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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Black Ops 2 and Aritificial Inaccuracy While Aiming Down Sight

One of the primary reasons I stopped playing Black Ops within a few months of release was due to the way they decided to make some weapons ‘inaccurate’.  The AK-47 is certainly an inaccurate weapon, however it shouldn’t mean that when you have your sights trained on an enemy that the rounds don’t fire straight out of the barrel.  This was one of the more annoying aspects of Black Ops as it seemed like every time I had my weapon aimed down sight directly on an enemy it would often result in a few missed shots.  It would be one thing if I was holding the trigger down on full auto but when firing in bursts and aiming low on the body in order to prevent recoil-misses and still miss shots on target – it takes away from the game drastically.

In Black Ops 2 we will be ‘flashing forward’ a bit as we start fighting in ‘The Near Future’.  There are a lot of things about Black Ops 2 that might make artificial inaccuracy a thing of the past for Treyarch.  The primary reasoning behind this assumption is that the weapons will be more aligned with those that we are currently using in Modern Warfare 3 or they will simply be more accurate weapons of the future.

We will keep you posted as details emerge but in the mean time we recommend that you start playing more Black Ops in order to get ready for Black Ops 2.  Treyarch seems to have a lot up their sleeve with this game and the online approach especially.

Happy Valentines Day to All Our Blood Stained Valentines Out There!

So, Valentine’s Day is this coming Tuesday.  It is in that spirit that I give you all an early gift of digital carnage.

Happy Hunting!

PS – Don’t forget to support your local florist and chocolate shop.  Unless you are a Noob without a sig other… In which case you are welcome to show us some love and donate. 🙂

Favorite Maps Make Your Old Games Worth Keeping

After skipping out on Call of Duty Elite I was feeling upset that I didn’t have the new maps that Infinity Ward released to the Elite Community.  After thinking about how dumb I would feel to pay $50 for two maps that are being kept from the rest of the lowly gamers out there that don’t want to continue to bend to the will of Activision’s new subscription service – I started thinking about some of the better maps I have played (DLC or not).

Modern Warfare has a habit of releasing older maps that people enjoyed (or at least they assume people enjoyed).  Some of my favorite maps from old Modern Warfare games haven’t made it into MW2 or MW3 yet.  The beauty of these maps are that they are on games that you can buy used for much less money than MW3.  Even if you have to buy map packs in order to play some of these, it will still be cheaper (and more enjoyable) than some of the maps in the newer game(s).

My favorite map from any Modern Warfare game has to be Broadcast –

No matter the game mode, this was the best of inside/outside maps on COD4

While some maps give you the ability to do one type of strategy over another, Broadcast really allowed people to post up and snipe from either the TV station or the buildings outside.  You could also run around and gun people down as you flank from the many doors and corridors inside and outside.

 

Another map from COD4 is Backlot

Run and Gun with all sorts of places to double back!

In Backlot, you need to master the art of grenades and stabbing to accompany your aiming skills for which-ever gun you prefer.  I loved this map because it allowed me to approach every match with a new tweak to my style of play.  New players find new ways to play maps and it was always a breath of fresh air to play this map because of that.

Modern Warfare 2 had its fair share of decent maps as well.  One of my favorites was one of the biggest maps in any COD game – Derail.

Snipers and sprinters reign supreme! Get a AC-130 and it is game over.

It is one of the most fun and frustrating maps you will ever play.  If you get into a bad run, it is really difficult to rebound… however, if you get a strong killstreak and find your ‘groove’ you will probably end up with 25+ kills.  This can be said for any map really, but I really found this map to allow me to run the huge landscape and sprint-stab my way to victory by simply out-flanking the opponents.

The last map I miss is Storm

Another DLC Map that was well worth the money.

I truly enjoyed this map when I downloaded it from the Stimulus Package DLC on MW2.  It is a big map with rain (it is titled ‘Storm‘ for a reason) and that is one of those things that really adds to the mood of a map.  Fighting in tropical or arid places is nice, but it isn’t a true depressing/scary warzone without some rain and lightning.  Not to mention the sniper/assault friendly layout gives a bit of leeway to people that prefer one over the other.

This post will be updated with gameplay from these maps to accompany the pictures.

If you are annoyed with having to wait until March to play the new maps on MW3, just go back and play the older games and enjoy some ‘new’ old maps!
Happy Hunting!

Gamer Etiquette and the Tragedy of Assumed Anonymity

In a world full of wonderful people that are pleasant and well-meaning there is always that one jerk that seems to poke his/her/its head out and ruin what might have been a great day.  The problem is that while this is a mere possibility in the everyday existence of humanity outside in what some people think of as the ‘real world’ it is a more than common occurrence in the world of online gaming.

Don't Go On A Rampage - Just Mute, Avoid and Report

The problem with this starts with the assumption that many people have once they go online – the assumption of anonymity.

You aren’t anonymous online and in the world of online gaming, you are surrounding yourself with a lot of socially maladjusted kids that have grown up on Sponge Bob and Crack (Mountain Dew).  So, when you start hearing that kid on your headset say something about your gamertag being gay or stupid just do the smart thing.  Mute, avoid and report the rugrat.

This also goes for any of the typical punks you come across – Mute, Avoid and Report. (Think Wash, Rinse, Repeat)

I will be posting some videos to show exactly how to do this as the week progresses.

Share your favorite interactions in our comments section!

My personal favorite so far was when I was teamed up with my friend Wonky Britches <—- Real Gamer Tag!!!!

and some guy’s (I am assuming a minority) trash talk was – “You’re just some white guys with good credit!!!!”

I am still trying to figure out if this was meant to offend us or simply imply that he admired our credit scores.  Either way, keep your language clean when you are online because all it takes to find out your name or other stuff is a simple google search of your gamertag.

Two New Battlefield Videos – How To Get a Jet and Sniping 101

Both of these take some time to learn, but you will be glad you did.

Happy Hunting!

Sniping a Jeep Jockey – Battlefield 3

When you play Battlefield 3 the first thing you will notice is that it is a fairly realistic game for the most part.  While it isn’t ARMA 2 – it is still a great game for some more ‘paced’ action than Call of Duty’s high octane, ADD/Arcade shooter modes.

The next thing most people notice is the presence of vehicles in Battlefield 3.  The vehicles are awesome and if you can master them you will be amazing at this game.  However, if you are driving a jeep or anything with open windows or ‘open air’ available to be shot through – you are a target.  Not only are you a target…

You are MY TARGET.  I love the recon class and DICE (the creator of Battlefield’s Online Mode) understand that snipers aren’t front lines warriors; they are laying low and taking sure shots that no one else really could.  In this case you see me as a recon class with an SV98 Sniper Rifle…

The video will walk you through how to snipe a jeep jockey and make what is difficult a little easier and more enjoyable… For snipers anyway.

Happy Hunting!