Wednesday, January 12, 2011

200 Followers! What's Your All-Time Favorite Call of Duty Game?

Hey Bloggers! In honor of hitting the benchmark of 200 followers, I think it's finally time to ask You, "Which Call of Duty installment did you enjoy the most?" Personally, I've put many hours into them all, accordingly I'll be providing you with a brief, videoesque blog entry of each chapter from the Original that began the revolution, all the way to what you may currently be playing: Black Ops. Lets get started!

 Ah, the game that started it all: Call of Duty. The first Medal of Honor installment was released November 11, 1999. Four long years later, this masterpiece was released to the world. Perhaps inspired by the successes of the MoH series, CoD 1 established the franchise with a spectacular single player campaign and addicting multiplayer, taking the first step in embedding Call of Duty into the history books of gaming. How could anyone forget the timeless map, mp_harbor?

Next up, the successor to the original FPS smash hit: Call of Duty 2. Giving gamers a fresh campaign and shiny new set of multiplayer maps, CoD 2 shortly became the new, preferred fan favorite. With clear graphical improvements and overall added polish, it seemed the Call of Duty franchise had nowhere to go but up.

Enter Call of Duty 3. Hated by the PC community for its console exclusivity, yet praised by the console fanatics for its superiority over both of its predecessors, the public reception of CoD 3 varied, and was undoubtedly torn. Blessed with an enjoyable campaign and yet another consuming multiplayer experience, many seemed to have no quarrel with the third installment. Adding vehicles much larger maps into the MP fray, CoD 3 retained its popularity and continued to expand its audience. However, was the series being silently eclipsed by DICE's multiplayer masterpiece, the "complete MP experience unlike anything before," know as Battlefield 2? Maybe, but what we do know is that with the next CoD chapter would change the face of the franchise, for better or for worse...

 Modern Warfare.  That's right folks, World War 2 became old news for the moment in the FPS realm. It was all about perks, hardcore sniping and modernity. Whether you liked it or not, Modern Warfare received critical acclaim across the board, as well as numerous gaming awards from web sites and popular publication sources. Infinity Ward brought back CoD with a fantastic modern flare, one that would plant the seeds for a future of great consternation and success.
There is no doubt that World at War was a great game, but was it excellent? Many seem to say No. Staged in the Pacific Theatre, it was another welcome change from Nazi Germany, but was criticized for not expanding upon the phenomenal success that was Modern Warfare. With WaW, zombies became a staple, and almost synonymous with the title. With the addicting game mode of Nazi Zombies as well as the multiplayer variant, the ever popular "ZombieX Mod," there were many game types to choose from. While the game was generally applauded, it lacked certain qualities which would merit a standing ovation. But with the next CoD show, the audience would soon be standing on their feet in applause.

Certainly the cause of countless prepubescent tantrums, page long forum rants and millions of rage quits, Modern Warfare 2 is perhaps the most controversial FPS of all time. Praised by many, but condemned by an equal amount, vilified by professional reviers, but heartlessly bashed by many other critics, it's difficult to develop an opinion on the game unless you've truly play it yourself. Variety of weapons, weapon attachments, killstreak rewards, perks and name tag achievement have either engrossed the gamer, or beset him/her with a plague of inscrutable anger. Love it or hate it, MW2 has been, and continues to be a Call of Duty installment that has branded its mark on the industry.

Last but not least: Black Ops.
My personal favorite you ask? 
What Calls you to Duty?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Modern Combat "Cliche's," Level Design and Shit Ya' Just Can't Stand Anymore

Hey Bloggers. Let's mix up the pot a little and talk about the overall design of everyone's favorite FPS'. I'd like to kick off the discussion with an interesting graphic I stumbled upon, courtesy of

Now, after a welcoming chuckle, the first thought that ran through my mind after picking through this satirical compilation was: "Hey, Cracked may be the epitome of 'we did it for teh lolz,' but they've got a damn good point." As of late, most titles in the FPS genre all seem to be forged (moreover, recycled) from the same, basic mold. While the era, events and characters all may differ, the plot structure seems to be something we've tasted many a time before. Reaching into the cookie jar may always produce a fleeting sense of excitement and "I wonder what I'll get" type of adventure, but wouldn't you grow tired of always pulling out a choclocate-chip cookie? For some, the answer may be: "Love 'em the way they are and forever will," but others may complain, "I want something different.

In terms of recent level design - you may have my e-head for this - but I believe MW2 played all of the right cards. Remember the White House level? It's not in every FPS you're tasked to tactically (or not) shoot your way through a staple in American culture. Remember navigating suburban neighborhoods and what could be your local "Burger-Joint," all the while under fire from Russian combatants? It's dropping the player in familiar, almost every-day settings and scenes that truly deliver the "Wow..." factor to the gamer while playing through a single player campaign. However, spawning in these well-known locations isn't the only method by which to blow the players mind. Personally, the level scenarios I have pictured below fulfilled me with a genuine sense of awe, a wonder that can only be bestowed by an innovative game developer's imagination; which is thus imparted to the player.


I don't  know about you, but I'd never taken a personal tour through the inner depths of the Pentagon. Captivated me.

Another, in my opinion, absolutely amazing sequence.

There's certainly a lot to be said regarding today's genre of FPS', but is it all a matter of opinion? What we do know: sales don't lie folks. Some people may purchase COD installments solely for their multi-player components, but I sure has hell hoped for a rewarding single player experience and got just that. I know I'm not alone in that respect either. All I hope for is a D-Day beach landing to be created on a fantastic scale. But, I ask you, fellow gamer, what made older maps, such as "Chateau," so memorable?