Just because we weren't the biggest fans of Call of Duty: Ghosts doesn't mean it isn't still immensely popular. It has a huge, highly competitive following, big enough to serve as a primary attraction to Major League Gaming's eSports streaming service, MLG.TV. Those players care passionately about details in the game the average player won't even notice, which would explain why Infinity Ward's latest update focuses on eSports and balancing.
Call of Duty
Call of Duty: Online, the free-to-play, online only, microtransaction-fueled multiplayer shooter published exclusively in China, is adding robot zombies to the game. I didn’t miss an “and” there—these enemies are mechanized walking corpses, or, rather, robots that once lived and have come back from the dead. Actually, I’m not sure what they are, other than cooler than anything I’ve seen in a Call of Duty game lately.
I get it, you're a busy person. You've not got the time to watch every video that comes your way. I'll save you some time, and describe Call of Duty: Ghosts' launch trailer in its entirety. "Explosions, explosions, explosions, explosions, FISH PHYSICS, explosions, dog, wolf, dog, space, space explosions." Just imagine all that with an Eminem song in the background and you're golden.
...And other cool things. Or absurd things. Or downright silly things? I can't even tell any more. Years of bombast, monotone pathos, and deep bass rumbles have left me unable to judge the emotional timbre that a trailer is aiming for. This Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer has spacemen shooting each other in space, a sniper doing sniping at a ninety degree angle, and Riley, the mo-capped dog, jumping onto a helicopter to drag out one of its passengers. Possible reactions include involuntary laughter, involuntary eye-rolling, or involuntary fist-pumping. Find out which you make, inside.
Admittedly this isn't quite as big a story as it is for console types, but it's still reassuring to hear that Call of Duty: Ghosts will once again feature dedicated servers, which returned to the series with Modern Warfare 3, after dropping them for the warry war game's second Modern installment. “One thing I can say is we're also doing dedicated servers on PC," Infinity Ward's Mark Rubin told NowGamer, "so PC will be all dedicated servers, all of it. I don't have details on how dedicated servers are going to work on PC, partly because we're still in development and still working on all those features,” - but hey, good news is good news.
Infinity Ward have revealed the multiplayer portion of Call of Duty: Ghosts - the sequel to the popular series about men shooting men. Except now, as revealed in this trailer, men can shoot women. And women can shoot women, and men, and dogs. And dogs can eat women and men, and buildings can fall on both, and hovering drones can kill just about anything. It's a big death picnic out there.
Also there's Eminem. Although you can't shoot him.
Treyarch design director David Vonderhaar has received death threats and threats of violence on Twitter, after patch notes for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 revealed that three of the game's guns were to be rebalanced slightly. Yes, that is a thing that has actually happened. The guns in question are the AN-94, which now does a bit less damage, and the DSR 50 and the Ballista, which have both had their rate of fire reduced a bit. If this news makes you want to hurl abuse at someone, I suggest you seek professional help.
Major League Gaming’s 2013 Spring Championships did quite well last weekend, earning the eyes and ears of thousands of gamers and eventually becoming MLG’s largest event ever. But that isn’t enough for MLG President Mike Sepso, whose goal is make professional gaming one of the top five sports in North America.
Activision and Infinity Ward held a Call of Duty: Ghosts showcase yesterday, in which they showed off around eleven minutes of new footage - and two different missions - from the game. You won't be surprised to hear that one of these is an on-rails stealth section, a la COD4's celebrated All Ghillied Up, though your eyebrows may raise slightly when you learn that you'll be wearing scuba gear. Yep, underwater stealth, featuring underwater guns - are those a thing now? Activision also spilled the name of Ghosts' playable attack dog, which I'm shamelessly not going to reveal until after the break.
Since 2007's Modern Warfare, Activision hasn't missed a single annual update to the COD franchise. And it seems the publisher isn't about to let a little thing like a new generation of console hardware slow it down. This week's Xbox One announcement saw Call Of Duty: Ghosts finally break cover, and we happen to think that a new franchise from Infinity Ward is the perfect time to try out some new ideas...
Remember when Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg took to the stage during the Xbox One event and said “We wanted to press the (Call of Duty) franchise forward with a new world and a new engine”? Well, you might want to scratch out that last part.
The big finale at Microsoft's Xbox One reveal today was not Call of Duty: Ghosts. It was Call of Duty: Ghosts' instantly famous mo-capped dog. That's right, Ghosts will feature Peter Molyneux's essential invention: a dog companion to keep us company as we fight back against an oppressive someone. This is Call of Doggy. Collar Duty. The rex generation of gaming. I could go on, but I'll stop before you flea.
There are those who put out trailers to demonstrate gameplay. There are those who put out trailers to show off flashy CGI. And there are those who put out trailers of live action roleplayers to get us excited about a logo. Guess which first teaser for Call of Duty: Ghosts—confirmed for a simultaneous console and PC release on November 5—is an attempt at.
While Call of Duty: Ghosts has been rumored for months now (culminating in Tesco's mistakenly published item description), we still don't know much about the game. Activision is tipped to reveal the game on May 1, but until then we'll just have to gaze at this teaser website and wonder. Because, while the fact that you'll shoot and be shot at is a given, it's always the extraneous details that so titillate. Like, for example, why 'ghosts'?
Call of Duty - what a monster. With clockwork precision a new edition pops up every year and sells millions without fail. It's doing perfectly well, but in spite of an audacious shift to a far future setting in Black Ops 2, it's becoming increasingly repetitive. It's become a slapstick dose of noisy annual nonsense with an arcade multiplayer mode attached. It's a game about gun-lovin' superheroes who are 90% bicep and 10% stubble shooting hundreds of enemies, shouting and occasionally getting into knife fights.
Activision have found a golden formula for mainstream success that has changed the genre. Call of Duty perfected iron sights aiming and ushered action movie set pieces into shooter environments, but those set pieces have gradually subsumed the challenge and tension of the series' rolling street battles. The series' ballooning love for noise and bombast masks a dearth of substance, and its ability to deliver those famed set-pieces is increasingly hindered by an engine that's starting to fall behind the pack.
Activision and their army of CoD developers are surely plotting a next-gen leap right now, so let's pip them to the post with a few ideas. Changing CoD is a monolithic endeavour, influential as it is, so perhaps it's better to think of this as a wish list for war games. What do we like? What do we hate? What would we love to see from gaming's glorious future?
It may not quite be the "Revolution" CoD's critics would like, but Blops 2's latest DLC pack seems to be at least a minor skirmish in the war for interesting additions to established games. Sure, it's just a few additional maps, but, er, one of them's in a skate park? And there's a gun, I guess.
Okay, so the Revolution DLC is pretty much business as usual. But it's a business that seems to work, and those interested can now find the latest map-pack on PC. A trailer runs through the various contents it brings, backed by AC/DC's Back In Black. No, I'm not sure why either.
On March 1st, 2010, Activision fired Infinity Ward heads Vince Zampella and Jason West. Things were said, lawsuits were filed, Zampella and West formed Respawn Entertainment, half of the Call of Duty studio's staff walked out, EA jumped in and got sued too, then Yakety Sax played until everyone got tuckered out. Amid all that, Respawn seems to have developed a very blurry game, which may come into focus at E3 according to a pair of tweets from Zampella.
Activision's efforts to forcibly insert Call of Duty releases into the yearly rhythm planet Earth continue today. There's some pretty dry biz news floating around this morning so let's enshrine key details in haiku form to keep things lively.
More CoD is mentioned,
In ActiBlizz earnings call,
Bear shits in the woods.
THQ's global communications boss Huw Beynon recently spoke to OXM about Metro: Last Light's post-apocalyptic appeal and handsome Russian mutants. Benyon's thoughts eventually expanded to a criticism of the rut he believes the FPS genre has wallowed in for years. Specifically, he calls out Call of Duty's rinse-repeat military formula for "stamping out" other creative shooter ideas.