Tagged: Call of Duty

Gun Game: My favorite multiplayer game mode.

I’m probably gonna show my age with this one. While I don’t think I’m one of those “30 year old boomer” types that people meme about these days, I certainly have been playing multiplayer games for a long, long time. I’ve been playing them for literally decades at this point. I’ve played most of the notable ones, like Quake, Unreal Tournament, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty 4, you name it, I’ve probably dabbled in it at some point.

But sometimes I wanted more than Just Deathmatch. Stuff like Capture the Flag or Domination helped, but it just wasn’t enough. There was one mode popularized in a game that really caught my interest and was a fun mode that I wished more games did: Unreal Tournament’s Assault mode. Seriously, why isn’t this in every game???

Kidding aside, the other game mode that I’ve learned to love over the years is Gun Game. A simple deathmatch variant, the goal is mainly to kill enemies with a specific weapon, leveling up to the next weapon, and repeating this process until a player got a kill with every weapon. It’s been around for a while, and any game that features it will certainly pique my interest.

My earliest experience with the gun game concept is Soldier of Fortune. While mostly known for its excess gore and goofy Hollywood story, SOF did have its own version of Gun Game. The mode was simply called “Arsenal.” This was before the “gun game” parlance became commonplace.

Getting a kill in Soldier of Fortune was satisfying. Not because of the gore, but because of a really goofy fanfare that played each and every time. That needs to come back.

Despite the different name, it’s similar to the gun game most of us know now: A set of weapons are given to every player, with the goal of getting one kill with each weapon to win. The big differences that there was no fixed pattern of weapons, and when someone got the final kill with their last remaining weapon, instead of ending the game, they got a “big winner bonus” score and the game started anew with new weapons until the score or time limit was reached. Good for those who end up with a bad layout of weapons and can hope to rebound on the next set.

Though while I remember playing Arsenal in the mid-2000s, when the original Soldier of Fortune was mostly a skeleton crew of hardcore players by that point, the one I remembered more fondly was Counter-Strike: Source’s gun game mod.

Man, cs_deagle is a map I’ve seen constantly used in these kind of modes. Surprised no one’s copied it.

In the gun game mod for CS:S, the goal is to take out enemies of the opposing team with one of each weapon, with the famous knife often being the final level. Regardless of whatever side you were on – Counter-Terrorists or Terrorists – you needed to get a kill with every weapon. So in addition to the weapons that are available to a specific faction in the regular game, CTs still had to get kills with Terrorist-exclusive weapons like the Galil, MAC-10 and AK-47, and Ts needed to get kills with the CT’s USP, M4A1 and the AUG, just to name a few.

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I’m playing Call of Duty 4 multiplayer. On PC. In 2018.

While playing on Bog, a dark, wide map filled with small gaps of cover and two small buildings ripe for camping, I noticed an enemy player’s been using the infamous “noob tube” – an M203 grenade launcher – to get easy kills. I decide to switch over to my sniper rifle build, with an R700 equipped, ready to pick off the offending noob tuber.

I then started sweeping around the map looking for enemies. I spotted enemies on the other side of the map and starting aiming down the scope and taking shots, occasionally moving to avoid being easily killed. I then spotted an enemy with a rifle and his grenade launcher prepped, and I nailed him in one shot. However, he had just shot a grenade before he died. A grenade that landed right on me. I couldn’t resist to type “good trade” in the chat.

The aftermath.

It’s 2018, and there’s people still playing Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare online 11 years later. I had picked up the PC version of COD4 as well as World at War on Steam for $10 each. I had hoped they would hit the $4.99 sweet spot, but Activision doesn’t believe in the concept of making their games that cheap.

Surprisingly holds up even graphically.

Honestly, I didn’t need to buy these versions again. I already had both of those games on a console – hell, Call of Duty 4 was the first game I ever got for my PlayStation 3 in 2008 – but the PC version had a fair share of advantages that I wanted to check out. Plus I couldn’t resist replaying the campaigns to one of the best games in the entire series. (Black Ops would probably be a close second.)

First, I also wanted to look into the mod scene. There was a Star Wars-themed mod for COD4 called Galactic Warfare that was making the rounds around 2009-2011, and it was kind of the reason I wanted to look into the PC version. Sadly, it seems the overall mod scene has died out, leaving me with just vanilla COD4 to play with. With Hardcore settings on, no less.

Hardcore makes it so there’s little HUD, and everybody’s a glass cannon. At least some of the weaker weapons prevail in this mode…

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Call of Duty and Halo Megabloks: A brick-building collection restarts.

Update: Since I wrote this original post, Mega Brands was bought by Mattel, which caused some restructuring of the brands. What was once Megabloks is now known as Mega Construx, with the Megabloks brand being used for the more child-like knockoff of Lego’s “Duplo” brand. For the sake of this article, I’m sticking with the original name for reference, as it was in late 2016.

Sometimes when you’re like me and you’re bored in a department store, you tend to wander around to other sections to find some amusement or cheap deals. In my case, I browsed the clearance section of a toy aisle. Suddenly I found these little beauties:

These were originally $8 each. Somehow they got even cheaper than this. Don’t know how, but hey, discounts are great.

They’re Mega Bloks tie-ins for Halo and Call of Duty. Since I hadn’t messed with Lego (or its derivatives) for years, it felt like the perfect time to rekindle my interest in brick-building toys. It also gives me something to do when not sleeping all day.

I used to have a lot of Lego as a kid. One of my birthdays I ended up getting about several Lego playsets, with the only non-Lego thing being a VHS copy of D3: The Mighty Ducks. Though my interest in Lego waned as I got older, we still have the bricks around somewhere, in a giant tub somewhere in the house. One of my dreams is to rebuild the old playsets, but that requires time and money I don’t really have.

So these are made by Canadian company Mega Brands. If Lego is Coca-Cola, Megabloks would probably be Dr. Pepper. They’re both fairly known, but one is more iconic than the other. Megabloks tends to get the video game licenses more than Lego does, likely more content with making playsets off much bigger properties and telling TT Games to churn out a new Lego tie-in game every year. Any major video game franchise you can think of in the past few years has a Megabloks play set associated with them: In addition to Halo and Call of Duty, I’ve seen ones for Assassin’s CreedSkylanders, and several others. Mega Bloks basically has the video game brick market covered, something I don’t see Lego really tackle these days.

This box was beaten to hell. I should’ve asked if I could get a deeper discount on damaged goods. So much for the resale value…

So let’s dive in. The Halo Megabloks features a covenant guard riding a Ghost, one of the iconic vehicles of the franchise. It’s no Master Chief in a Warthog, but it’ll do. The Covenant guard also has pieces that make them resemble Jul ‘Mdama, a character introduced in the current 343 Industries Halo games. Alas, my only experiences with Halo was some of the earlier Bungie titles and no later, so I don’t know if this character has any importance to the series’ plot.

20160911_163240

Imagine the hassle I had keeping this motherhumper upright to take a picture.

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Diving into the Windows 10 Marketplace with Modern Combat 5: Blackout.

For a while, I wasn’t going to upgrade to Windows 10. But then a friend convinced me of a few cool features, and I decided to finally take the plunge since it’s free as of this writing. Since my current PC was on Windows 7, I missed out on all the cool apps that came out during the Windows 8 era. After perusing the store, I found a few interesting games. Boy, I wasn’t expecting this…

It's time for STERN MILITARY SOLDIER POSE

It’s time for STERN MILITARY SOLDIER POSE

Modern Combat 5: Blackout is probably the most generic title for a game ever. This is the product of Gameloft, a French-based development studio known famously for their mobile phone and handheld games. Naturally, this is a “port” from iOS/Android devices, supporting cumbersome touch screen controls.

While I haven’t played the previous entries in the Modern Combat franchise, I am familiar with it. One of the games, Modern Combat: Domination, made it to consoles and I remember Giant Bomb covering it once. At the time, it looked like a mish-mash of Call of Duty 4 with a pinch of Counter-Strike‘s elements. By default, I go into any new game I play with mild skepticism and low expectations just so I don’t hype myself up for disappointment, so I wasn’t expecting much here.

This is a hell of a way to start a game...

This is a hell of a way to start a game…

You play as Phoenix, a mercenary for works for some corporation. With the help of a bald marine named Bull, you two storm through San Marco, escaping from evil terrorists, and eventually escaping a helicopter in a boat chase sequence. Pretty exciting for the beginning of a Call of Duty clone.

Is this some spirit animal allegory I’m not aware of?

Afterwards, Phoenix wakes up in Japan, taken over by raiders during some terrorist attack or something. I’ll admit, I barely remember the story of this game, and that’s coming from a guy who played through Battlefield 3 and 4, which had really unremarkable generic campaigns. But from what I gleaned from a wiki for the series, it’s basically double-crossing between various factions, and a surprise plot twist that the CEO of the Gilman corporation is also a mercenary soldier who caused the double-crossing. Hardly oscar-caliber story writing, but I got what I paid for. (Nothing.)

Something I noticed while playing was that a lot of the voice actors for this game are familiar to me. They’ve voiced characters in the Pokemon anime, mostly as minor characters. However, there is one voice I was surprised to hear: Jason Griffith, once the voice of a certain blue hedgehog, voices a minor character in this game. How the mighty have fallen, I guess.

One of the many classes you can choose from. You get Recon to start, and the rest require you to either grind or pay up.

One of the many classes you can choose from. You get Recon to start, and the rest require you to either grind levels or pay up to unlock.

Modern Combat 5 has a leveling system and unlockables. There’s a create-a-class option, weapons can be upgraded by using them in the game to unlock attachments and better weapons, and each class has special skills that are upgraded using SP. SP is gained between some missions, leveling up, and between events Gameloft put up. One thing I liked is how the rankings persist between both single player and multiplayer, which I wish more games did.

There are seven tiers of each weapon. While all the weapons are based of real guns, somebody at Gameloft thought that Tier 7 should be future-looking versions of old guns. The SMGs get a futuristic Thompson called the “Bromson,” Sniper rifles get a modernized Lee-Enfield called the “BSW 77,” and the pistol gets a future space Luger called the “Mrager.” I am not making this up. This is so ridiculous that I had to get screenshots of them:

Multiplayer is typical military FPS in a post-Call of Duty 4 world: You have perks, you have a powerup you can use, there’s killstreaks like recon drones and EMP strikes, and you get XP for kills. There’s the common FPS gamemodes: Free-for-All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and an unusual TDM variant called VIP where the VIP is always visible on the minimap and killing them rewards more points than killing other players. Fun, but a VIP kill is 5 points and the scorelimit is 50, making the matches go by faster than expected.

My dad once said that combat drones will be the future of combat. I guess he was right.

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Mountain Dew Game Fuel: CODBLOPS III Edition.

It’s that time of the year again…

You know it’s time when you see the ol’ kitchen stove…

Mountain Dew gets buddy-buddy with major game developers and makes a fancy Game Fuel dedicated to a major game. This year, Activision gets the choice for the second year in a row, this time for Carl on Duty: Black Cops III – Revenge of the Urkel- er, Call of Duty: Black Ops III.

At this point, Mountain Dew has made the Citrus Cherry a standard flavor. No longer seasonal, you can get the stuff at any time anywhere. I noticed this as I found bottles of the normal Citrus Cherry at a Safeway, rather than the 7-Eleven like I usually do. Since this change, they’ve had various game-related promotions with Game Fuel this year, such as items for Batman: Arkham Knight and Warframe.

At first, I thought Mountain Dew retired the seasonal flavors, which would’ve meant an end to what has become a yearly tradition on my blog. But thankfully that wasn’t the case, as I found the new special flavor in the usual locations.

I’ve written about Citrus Cherry every single year since I started this. It hasn’t changed in taste whatsoever. It’s got a cherry taste with a citrus-y tinge that reminds me of Squirt or similar citrus-heavy sodas. At this point, I’m not even gonna bother talking about that flavor, and skip ahead to the new special flavor for BLOPSIII.

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Duty Calls: A silly Call of Duty parody.

The year is 2011. We’re nearing the home stretch of the 360 and PS3 console generation. We’re seeing really cool games that push the power of their hardware, while also being fun as hell to play.

One day, while browsing on Twitter like I usually do, someone I followed retweeted this gem by one Clifford Bleszinski:

(Note: This is a loose recreation of the tweet from various sources. In the years that followed, he since deleted the original tweet.)

Naturally, being the curious guy I am, I checked out the website and found out there was a free game there. I download the 700MB installer, not knowing what to expect.

Making something sound so generic is quite impressive.

Making something sound so generic is quite impressive.

Duty Calls: The Calm Before the Storm is a parody game that makes fun of the long-standing Call of Duty franchise. This is very apparent by the logo that makes fun of the old Call of Duty logo, to even that important disclaimer that Activision had nothing to do with it. Because the last thing they needed were lawsuits.

Parodying games in other games is a fickle thing. Sometimes you can be right on point and make it funny, otherwise you end up just making half-baked references that fall flat and seem incredibly dated, like Duke Nukem Forever rejecting Master Chief’s power armor, saying it’s “for pussies.”

With a parody like this, it can only go up from there, so let’s give it a try.

Must be very boring for the army today...

Must be a very boring day for the army…

Our adventure begins with an introductory cutscene learning about some secret base, complete with a Call of Duty-style talking about how war has changed, and yet war never changes. It oddly reminded me of that song from Idle Thumbs about the wizard.

After that, our intrepid shooterguy drops in with an M4 assault rifle and a secret base to find by some random commander dude. So let’s jump into the fray and fight the big bad.

I could do a play-by-play, much like I did with my last article on CTU Marine Sharpshooter, but this game is short. I beat it in 10 minutes. Not only that, this game relies on such silly gags like the one below, thus if I showed you every gag you wouldn’t wanna play it, so here’s a sampling instead.

Imagine this scene said by bored voice actors proclaiming you can’t stop this enemy. Then the game goes into slow motion so you can stop this enemy. It does that sort of stuff.

Duty Calls throws a lot of jabs at Call of Duty, usually referencing its fairly linear nature, its over-emphasis on slow motion action scenes, even making fun of the silly rank progression of COD‘s multiplayer. The only thing it doesn’t make fun of is being penalized for going out of bounds. Oh well, can’t have everything, I guess.

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Mountain Dew Game Fuel: Press X to Chug Edition.

Hey, it’s that time again. That time where a certain beverage advertises a certain video game. Just in time for it’s release…

Shamelessly stolen from a Mountain Dew Wiki. Because of course that exists.

Yep, Mountain Dew Game Fuel makes its return. I’ve written about these in years past (here are my reviews of the 2012 and 2013 flavors), and I had totally forgotten that they were doing it again until very recently. Reviewing Game Fuel has become a tradition on this site, and I would be remiss if I forgot to cover this year’s model.

This year, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is our big sponsor, after Microsoft got dibs last year, forcing Activision to settle with Monster Energy cans with Call of Duty: Ghostbusters instead. You can read about that, and my virgin experience with Monster Energy here.

Something old, something new. It seems to be Mountain Dew's MO these days.

Something old, something new. It seems to be Mountain Dew’s MO these days.

So we have two flavors this time round: Citrus Cherry and Lemonade. I’ll make it quick on the Citrus Cherry, since it’s the same flavor as previous years: It tastes like Mountain Dew mixed in with a cherry tinge and gives an unexpected citrus aftertaste. I used to drink Squirt religiously, but I can barely tolerate drinking a glass of Citrus Cherry because of the excess citrus kick.

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Trying Monster Energy: featuring Call of Duty: Ghosts!

Lately I’ve noticed how much video games are penetrating our food and drink. Last year I had covered Mountain Dew Game Fuel, which made its triumphant return. While I haven’t found this year’s model of Game Fuel yet, I found something just as interesting:

Until recently I didn’t realize those are meant to be claw marks in their logo and not giant spikes.

Monster Energy has decided to team up with Infinity Ward and Activision to advertise Call of Duty: Ghosts on cans of Monster. Ah yes, Call of Duty: Ghost Dad, the tenth major installment in the Call of Duty franchise. Unfortunately my interest in Call of Duty waned years ago, mostly in part due to how over-the-top Modern Warfare 2 got, along with releasing a new game every year just made me fall behind. As of this writing, I still haven’t played Black Ops II. Thus, I am not at all hyped for Call of Duty: Ghosts of Sparta.

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Modern Warfare 3: The most disappointing Call of Duty.

This post is particularly hard for me to write. When I wrote this originally, the game was having a free weekend on Steam, as is common for a lot of PC games these days. Since I’m not the richest person around, getting a taste of these big budget AAA games are a treat. But then there’s Modern Warfare 3, and how particularly busted it is. Modern Warfare 3 is a bad Call of Duty game, and you shouldn’t play it.

This took me like a hundred hours in MS Paint to make.

I should back up a bit. I’m not one of those pretentious jackasses who bemoan that “Call of Duty is killing the video gaming industry.” I mean, it’s part of a larger problem, but I’m not one of those hipsters who slam the big budget stuff and praise stuff like McPixel. (This is not to say McPixel is bad. It looks pretty fun, actually.)

In fact, until about a few years ago, I was a Call of Duty nut. I owned practically every game in the series up to that point. I played the multiplayer a lot — perhaps not as much as the maximum level max prestige players, but enough to still have a blast playing it — and I even enjoyed the campaigns of each despite how much they’re corny action movies in disguise.

You wanna know my dedication? I did an unboxing of Modern Warfare 2‘s Hardened Edition, at launch, in one of the last times I’d go out for a midnight launch for anything.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8QW80hIZiA?rel=0&w=640&h=480]

But as I kept playing Modern Warfare 2, I came to a realization. It wasn’t as great as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was. Treyarch’s World at War felt better at times.

Modern Warfare 2 is basically Michael Bay: The Video Game, complete with homages to The Rock. They even got Bay stalwart Hans Zimmer to do the score. But the story was full of nonsensical twists, ridiculous American jingoism and cliched catchphrases of Keith David yelling at Ramirez to defend a Burger Town.

The multiplayer, which is basically the major reason I played Call of Duty was not very well balanced at launch, and prone to bizarre bugs like the “Javelin glitch” — where you could prime a Semtex grenade, cancel it by switching to the javelin, and cause a massive explosion when you died. A few times I accidentally joined hacked lobbies of 16-player Rust where the only winning outcome was the game-winning Tactical Nuke. This was not long after launch, even.

It really felt like Infinity Ward didn’t have the passion or love, throwing anything at a wall and seeing what stuck. Then the Respawn fiasco happened in 2010 where about half the team left due to creative differences between them and Activision, then it all started making sense.

2010 was around the point when I started losing interest in Call of Duty: I didn’t pick up Black Ops until earlier this year, and as of this writing, I never bothered grabbing Modern Warfare 3. After replaying MW3‘s multiplayer again through the Steam free weekend– the third the game has had since launch — I realized why.

Kill Confirmed is probably one of the best additions to the series yet.

While there are a few cool new things, such as the small skirmish Face-Off mode and Kill Confirmed, it’s the same multiplayer stuff from Modern Warfare 2, just amplified to a ridiculous degree. The maximum level is now 80, and there’s a whopping 20 prestige levels! Weapons have levels now, them trying to fix a problem that was already fixed in Black Ops. You can get prestige tokens that unlock double XP bonuses. There’s new guns, new killstreaks, they added deathstreaks, there’s perks for weapons now, the whole nine yards.

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