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My Brush With Call of Duty [GO]
Jun 6th, 2011 by Dan

cod black ops

So bro, I played this sick game Call of Duty this past weekend and it was totally awesome. There was, like, a free weekend, so I played the multiplayer and I told all my bros, “Hey brahs, put away the beer pong, quit taking bong hits, pop your collar, and let’s get our Call of Duty on!”

Oh man, that’s real tough to shake. I keep lapsing into bro-speak ever since I played the free trial weekend of BLOPS, as I like to call it. Frattiness aside, CoD actually wasn’t that bad. In fact, I’d rather play CoD than Halo and I’d say it’s almost as good or better than Counterstrike.

The crux of what makes CoD so good is its persistent leveling system. It’s shocking how long it took game design to find it, but it’s a dangerously addictive system. See, every match you play and good thing you do in a game unlocks perks, weapons, and other modes. These unlocks end up propelling a player forward and making him want to keep playing. “I’ll quit once I hit level 10” was something I started telling myself about four matches and before I even came close. It kept me playing and interested in unlocking new classes and the ability to make custom classes.

Call of Duty’s other benefit is the relative fragility and realism behind its characters. It’s still a little less realistic than, say, Counterstrike where you can easily go down from two bullets, but it’s up there with realistic military shooters. Halo annoys me because of how sturdy everyone is. Call of Duty almost annoys me with how fragile everyone is, but that just makes me want to play even better. Forget that health auto-regens and you’ve got a system that works great for me.

Will I buy BLOPS? Probably not. It’s too close to the next CoD for me to invest in the game, but I might actually consider getting the next one if I hear that multiplayer remains just as good. Don’t worry, I’ll still be me, even if I get a little fratty…and…totally sick, brah.

L4D League [PC/M$]
Dec 17th, 2008 by Dan

Today’s the first non-WMQ Wednesday, so I thought I’d ease us into it with a discussion about competitive gaming, since that’s closer to a sport than, say, a book review.

Online leagues are nothing new to the computer gaming space. For as long as we’ve been able to play over our 14.4 modems (or slower!) people have been fragging each other in Doom and Quake in leagues, continued doing so through the most popular competitive shooter, Counterstrike, and are even now forming clans and teams within Halo 3.

Why talk about a L4D league then if the topic is essentially not that new. The real question that people are asking and that no one’s sure about is whether or not the games played in versus are standard enough to be considered fair and viable in terms of ratings. The X-Factor comes in the form of the AI Director, whose evil knows no bounds. In all seriousness, if the AI Director gives the infected a Tank in just the right place, but doesn’t give it to the survivors on the next iteration in the same place, is the game considered broken from a competitive standpoint?

When my roommate and I were discussing this last night, I mentioned that sports, while supposedly fair were actually inherently unfair. Geographic advantages, weather advantages, home field advantages, they’re all intangibles that could favor one team or another. His counterpoint was that they were intangibles, but bad Tank spawning is a real, measurable thing that can be proved to favor one team over another.

In a sense, the debate is more or less rendered moot by the fact that leagues will spring up regardless. The true proof will be whether or not they exist years from now when the game is old news. I’ll keep you guys posted on any league progress if I happen to join one.

And now: PA comic about ZOMBIES! I’m just glad they’re of similar mind…

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