Modern Warfare 3 – impressions

This needs little introduction.  The biggest video game franchise in history, at least as far as sales go, and the widest played online multiplayer game in the world.  Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare franchise reinvigorated the Call Of Duty brand, bringing into the modern-day and hitting us hard with total realism, glossed over with Michael Bay-like fireworks.  It’s the blockbuster of the video game world, and one of my favourite game series ever.

This time around you’re after a Russian terrorist who brings about World War 3, and you are sent in with your team to stop him.  This is a game filled with ‘oh my god’ moments of action and spectacle, with a globe-trotting storyline and production values that set it apart from almost any other game on the market.  Infinity Ward this time have teamed up with new developer Sledgehammer Games, and each mission and each fire fight feels like its been designed with absolute immersion and Hollywood-like excitement in mind.  I’m almost done with the single player campaign, and have experienced some amazing moments, none of which I will spoil for you, all I’ll say is … its brilliant, well crafted, and longer lasting that previous instalments.

Now onto the reason 90% of fans love this franchise … the multiplayer.  Again you have a variety of maps to play on, and a reward system that enables you to upgrade weapons and install new perks to help you in your quest for online supremacy.  Not much has changed from the well-honed formula of MW #1 & 2, but this time with new mode Kill Confirmed where you collect dog tags of your fallen foes to increase points for your team – it seems more addictive than ever.  As can be expected, the online lives or dies depending on the time you put into it and how good your reflexes are, but when ‘in the zone’ it can be an adrenaline-fueled joy, and one I will be returning to again and again.  Add to this modes like Spec Ops, Domination, Free-For-All and the classic Team Deathmatch, and this is one game that just keeps on giving.

Modern Warfare 3 is the best Call Of Duty yet, no question … and a flagship title regardless if your playing it on PC, Playstation 3 or XBOX 360.

Crysis 2 – final thoughts

I completed the single player campaign of this great game the other night, and apart from a few issues, I had a very satisfying experience.  It’s a good length game, clocking in at over 10 hours when playing on Veteran difficulty, and the locations and different story elements were all very impressive.  Less impressive was some rather annoying bugs, glitches and inconsistent enemy A.I. which did take me out of the game from time to time.  Enemies would get stuck in scenery, or just plain disappear, and other times the sound would act all weird and you were unable to hear your gun firing etc, and the otherwise stunning graphics suffered from very noticeable texture pop-in throughout.  But these were not game-breaking issues at all, and it kept me coming back day after day.  The enemy designs, especially the Ceth aliens were brilliant, and proved more than a match at times, especially the hulking ‘heavy’ aliens and the big robot tripod things.  The set-pieces also were quite epic and well-realised giving the game a big-budget hollywood feel.

For an XBOX 360 game, it’s surely one of the top-tier titles in the looks department, and with impressive lighting, shadow, fire and particle effects, complete with (semi) distructable scenery, this can’t help put keep one’s jaw-dropped throughout.  The multiplayer, which I’ve had time to get into is very enjoyable if you keep on your toes, and with the added use of the nanosuite, it brings a different style of play compared to what you may be used to with the Call Of Duty games.  It may copy that franchise with the awards, unlockables etc but with the Cry Engine 3 behind it, it certainly looks a step up. 

If Crytek could patch the game in the future to sort out the glitches and enemy A.I. then this would easily rival Half-Life 2 for a ground-breaking First Person Shooter experience, but in its current form, whilst still very well made, it lacks the polish to allow it to stand alongside the greats.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops impressions

Easily one of the most anticipated games of 2010, and arguably more hyped than the controversy engulfed Medal Of Honor reboot, this latest installment in the acclaimed Call Of Duty series comes from development studio Treyarch, that much maligned group of programmers that aren’t the franchises founder Infinity Ward.

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It’s my birthday!!

Today I reached the grand old age of 35!  Yes, 35 years on this planet, 35 years of me and my funny little ways and geeky hobbies.  Well today is also Remembrance Sunday, where we remember all those that fort and lost their lives in the various conflicts the world over.  It’s also Prince Charles’ birthday!  All in all, good company to keep on this day, I think!

I had money off friends in work, had happy birthday sang to me both on Friday and today, and have two cakes to eat (although the one from work is now fully digested!!).  Presents-wise, I had the autobiography of Simon Pegg, which considering I don’t read all that often, promise myself to actually sit down and read!!  And a little game called Call Of Duty Black Ops, of which you’ll get the usual impressions soon.

Tonight I’m going to be watching the Blu-ray of Back To The Future #1, which will form another segment to my impending Back To The Future Trilogy review.  All in all, I good time will be had by all.

May I also take this time to thank any viewers and those that comment on this blog, as you are all valued and make the time I put into this, very worth while!

Bye for now.


Modern Warfare 2 – impressions

‘Spectacular’ is an easy word to throw around these days, but few times has it felt as justified as it does here.  Infinity Ward’s massively-hyped sequel to the award winning, fan-favourite first game, itself a re-invention of the celebrated Call of Duty franchise, arrives with the kind of anticipation only normally bestowed upon a Hollywood blockbuster.  But that’s exactly it … every part of this game, especially the finely tuned campaign is big-budget, glossy and packed with jaw-dropping set pieces.  Graphically its one of the finest games currently available with unprecedented detail in the environments, life-like animation from your fellow soldiers, the enemy and pedestrians, and a wealth of particle effects that enhance every explosion and burst of gunfire.  Add to this a sound design that raises your pulse to a ridiculously scary level, and the whole package is there – intense but amazing.  My only real gripe with the single player experience is the rather scatter-shot narrative, where you are globe-trotting from location to location, and their link to one another is often vague and under-explored.  Yet this is easy to ignore when every level seems so well crafted and filled with heart-in-mouth moments.  Yes it’s linear as hell (never a real gripe for me) and you’re always following someone, so exploring the environment is not only limited but often not even allowed.  The game falls into the same trappings of the whole franchise, where sometimes your squad mates are so good, they can nearly complete a level for you, but this is better disguised here compared to the last game, and the constant re-spawning of enemies until you press forward can get annoying, but is probably necessary to not make the game too easy.  Saying that I personally recommend playing it on ‘Hardened’ if you don’t want the campaign to be over in a weekend.

Now onto the multiplayer, and this is certainly the reason this game will stay in your collection for months.  It’s deep, more rewarding than before (a wealth of awards and achievements are handed out all the time to keep you playing even if you’re not getting that many kills) and the experience is customisable to a major degree, especially when you start unlocking the perks and new weapons, tailoring the game to your own taste.  This time around we also get an immersive ‘Spec-Ops’ mode which has you battling through various task based missions either single player or in 2 player co-op (!), and this is another reason to keep this game around well after the 8-10 hour story mode is finished.

So overall I’d say this is easily the best game released this year (which has been a bit underwhelming for us gamers, I think!), and has plenty of value for money.  I got the Hardened edition as previously reported, and this also comes with the original Call Of Duty, re-done in HD and on a console for the very first time – even more gameplay awaits!!