Call of Duty Black Ops 4 – Welcome Back Old Friend

Call of Duty – Black Ops 4 has brought me back to the franchise in a strong way.

I hadn’t planned on buying Black Ops 4 at all.  Not simply because the lack of a story mode (the last three iterations of Call of Duty games had some of the worst campaigns of the entire franchise).  I was holding back because I was skeptical when it came to how they would provide $60 of fun out of the box (or, digitally, in my case).

My first dive into the game was Blackout, the clone of Fortnite and PUBG in terms of open map Battle Royale.  I had played this mode in the beta only a month or so prior and was underwhelmed.  It felt like it was simply a sniper fest and it made me wonder if Treyarch would have the follow-through to support the game in a way that meant balancing some aspects.

They did.

Sniper rifles are still powerful weapons (rightfully so) but, they are also somewhat challenging to come across.  Then you have the task of finding a good scope for the weapon on top of all the other aspects you need to take care of – backpack, armor, ammunition, health packs, etc.  The best part about this is that it is all relatively enjoyable to do once you have played a few games of solo.  The real fun begins when you start to team up with other gamers.

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Blackout is at it’s best when you are playing as a team (both Duo and Quad are enjoyable in different ways).  Teams will live and die by communication and skill.  Develop a strategy before you deploy and execute that strategy once you land.  It seems simple when stated like that, but it can prove to be difficult if you have a team member that decides to go rogue Rambo.  I have played my fair share of matches in both Quads and nothing is more frustrating from the team angle than having someone that either doesn’t communicate on their microphone or simply goes out and tries to shoot at every enemy they see (most of the time, I have found that those that do one of these do both).

The most refreshing aspect of playing in Quad teams and Duos is you suddenly meet all sorts of friendly people that would probably be saying nasty things to you in other modes like Team Deathmatch and Domination.  At first, I was a bit worried about how the interactions would go, but I was more than pleasantly surprised when it came to how often I have had great teammates in terms of being generally easy to get along with – talk about a change from the norm that ends up being a great thing.

While I have had a great time with Blackout and will continue to play the mode it does leave a bit to be desired when it comes to customizing your character with the stock game.  Regular multi-player is a different beat altogether.  You get all of the weapon camo and appearance customization you want (whether you buy some or simply earn it through the natural progression of the game is up to you).  I’m not the type of gamer that lives and dies by getting diamond bling camo on my weapons.  I simply try to live and not die in the game.  I will take skill and victory over decoration any day of the week.  However, it is still a difference worth mentioning when it comes to Blackout vs. Multiplayer.

Multiplayer is still in need of some balancing when it comes to certain weapons.  My experience with assault rifles has been less than enjoyable most of the time.  It seems that the stopping power of assault rifles is on par with side-arms, making them more like longer range pistols than assault weapons.  The opposite can be said in general for pistols (oddly enough).  I have been one-shotted by more pistols from a long range than I care to number in Hardcore TDM.

The other aspect of frustration that seems to always exist is getting spawn camped by teams that know how to take advantage of relatively small or bottlenecked maps.  I have been killed within 2 seconds of spawning quite a few times.  More often than not, it will result in simply quitting out of the game rather than subjecting myself to going 3 and 17… that kind of Kill:Death ratio is quite frustrating to deal with as a noob, as a seasoned player – it’s ridiculous.  The other point of annoyance that seems to be a mainstay for COD is quick scoping.  It is back and annoying as ever.  Just go in to your games knowing that there will most likely be a sniper camping for you with a quick trigger finger ready to deliver rage quits.  My best advice for this is to learn each of the maps, find the sniping spots and learn how to flank or avoid them.  While I have experienced some of the YouTube montage clowns I have been happy to see that most of the snipers are at least using mid to long range attacks for the most part to this point.

The specialist abilities and kill streaks are quite a bit of fun to roll with this year.  I must say you will quickly come to despise Ajax and his shield as well as Prophet and his Roomba from hell.  There are some rather enjoyable experiences from these specialists that I didn’t typically appreciate back in Black Ops 3 as they do seem well balanced for a game that has always tended to breed exploiters that find any way to cheat to gain an edge.

If you were on the fence about buying Black Ops 4 (or if you were totally against it because of the last couple games) you might change your mind this time around.

Just remember that this game is primarily online multiplayer and there is no story mode/campaign.

If you need a new teammate in Blackout on the PS4, feel free to send me and invite at PSN = Outspoknpoet!

 

Happy Hunting!

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Call of Duty Ghosts – Coming November 5, 2013

Remember, remember the fifth of November
It’s COD season is it not?
I can think of no reason why COD season should ever be forgot.
You can start pre-ordering Call of Duty: Ghosts soon
You can start pre-ordering Call of Duty: Ghosts soon

Are you excited by the news of a new name for the Call of Duty series or are you convinced that it is merely a first person shooter version of Madden NFL?

Call of Duty Black Ops 2 – Multiplayer Impressions

If you weren’t among the millions of people that were waiting outside of your local gaming store last night at midnight – do not fret.  The Black Ops 2 multiplayer is something that isn’t going to surprise anyone that has played Call of Duty before.  The game handles just like the games of the past.  However, there are a few things outside of the ‘new’ score-streaks that make Black Ops 2 a bit different from other COD games.

The first Black Ops game suffered from major problems with lag and hit detection.  Black Ops 2 is noticeably better in this aspect because it seems to handle a bit smoother and simply feels more fluid when either aiming or simply moving around the map.  This doesn’t mean that everything is great and wonderful in the COD universe though.  Many things seem like they will never change and that is almost always the case with Call of Duty games.

Quick-Scoping Is Still There

Perhaps one of the most annoying aspects of Call of Duty games is the persistent presence of quick-scoping in the game that takes advantage of what feels like a more and more simplified shooter game.  Another issue that follows this is aim-assist, if a player walks past or near your cross hairs you can expect to see your weapon movie with them slightly.  This, once again is another reason for people that hate Call of Duty to stay away from it and play Battlefield 3 or Halo 4 (a fantastic accomplishment for 343 Industries).

Recoil Is Still Minimal

When aiming down sight you will notice that firing your weapon is still relatively simple to do without a lot of movement from the firing (recoil).  Some of the weapons (especially the MP7) are slightly more unstable than their Modern Warfare counter-parts, but that doesn’t mean they have a lot of recoil issues.  This is yet again another factor that many people simply don’t need to ask about.  Call of Duty has never had any issues or dedication to being a simulation experience.  This game is about jumping in and shooting up your enemies – everything else is out the window… including recoil.

Class Customization

This can either be the great equalizer or the worst part of a COD game.  If you look at the problems that were in MW2 (Danger Close with Scavenger coupled with RPGs and NoobTubes (grenade launchers)) you will see that the new approach to perks and class customization are going to be key in making your experience something that is not only all your own, but also something that is practical, tactical and effective.

We will be devoting the coming months to some of the newest games.  Christmas lists are starting to fill up with dreams of putting digital bullets through digital skulls in our favorite shooter games.  NoobTubeTV will be there all the way through to help you become a better and more informed gamer.
Happy Hunting

Prepping For Black Ops 2? – Dust Off The Original Black Ops


With Black Ops 2 coming out in November you will want to play the first one to get a feel for the guns and overall handling of Treyarch’s last iteration of COD.

Getting your eyes and fingers ready for an anticipated game doesn’t entail taking a long break from gaming.  If you are looking forward to games like Black Ops 2 you should start putting in some practice time with the predecessor.  In this case, you should take the opportunity to start playing some of the original Black Ops.

There are a few reasons for this approach –

Developers Usually Make Games ‘Handle’ Like Old Ones – Treyarch is the developer in charge of Black Ops 2 (as they were with the original Black Ops).  Playing Modern Warfare 3 will still help you quite a bit with Call of Duty’s speed and presentation.  However, you will notice that Black Ops has many nuances that make it rather difficult to shift between Modern Warfare (Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer) and the titles developed by Treyarch.  You will notice guns aim and even carry differently – pop in each game and start looking for those slight differences that could make a big difference in your ability to play Black Ops 2 more effectively on November 13.

Get Used To Game Speed – The difference in game speed between Treyarch and Infinity Ward is also something that is very slight, but it is something to take into consideration none-the-less.  You will notice that sprinting speed and even the aiming of weapons can be just a few fractions of a second different from one game to another.

Snipers…Be Warned – Treyarch is rumored to be removing aim-assist (at least from Sniper Rifles).  This will hopefully get rid of ‘quick-scoping’ as well as making sniping a more skillful art than some sort of carnival weapon.  Sniping is a major point of contention for a lot of first person shooter gamers.  However, when it comes to the difference between sniping in Treyarch and Infinity Ward games – it is one of the most vast differences in gun-play.

Zombies – They are coming back and lets be honest… half of the people that say they play Call of Duty: Black Ops at this point play it simply for the zombies.  Start getting your braaaaaains ready folks – Black Ops 2 is less than two months away!

Call of Duty Still Going Strong – Are You Surprised? Should You Wish Otherwise?

Call of Duty will never die if people keep playing it. The bottom line of any business is whether or not their product is selling or being used enough to keep them in business. In the case of the Call of Duty series, there is no doubt that the game is among the favorites of Xbox 360 gamers.

In Major Nelson’s recent update about the most played games on Xbox Live you will see four Call of Duty titles on the list of the Top 20. Modern Warfare 3, Black Ops (as people prep to play Black Ops 2), Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare are among the titles listed (which also includes the likes of Battlefield 3, FIFA 12, Minecraft, Madden NFL 12 and Magic The Gathering: Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012. This list shouldn’t tell you that games are necessarily ‘good‘ but that they are among the most popular to be played online.

The Call of Duty series is one that is being driven into the ground by its current publisher, Activision. Activision is notorious for taking titles to the point where people are just sick of them (see Guitar Hero). It isn’t that their games are bad or even that they aren’t fun. It is the fact that people get burnt out on spending $60+ on new games and add-ons every year. Guitar Hero (GH) even had a point where the guitars weren’t even compatible with every other game under the GH label. It was really a pathetic turn for the worst from a company that is becoming more and more synonymous with being more money hungry and brash rather than being a good developer of gaming goodness.

We don’t know what would happen if Call of Duty were to take a hiatus or even get to the point where it had simply played itself out; yet, we still look forward to the day when the series isn’t on the release list for November. There are some games that could use a break and Call of Duty is one of them.