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.

XBox One and PS4 – Are Exclusive Titles Still A Selling Point?

On the XBox 360 and PS3 there was the constant bombardment of exclusive titles like Gears of War, Halo and Forza versus Killzone, Resistance, Gran Turismo and for some sports gamers – MLB: The Show.  Now that the next generation of consoles have finally started to become more common in households around the world it is interesting to see that the focus has shifted away from the exclusive titles and more towards the features of the systems themselves.

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Snake isn’t limited to just Sony consoles these days. But some of his missions are exclusively on one console or the other.

Sure, there are games that XBox One and PS4 have exclusive agreements and rights for, but they aren’t exactly the same type of focus that we saw last generation.  While there are some gamers out there that will have certain games that they simply must have like the Halo or Killzone titles for each respective console… that time is changing.

One of the most obvious changes can be seen in the Metal Gear franchise.  Metal Gear has always been a Hideo Kojima/Konami production.  In saying that – it has also almost always been seen as a Sony Playstation title as well.  Now that they have announced Metal Gear Solid 5 is going to be multi-platform it seems that they are starting to realize that more console availability also means more sales overall.  This isn’t always a blessing as other content within the game will be exclusive to each console.  This is more annoying than anything as it drives many gamers to wonder why they bother spending more and more money on microtransactions.

With multi-platform releases like Call of Duty, Battlefield, Madden NFL and other titles that prefer mass marketing based on volume of sales rather than simply having an agreement with a certain company to release on a specific console.  The one caveat to this is when companies like EA and Activision make agreements (like they did with Microsoft) to release certain downloadable content (DLC) on one console before other another.  This is a practice that is rather insulting to users that buy a game like Battlefield 4 on PS3/4, XBox 360 and especially PC as well as purchasing the $50 ‘Premium’ service.  Primarily because they are being cheated out of content that is obviously available for XBox One users far earlier than anyone else that have purchased the same service for a different platform.

As we enter into a new era of gaming and an eventual move into a focus on digital content, it will be interesting to see how long exclusivity really plays a role in corporate gaming decision making.  As it stands, there are a lot of gamers that are sick of feeling cheated out of their money when it comes to ‘exclusive’ titles and other DLC not being available for whatever reason.

Gears of Boredom – Why Gears of War Judgment Isn’t Worth Your Time (or Money)

Once again, we are entering the realm of yet another sequel prequel.  The Gears of War saga has been one of the best selling franchises during this generation of consoles.  If you never played the series it can be best summed up as a cross between the 1980s movie Tremors, Predator and The Descent – with more blood, GOWTREMgore and chainsaw bayonets.

Epic Games and Microsoft did an amazing job of supporting the game with patches and developing it into one of the most compelling storylines in recent shooter-game history.  Much like the original Star Wars Trilogy was enough to keep fans satiated with what many consider to be the best cinematic story/opera of all time, it is being plagued with the corporate desire for profit rather than creativity and finality to a great story in the form of the godforsaken prequel. 

Quite a bit has changed at Epic since the conclusion of the Gears trilogy as well.  Primarily the departure of Cliff Bleszinski and other longtime members of the development team.  While it isn’t surprising that people come and go in the world of gaming and game development it isn’t exactly boding well for a series that has really lost a lot of its luster now that the story is over.  Not to mention the fact that the ‘improvements’ and tweaks being made to GoW Judgment seem to be cosmetic at best.

Looks more like a member of GWAR or the Legion of Doom than a Locust.
Looks more like a member of GWAR or the Legion of Doom than a Locust.

If you are a fanboy/girl of the series none of what has been mentioned will convince you to part with your favorite franchise.  It is one of the things that makes you what you are to corporate gaming studios – the dedicated lemmings that also populate the Call of Duty and Halo sales charts are the same… numbers on a graph.

This is why it isn’t surprising at all to see Epic pushing out one final (or first?) chapter of a game that has had a conclusion for awhile now.  They are coming up on the end of an entire generation of consoles; and there isn’t much time left before they start pursuing some sort of new blood-soaked trilogy that will impress us graphically, theatrically and monetarily.  It is almost a certainty that Epic will design some sort of new GoW-esque title for the next generation but that isn’t going to stop them from milking their cash cow one more time before laughing their way to the bank with the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.

Are Shooter Games Dead?

Now that the autumn rush for shooter games has come to a close and we are firmly in the doldrums of the gaming year there is a serious question that must be asked as we get closer to not only new consoles… but closer to the limit many gamers have for lacking creativity.

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Whether you are playing Call of Duty, Halo, Battlefield or even Gears of War.  You are most likely playing a game with a 2, 3 or 4 after the primary namesake.  This is a problem on many levels and the obvious issue stems from the idea of pumping out sequels more regularly than Hollywood can push out another Saw movie.  As for the other issues signifying the agonizingly slow death of shooter games – here are a few:

  1. Fans Are Getting Bored – The entertainment industry has one primary component to making money and that is paying customers who are actually interested in what is being offered.  Call of Duty was able to grab an entire generation of gamers with new styles of playing a shooter – primarily the online component.  Halo snagged the XBox crowd with a great story and then some of the most successful multiplayer experiences ever put on a console.  They still sell in the millions when release day comes, but gamers are slowly finding their way to other titles than the popular COD series especially.  This isn’t to say that the sales are bad for COD or Halo, but the idea that a cash cow will last forever does not make a lot of business sense.
  2. Desensitized – Killing people isn’t as fun or novel as it used to be.  We have witnessed so many tragedies on TV it is becoming rather difficult to surprise anyone.  Some thought that blood in Mortal Kombat was too much ‘violence’ but now, years later – MMA is being pumped up like the Roman gladiator battles.  We have had shootings at numerous schools over the last 14 years.  Why is it that within a few weeks… and sometimes days – we are already moving on to something else?  The answer is simple – we just aren’t shocked anymore. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 had a section where you shot up an airport full of civilians.  Black Ops 2 lets you butcher enemies with a machete.  We have fatalities in Mortal Kombat and execution moves in Gears of War.  Violence is old hat… it is expected and desired like someone’s morning coffee fix.
  3. Poor Parenting and Little Kids – When I reached adulthood and started paying bills I started to notice a few things had changed in terms of my view of the world.  The first was that I had become crotchety and easily annoyed by nonsense (which I think had been in my persona long before adulthood, FYI).  The second was that I couldn’t stand what I viewed to be a sudden change in parenting and discipline of children.  I will save you the ‘back in my day’ comments and leave it at this – if a game is for ages 17 and up, otherwise known as being rated M for ‘Mature’… your CHILD should not be playing it.  Not to mention, if they are on a microphone talking to other gamers around the world – you might want to listen to the language they are hearing and using outside of the game sounds and in their headset.

You Can’t Teach Speed – Outsmarting Your Opponents

Whenever I talk to jaded gamers about playing games like Call of Duty, Halo or any other online shooter they usually tell me that the game is too fast.  While I agree that online First Person Shooters (FPS) are rather fast paced you also shouldn’t let this stop you from playing the games you’d like to enjoy.  As we get older we tend to lose a lot of our quick ‘twitch’ reflexes (especially in gaming).  Look at athletes or any other person that relies on their physical abilities early in their career only to have to switch to a more cerebral approach later on.

For those of you that don’t have the ‘reaction time’ for some of your favorite games, it might be time to come to terms with the fact that you are ageing.  It sounds almost comical from a gaming perspective but really there are many more tactics and strategies that can help your performance than the twitch reflexes you have lost (or never had).

Plan Your Movements

Even if you have to think about your movements in a calculated manner for each match you are probably thinking more than any of your other opponents and therefore – gaining an advantage.  It isn’t that someone with fast reflexes doesn’t think but they tend to operate in a more instinctive fashion.  The benefit you gain from planning out your attacks is that you actually work out multiple potential problems as you advance.  A prime example of this can be found in the following clip from the movie Sherlock Holmes –

Know Your Speed and Stick To It

Nothing can screw up your gaming ability more than playing out of your element.  If you have an opponent in Madden that prefers to play a no huddle offense and leave you grasping for time outs or hopeful incomplete passes you shouldn’t stoop to their level when you get the ball.  Slow the game down, take your time with every snap and adjustment (we will have a full feature on how to do all these things in Madden 13 over the next week).

Always make it your mission to play ‘your’ game.  It is vital for you to take every opportunity to make your opponent think and sometimes overthink everything they are doing.

When playing a game like Call of Duty there are often only two types of players in a team deathmatch setting:  Campers and Rushers.  Campers hate to be forced out of their favorite spots and rushers hate having to stop and slow down to kill a well placed camper.  It is really the ultimate conundrum when it comes to gaming and it can provide you with the ability to create a third type of COD player… a hybrid of camper and rusher.  We will call it a Cramper.

One of the videos I posted back in April shows you the best of both worlds –

Need Some Help Developing Your Gaming Identity or Game Speed?

NoobTubeTV recently started offering Game Training sessions for your convenience just a few weeks ago.  For many people out there the gaming world can be a rather unnerving place if you are new to the online realm especially.  We offer a professional, courteous, patient and friendly atmosphere where you can develop your skills and find your desired level of gaming.  For more information on our Game Training sessions, please visit the NTTV Game Training page.

Is Halo 4 The Dark Horse of FPS Games This Year?

Surprisingly, Halo 4 has managed to sneak up on many gamers this year.  It could be a case of the series being over-produced and pushed to its creative limit.  It could also be a situation where people have pretty much had their fill with Halo and the expected gameplay that has become synonymous with the Halo series.

Master Chief is poised to lay the smack down with some black ops of his own… Call of Duty is probably going to respond with nazi zombies… from space.

With 343 (the studio behind some of Halo: Reach’s multiplayer content) pushing out the latest title you should know to expect similar gameplay.  Outside of that, you will have a lot of new possibilities that make Halo fresh.

This iteration of Halo allows you to pick your weapon load-out much like Call of Duty or Battlefield, however there are other tweaks that make it a more unique game than than the typical – Hey, lets go shoot the other team and rank up so we can prestige and call people noobs type of experience you see on Call of Duty quite often.

Halo 4 is also going to also allow you to sprint and play the game in a faster fashion than other Halo titles previously.  It seems that playing a faster paced game is more important to the growing base of gamers than playing a more cerebral game that is slightly longer.  This said, you can probably recall many Team Slayer matches that actually lasted until the final minute and they weren’t  even close enough to call them good matches – they were just slow.  That should hopefully change for the better with these new additions.

War Games is the new addition to multi-player that will essentially put gamers onto a ship – the UNSC Infinity that will allow gamers to experience a new type and form of multiplayer that features smoother gameplay and better lighting.  Not to mention the new concept of teamwork and playing through endless scenarios with new ways to earn power-ups and develop your Halo 4 experience.  Stay tuned to NoobTubeTV for more Halo 4 updates and other news as we enter the busiest part of the gaming year!  Don’t be afraid to pre-order Halo 4 either – we are providing a link below so you can join the experience on November 6!

Becoming A Better Gamer – Your Introduction To A Summer of Gaming

A lot of people have extra time to play video games in the summer.  Whether you or your kids are on summer vacation or if it is just a rainy day, you should look at each opportunity to game as a chance to get better at your past-time.

There are a few things you can do to increase your skills without making it too much of a chore –

  1. Track The Amount of Time You Spend On Each Game – One thing people tend to forget is they play the games they enjoy and once you can determine your 3 to 5 most played games it will be much easier to prioritize your skill building through this practice.
  2. Use Different Techniques and Strategies – You have to make sure that you don’t depend on any one technique, strategy or tactic when playing any game (especially online multiplayer).  In Modern Warfare 3 you should make it your mission to master at least four to six different primary weapons.  If at some point you run out of ammunition and you pick up a new weapon like the MK14 it would be a good idea to learn how to handle it.
  3. Exercise – Get outside and move your body, sweat and listen to your favorite music.  One of the things people don’t realize is that the more you sit in front of your TV the lazier your body and mind become.  It is vital for everyone to get themselves into decent shape anyway, but if you work out you will notice a marked improvement in your gaming, decision making and reflexes.

What are some of the things you like to do to build your skills in gaming?  Hit us up in the comments below!

Is Battlefield 3 The Swan Song for EA’s First Person Shooters?

If you ask someone to name a current first person shooter chances are good you will get one of three or four responses.

  1. Call of Duty
  2. Halo
  3. Battlefield
  4. Borderlands, etc.

A question that has been coming to mind ever sense the poorly planned and even more poorly executed Battlefield Premium was unleashed to the world…

Is EA Dying a Slow Death In FPS Titles?

Who is really playing this game or any EA First Person Shooter (FPS) regularly at this point?

There is always the contingent of Battlefield elitists out there that believe (sometimes correctly) that Battlefield is superior to Call of Duty or Halo.  However, numbers don’t lie… and that could be what ends up bringing down Battlefield and perhaps EA’s FPS credibility.  If you look at the ratings last released by Larry Hryb (Major Nelson) that show the most activity on XBox Live for specific games it should make you skeptical about the longevity of Battlefield and certainly the next Medal of Honor game.

It isn’t really a question of if Battlefield is a good game (it is a great game) but a question of where it is going to go from here for a game that hasn’t really found a place outside of their niche group of dedicated community members like one of our subscribers The Masked Guard.  Will we get to a point where EA can overtake the juggernaut that is Call of Duty?  If they hope to make any strides in their FPS marketability they should make an effort to develop a game that isn’t devoted strictly to some sort of engine that hinges on blowing up buildings or terrain – especially in multiplayer.

The downfall of multiplayer in Battlefield goes beyond the growing amount of gamers that are playing it more like some sort of Call of Duty game with larger maps.  The reason Battlefield struggles to gain any real ground in the FPS race is because it lacks any real depth outside of leaderboards that mean virtually nothing.  Call of Duty and Halo have become more focused on individual gamers with the ability to modify and customize weapons, armor, insignias, etc.  Battlefield has fallen into some sort of in-between where they push for clans and teams but doesn’t really allow much outside of that.

Also, there is a big problem with their broken system of spawn points and spawn camping.  Bad Company 2 was terrible for this and BF3 has made few strides in making it any better.  If you are new to this game it could be very disconcerting to jump into a game where you get killed within your first ten steps every time you spawn.

What are you playing right now?  If it is Battlefield 3, please let us know how you feel about what is happening to the game from your perspective.  Are you looking forward to any FPS Titles?… are any of them from EA?

E3 Recap – Games To Keep An Eye On and Games To Give The Stink Eye

It was a great week for game fans of all ages last week, but that doesn’t mean that some announcements didn’t disappoint us.

There are some games that have great demos out there right now and there are also some games that shouldn’t have demos (because they are that terrible).

Keep and Eye On:

Spec Ops: The Line (Respawn Entertainment/2K) – This game plays smoothly and feels like a modern military version of Gears of War (executions and all).  In playing the demo there is something left to be desired from gameplay that seems slightly uninspired.  There isn’t a lot of holding your breath in worry that an army of baddies is coming to put you down.  However, the multiplayer gameplay looks like it could prove to be enjoyable, if not at least something different from Call of Duty’s first person syndication every year.

 

 

Madden 13 (EA Sports) – Finally, Madden has come out of the E3 gates with something to talk about other than their yearly subjective roster update.  Real-time physics, connected careers and a new XP system of progressing your players in career modes is a breath of fresh air that every football gaming fan will appreciate.  There are some tuning issues they are still working on for much of connected careers (which is to be expected); but hopefully they can use the next month or so before the game goes ‘gold’ to fix these things.  Don’t expect perfection off the bat, but you should expect some new joy in how Madden actually plays this year.

 

 

Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Konami) – Finally, something playable was present at E3 and did it ever live up to the hopes and dreams of Metal Gear fans!  Raiden was a character that upset many of the Metal Gear ‘purists’ (elitists…myself included) but when Kojima decided to make Raiden into an awesome Cyborg Ninja from Hell in Metal Gear Solid 4?… I was convinced that Raiden was cool enough to be a desireable character.  At this point, MGSRR is looking more and more like Ninja Gaiden put into the shoes of Metal Gear and it looks amazing.

 

 

Hitman: Absolution (Square Enix) – One of the favorites to make people gush over the wonders of Agent 47’s ability to silently make enemies hunker down in fear.  This is proving to be a game that you should be very excited about.  The gameplay is solid and the story of Agent 47 is usually an intriguing one.  Let’s face it, Hitman is a game that really has its set of fanatics and then the rest of the gamers that want to get their fill of digital violence.  The beauty of Absolution is that it seems to have a better feel and look than Blood Money.  There is a fine line for the Hitman series to walk right now but it is avoiding our list of stink eye games… for now.

Give the Stink Eye To:

NCAA Football 13 (EA Sports) – Talk about giving a game a fresh coat of paint and sending it out for the user to beta test.  NCAA Football 12 was decent, but with major flaws on release day that weren’t patched for over a month and a half (player tendencies after re-naming rosters, etc.).  NCAA Football 13 changed throwing trajectories but didn’t implement real-time physics like Madden 13.  They have the same button schemes this year, but after that similarity NCAA falls to the field with a thud.  The menu interface hasn’t changed and the game doesn’t seem to look different at all.  The demo is out there for you to give it a try – but it could be a 1GB file you regret downloading in the first place.

 

 

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (Treyarch/Activision) – This series has been played out.  The fact that they are going to the year 2025 isn’t as impressive as some people want to make it out to be.  Not to mention the fact that they are ‘bringing back’ zombie mode.  What is going to be different from Black Ops or even Modern Warfare 3?  Nothing really.

You already know what to expect if you are a COD fan and that can be a good thing if you love COD games.  Black Ops 2 is like the third Transformers movie at this point –

All of the explosions, the hot girl that replaces another hot girl (albeit, with an accent) and our typical schlubs ‘heroes’ to save the world from bad foreigners (Insert xenophobia here) and you have yourself a “Brand New” Call of Duty Game.

Halo 4 (343/Microsoft) – Did you know that another Halo game was coming out?  Of course you did.   What better way to milk this cash cow of a franchise than to continue the saga of Master Chief from a ‘whole new perspective’?

Much like Call of Duty and even Gears of War, Halo 4 is a game that has many people excited because they worship the Halo universe and think Master Chief is the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Say what you want about the books and everything else… if you love Halo you will buy this game.  After that what is there?  One of the ‘features’ listed for this game on Amazon is telling –

The Master Chief returns to battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation. Humanity and the universe will never be the same again.”

If you pay attention to the last sentence of their description, it is one of the most hilarious marketing ploys ever.  Consider what has happened over the course of Halo, Halo 2 and then Halo 3.  Then consider what happened with Halo 3: ODST and then the prequel Halo: Reach.  It is something of a guess, but after 5 games that gave us a great trilogy a prequel and even the perspective of a different soldier (ODST) there isn’t much more to care about is there?

It is always a funny argument to hear when a Halo fanboy and a Call of Duty fanboy come into a game store or game department… or God forbid – forums.  Both sides love to present their game as being superior in some way shape or form.  However, in the end they are both arguing over something that they both share in… being duped into buying the same game every year or two.

Gears of War: Judgement (Epic/Microsoft) – Say what you want about the story of Gears of War, it was original and the voice acting was impressive all the way through.  However, the latest announcement is bringing up the same old argument we just made about Halo and Call of Duty.  The most insulting thing you can do to a gamer is try and squeeze out more money for a prequel.  George Lucas was able to fool some people into thinking the new Star Wars prequel trilogy would be worth the excitement.  However, in the end… people still prefer to go back and watch the movies that are now nearing 40 years in age.

This announcement of a new Gears of War game is exciting for people that enjoy the Gears story and gameplay.  Unfortunately, outside of that group of people there are many other gamers that would prefer to see something original come out and blow our minds.  Maybe this is the last Epic game that will grace the 360 before they move on and develop a new series for the XBox 720.  We can only hope that this game is a final conclusion… or pre-clusion?