remained relevant since release and has a fairly non-toxic and cooperative player base.


There's no specific release date yet, but an official announcement must be coming very soon, as the game is expected out in 2017. Rumors are swirling that Destiny 2 will be on both console and PC, with some pretty radical changes to the formula forthcoming. What changes would you like to see, and what do you hope stays the same?



It's going to be hard to top 2016 on the FPS front, with major titles arriving from just about every franchise, including some seriously long-dead ones!


Doom made its triumphant (and ultra gory and fast paced) return after years of delays. Blizzard's Overwatch smashed the the FPS and MOBA genres together and continues to dominate. The ridiculously awesome katana and blazing guns combo of Shadow Warrior 2 showed us we didn't need to take anything too seriously. 


Of course there were the titanic dueling giants offering very different visions for FPS supremacy: gritty trench warfare hell with Battlefield 1 and futuristic space combat sim Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Sadly, Titanfall 2 fell between those battling behemoths and has been overlooked by the masses, but hopefully will still rally at the holiday season.


Some FPS entries weren't as well received, with Homefront: The Revolution getting more than its share of lumps at launch and an overall “meh” rating online (even though I personally quite enjoyed it and still play regularly).


Now that we've hit the end of the year, it's time to look forward at what's to come with our 10 most anticipated shooters of 2017. It might be hard to overcome what arrived in 2016, but developers are sure putting up a valiant effort covering everything from realistic, squad-based games to fast-paced arena shooters and even a few unexpected sci-fi and horror entries.

Why Season Passes Are Nothing But a Cash Grab! Sat, 19 Nov 2016 09:41:23 -0500 StraightEdge434

Do you remember when video games came out as the whole package and didn't require you to waste money on expansions for you to fully experience the game? Good times, right?! 

Unfortunately, we are in the age of video games where developers try to shove DLCs and season passes down our throats, expecting us to spend hundreds of dollars in return. DLCs are one thing because they actually do expand our engagement with the game. As for Season Passes? They are nothing but a scam and cash grab! Let's talk about why.

Season pass for Infinite Warfare. What a scam...

Living Dangerously

When you buy a season pass for a game, you are making an automatic commitment! In other words, now that you have the pass, you must get all the DLCs the pass covers to get our money's worth. However, you have no idea what the DLCs will be!

You don't know whether they are going to be excellent, or if they're going to be terrible garbage. You are basically gambling -- a.k.a. living dangerously! And what if the DLCs suck? You'll obviously be disappointed and probably wish you did not waste your money on that awful season pass to begin with, making you all the more leery of them for future games. 

I know what you are thinking: Oh, but I saved like $10 for getting the season pass, right? Wrong! By not getting the season pass, you have a choice between which DLCs to get and which to avoid.

When DLCs come out, you can review the footage through other players' gameplay videos, read reviews, etc., and act accordingly. If you like it, spend the money on that DLC. If not, then don't get it! Like I said before, with passes, you are making a commitment and have no choice but to suffer through all the DLCs, even the bad ones!

Nothing But a Ripoff!

Fallout 4 season pass. Not only was the price increase a total ripoff, but most of the DLCs were barely considered DLCs in the first place!

This Reddit thread discusses the disappointment that Fallout 4's season pass is. And there is good reason to think that! The season pass was originally $30, but the price was later increased to $50. And what did players get? Two pieces of actual DLC -- the rest weren't even DLCs! They barely expanded the game. And yes, I'm talking about the Vault-Tec "DLC," and those terrible settlement ones as well. 

I'll be honest. I fell for the trap...I bought the season pass before the price increase. And even now I feel ripped off and cheated because I didn't get my money's worth. Currently, "Far Harbor" is priced for $29.99 and "Nuka-World" is priced for $19.99 on the PSN store. If I didn't get that scam-of-a-season pass, then I would just get the two major DLCs separately, and avoid all the other ones because they aren't worth it. 

Be Patient!

Witcher 3: The Complete Edition. Better than getting the season pass

One thing game developers do right is that they eventually release either the bundled version, GOTY version or the complete edition of the game. And THAT is a much better alternative to ANY season pass! Why? For obvious reasons:

  • YOU SAVE MONEY. I cannot stress this enough. With the complete edition of ANY game, you get everything! The base game PLUS (usually) all the DLCs. Sometimes at a lower price than the season pass itself! 

Just this past summer, I bought the complete edition of Witcher 3. Best decision I have made. Not only am I enjoying the game itself, but I have yet to play the two expansions. Oh, and it cost me $50! Now, if I got the base game ($60) and the season pass ($25), I would spend a total of $85. However, I waited and got the whole thing for $50! 

Bundling It All Together


Be the smart person that you really are and don't be fooled by false promises, scams and the total ripoffs that are called season passes. Wait for the complete version and buy that instead at a reduced price!

Or if you are an impatient type, get the game and the DLCs that you like -- separately. Unless you like all of them, in which case...still get the complete edition when it comes out!

5 First Person Shooters That Could be Killer MMOs Wed, 16 Nov 2016 03:45:04 -0500 StraightEdge434


1. Metro


If you don't know what Metro 2033 or Metro: Last Light are, they are basically FPS games set in a wasteland after a tragedy has destroyed the surface of the Earth. Players can explore the underground areas of the metro system -- metro is the European version of subway--, and its catacombs, or venture outside into the wasteland to fight mutated creatures in an ever-haunting atmosphere.


Based on the setting itself, this game would be amazing as an MMO. Players can establish underground cities, markets, housing units, trading posts, etc. As for the action, players can either journey solo or together into the eerie atmosphere that was once the surface of our planet while not knowing what might happen next. 




There are of course many other FPS games out there. Which ones do you think would serve as interesting or unique versions of MMOs? Feel free to share in the comment section below!


2. Battlefield


We all have heard about the series at some point. Just a month ago, Battlefield 1, set during WW1, was released to many praised reviews


In the more recent Battlefield games, servers can hold up to 64 players at a single time. But, imagine the numbers being in the hundreds or you're talking about an all-out gigantic war! And unlike Call of Duty, Battlefield has vehicles like tanks, fighter jets, armored cars, etc. Add that into the mix, and you got quite a vision for an MMO -- and that's an understatement!


3. Counter-Strike


Counter-Strike is a very well-known and popular FPS series. It can even be considered as a classic. 


An MMO version of it would certainly prove to be quite something. Terrorists against counter-terrorists in large scale battles, doing whatever is necessary to win. But, there will have to be some sort of interesting twist. Perhaps, some kind of a "one life" factor? If a player dies, they cannot respawn until the game is over. On the other hand, that could prove to be quite boring, especially considering the amount of players that would be in-game. If you die, you'll have to wait for a long time before your team or the enemy team wins or loses. Nonetheless, it would be a unique experience.


4. Call of Duty


If you have ever played or know anything about FPS games, then you'll clearly know what Call of Duty is. But could you imagine teams of hundreds, if not thousands of players rushing at one another, guns blazing, killstreaks going's basically total chaos, if done as an MMO. 


Separate servers could work for specific gameplay aspects like, snipers only, or assault rifles only. It would also give players the freedom to run around wherever they want, and kill enemy players whenever they get the chance.


On a side note, the addition of a Tactical Nuke going off as some kind of killstreak from time to time would certainly add a dramatic aspect to the game -- especially as an MMO.


5. Overwatch


Let's be honest for a second -- Overwatch is a very popular game. Instead of running around like a headless chicken and guns blazing all over the place, players need to think tactically, and choose a hero that will serve well and bring their team the necessary support they need. I personally see it as more of a strategy FPS rather than a regular FPS, but an FPS nonetheless.


If Overwatch was an MMO, with servers that could have up to or more than 100 players, gameplay would certainly take an interesting turn. Players could create groups/clans of certain heroes, and embark on adventures or quests. Or, have an all-out strategic war with all long range heroes up on high vantage points, and assault and support heroes fighting on the ground. 


Speaking about servers, there could be servers for specific characters. For example, a Reinhardt and/or Genji only server where players can only fight one another in CQC.


There is no doubt that the FPS genre is a fan-favorite among gamers. The illusion of feeling like a soldier and holding a firearm in your hands while opening fire at your enemy is a popular image, especially among males. That is exactly why Call of Duty and Battlefield are so popular in the FPS genre.


But what if FPS games were MMOs? Imagine exploring areas to your heart's content, while also having a rifle, handgun, or sniper rifle strapped to your back. Basically, picture The Division, but as an FPS. 


The following list talks about some of the most current FPS games that would be excellent contenders as MMOs. 

Gift Guide: What To Get For The CoD-Fanatic! Mon, 14 Nov 2016 15:00:01 -0500 Timothy J. Ralston (TehMadCatter)


Funko Pop! Call of Duty John “Soap” MacTavish Vinyl Figure


Rating: Not Available


Price: $12.50


Buy at: Hot Topic


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was the beginning of something big. With its unique campaign, realistic characters, fast-paced action and tight multiplayer experience, everyone who's played it fell in love with it at the very start.


And while there are more vinyl figures out there for Call of Duty, nothing sticks out more than the John “Soap” MacTavish vinyl figure. Based on a character who plays a huge role in the Modern Warfare series, MacTavish is a special figure to have on any secret ops mission. 


Nazi Zombies Perk-a-Cola Singles 


Rating: 4.5/5


Price: $10.00


Buy at: Etsy


Anyone who's played Call of Duty: World at War knows what the original "Nazi Zombies" mode was and how it evolved into something almost every Call of Duty fan loves to play to this day. From fantastic characters to unique weapons and unique perk system, "Nazi Zombies" quickly became a hit with gamers.


And if you, or someone you know, are fans of "Nazi Zombies", these drinks are made for you. Coming in four flavors (root beer, strawberry lime, green apple and berry lemonade), the Perk-a-Cola singles are for anyone who's a collector of Call of Duty merchandise. 


"I Hate Thit Map" T-shirt


Rating: 4.7/5


Price: $9.99


Buy at: Gorillatees


For all of those people more interested in the Call of Duty's multiplayer modes than its campaign offerings, we bring you the “I Hate This Map” T-shirt. Every multiplayer shooter fanatic knows how it feels to hate a particular map. This shirt's for them. 


Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Poster Prints


Rating: Not Available


Release Date: Nov. 17th, 2016


Price: $3.80 (+ $3.99 for shipping)


Buy at: Amazon


Like before, this item isn’t available until mid-November, but if you are either a Call of Duty fan or just a gamer looking to decorate their room, then check out these Infinite Warfare Poster prints!


Each of these Infinite Warfare posters are absolutely perfect for those who want to decorate their walls with beautiful artwork, or in the case of the S.C.A.R. poster print, a fantastic symbol for justice!


Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare S.C.A.R. Bomber Jacket


Rating: Not Available


Release Date: Nov. 20th, 2016


Price: $119.99


Buy at: Call of Duty Shop


While this, and several items from the Call of Duty Shop are currently only available for pre-order, one that really stuck out was the S.C.A.R. bomber jacket. The jacket features “a fully reversible orange lining, ribbed collar, 100% nylon water repellent outer shell, poly fiberfill lining and 4 front slash pockets."


With winter coming, this would be the perfect gift for both Call of Duty fans and those who just like super stylish jackets.


Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition


Rating: 2.5/5


Price: $79.99


Buy at: Amazon


This year wasn’t the best for Infinity Ward since the ratings for Infinite Warfare weren’t exactly the best, especially when compared to other games in the series. But that’s not to say that the Legacy Edition of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare isn’t the perfect gift for anyone who was a fan of the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.


Complete with both Infinite Warfare and the remastered Modern Warfare, the Legacy Edition is great for those CoD players who want both a new experience and a good ole' Call of Duty throwback. 


With the holidays coming up just next month, it is known that most gift-buyers begin shopping around late November and early December. But as always, it is never too early to start shopping for that special someone!


And if that special someone is a CoD fanatic, this guide will be a one stop shop for all of your Call of Duty needs!

Checking Your KD Ratio in Infinite Warfare Multiplayer Thu, 10 Nov 2016 10:44:53 -0500 Ty Arthur

In a baffling move that's left many scratching their heads, the Infinite Warfare multiplayer (unquestionably the biggest component of the game) seems to have been released half-baked, with leaderboards "coming soon" and your personal K/D (Kill/Death) ratio hidden in a hard-to-find screen.

It seems like your K/D ratio should be available in the Barracks or by selecting your profile name in a game lobby, but that's not actually the case. Finding it requires pulling up a menu that isn't actually visible or identified anywhere in a lobby or the multiplayer home screen.

But we'll tell you how to get there. 

Finding Your Infinite Warfare KD Ratio

Getting to your KD ratio is actually pretty simple -- if you know where to look. While in the Mission Select screen where you can find a match or create a class, simply press the middle touch pad (for PS4) or the menu button (Xbox One), which takes you to the Rewards screen.

Now just tab over to the Performance screen with either RB or R1 and there it is: all the stats you need to know about for determining if your competitive against the global playerbase.

The square on the lower left side shows your K/D ratio for just the last five games, while the lower right side shows your Infinite Warfare multiplayer kill/death ratio for the last game. Git gud and bump that number up already!

 Performance Screen

What's your Infinite Warfare kill / death ratio looking like? Let us know how you're stacking up, and we'll see you on the battlefield!

Need even more Infinite Warfare help? Be sure to also check out:

Infinite Warfare: all Weapon Locations for Gun Nut Achievement Tue, 08 Nov 2016 23:44:39 -0500 Ty Arthur

The future isn't lacking for weaponry, as Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare has its fair share of high velocity death dealers waiting to be found! As soon as you pick up a weapon, it is automatically scanned so that the 3D printers onboard the Retribution can print out that gun in future mission loadouts.

25 different weapons are available, and most come in several different scope and option variations like Scout, Thermal, Reflex, Suppressed, Extended, etc. You start with several weapons immediately and a few are speciality heavy guns that can't be scanned, so in all you need to find 22 different guns to unlock the Gun Nut achievement.

It doesn't matter which version of a gun you pick up: it will be automatically scanned no matter what, and you don't have to grab each individual version. Once you've grabbed a gun, it's always available for future missions. Below we show the location of each weapon, broken down by mission.

Keep in mind that some weapons are always found in specific locations, while others drop at random from enemies. In most cases you should get them all just by playing through normally, but if a gun doesn't get dropped by an enemy, just restart the mission and try again, or come back later via mission select.

If you are going back through chapter selection after completing the game to find guns you missed, don't exit out as soon as you grab the gun! You have to actually hit a checkpoint and save your progress for it to count towards the total.

Need even more Infinite Warfare help? Be sure to also check out:

Black Sky

Karma-45 (SMG)

These will be found frequently throughout the game, but one is available early in the Black Sky mission. After you crash, two enemies try to rappel into your ship and you shoot them in slow motion. Jump down and turn around towards the wreckage to grab one off the soldier's body.


Volk (Assault Rifle)

Another extremely common weapon, this one can be found early at the exact same time as the Karma-45 SMG, and is typically found on the second soldier body.

KBAR-32 (Assault Rifle)

When Salter hands you a grenade as you look down on a grouping of enemies, this assault rifle is found right by the broken section of wall.


Erad (SMG)

In the same location as the KBAR-32, the Erad is randomly dropped by the enemies you are throwing the frag grenade at, so there should be plenty on the ground below. This gun will also be frequently dropped by SDF soldiers all throughout the game.


EMC (Handgun)

This one can be found in the same area (or really in any part of the game), but only spawns under a specific condition: an enemy has to be killed while he's wounded and crawling (rather than killed outright), at which point he pulls out his EMC pistol. 


R.A.W. (LMG)

The last unique weapon you can get in the Black Sky mission, this one is found when you come across another broken wall while looking down at a grouping of robot enemies. The R.A.W. is sitting next to the broken wall by a dead soldier.


Operation Port Armor

Banshee (Shotgun)

In the civilian terminal area while fighting robots, you should find these dropping either in the main hallway or in the side rooms.


F-SPAR Torch (Heavy)

This one is always dropped by the mech mini-boss you fight later in the Operation Port Armor mission. Just check in the wreckage after the mech explodes and you'll see it.

F-SPAR Torch

Reaver (Shotgun)

After the mech mini-boss you will enter an armory with several weapon lockers and a terminal. The reaver is found in the locker on the right hand side of the room as you center.


Mauler (LMG)

In the exact same room as the Reaver, the Mauler light machine gun is found on the weapon locker at the back of the room.


Oni (Handgun)

During the "Escape The Ship" mission objective while the timer is counting down, you can find this handgun either in the locked armory on the right side, or get it by killing wounded and crawling soldiers in this area.


Operation Taken Dagger

DCM-8 (Shotgun)

After you breach the ship's hull and before the gravity has been turned on, the room you breach has two gun lockers in the back. The locker on the right has this shotgun.


R3k (Assault Rifle)

In the exact same spot as the previous gun, this one is on the weapon locker on the left side.


P-Law (Heavy)

You can't miss this one - the mission forces you to pick up the weapon in the armory before you have to defend your position against a wave of enemies.


Operation Phoenix


At the very start of the mission while floating around in space you have to snipe two scouts. They can randomly drop the HVR if you're lucky (if not, just restart and do it again).


Operation D-Con

Ballista EM3 (Heavy)

When you are running through the fire-filled hallways, instead of going forward and to the right to follow your squad, instead turn left and go down the hallway that looks blocked by fire and unlock the armory door on the right. The Ballista EM3 is sitting on the ground next to the central table.


Type-2 (Assault Rifle)

In the same armory as the last gun, the Type-2 may spawn in the weapon locker on the left side of the room. If you don't find it here, it will frequently appear in other armories across the game.



This sub machine gun is frequently found in the same armory as the previous two guns, or in other armories if it doesn't spawn here on your first playthrough.


Operation Deep Execute

Eraser (Heavy)

During the mission you have to hack an armory door and just inside you should see the Eraser on the table. While it looks like a handgun, it technically counts as a Heavy weapon.


Operation Burn Water

Spartan SA3 (Heavy)

In the refinery area you have to fight a giant mech that can't be damaged by regular small arms fire. Spartan SA3 rocket launchers can be found in several crates scattered across this area as the battle progresses.

 Spartan SA3

Operation Black Flag

KBS Longbow (Sniper)

When you reach the area with the large digital billboard and a sniper, shoot the sniper and then double jump up this his location to unlock an armory door. A rack of these sniper rifles is found inside the armory on the weapon locker.

KBS Longbow Armory Location

Titan (LMG)

During the "Trap Is Sprung" mission segment, off to the left of your starting location is an open shipping container. Head inside to grab this final machine gun and unlock the Gun Nut achievement!


Those are all the scannable weapons we've discovered! Let us know if you end up finding any of them in any other locations, and have fun with your full arsenal now available in any mission loadout!

Finding all Infinite Warfare Weapon Upgrade Armory Locations Tue, 08 Nov 2016 12:51:23 -0500 Ty Arthur

A new addition to the Call Of Duty franchise, Infinite Warfare includes a series of armories located slightly off the main paths of any given mission that don't just offer new (and powerful) weapons to scan, they also give permanent upgrades to your equipment. You can unlock two achievements along the way while finding all the armory upgrades: Gear Up and Fully Equipped

Most of the armories are locked and must be proximity hacked, which takes a little time and leaves you vulnerable. Once inside, accessing a terminal offers a randomized upgrade (such as better gravity or seeker grenades), and three of the terminals will provide two upgrades simultaneously.

Below we show you how to find all the armory locations, broken down by mission. Your route to achieve them may be slightly different, since side missions can be taken in any order. You'll also notice many of the armories are actually in the same location, as some of the ship layouts are identical between side missions.

Need even more Infinite Warfare help? Be sure to also check out:

Operation Port Armor

The first armory can't be missed -- it's actually part of the single player campaign storyline, and you are required to access the terminal before proceeding through the Port Armor mission.

This one's found after walking under a door marked "Armory" and then going through the metal detectors. Accessing the terminal unlocks the Gear Up achievement and your first weapon upgrade.

 Path to the 1st armory

A second armory is available in the mission after you grab the first mandatory upgrade. When the "Escape The Ship" timer is counting down you'll come to an intersection and see Ethan kick an enemy through a glass window.

Turn right and go forward through two groups of enemies past a malfunctioning door, then check the right side of the wall to find the second armory. You want to move quickly here, as the time it takes to hack the door can end up being lethal if you moved slowly and cautiously through the previous area!

Armory #2

A third upgrade is available in this mission, but it isn't in a hidden armory door. Instead, you should automatically get an armory weapon upgrade when pulling the lever that opens the floor and ejects all the enemies out into space.

Some people have reported glitches here though -- if you don't see an upgrade icon appear, reload the last check point and do it again.

 "Armory" Upgrade #3

Operation Taken Dagger

This is another armory you automatically enter as part of the mission, but here you can actually miss the upgrade if you don't access the terminal on your way through.

The armory is at the back of the room with missiles on the walls where you have to defend your position against the assaulting soldiers. Grab the P-Law gun as part of the mission, then head around the table and access the terminal.

Armory #4

Operation D-Con

While the area is on fire you will have to follow Salter, and you should see your squad of soldiers stop in front of a doorway heading to the right.

Don't follow them that way, instead turn around and go down the flaming left hallway that looks blocked by fire. Just beyond a large ammo crate you will see the armory door on the right side of the wall that is still accessible.

Armory #5

A second armory is found here, and this time it's not particularly hidden. Eventually you can enter that exact same missile room layout as in Operation Taken Dagger. Just head to the back and unlock that armory door yet again.

 Armory #6

Operation Deep Execute

When you head through the doors to find the tech officer while wearing an SDF uniform, don't follow him up the stairs yet. Instead, turn to the right and you'll notice the familiar armory location here that's the same as from Operation Taken Dagger and Operation D-Con.

Armory #7

Operation Burn Water

After you go through a broken chain link fence and drop down directly in front a building, your squad will try to get you to go inside. Don't head in yet, and instead turn and run down the left path to find a second building.

This one has a door that must be opened (but not hacked) and isn't marked as an armory, but it sill has the weapons lockers and upgrade terminal in the back room.

 Armory #8

Operation Black Flag

After coming out of the basement area, you will see a large digital billboard ad that's lit up just behind a partially destroyed structure with an armory door. Double jump up to the door to access this final armory.

Armory #9

After unlocking the final armory door (and assuming you got the glitchy upgrade from Operation Port Armor), you will now have all the upgrades and unlock the Fully Equipped achievement.

Let us know if you find any other ways to upgrade equipment, and stay tuned for our full list of weapons hidden across Infinite Warfare!

Infinite Warfare is Finally Out....But Did it Beat Battlefield 1? Tue, 08 Nov 2016 07:40:46 -0500 Timothy J. Ralston (TehMadCatter)

Now that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is out, it is finally time for us to get past all the debate about whether Battlefield 1 or Infinite Warfare was better. Although the question will spark once again as next year's annual installments start gearing up for release, for right now we can definitively say which 2016 shooter took the cake for the year. 

Let's consider...

The original hype for Infinite Warfare fell fast after the release of the first trailer showed at E3 2016, and had fans of Call of Duty feeling bored with the new concept for the game. Fans said it felt too much like Destiny or Halo rather than a Call of Duty game, and complained to no end.

That was until the trailer for Battlefield 1 was released later that day. At that moment, all of the hype that was originally meant for Infinite Warfare went towards DICE’s Battlefield 1. Fans of Call of Duty turned to Battlefield 1, leaving Infinity Ward in the dust.

But now that Infinite Warfare is out, did it somehow manage to beat Battlefield 1?

While review sites and reviews themselves say different things, it does seem like the fans really had good things to say about Infinite Warfare. Major review conglomerates like Metacritic and GameSpot gave it a 7.5 -- a much different score compared to the other entries they reviewed.

Battlefield 1, on the other hand, was given praise and fantastic reviews upon release, and is still given the credit the game earned. Looking over the ratings from GameSpot and Metacritic shows that players and critics rated the game higher overall than CoD fans rated theirs. 

Ratings aside, launch day issues are something else to consider. And while there were some glitches in gameplay for Battlefield 1, nothing compared to the compatibility issues Windows 10 buyers experienced with Call of Duty's multiplayer. Players who had bought the game through the Windows store were unable to connect with players on Xbox Live servers, and were even barred from playing alongside other PC gamers who'd purchased the title on Steam. For that reason and the slew of bugs that players reported at the outset, Infinite Warfare took a serious hit. 

And while people say the multiplayer is as fun as they've come to expect in a Call of Duty game, many fans are having a problem with the forgettable campaign and “silly” zombies mode. 

Taking all the reviews and launch day issues into account, what did players really get for the price tag of these two games?

Infinite Warfare gave us the remastered Modern Warfare in addition to its base game, but it felt as if Infinity Ward was trying too hard to make players purchase the game at a higher price (and extra $20 tacked onto the normal $60 AAA price tag), rather than giving players the option to purchase Modern Warfare Remastered separately in case they had no interest in the new installment.

But that doesn't mean EA is off the hook just yet. The company is known for having unreasonable amounts of DLC, making games like Battlefield 4 and Star Wars: Battlefront feel incomplete. But at least EA is giving its fan the option to purchase DLCs for Battlefield 1 separately.

On a related note, the sales for Battlefield 1 were incredible. But the sales for Infinite Warfare didn’t do as well, selling only 50% of what Black Ops 3 did in the UK. This could be quite a problem for Infinity Ward going forward.

All in all, it seems like Battlefield 1 truly won the fight this time. But that doesn’t mean Infinite Warfare is the worst game this year by any measure. This entry in the long-running Call of Duty series could just be a drawback that will be learned from as Infinity Ward goes on to make more games in the franchise's future. Perhaps something like the (fictitious) cover above...?

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