The Intervention – When You Abandon Your Games

Every time a new game comes out I am faced with a weird sort of confrontation when I go to put the new case next to the other games/cases in my library.

It turns into some kind of intervention experience where games I have not yet completed get a chance to have a brief face to face (or case to face?) meeting with me.  With Mass Effect Andromeda coming out in the next few days I decided to make space on my PS4 hard drive and rearrange my games with the slight OCD that I typically have for my media.  It was at this moment I realized that I will have about eight months to play through some of the titles I own before Red Dead Redemption 2 comes out and makes me feel the same way I do right now.

Today I am going to do something I think a lot of gamers should do once they have a large library and consequently a decent amount of games they own that they have yet to complete (at least in regards to the single player experience).

I think the first thing that most should do is decide which games you have the most interest in actually playing through.  While this seems easy to do you shouldn’t forget that there is probably a reason you haven’t beaten these games yet.  For myself the first aspect is determining why I bothered buying a title to begin with. Did I buy the game for multiplayer or did I buy it for the story (and other quests, etc.) and which cost me the most money – yes, the financial aspect actually matters to me.  The other aspect is why I stopped playing through the game to begin with.  That actually comes into play in a bigger way that will be covered later.

My list of PS4 games I have yet to beat includes –

Dark Souls 3, Dragon Age Inquisition, Murdered – Soul Suspect, Dark Souls 2, Shadow of Mordor, Battlefield 1, Call of Duty Infinite Warfare.

Dark Souls 3 is a game that I decided to jump into because I had finally beaten Bloodborne.  The problem with this is the fact that I never played more than 20 minutes into another Souls game.  I somehow managed to beat a few bosses on Dark Souls 3 before getting stuck in some church area on the edge of a bog and a castle/fort.  The fact that I am inexperienced in the lore of this game is also something that eats at me.  I see so many references on the Dark Souls reddit page that I just don’t understand.  So many aspects of leveling weapons, wearing certain rings, doing all sorts of things that are a complete mystery to me and then make me feel like quitting before I start it back up.  I wish I could say I’d beat this game someday with any sort of confidence, but I really don’t know that I will have the patience needed to deal with beating the third game in a trilogy that I never experience the beginning or middle of in almost any real way.

Dragon Age is a game I that I never got into for whatever reason.  I think it’s primarily because every time I find the desire to play it there is a new game available in the same type of fantasy realm that is a bit less cumbersome.  I own Dragon Age Origins on my 360 and Inquisition on my PS4.  Both games were purchased pre-owned and for a rather cheap price (both were under $10 if memory serves correctly, maybe even closer to $5).  They were also both purchased around the time I was starting or finishing Skyrim, The Witcher 3, and Bloodborne.  Once I tried to play Dragon Age it felt like I was being punished or relegated to some sort of half-cocked in-between of The Witcher 3 and Skyrim. That doesn’t change the fact that I feel like I am missing out on a huge world and a hopefully big story from BioWare. 

Murdered – Soul Suspect was a game I bought for the hell of it.  I placed a $1.50 bid on eBay and won the game (with free shipping as well).  It was clearly an early PS4 release as the graphical presentation wasn’t much to brag about.  I did enjoy the concept of an original story and a game that tore at the edges of a new experience in storytelling.  The only problem was that I got stuck in a part of the game that became more annoying than it should have been.  Between possessing a cat and trying to avoid some sort of SquareSoft version of Harry Potter dementors I lost interest and the general desire to finish the game.

Dark Souls 2 was purchased mostly because I want to play through the games and join whatever club exists that allows us to reference the ‘sun bro’ with a wink and a nod (no, I don’t know what the Sun Bro stuff means… but I want to).  The biggest problem I have with Dark Souls 2 is that it feels so clunky and slow compared to Bloodborne and Dark Souls 3.  It really is as simple as that.  I find it hard to play through a game that is almost prohibitively difficult and when it isn’t enjoyable, it makes it all the less desireable.

Shadow of Mordor was a game that I had wanted for a long time.  My friend actually bought it for me on my 33rd birthday last year.  I played about 5-6 hours of the game before I realized that it was a Lord of the Rings version of Assassin’s Creed.  Actually, I realized that aspect early on in the game.  What took me a bit longer to decide was whether or not I cared to finish the story once I had started playing through.  The answer was a big fat ‘no’.  I will beat this game at some point, hopefully… I tend to feel that way about games and books bought for me by friends and family.  It is almost as if you owe them more than yourself.  But Shadow of Mordor is a game that will have to wait until after Dark Souls 2 and 3.  So, it might be awhile.

Battlefield 1 is a game I bought for the multiplayer.  Face it, EA DICE isn’t really known for putting together any sort of compelling story for their Battlefield series.  Bad Company was decent enough in some ways, but I can’t think of any reason other than trophies to play through the campaign of Battlefield.  Every time I start to play though any of the single player aspects of this game I feel like I am missing better opportunities to experience ‘Only In Battlefield’ moments… which is why I still own Battlefield 4 as well.

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare.  Seriously, if you played through Black Ops 3 and finished it without rolling your eyes off the top of your head… I would say you deserve a congratulatory pat on the back, but I really think you might need a hug.  I got Infinite Warfare Legacy Edition for two reasons… It was on sale for $40 (which $35 was covered by selling my Final Fantasy XV) and because I all but worshiped the Modern Warfare series.  The only reason Infinite Warfare is installed on my PS4 is because it is required to play Modern Warfare Remastered (talk about a desperate attempt at getting someone to play through another garbage single player experience in COD).  I would rather play through Modern Warfare Remastered’s single player campaign instead of Infinite Warfare – that should tell you how interested I am in their stupid attempt to be more like Halo that they ever should have.

Now that that is settled, I am somehow less interested in beating any of these games and more excited about Mass Effect – Andromeda. 

Which games in your library are on your list of ‘To Beat’?

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The Difference Between ‘Versus’ & ‘And’ – FPS Games

A few years ago EA/DICE released Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 as their preemptive attack on the hearts and minds of modern combat FPS gamers. This move was largely in response to the Call of Duty Modern Warfare regime breaking all sorts of sales records and taking a huge number of gamers hostage in their fast paced and crispy arcade-style shooter.

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That’s also where the similarities and battle between games stops in its tracks.

Battlefield 4 came out in late 2013 and still has a base of over 60,000 gamers across consoles and PC. Call of Duty releases a new game annually through one of three developers and they are widely considered the preeminent shooter when it comes to gaming these days. Where COD continues to try and freshen up a game with jump boosting and wall running, Battlefield continues to refine gameplay and tighten up on the stability of their online experience.

A lot of gamers jumped into the imaginary mosh pit of COD vs. BF a few years ago when the developers seemed to be at war. It was like they thought they had to choose sides. As time has passed and gamers grew into their habitats for shooter preference it became clear that these games weren’t at war directly from a gaming perspective. While they were certainly at war on the corporate end of EA vs. Activision they were on different planets otherwise.

Call of Duty has a more crisp feeling to its controls and handling. I compare it very much to Halo in this regard. You aren’t going to feel much recoil in the control or screen presentation – ever. It is also much like Halo, focused on maps that are largely centered on infantry based combat. Halo does have its fair share of vehicles, etc… and we will stop the mentions right there.

Battlefield has always felt slower and a bit more difficult to master when it came to aiming and firing weapons because almost every weapon felt different from recoil to carrying speed to aiming in general. Battlefield is closer to a simulation than Call of Duty will ever be. It isn’t a good or bad thing… it is just a fact.

That is why we are looking back to Battlefield 3/4 and now forward to Battlefield 5. It is my hope that Activision will release another crappy iteration of Ghosts and I will be able to save $60 to put towards the premium edition of Battlefield instead. This is because when it comes to
Battlefield and Call of Duty it will occasionally result in Battlefield versus a crappy COD game.

As for Battlefield Hardline, Medal of Honor War Fighter… etc… well, COD had my time and money during that time. Personally, I’m tired of booster jumping and wall running.

Granted… I’m also an OG when it comes to gaming, so maybe I should set aside my bias.

Yeah… nope.

Dear Call of Duty Modern Warfare – Please Come Back We Miss You

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I know some gamers out there would blow up every Call of Duty (COD) game in the world if they could. Personally, I can only think of a few I genuinely couldn’t stand (COD 3, World at War, Black Ops and Ghosts). I have enjoyed most of the other titles quite a bit. My favorites have always been the collection of the Modern Warfare Trilogy.

These titles were not only great campaigns (albeit a bit predictable) but they had hands down, the best multiplayer experiences I ever had in a COD game. The maps were usually well designed with the occasional spawn camping nightmares that would see me rage quit pretty fast. Even with the spawning issues these titles held up well. My favorite part about the move into Modern Warfare (COD4) was that it introduced kill streaks. I loved the simple 3, 5, 7 system that made every map feel like there was potential to get a UAV, Air Strike and Helicopter. They were basic and didn’t typically overshadow the battling on the map between the players.

Eventually, we got to dive into MW2 and experience the best maps, the best weapons and some of the best kill streaks ever. The only aspect that seems negative in retrospect is the introduction of the tactical nuke on top of the growing trend if overpowered killstreaks. Don’t get me wrong… I loved the AC-130 and the Pavelow, but these were game-changers for the future of overpowered killstreaks.

Even with these gains I looked forward to MW3 and it didn’t disappoint, but it also didn’t impress me much on the map end of things. They seemed uninspired at best and the kill streaks felt stale.  This is something that seems to have become a habit and legacy issue of late… not to mention the weak campaigns over the last four games after MW3… and that doesn’t seem like a trend that will end any time soon.

I truly miss the smooth handling and true battles I felt like were possible on Modern Warfare before they started adding jump boosting and wall running. Now they are adding overpowered killstreaks to a game that doesn’t need any sort of additional reason to make Call of Duty into a caricature of itself. Be it the mini-tank or the robot soldier or the HATR that shows the location and movement of every opponent in real time… these are all overpowered and take away from what Call of Duty used to be back in Modern Warfare.

Maybe I am the curmudgeon of gaming and dream of yesteryear a bit too much. I don’t think that is the case. I truly believe it’s time for Call of Duty to go back to its roots. Make it a battle between players with weapons moving around maps. Take the AI out of it and bring back Modern Warfare.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Vs. Battlefield Hardline – Is The Battle Over Before It Begins?

Over the past couple years I have been eager to buy-in when it came to Battlefield over Call of Duty.

That has changed.

Say what you want about hating Call of Duty, but this rendering of Kevin Spacey alone made me want to buy the game months ago.
Say what you want about hating Call of Duty, but this rendering of Kevin Spacey alone made me want to buy the game months ago.

Now that Call of Duty has started to go in a direction that looks closer to Halo multiplayer gameplay than ever I have to give credit where credit is due.  They are at least going in a slightly different direction.  They have continued to tweak the perk system and showcase the same solid gameplay – albeit arcade(ish).  Is there bullet-drop?  No.  Then again, there aren’t many maps in the history of Call of Duty that would really need to account for that type of simulation.  Then again, you should know that going into the annual release of this title.

If you consider the fact that Call of Duty has been able to consistently deliver a blockbuster movie quality story mode since the release of COD4 in 2007 – there aren’t many shooter games that compare.  Advanced Warfare looks like it will continue this amazing success with the inclusion of Kevin Spacey as the primary antagonist.  As much as I wanted to hate on this game after the disappointment that was Ghosts, I have to admit – Advanced Warfare has made me a believer.

On the other hand, Battlefield Hardline has lost me.  I have been a huge fan of Battlefield since Bad Company 2 (especially the Vietnam Map Pack).  Battlefield 3 and 4 had me rather addicted to solid relative simulation gameplay (it really isn’t much different from Call of Duty if you are honest with yourself).  The problem with Battlefield is that it has become progressively worse in terms of single player campaign and server issues (especially at release).

What are the issues with Hardline?

First – they are trying to make this game feel like Rainbow 6 or Counterstrike.  The problem with that is that it is a game called BATTLEFIELD… not Battlezone or Battlebuilding.

Second – The idea that plastering the monicker of ‘Battlefield’ onto this game in order sell units is insulting – albeit, probably true.

Be honest – if this were called Medal of Honor – Hardline would you (or anyone else) buy it?  Hell no.

EA has pushed the Battlefield series to become more and more focused on online multiplayer rather than single player and that is fine and good.  However, we are now going into our third iteration of a Battlefield title that doesn’t pick up on the intriguing story of the guys in Bad Company.  You have to start wondering if Hardline is going to be another throw-away title like Medal of Honor – Advanced Warfighter.

The problem with that is they are now connecting the ‘Battlefield’ name with presumed failure – and that could spell the end for whatever they gained from a terrible year for Call of Duty with Ghosts in 2013/14.

I have bought in when it comes to Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.  So much so that I traded in Destiny towards the pre-order (that is a different discussion altogether).  Mark my words – Call of Duty Advanced Warfare is going to dominate FPS sales this fall and you are getting ready to see the fall of Battlefield as a respectable series.  I don’t wish COD to fall on it’s face, but I do wish Battlefield would actually return to the Bad Company storyline rather than another half-assed Medal of Honor game masquerading as a Battlefield title.

Titanfall – Will It Swing The Console Battle?

Now that we are only hours from the release of 360/XB1/PC exclusive Titanfall there are many in the gaming community that may be seeing this as the first launch of a next-Gen console missile strike of sorts.  Titanfall is developed by the former founders of Call of Duty’s Infinity Ward.  While this might already drive many to consider this game as some sort of ‘sci-fi/mech COD’ doesn’t  seem to veer from that as it is only for online multi-player action.

Titanfall is the first major post-launch console exclusive for next-gen systems.
Titanfall is the first major post-launch console exclusive for next-gen systems.

Titanfall is also coming out on XBox 360 as well as the newer XBox One.  This might be one of the more frustrating aspects for gamers that noticed a drastic drop in quality of development of games like Battlefield 4 when comparing console performance.  Titanfall has amazed many eager gamers with videos and other announcements that make this game something new in the shooter market.  It isn’t as if there has been a shortage of shooter games over the last eight years of 360/PS3.  Some have been stellar (COD, Halo, Battlefield and Gears of War).  Others have fallen flat (MAG, Frontlines, Unreal Tournament and the list goes on).

Now, on the eve of the first real battle of the next-gen console war we are getting ready to see if Titanfall will be a dramatic success or a colossal failure.

How Call of Duty and Battlefield Have Turned Off FPS Gamers

Over the last generation of console gaming we have seen a dramatic increase in online gaming.  The primary gain in this user-base has been in first person shooter (FPS) games like Call of Duty, Halo and Battlefield.  Call of Duty 4 seemed to fill a void for gamers that weren’t fans of Halo.  They wanted a shooter that was military based with more customization and depth in the online arena.  What COD4 brought to the table was a game that still ranks among my personal favorites in the series, surpassed only by Modern Warfare 2.

The biggest issue that started the downfall of Call of Duty was the annual release to the lemmings that can’t seem to get rid of their money fast enough.  Call of Duty has become the Madden of shooter games.  The one thing you are guaranteed with the annual online experience is the large population of gamers screaming obscenities in your ears.  While that isn’t the primary downside, it is one of the more common complaints when it comes to online gaming.  (This is even with the ability to mute players… it shouldn’t have to be an issue but it is often on the edge of infuriating to have to deal with such nonsense.)

After the relative annoying of gamers you are going to start seeing where Call of Duty is really starting to fall off.  It is actually in the repetitive nature of the game and how predictable every round will unfold.  Team Deathmatch is what it has always been – a hunt for the perfect camping spot or some sort of search for a bottleneck.  Domination is still the wonderful spawn-camping disaster it has always been.  Now there are numerous clans that seem to stalk the public lobbies and destroy players that are trying to enjoy some casual gaming.  It has become a self-destructive game in how it is constantly building itself to be dominated by people that dedicate obscene amounts of time to leveling up and figuring out every nuance to making the casual gamers rage quit and sell their games on eBay or even trade it for pennies at GameStop.

This isn’t to say that there aren’t talented gamers out there in every genre.  However, it seems that FPS games are starting to try and copy many aspects of Call of Duty because of the monetary success the game has seen every year since COD4 was released.  This isn’t a good thing for gamers that would like to have something that feels and plays different from COD titles.  Battlefield was once that bastion of hope that FPS fans could look to when thinking about the shortcomings of Call of Duty.  The problem is that with maps like Operation Metro (BF3) and Operation Locker (BF4) it seems as if EA/DICE is trying to emulate Call of Duty in death-fests that are less tactical and more deathmatch-like.  While these are relatively small segments of the map population it is discouraging to feel like you can’t escape this apparent necessity of slaughterhouse maps in a game that many purchase as an escape from that.

We have been fortunate to see many gains made in graphics and even physics (at times).  However, the common devolution of
almost every game ends up turning the shooter game into some sort of Call of Duty-esque bloodbath of reflex/twitch-based shooting.  It starting to become wash, rinse, repeat with shooter games – especially online shooter games.

Where do you stand?  Are you ready to move on from FPS online gaming… or maybe from FPS gaming altogether?

Battlefield 4 – Choosing Your Class

It is that time of year again; when the first person shooters (FPS) games come out of the woodwork just in time for you to add them to your Christmas list or kill people while eating Halloween candy and drinking energy drinks.  Maybe it is now a Thanksgiving tradition at this point for some people to chase killstreaks over left-over turkey and stuffing when Turkey Day rolls around.

Either way you slice it, it is time to play some Battlefield 4 this weekend before Call of Duty Ghosts tries to take your attention on November 5.  The best part about Battlefield is that you get to assume the role of a class rather than simply choosing weapons in Call of Duty.  Sure, COD has its own twist on this, but right now the focus is on BF4.

classes BF3_Assault_Icon  Assault  – This isn’t just some wimpy ‘Medic Class’.  You have the power to revive teammates if they are downed in the field, sure.  You also start out with the ability to throw first-aid packs to bring up the health of yourself or teammates if they are getting hti by enemy fire.  However, you are also equipped with a slew of weapons that can kick some ass in the process.  Don’t think that the ability to revive teammates is your specialty, you can also have (by default, I might add) a grenade launcher as a secondary weapon instead of a defibrillator. Depending on the map and your play-style – this might be one of the most popular classes early in the BF4 play-cycle.

BF3_Engineer_Icon  Engineer – This class isn’t just some sort of ‘Repair Man’ ability for teams that use vehicles.  You are also in the business of destroying tanks, shooting down helicopters and sure, on occasion – fixing your team’s vehicles.  The nice part about this class is that you get to build up from having a simple rocket launcher to do damage to enemy vehicles to having laser guided rockets and even the often overlooked anti-tank mines.

BF3_Support_Icon  Support – One of the classes that is most useful if you are in a squad that communicates.  The support class is best used with an engineer when trying to deal with enemy vehicles such as helicopters, jets and tanks.  Why?  Simply put, it is easy for an engineer to run out of ammo (rockets, etc) to deal with vehicles.  However, if you are there as a support class you can re-up their arsenal and use any number of weapons to light up the enemies as they run for cover.  You start out with a heavy machine gun but eventually you will have the ability and choice to switch it up to something lighter.  All that said, this is the ultimate ‘team first, victory first’ class.

BF3_Recon_Icon  Recon – The most misunderstood class in Battlefield.  This is NOT a Call of Duty ‘quick scoping’ class.  This is a class designed around providing an eye from a distance and letting your teammates know where there are enemies and other important factors on the battlefield.  This doesn’t mean that you can’t kill enemies, it just means that you shouldn’t expect to end up with 30 kills every match if you are actually being a ‘recon’ class.  The nice change from Battlefield 3 is that this class isn’t without protection from heavy enemy vehicles.  You actually start with C4 as an auxiliary weapon that you can place on or around enemy vehicles to destroy or disable them.  Also, keep in mind that there is ‘bullet-drop’ and ‘gravity’ in Battlefield… this means that you have to aim above the head of an enemy if they are far away and you are trying to snipe them from a distance.

There will be much more to come in NoobTubeTV’s coverage of Battlefield 4.  Stay tuned to our YouTube Channel as well.

Happy Hunting