Posts Tagged ‘Modern Warfare 2’

Modern Warfare 3 – First Impressions

November 10, 2011

So, I preordered MW3 on Steam a while back. There’s an interesting story to that, which I may or may not get into later. To put it simply, I was going to go for the other big shooter, but didn’t want spyware on my PC and didn’t want to give money to a company that is so evil. So I bought MW3, and have been playing it since it came out. I’ve played through the entire campaign, but my online experience is limited to a single match, so keep that in mind. A surprising proportion of players simply buy the game for the multiplayer, which is very disappointing. In my opinion, the singleplayer campaign is the best part of the game.

I won’t spoil the plot, but I must say that it starts off feeling more like MW 2.5 than MW3. The game begins right on the heels of the second one, not several years later like the first one. As the plot progresses, it starts to separate a bit and feel more like a true sequel. If I didn’t know better, I’d think that they screwed up the ending of MW2 and had to tidy up the loose ends before moving on. Anyway, the campaign feels pretty good overall, and although it’s heavily scripted and extremely linear, that’s what makes it great. It feels like an interactive movie, almost, a cinematic ride through the theatres of war. It does that even better than the first two games, but seems a bit lacking and repetitive at times. We’ve done the AC-130 how many times now? I think it’s a good thing they’re ending here, because after the stuff they pulled in the second title, it’s kind of hard to top that.

And here’s the bad news- Modern Warfare 3 doesn’t really do it. There are some pretty epic moments, and the conclusion is amazing, but it just doesn’t do the shock and awe thing as well as the first two games. There’s lots of explosions, sure, but they don’t have any impact. However, in terms of Action Movie Quiet Drama Scene, MW3 has quite a few, and they are well done. I know I’m going to piss off a lot of people by saying this, but if you’re looking for video games as art, start with the Modern Warfare series. The visuals are stunning, not necessarily because of the quality but because of what they are. I’m a PC guy and can’t say for the console guys, but MW3 looks great. Yes, there are probably better looking games, but it’s well presented. The sound design is equally excellent, and really rounds out the game. This was Medal of Honor’s failing, if anyone remembers that.

Remember how I said that this feels like MW2.5? That is reflected most in the menus, which are nearly identical. Control configuration is much the same, and the graphics options seem to lock certain settings for some reason, forcing me to override from the nVidia control panel. The game closes and starts a different executable when you switch to multiplayer, which is very glaring especially for Steam users. The campaign completion meter is totally useless- it doesn’t measure how close you are to the end of the campaign but how many achievements you got, or how many intelligence briefcases, or something. I thought I was less than halfway through, when I was really almost done. Multiplayer-wise, at least the dedicated servers are back but as I said I didn’t really try it much.

At the risk of sounding like a Straw Feminist, I’m going to bitch about one last thing before I’m done. WHERE THE FUCK ARE THE WOMEN?! There was a pilot that you don’t see, some civilians that you barely notice, and a hostage. I am not joking. I could understand the first game, which was all about special forces, but still wish it didn’t have the sexist subliminal messaging. The second game was a serious mind screw. Yes, I know they are not allowed in American combat units. Are the lines really going to be that clear cut when your country is being invaded? The Russians are here, all men to the front lines! What the hell are you doing, I said all MEN! Go back and cower in the bunker. The situation is similar (though not exactly the same) in Modern Warfare 3.

Although the story arcs are definitely concluded, there are still loose ends after Modern Warfare 3. What’s going to happen in Russia? How is the Western world going to recover? What’s the story on Israel and the Middle East? What about Asia? There’s room for more here, but I don’t think Infinity Ward should do it. It would only be more of the same, and the horse is pretty tired now. Do Future Warfare. Embrace the near-future sci-fi shooter, and take the same cinematic approach. Walkers, powered armour, space combat, that sort of thing, but big and epic like the other Call of Duty games. We’ve had two Captain Prices, let’s have a third for some continuity. Make her a her this time.

Last but not least, did anyone notice that the Occupy Wall Street?

 

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Matchmaking (and other gaming pet peeves)

July 25, 2010

I love my dedicated servers. Sometimes they have a mod I like, the people are my skill level, I like the map, or maybe it’s just less laggy. I usually only play on a few; finding servers I like. I was totally unimpressed with MW2 because of the lack of servers. Matchmaking just sucks. It may be fine in the console world where people are used to having no control over anything, but it just doesn’t fly with PC gamers like me. It’s not as bad with Alien Swarm, since you can pick your map and it’s only four players, so it wouldn’t really work with servers. Red Alert 3 is nice in that it has both options, but very few people seem to bother with servers.

I’ve seen a lot of good and bad console ports. Am I the only one who thinks “rotate the left analog stick” on a PC game sounds incredibly stupid? Especially ones with crap control layouts that you can’t change. Features taken for granted in the PC world but nonexistant in the console world are missing. Like the ability to change resolution, for example. And the controls, since they are so awful. I guess bad ports are less stable and don’t perform well, but I haven’t really noticed it. Sometimes it’s just minor flaws, though, like over-large text sized for a TV, or controls the opposite of the predecessor (I’m looking at you, Mass Effect 2).

Finally, I’m seeing games mostly on DVD. For a while, it was insane. Some games needed four CDs! At that point, we were well into the sixth generation era where consoles were DVD based and almost every new PC was sold with a combo drive (CD-writer and DVD reader) at the least. I buy most of my games through Steam now, so it doesn’t matter as much for me.

Another archaic practice that seems to be going the way of the dinosaur is having to insert the disc to play. It’s a huge pain in the ass if you have as many games as I do, and pretty much unnecessary. I fail to see how it would do anything about piracy. You still need a disc, copied or legit. Sadly, we get SecuRom instead now.

This is m0re a wish than a complaint, but I wish network play was possible without purchasing two copies of a game. Remember how the old Command and Conquer games came with two discs, both of which could be used to play the game? Something like that. It wouldn’t work with digital distribution, though.

What’s with OnLive? Playing a game on a server? First, laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag. Second, HD video takes up a lot more bandwidth than playing online normally. Third, you have no control over your game files, which means your save could disappear and you can’t play mods. Lastly, I paid for this quad core and Radeon HD 4670, I’m damn well going to use them!

Two Free Trials

April 12, 2010

Last weekend Valve was offering a free trial of Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer. I also tried out the RUSE beta. I wasn’t impressed by one, but the other was pretty good. (more…)