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Recession Proof Gaming 6/13-19

Two stores have some pretty hot deals that we think are definitely worth your attention. If you have been putting off adding any of these titles to your collection, this may be as cheap as it gets for a while. Walmart, Best Buy and Toys R Us did not have any sales worth mentioning in their circulars this week, but K-Mart and Target have more than made up for it. Keep in mind, most stores do price matching, so if you can get your hands on a hard copy of either of these circulars, odds are you can score these deals if you don’t have a K-Mart or Target near you. Here we go:

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Backbreaker – $34.99

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – $39.99

BioShock – $14.99

BioShock 2 – $34.99

FIFA World Cup 2010 South Africa – $44.99

God of War 3 – $34.99

Heavy Rain – $34.99

Mass Effect 2 – $19.99

Skate 3 – $44.99

Uncharted 2: Among Thieves – $34.99

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Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – $37

Iron Man 2 – $37

MLB 2K10 – $37

Modern Warfare 2 – $49.99

Prince Of Persia: The Forgotten Sand – $37

Splinter Cell Conviction – $37

Split/Second – $37

13 June 2010 Uncategorized Read more

Game With Fame: Ozzy Freaking Osbourne

From the fine folks at XBox Live:

“The Godfather of Heavy Metal and the Prince of Darkness himself, Ozzy Osbourne along with son Jack Osbourne, will visit Xbox LIVE® to play Gold Members in Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 2. If you’re a Gold Member (if you’re not a Member, upgrade now!) join us Tuesday, June 8, starting at 4:00 P.M. ET and meet the legendary Ozzy Osbourne.

Who: Ozzy Osbourne
Date: Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Time: 4:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. ET/1:00 P.M. – 3:00 P.M. PT
Game: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Gamertags: Ozzy GwF

Find out about upcoming Game with Fame events here: http://www.xbox.com/gamewithfame

6 June 2010 Uncategorized Read more

Call Of Duty: Black Ops teaser trailer and screen grabs

Last night, Gametrailers TV debuted the new World Premier teaser trailer for the newly announced Call Of Duty: Black Ops on Spike TV. You can check it out here:

As per the usual from each Call Of Duty teaser trailer to date, the trailer itself is very mysterious and is meant to leave us all asking questions to try and piece it together. So what did you see in the trailer? Current rumor has the game taking place during the Cold War, and will see stops in Cuba, Vietnam and the Artic. I know I saw an SR-71 Blackbird at one point during the trailer, and what looked like a guy in a space suit. Interesting to say the least. I grabbed 14 screen shots of the trailer, so check them out and discuss:

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1 May 2010 Uncategorized Read more

Breaking down Activision vs. West/Zampella

It’s being called the “biggest breakup in video game history.” On March 1st, 2010, Infinity Ward co-heads Jason West and Vince Zampella found themselves on the outside looking in for the first time in the companies over nine year history. Their contracts had been terminated by Activision, the parent company and publisher of all Infinity Ward games. Rumors began to circulate on the details surrounding their departure, and so far it has read as what could have been a script right out of the next Modern Warfare video game. It’s the type of stuff that has kept people like Jerry Springer in business for years, and as is the case in many break-ups, this one has been messy to say the least.

On March 3rd, 2010, West and Zampella filed suit against Activision, implying “breach of contract,” “wrongful termination,” amongst other things. The 16 page document filed in Los Angeles Superior Court details the a laundry list of complaints against Activision, who they claim decided to terminate their contract in order to avoid paying royalties due for their part in developing the highest grossing video game in the history of ever: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. They charge that their lawsuit is a result of “astonishing arrogance and unbridled greed,”  and allege that Activision began a “sham” of an investigation on February 2nd, 2010. Describing their tactics as “Orwellian,” the lawsuit claims that the investigation “was not to uncover any facts of actual wrong-doing, but to manufacture a basis for which to fire West and Zampella.” There were a number of other historic details pertaining to the actual contractual agreement between Activision, West and Zampella, and I will delve a little further into that later on.

On April 8th, 2010, Activision filed their 23 page counter-complaint in the same Los Angeles Superior Court where they cited “breach of contract/memorandum of understanding” and “breach of fiduciary duty/duty of loyalty” as the main purposes for their counter-suit. The Activision suit brands West and Zampella as “insubordinate and self-serving schemers who attempted to hijack Activision’s assets for their own,” also ascertaining that the pair’s actions threatened the Call Of Duty franchise and the future of Infinity Ward.

WHOA.

The whole thing is a lot to take in, and there are a lot of key moments that both sides tend to agree on that need to be covered in order to understand where each side is coming from:

  1. In January of 2002, West and Zampella, along with 22 other developers that worked on Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault, formed Infinity Ward studios.
  2. On May 10th, 2002, Activision reached an agreement with Infinity Ward to purchase 30% of the company and publish the studios first game: Call Of Duty. Along with this deal came the option for Activision to purchase the remaining 70% at a later date.
  3. On October 23rd, 2003, Activision exercised their option to purchase the remaining 70% of Infinity Ward, making IW a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision.
  4. On November 1st, 2003, West and Zampella entered into exclusive contracts with Activision. West would serve as Chief Technology Officer, and Zampella would serve as Chief Creative Officer, both with Infinity Ward. The deal was for three years and would expire on October 31st, 2006. The deal gave Activision the option to extend the agreement by to separate, one year periods, which they did, pushing the expiration out to October 31st, 2008.
  5. An Amendment to their employment contract was signed on April 9th, 2008, extending their contract through October 31st, 2011.

This is where everything gets crazy. The amendment is referred to as a “Memorandum of Understanding,” and the two sides can’t seem to agree with what it all means. Activision cites a number of “Activision Employee Handbook” violations as it pertains to the actions of West and Zampella throughout their tenure with Infinity Ward, saying that they became increasingly difficult to work with over the course of their contracts. In their defense, West and Zampella maintain that their contract, along with the subsequent MOU, allowed them total creative control over the Infinity Ward studio as well as everything pertaining to their development of Call Of Duty and Modern Warfare branded games.

There is a lot of he-said, she-said throughout the 16 page suit and 23 page counter-suit, and it is tough to get a fair and accurate perception of what actually happened. From here on out, I plan on giving you my interpretation and opinion of what I took from those 39 pages of fun. Now I am not a lawyer, but I did play one on TV.

First, it is very clear that West and Zampella are owed a lot of money. In their suit, the cite California labor laws that are pretty indisputable. They also offer their opinion that Activision would rather pay their lawyers then their developers, and by terminating them just four weeks before their royalties would become due, it would force West and Zampella to take up legal counsel and fight for their money through the court system. This would potentially give Activision the ability to settle for a number south of the $36 million West and Zampella claim they are owed. Considering that Modern Warfare 2 alone has made over a billion dollars, I’d say that number seems about right. Semantics aside, I don’t think there is going to be any way that Activision can dispute that they owe these two a lot of money regardless of whether they were right in the termination of contracts.

West and Zampella also make a few claims based on the 2008 Memorandum of Understanding. The first is that they maintain creative control over all Call Of Duty and Modern Warfare branded video games that take play in an environment that is post-Vietnam through the present day or distant future.  Activision’s counter claim is said to include a redacted “true” copy of the agreement, but otherwise is not specific as to whether this is true or not. Their claim according to the MOU is that no game under either brand can be made without their expressed written consent regardless of whether they are currently under the employ of Activision. The second claim is that they would be allowed to run Infinity Ward independently and gave them the opportunity to develop other intellectual property upon the completion of Modern Warfare 2.

It basically breaks down like this: West and Zampella were tired of making Call Of Duty/Modern Warfare games and wanted to branch out. Activision was pressuring them to get going with Modern Warfare 2 and to have it ready by November of 2009 (which they did), and to make sure that happened, Activision essentially extended their contracts and threw a whole lot of money and creative control at West and Zampella. The pair had already had reservations about the schedule for release with previous titles and had also grown concerned with Activision taking their technology and using it in the creation of other non-Infinity Ward games released by Activision. This may be referring to Treyarch releases in the Call Of Duty franchise, but neither suit is specific.

Now I don’t know this to be fact, but I have an idea of how things went down after the release of Modern Warfare 2: Activision makes a crapload of money and wants Infinity Ward to get right to work on Modern Warfare 3, West and Zampella say “fuck you.” I really can’t imagine it happening any other way. The West/Zampella suit makes it very clear that they wanted to start a new project with Infinity Ward and I have no doubt in my mind that Activision wants Modern Warfare 3 to be out, like, yesterday. With Treyarch handling the 2010 Call Of Duty release (which I think we can confirm will be pre-Vietnam based on the details of this suit), I would imagine Activision had visions of Modern Warfare 3 dropping no later than November of 2011. Thus the two parties clashed for the next couple months, ultimately resulting in the termination of West and Zampella.

I have a couple issues with certain issues brought up by both parties, though. From the Activision point-of-view, I really have a hard time with their constant use of the word “insubordinate.” That is such a subjective word and so open for interpretation. Maybe West and Zampella became prima donnas and were difficult to work with, but knowing how the employee-employer relationship can be and knowing how dedicated these two seemed to be towards their “independent” studio, I can understand where they would put their foot down on a number of situations that Activision might not agree with. Would it truly be insubordinate if Activision asked them to make Modern Warfare 3 by a certain date and they said no? In my opinion, no, it would not, and the terms of the MOU seem to agree.

In Activision’s defense, and oh how it pains me to do it, West and Zampella hardly seem like angels. The “sham” of an investigation determined that the two had hired agents to “negotiate with third parties for their future financial arrangements” even though they both were under contract through the end of October 2011. It also claims that the two took a private jet to have a “secret meeting” with Activision’s “closest competitor,” who I think we can all safely assume is EA. They also accuse the duo of trying to make sure the Call Of Duty and Modern Warfare brands were only associated with Infinity Ward, and not Activision. It has since been pointed out by a number of websites that the Activision logo does not appear anywhere once you put Modern Warfare 2 in your system and press play, so that would lend credence towards the claim. The most damning complaint of them all is that West and Zampella withheld royalties from other employees of Infinity Ward in order to create discontent between these key employees and Activision in hopes that when the duo bounced on to their next project, that these employees would go with them, never minding the fact that the terms of their contracts included no compete clauses that stated they could not do so for three years upon departure from Activision.

Activision basically contends that it was the intention of West and Zampella to take the Infinity Ward studio with them wherever they went, along with the Call Of Duty and Modern Warfare brands. In their own suit, West and Zampella’s versions of history claim that they were a cash strapped start-up treading water, and Activision took advantage of the situation and strong-armed them into a deal that they needed to survive, with terms that proved to be favorable to Activision. That’s all well and good, but the problem I have with it is that they chose to sign the contract and they chose to take millions of dollars from Activision. When they left EA and formed their own studio, they knew that there would be challenges being independent. I am sure that over the years, West and Zampella grew frustrated that they did not receive the same value in compensation for what Infinity Ward would eventually be worth, but they ignore the simple fact that they may never have enjoyed this success had they not entered the original agreement with Activision.

So as far as I am concerned, they have no rights to the Infinity Ward studio. That is property of Activision and they were compensated duly. I also don’t think they get to keep the Call Of Duty or Modern Warfare brands. These brands were developed under the employment of Activision, for Activision and released by Activision. If a scientist working for Pfizer develops the cure for cancer, Pfizer owns the patent for the drug. That’s the way it works. It sucks, but that’s the way the ball bounces. I know that is not what people are going to want to hear, but that’s just the way it is.

Not coincidentally, as of today, April 12th, 2010, West and Zampella have announced the formation of their new studio, Respawn Entertainment, and surprise surprise, look who will be publishing their games: Electronic Arts. You know, the same EA that Activision was afraid the duo hopped on a jet plane to have a party with? In accordance to the MOU, my opinion is that West and Zampella don’t have a leg to stand on as far as taking Infinity Ward or either brand with them. Given the… spawning of Respawn Entertainment, I think they understand part of that. I still think they stand to at least make some money off future Call Of Duty or Modern Warfare releases because of the terms of the MOU, though. Maybe when this lawsuit ultimately settles out of court (which I am convinced is the destined outcome), there will be added compensation for the release of their final signoff rights. Read: more money in their pockets to move on.

I think when we everyone sits back to take it all in, West and Zampella are going to be better off now that Activision is out of their lives (lawsuit not withstanding). They are going to be able to create their new studio the way they wanted to seven years ago with financial freedom, and they will have complete and total ownership and control of everything they develop from here-on out. Unfortunately for fans, I don’t think that will include the names “Call Of Duty” or “Modern Warfare.” But I have a reality check for everyone, I also think that was going to happen one way or another, at least for the immediate future. Like I mentioned earlier, it looks as though West and Zampella were ready to try something new, and Modern Warfare was going to get put on the backburner.

What does this mean for the preeminent franchise in the video game industry today? Well, later this year, Treyarch will take their turn in releasing the seventh addition to the Call Of Duty franchise, and it sounds like it is going to take place sometime between Korea and Vietnam. After that? Who knows. For now, it seems like the Call Of Duty or Modern Warfare brand will skip Infinity Ward and move on to Sledgehammer Studios, which is head up by the development team that brought you Dead Space. Considering it has been established that both studios are likely to have the access to the Infinity Ward technology (engines?), I think the releases should at least be consistent with the first six games, at least from a gameplay perspective.

Regardless of all the dirty laundry that is included the 39 pages of lawsuit documents, I think the eventual outcome is pretty clear: Activision is going to have to pay West and Zampella a lot of money. It is legitimately that simple. I believe they were in clear violation of the California employment laws and that they knew things were not going to progress in a way that was conducive to Activision’s best interests, and they pulled the trigger hoping it would save them some dough. They put on a dog and pony show for their investigation and now will continue to try and stiff West and Zampella. Do they have the right to be pissed that these guys were actively planning their futures after Activision? Absolutely. But maybe it is time for Activision to take a good, hard look in the mirror at the way they conduct business. I don’t think there is legitimately a single person on the entire internet that is taking their side in this dispute, regardless of how much mud they sling in their lawsuit. And trust me, if you take the time to read all 23 pages, they definitely make West and Zampella sound like a couple of assholes. But last time I checked, being an asshole is not a crime. Because if it was, I’d probably be writing this article from behind bars… and you’d all be reading it there with me!

Stay turned to AnalogHype.com for more as this story develops. God knows it’s not going anywhere, any time soon…

13 April 2010 Editorials  Features Read more

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 review

Thank you DICE… thank you very much. You see, for once I was lost, and now… I am found. For the past two years, I have been suffering from “mapathy.” The same old maps, the same old glitchers, the same old drop shooters, the same camping spots, the same blood boiling, hair pulling, mindless, run-and-gun, pray –and-spray drivel that makes the Call Of Duty franchise so little fun. The fact is, I didn’t know any better. All my friends were playing it, I had never really been big into shooters, so I got strung along with the Call Of Duty pain train, and man did it hurt. But you know how it goes, you get sucked in. So now I’ve got all six games, and I’ve got my special edition Task Force 141 X-Box 360 and I might have lost years of my life from all the drinking I’ve endured because some god damn little kid thinks it is fun to lay down in one little spot for five minute until some unsuspecting dope turns the corner and blam, dead.

But you, DICE, you have saved me from future heartbreak. You see, you have created perfection in a box, and it is called Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and now… my life will never be the same. I really have no one to blame but myself. I have the first Bad Company, but I never really gave it the respect it deserved. I skipped multiplayer. Who does that? I have Battlefield 1943. I know how great your multiplayer is. I should have trusted you! So much pain and sorrow could have been averted. I promise I will never take you for granted again.

All dramatics aside, I’m really sick and tired of Modern Warfare 2. Even before the release of Bad Company 2, I had been looking for every reason not to play it. I’d love to sit here and say I am not going to turn this into a Call Of Duty vs. Battlefield article, but that is pretty hard to do when everything about the marketing of Bad Company 2 has been a direct shot across the bow of Modern Warfare 2. Even the head of DICE publisher EA, John Riccitiello , came out guns blazing, putting a bulls eye on the back of Activision and letting it be known they were coming for them. Talk is cheap in the gaming community, where big talk and broken promises have left many of us disappointed, disenchanted and down 60 bones. So it was up to DICE to deliver, and man, did they ever.

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One thing that DICE/EA did that Infinity Ward/Activision did not was open up a beta demo for everyone to try out. On January 10th, 2010, the Port Valdez map for the Rush mode was made available on PC, Playstation 3 and XBox 360. Maybe the fact that DICE had the balls to put it out there and let people try it out and find any holes is the reason they don’t have any known glitches and Modern Warfare 2 has a new one each week, but I digress. Like many others, I downloaded it, played a few rounds, and found myself extremely frustrated and discontent. As a matter of fact, I hated it, and vowed to never play it again. I was pissed off and told myself I was going to skip Bad Company 2 all together. I would later find out that this is a common side effect of the transition from the unrealistic combat style of Modern Warfare 2 into a the much more realistic fire fights on Bad Company 2. So a few weeks go by and suddenly it is the night before release. I’ve been watching the videos, I’ve read the message boards full of people telling me I was crazy, that this was going to be great and I need to give it a chance and I see Gamestop is offering some preorder bonuses and I cave. The next day, I picked it up and the rest is history.

I skipped the multiplayer in order to tackle the main campaign. Like I mentioned earlier, I own the first Bad Company, so I had a little bit of an idea as to what I was in for. I’d love to say the campaign picks up where the first Bad Company left off, but that is definitely not the case. As a matter of fact, the last we saw Sarge, Sweetwater, Haggard and Marlowe, they were standing in the middle of a port on the Caspian Sea with a crapload of gold. What happened? Where did it go? Why are they all of a sudden somewhere inside the Russian borders looking for some contraption related to some “Project Aurora?” I suppose the answer to these question aren’t entirely necessary, but I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t ask them anyway.

The game actually does not start off with our lovable band of losers, it starts off somewhere off the coast of Japan during World War II. The entire mission is explained through the story, so I will well game play give that to you, but I do want to point out just how amazing the visuals are. As a big fan of Battlefield 1943, this feels like it was meant to be the campaign mode it never had. I actually really hope they do delve further into World War II with another Battlefield title. I know it would be outstanding. I realize that there is a growing contingency of FPS fans that are growing weary of World War II era shooters, but I am certainly not one of them.

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Once completing the one-off, World War II era level, you find yourself back in the role of Private Preston Marlowe. We still don’t know how he screwed up and ended up in Bad Company, but he continues to be the strength of their operation none-the-less. Sarge is still talking about retirement, Haggard is still a dopey meathead and Sweetwater is still a dork. The commentary between these guys can border on the ridiculous and hilarious. Haggard and Sweetwater are not the brightest bulbs, and have a tendency to get into childish arguments.

The mission itself is pretty straight forward. You’re after some device that you’re told nothing about and you chase after it from Russia to Bolivia. Throw in a double cross, an ATV chase and a helicopter ride from a pacifist, and you get a campaign that will take 8-10 hours to run through. One word of advice would be to pick up every gun you see. Not only is there an achievement for finding a certain amount of guns, but you will have access to that weapon from that point on any time you find an ammo crate. You’ll learn to appreciate the ammo crate, because not only does it allow you to reload on ammo, but you can change out both weapons as well with anything you have found along the way.

One of my favorite features in the game is the destructible environment. In many other shooters, you can hide behind a wall for as long as you want to in order to regenerate life. That would not be the case here, as standing behind a wall too long during combat is likely to cause the wall to disappear. I can guarantee you will spend at least an hour walking around after killing all the enemies just shooting grenade and rocket launchers at buildings trying to knock them down. It is especially satisfying to get a Destruction 2.0 kill by destroying a house on top of an opponent in multi-player.

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I have one small critique about the campaign before I move on to multiplayer. I understand that they are gunning for Modern Warfare2, and I can even appreciate a quip or two, but the entire game kind of plays as a parody of Modern Warfare 2. Sweetwater makes a comment on the helicopter about “special ops guys with pussy heart beat monitors,” and then they make fun of the snowmobile chase while on ATV’s, but the entire mission itself sort of follows a similar pattern to both Modern Warfare games. Even the final mission is a jab at the “Mile High Club” achievement on Call Of Duty 4, where you have to beat the level on hard. The only difference between the two is that while Call Of Duty 4 is damn well near impossible to do it in the time limit, the “Airborne” level that you play to complete the game, on a plane, is insanely easy on any difficulty. It’s not that big of a deal, but it gets to a point where you’re kind of like “ok, I get it.”

There are four game modes available in multiplayer: Rush, Conquest, Squad Deathmatch and Squad Rush. Once you pick the mode you want to play, you are given the option to play as one of four classes: Assault, Engineer, Medic and Recon, with each class coming with a wide array of weapons and tools. The Assault class is full of your higher power assault rifles like the M16A2. You can add shotguns or grenade launchers to your rifle, and you also get the ability to resupply squad mates by dropping ammo. The Engineer class has the lighter machine guns like the SCAR and the UMP 45. You also get to choose between a rocket launcher or anti-tank mines (my personal favorite) and you get a repair tool that lets you fix damaged vehicles. The Medic class has the heavier machine guns like M60 and M249 SAW. The medic can drop health to wounded teammates and even has defibrillators to bring dead squadmates back to life. The final class is Recon, and this is your sniper class with the M95 and GOL sniper rifles. For extras, you get C4 or the ability to call in mortar strikes from afar. You can also spot enemies through your scope, essentially giving out the location of enemies to everyone else on your team. There is also a wide array of hand guns, shotguns and basic weaponry available to all classes.

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The four game modes are pretty straight forward. Squad Deathmatch pits four squads of four against each other in a race to 50 kills. Two squads are assigned to each team (US or Russian), but the first four man squad to 50 kills will be the winner. The maps are a little smaller here compared to the other game modes. Conquest is essentially like Domination on Modern Warfare 2. There are either three or four flag locations, with each team starting at a base on opposite sides of the map. You get points for capturing and defending the flag, but actually holding flags is non-essential to winning and losing the game. Each team is assigned a number of “tickets” (lives) at the start of the match, and the first team to exhaust all of their tickets loses. Holding the flag has its benefits, though, as you can spawn on each flag you hold instead of your home base. Rush is the most game mode for Bad Company 2. For Rush, you will either play as the attacker or the defender. There are six M-Com stations along this massive map, which is dived into three sections with two M-Coms at each station. The attackers must destroy both M-Com stations in order to move on to the next pair before their use up all of their tickets. The defenders kill everything in site while trying to prevent the destruction of either M-Com station. With both Rush and Conquest, each team can have up to 12 players. Squad Rush is a smaller variation of Rush, pitting two four man squads against each other.

Regardless of the game mode you play, there is one basic necessity that is going to make winning and losing much more attainable: TEAMWORK. Whether you are in a squad full of friends or a bunch of randoms from XBox Live, playing together as a group is essential. One advantage is spawn locations. If you are playing Conquest and the other team is holding all of the flags, you are going to be in a world of hurt if your teammates can’t get away from your home base, because the other squad is going to start attacking your home base. Likewise, if you are the attackers on Rush and die, you are going to hope one of your squad mates is closer to the battle and still alive, otherwise you will be forced all the way back to the beginning location, which can be difficult to advance from. Other benefits include resupplies, vehicle fixes, healing and revives. If you go loan wolf and end up on a squad full of snipers, it is going to be difficult to win. Maybe you’ll score a lot of points with long range kills, maybe you won’t, but sooner or later, it will catch up to you. Likewise, if you enjoy playing as the Assault class, it’s going to be hard playing with a bunch of snipers that are never near any of the objectives. You don’t have to have the most kills to help your team. There have been rounds where I’ve gotten four kills and 10 deaths, yet still been the round Ace by being a medic and doing revives and heals, or by being an engineer and fixing tanks and capturing flags.

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That maps in Bad Company 2 are massive. There is so much area to cover and it can take some getting used to. Like the campaign, just about everything in the environment can be destroyed. That means trees and buildings alike. Many of the maps have vehicles like tanks, helicopters, boats, ATV’s and jet skis. No matter how you approach the game, there is always a way to counter it, which generally makes every match you play pretty balanced. You also have the elements to deal with. On the snow maps, you will see snow squalls that impair your vision, and likewise on the desert maps with sand. Night maps can also provide visual difficulty because, well, it’s dark. This was one of the hardest adjustments I had to make in switching from Modern Warfare 2.

I think what DICE and Bad Company 2 have done with the multiplayer here is taught everyone in the industry how to do it right. I feel like every time I get killed in this game, it’s my fault. Sure, there are spots to camp and sure, there are plenty of people sitting back and not going for objectives, but it is nowhere near the level of Modern Warfare 2, where you will run into people that think they are awesome because they can get into a game of Headquarters and camp near the HQ and pick everyone off as they try to cap it. They don’t care about winning, just the amount of kills they get. That lone wolf mentality makes it hard to succeed in Bad Company 2. It can be done, but considering that instead watching how you died after you die you get to see who killed you and where they are, they are probably going to get what’s coming.

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Perhaps the best feature of them all is the lack of communication between opposing teams. This is very refreshing in that you don’t have to listen to the absolutely garbage that you do in any Call Of Duty game. I realize this type of behavior is not exclusive to Call Of Duty, that you also run into the same antics in Halo and a number of other games, but to not have to listen to the high pitched, pre-pubescent squeals from morons about what they plan on doing to your mother, or other racist and homophobic rants that simply have no place in society, it’s just refreshing. This is a game you can jump on and just play.  As a matter of fact, there aren’t that many people talking at all in Bad Company 2 in general, even though good communication can be the difference between winning and losing. I generally do not wear my headset if I am playing alone, but I have also been in games were there were eight of us in a party and on the same team. Guess what, we usually win, because we are constantly working together to achieve common goals.

That is not to say Bad Company 2 does not have its’ flaws. The server issues the first two weeks of release were inexcusable, though they seem to have been corrected at this point. There can also be some childish behavior when squad maters argue over the helicopters or start shooting tracer darts at people who are sniping, and nothing is worse than being in a game of Rush where just about the entire team is sniping. But as bad as it gets on Bad Company 2, it is nowhere near the level of madness that I have experienced in Modern Warfare 2. I feel like my blood pressure has shot down 50 points since making the switch.

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As far as my personal preference goes, I love playing as the Engineer kit. I rock out with a SCAR and anti-tank mines, and love seeing “destroyed vehicle” flash on the screen when I am nowhere near the action. I am one gun away in the Medic and Assault kit from having every gun in the game unlocked, and have a platinum star on my heavy vehicles and am a gold star 7 on my anti-tank mines.

At the end of the day, I feel like the folks at DICE have created the best multiplayer experience on the First Person Shooter market to date. I am very happy that I did not give up on this game after the demo, and I would definitely recommend people that have not played a Battlefield game before take their time and give Bad Company 2 a chance. Even though it is by far the superior product, I don’t think that will necessarily translate into the game play charts simply because it is almost too much for your average Modern Warfare 2 fanboy to handle. That’s right, I said it. This is easily the most realistic combat/warfare game on the market, and I think your average Modern Warfare 2 player is going to have a hard time wrapping their brain around everything that is going on. Even though I am sure DICE would like to pick up the extra sales, this is not a bad thing. Considering the way the campaign ended, along with the fact that Bad Company 2 was the highest selling title in March of 2010, I expect to see this franchise continue to grow. Until then, I’ll see everyone on the Battlefield.

Rating: 8.5/10

10 April 2010 Game Reviews Read more

Modern Warfare 2 – The Stimulus Package DLC Trailer

With all the heat Modern Warfare 2 received for the pricing of the Stimulus Package of course a HD trailer showing a preview of the 5 new multiplayer maps; Bailout, Storm, Salvage, Crash, and Overgrown would be in order. The maps look like a lot of fun and have a very modern look to it. Overgrown and Crash looks just the same, but lets hope those classic maps have some improvements done to them to fit into the new Modern Warfare 2. Check out the trailer and make the choice if you want to drop your hard earned money for it.

25 March 2010 Game Trailers  PlayStation 3  Xbox 360 Read more

Bad Company 2 Toss More F.R.A.G.S At Modern Warfare 2

You may have seen the controversial Modern Warfare 2 video promo “Fight Against Grenade Spam” video starring Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels. Infinity Ward claimed they didn’t realize the acronym spelled out  “fags”. The video was quickly taken down and an appology was issued. The guys over at DICE continue to throw dirt with the latest video featuring New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia to explain why grenade spam isn’t an issue in Bad Company 2. The video is hilarious check it out!

17 March 2010 Game Trailers  PC Gaming  PlayStation 3  Xbox 360 Read more

Modern Warfare 2 Map Pack Stimulus Package Not Very Stimulating

With all the drama between Infinity Ward and Activision, you may have forgotten about the Xbox 360 timed exclusive map packs. Coming out March 30th to the Xb0x 360, the Stimulus Package. This package contains five maps in total, two of the five are revamps of the first Modern Warfare. Here’s a breakdown of the maps.

Here are the map descriptions:

  • Bailout – a multi-level apartment complex
  • Storm – an open industrial park littered with heavy machinery
  • Salvage – a snowy junkyard fortified by stacked debris and crushed cars
  • Crash – a war-torn urban environment (CoD4)
  • Overgrown – features a massive dry creek bed (CoD4)

If that hasn’t stimulated you yet, check out the price. Activision has confirmed the pack will cost 1200 Microsoft points ($14.99). $15 for 5 maps and which 2 of them your already sick of playing from Modern Warfare. In fact the Stimulus Package isn’t that stimulating.

15 March 2010 PC Gaming  PlayStation 3  Xbox 360 Read more

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