Bungie has gone independent, parts ways with Activision Blizzard

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In a surprise announcement made today by Bungie, the company has confirmed their departure from underneath the Activision umbrella and will be moving on as an independent studio for the time being.

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Tony Hawk Confirms He’s No Longer Working with Activision

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After the mind-blowing success of the Tony Hawk Pro Skater series, it seemed with the last few titles that the relationship between Tony Hawk and Activision may not have been the best. As of today, it seems that the plausible rockiness between the two had finally escalated to the point that the pro skater and Activision have parted ways as confirmed by Tony Hawk himself.

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Review: Titanfall 2 – Where Titan’s Roam Free


Pros:
+Takes on the high-paced action of the first title while vastly improving on core mechanics
+PlayStation 4 Pro players will notice a huge increase in performance over standard PS4
+Titans carry their own unique personality, continuing on from the campaign, and bringing more depth to multiplayer.
+Controls are easy, fun, and fresh in an already established mech-filled genre
+Creating communities is easier than ever compared to the first Titanfall
+Insanely fun boss fights within the campaign

Cons:
Latency issues do appear from time-to-time on Xbox One and PlayStation 4
-Lack of maps can grow tiresome after a few days


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October last year is the first time I got my hands on the Xbox One and Titanfall. It was in a few hours that I’d found myself swept away by this game that offered a unique vision of the future. It took humanity beyond the stars, it took us to places unforeseen before in a very real vision, and offered us a story where humanity was falling apart at the seams.

Without proper intervention, it seemed humanity would begin falling apart as it stretched across the Milky Way while trying to ever expand, and move among the stars. However, the title that first launched was riddled with troubles due to its lack of campaign, a solid story, and replayability as it took on a very familiar Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare feel while combining the amazing things fans of MechWarrior had been experiencing for years on end without a hitch.

Just a few mere days ago, I found myself sitting in front of my Xbox One with a hot cup of coffee in hand, my free hand shaking as I took a sip, and within moments leaning back in my chair as if I’d just been through Hell and back. The truth was? I’d been through an experience that Titanfall hadn’t offered me the first time around. Even with all the ambition it promised from fluid player movement to massive ground battles while giant mechanized machines with their sentient A.I.’s moved across each map to assist their pilots. It’d been an astounding multiplayer experience, but it was only a fraction of what I had hoped it’d be from the former Call of Duty developers Jason West and Vince Zampella who delivered one of the most powerful campaigns ever with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which to many, is still the best of the games, and will continue being so for years on end.

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Want to be dizzy? This games idea of versatility in exploration may just make that happen.

However, they’ve managed to step past that in recent years as they managed to repair the Titanfall DLC and the games general mismanagement that led to players finding themselves despairingly stuck with a dying community. The damage had been done, but after two years, and a few months, I found myself once more sitting in front of the screen staring at a masterpiece, one that had managed to do everything the first game promised, but remarkably better. It offered a single player campaign, which stood out, created a universe that players can easily believe, it created villains that bled amazing honesty to them, but it also appealed to fans of Iron Giant with Jack Cooper, the main protagonist, and his several thousand pound friend B.T.

My adventure began in an earnest faction as many would imagine for a game that follows the sci-fi genre trope rather well. The game begins with players being thrust into a training simulation where Jack Cooper begins his training as a ground soldier, a man who wants to train to be a “Pilot” and become the best of the best. With a war unraveling before the frontier of space, the Frontier Militia have begun fighting back against the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation, and want to keep peace among the stars as the IMC seek to make money out of it. Our story, as you expect, is very face-forward with what it wishes to do.

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Our mentor dies, we are granted a promotion to pilot where we team up with our large and powerful Titan, a mech, named BT-7274, but prefers to go by BT for sure. Their objective is quite simple: Survival behind enemy lines. If you’ve ever wondered what Behind Enemy Lines looks like with Starship Troopers, Titanfall 2 does this quite well as players will find themselves fighting against man, machine, Titan, and even inhospitably vile creatures that would rather see them dead.

Much as you’d expect, the campaign starts out generic, unremarkable, and all so familiar as it is essentially Call of Duty, but with massive robots at first, but eventually finds itself easily trotting a distinctive line of emotional grasp that the writers would ascertain a sense of authenticity to their story. While many could easily compare it to Call of Duty, this title easily surpasses the likes of titles such as Advanced WarfareDOOM, and even Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in the sense of a genuine and believable story. It’s one that gives us a feel for what our futures could very well be like if we were to live long enough to see humanity stretch among the stars. Unlike id Software’s DOOM or Infinity Ward’s Advanced WarfareTitanfall 2 appeals to fans by offering an emotional depth, player control, and a very-real struggle of survival.

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It takes influences from multiple games and mashes them together quite well when it comes to its lightning fast movement that is easily comparable to Capcom’s title Vanquish, while borrowing its insane and enjoyable acrobatics from Lost Planetwhile managing to offer one of my favorite experiences from the smash sleeper hit Binary Domain. As one would imagine, Titanfall 2 borrows all of this quite well in order to help itself grow for both the fronts of campaign and multiplayer while working to evolve itself into something bigger, better, and stronger than before.

When players aren’t rushing towards an enemy with their CAR throwing out rounds, players can easily find themselves sliding after hitting the crouch button while turning their character to face the other way only to unleash bullets behind them, before finding themselves using a grappling hook to grab onto another enemy before unleashing a mighty-powerful bone-crunching blow that could easily send a man to his deathbed.

These type of combat scenarios are quite common in both campaign and multiplayer, which feel like extensions of one another, but without the annoying PvP aspect (campaign wise) to get a feel for the story. As one would expect, regardless of console of choice or PC, Titanfall 2’s controls aren’t just responsive – they are real, they are breathtakingly accurate, and they offer life-like animations that could leave fans drooling over their realism. They are fluid, they are what you’d expect if you had taken their spot, and with a vast array of weapons at your disposal, Titanfall 2 isn’t short of combat scenario variations.

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While combat outside of a titan is fun, the game offers one of its greatest experiences through its combat inside a lumbering hulk of a Titan. This is where the game changes from one experience into another. Much as expected, the Titan vs Titan or Titan vs. Man aspects are much the same in a sense of ferocity and brutal realism. It’s not uncommon to see rocket salvo’s going across the screen, while fellow pilots will lop thermite canisters past you in order to dispose of a possible threat, only to set the battlefield ablaze.

While it sounds as if these massive behemoths are invulnerable, it’s not uncommon to see one go down in a nuclear blast of glory, taking everything near with it, and unleashing a radioactive blast that will take nearby enemies out with it. These lumbering mechs are just as vulnerable as their pilots as each one comes with its own strength, its own weaknesses, and it’s own combat capabilities whether you are piloting B.T. in campaign or say Northstar in multiplayer. The design choices varying between single player and multiplayer offer up a rather intelligent sense of design compared to many games of the genre.

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Each piece of the overall design favors the idea between both man and machine, to offer multiple layers to each map to help transition players between their Titan and being on foot as the pilot. Whether it’s running through the games campaign finding yourself controlling time or in multiplayer phase shifting while rushing a Titan, players will find themselves blasting through enemies in multiple pathways. This also can cause some issues with the overall design to the games levels. Players may find themselves looping back around just as I have on more than one occasion. It’s not often that these problems stem from the idea that there are many paths, many ways through each level, and many hidden pieces within each one (want to find all those helmets? Better not backtrack and end up at the end of the level).

Unfortunately, the flaw with this design isn’t the fact it’s not a great idea, in reality, it is. It’s a perfect idea that translates well several times over, but leaves many players such as myself gripping tightly at our controllers as we’ve had a failure of communication with the level design. What way shouldn’t we go? Should I jump over the fallen tree in order to cross the river or should I go straight into the enemy facilities in order to find my new secret area? Oh right, I’ve fallen and died again while bouncing from pipe to pipe or wall to wall. This is common place unless players find themselves being guided to holograms within the game, and finding each splitting pathway as a new opportunity to experience different situations than ever before. Sometimes even offering better flanking positions against enemies compared to ones discovered previously in either campaign or PvP.

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Customization is heavily lacking in comparison to Titanfall.

While the true faucet to the games enjoyability is the conversations between Jack and B.T., players will find themselves a bit let down by the games multiplayer. Unlike the campaign, however, the multiplayer suffers from a lack of direction that the campaign does. Maps aren’t as open, forthcoming, and enjoyable as the level designs in campaign. Instead many of them feel as if they are re-hashed Call of Duty maps that offer up a discouragingly poor sense of design when it comes to utilizing the games mechs and weaponry for a better cause. Unlike Titanfall the latest title suffers a bit from its rather dramatic changes to fast-paced and multi-level designs within a singular map. Each one feels as if it has been dumbed down to provide a single-minded vision of combat, allowing for choke-points, and teams to take lock down a single map with a single stroke of Titanfall’s.

Unlike the first game, such a thing is not easy to recover from whether it’s in the games rather enjoyable team deathmatch variant titled Attrition or the variant known as “Last Titan Standing,” which is in essence, a team deathmatch form of elimination where the target is destroying the enemy teams Titans as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, unlike the first game, Titanfall 2 seemingly discourages the idea of large scale Titan battles with increased rebuild timers, which resets during intermissions, and forces players to rebuild them between each point whether it’s the main battle or the games intermission variant known as “Epilogue,” which, once more, allows for teams to attempt an evacuation if they’ve lost the match.

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Luckily, all that sounds bad, isn’t bad. Titanfall 2 is seemingly aware of its shortcomings from a developmental standpoint. The gamer designers have somewhat recognized this by separating player, Titan, faction, and even weaponry levels from one another. While some unlocks are only obtained through leveling up, Titanfall 2 offers a modest amount of customization for players to enjoy. While much of it is camo options, banners, or logo’s, players can find themselves enjoying a bit of uniqueness whether it’s the color of their gun, the Titan itself, or even their Titan’s hull sticker, which can be changed as players unlock them.

Unlike past titles that some of the development teams may have worked in in relation to Call of DutyTitanfall 2 lacks on customization in many ways. Many of the gun trees are limited to 3-4 guns, very few scopes, and very few perks for each weapon, which in many ways, hinder the want for progression or the games “Prestige Mode,” which follows suit of the previously mentioned game quite well. Unlike Titanfall, this sequel does a poor job of also allowing players to have the customization’s we saw in the first game. Want to use that Ogre chasis? That’s not happening. Want to use that 40MM on Scorch? That’s not happening either. Each Titan is a prefabricated class for you to enjoy, which takes away from some of the immersion, and even can leave players cringing a bit at this finalized design choice, which we may never see changed back at a later date. Which is kind of saddening as making your Titan match your player identity was fun, it was enjoyable, and it was something that delivered a true sense of enjoyment within the first title. Plus, who doesn’t want their Titan screaming at them in Russian or German? I know I do.

Titanfall 2 – PC, PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), and Xbox One (Reviewed)
Developer: 
Respawn Entertainment
Publisher:
Electronic Arts
Cost: 
$59.99 Standard Edition | $79.99 Deluxe Edition
Release Date: 
Now Available

Despite many of the games flawed missteps, Titanfall 2’s core dynamism establishes a beneficial step for the overall game and allows for chaos to ensue where players deem worthy. Want to jump up and run along a wall, dropping down on an enemy mech, and yanking his core out for your own? That’s rather doable in many of Titanfall 2’s encounters that are commonplace in both the campaign and online elements of the game. It’s one of the many strengths the game offers in a unique fashion.

Overall, the game is enjoyable, it is a nice changed pace from the ever-growing stagnancy that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has offered players within weeks of Titanfall 2’s launch, and even offers a campaign that isn’t scared of its own dynamic view. It’s a game that doesn’t just offer immersion, Titanfall 2 is a game that wants players to exchange fire from Titan to Titan, and even encourages them to enjoy its chaotic ways while they play. Even with its shortcomings, Titanfall 2 is quite easily one of this games most enjoyable games, which allows it to almost encompass other titles within the genre, and allows its core design to flow fluidly between single player and multiplayer, without ever losing its identity in the mix.

 Titanfall 2 could easily find its own creativity weaving through future title releases due to its uniqueness and its dynamic story that allows players to immerse themselves as the pilot. If that’s not enough, then the multiplayer alone will draw players in, it will let the ever-growing unique community tools draw them in for hundreds of hours more than they may already be prepared for.

Our review is based upon a retail version of the game we paid for ourselves. For our review, we also used a PlayStation 4 Pro with a 7200RPM HDD and a standard Xbox One for our review.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 9 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you

Review: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Tightening Orions Belt

Pros:
+Zero-G combat brings in a new breath of fresh air for Call of Duty as a franchise
+80’s retro zombies is a hilarious adventure
+Flying missions are a blast
+Mission selection from Black Ops II is back.
+PlayStation 4 Pro enhancements are extremely noticeable in both 4k and Non-4k
+Operates at an astonishing 60FPS solid on PS4 Pro

Cons:
-Campaign at times feels as if it’s lost telling its story


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2016 has been a roller coaster ride for first-person shooters. We’ve been through the Hell of war with Battlefield 1 and through a metal-driven ride through Hell with id Softwares DOOM, which re-imagined the franchise as it should have been. With our review of Titanfall in the works, it’s hard to say that this year hasn’t been busy. It’s been busier than all Hell for many of us. Even though many of the stories we’ve played didn’t touch our hearts in same way like Battlefield 1, which took us on the more human-esque approach about what war is.

Among these titles sits Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which I’ve been outspoken about. I’ve been loud, I’ve been negative, and I’ve called it a wretched idea from the beginning. Sure a lot of it was due to the marketing strategy with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Remastered being locked to the disc and the purchase of the legacy edition. However, the inevitable question will be: How does it live up to the franchise? Does it continue on rather well or does it drop us off in the vacuum of space in order to die in-the-end? Does it compete against the titles that are in competition of each other by capturing fans?

In recent years, Call of Duty has seen a steady decline in where the single player narratives have gone, but that has easily changed with Infinite Warfare. The game takes a familiar turn when it comes to Call of Duty. Humanity has moved away from the colonization of our own planet, we have moved past our planet to among the stars. We have risen to the challenges of finding a home among our solar system. As the expansion grew, there was distaste for the stretch of the United Nations themselves. In retaliation to this, a new group had been founded and silently working in secrecy: the Settlement Defense Front or the SDF.

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Much to our luck, the campaign takes a narrative focus on this conflict as our game opens up with the SDF attacking a group of the UN’s agents on the Jupiter moon Europa. Soon after they launch a surprise attack on the United Nation’s Fleet, leaving much of Earths forces reeling due to this, and only leaving very few of Earth’s defense forces to protect it. This is where we also enter our leading protagonist, Nick Reyes (Briam Bloom), partners Lt. Nora Salter (Jamie Gray Hyder), ETH.3n (Jeffrey Nordling) and Sgt. Omar (David Harewood) take their parts int he games overall narrative.

Due to the casualties taken in the SDF’s attack, Reyes is thrust into his new position as the commander of one of Earth’s last starships named Retribution, which sustained heavy damages during the SDFs assault. This element is a far departure from Call of Duty’s story elements that took us back to World War II starting back in 2003. Much like Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III the game once more flings us further into the sci-fi fantasy approach than ever before as players, not long after starting the game, are flung into a vast array of missions that come in highly diverse formulas from one another. While the campaign uniquely takes after that of Call of Duty: Black Ops II on how missions work, Infinite Warfare is one that offers up a even more unique twist to how this system worked.

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Much as one would expect, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare follows familiar mechanics that fans should be rather comfortable with by now. With boosters for jump being available, run sliding, and even wall running – they’re all here in their full glory. While it may be discouraging from the fans such as myself who overly enjoyed past titles using the same first name moniker followed with World at War and Black Ops. Both games offered up unique stories, revolutionary mechanics, and even the capabilities of classic CoD games while moving forward in the same fashion.

Here, we’ve got the opportunity to travel across the stars, enjoy aerial space battles, and even see advances in space travel that we would never have imagined. While we do get to see the moons of Jupiter and take to the skies across space stations that serve as a home to millions, sometimes the story feels empty, losing itself in this civil war that spans across our solar system.

While it’s a reasonably long campaign (on Veteran, I’m running 29 hours played before completion) the game provided unique benefits for the franchise to improve upon and returns to the uniqueness that made Call of Duty captivate me the way it once did back in the old days. Hopefully this is a formula they consider in future titles whether it is futuristic or not as having a voiced protagonist inside and outside of cut scenes makes the immersion even deeper than before.

How does the multiplayer benefit from all of this, however? Does it stay alive and fun as ever or does it flush itself down the drain and seal itself away from the rest of the series?

Multiplayer

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Over the years Call of Duty has been on a steady decline in how the multiplayer feels. It feels as if it has lost its idea of what direction it wants to go through. On one side where we have Call of Duty: Ghosts we got a good feel for a solid title, one that offered a true feel for the franchise by returning to its roots, and even a solid story; to Advanced Warfare, which shed all identity the series had for a futuristic turn where science has advanced technology. Where Call of Duty: Ghosts offered one of the most customizable character appeals in any titles to date in the franchise, it also gave a heavy nod towards combat pacing, which could have easily returned the series to its World at War glory.

So how does Infinite Warfare fit into all this over the years? First, the combat will seem familiar to fans of Black Ops III. It’s fast, it’s furious, and guns are as cool as ever with some able to switch modes from say SMG to Assault Rifle or even as an Assault Rifle to very powerful akimbo SMG’s that will mow anyone in their path down with the right attachments. Weapons now variate between ammo types such as ballistic and energy. It’s a welcomed changed, but it’s not enough to keep Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare in the loop as a major leap for the series.

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It fails to deliver a unique trend in a once-always-evolving multiplayer component. While modes such as “Frontline” offers some unique fun, it’s one that is troubled in the long run, and only offers up a “Team Deathmatch” like experience, but with kills helping accrue points while kills don’t mean near as much as before. However, this is the only thing new in the entire game. It re-uses much of the familiar systems from Black Ops III and fails to embrace its new futuristic route. With the chances to use zero-g to its benefit and thrusters, and even outer space maps, Infinite Warfare ignores the one thing it would have benefited from the most, and even fails to apply it deeper within the multiplayer itself.

Sure it’s fun to run across the starboard side of a starship as it’s being pulled into a black hole, the game also forgets several things that would have made this unique: creativity, uniqueness, and a sense of innovation. Sure, it would be easy to compare to Battlefield 1, which embedded the “War is Hell” persona within its very core, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare doesn’t quite make the push it needs in order to differentiate itself from the past two installments, and drops the ball on this part.

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CoD: Zombies in the Scifi 80’s Scene Anyone?

While multiplayer is fast, chaotic, and quite a bit of fun, its only real sense of depth is the customizable rigs, which feature unique traits, much like the customizable characters in Black Ops III. While you won’t see Battery, Prophet, or Seraph; FTL, Warfighter, and even Synaptic fill the empty space not having the aforementioned three leaves. They all offer up familiar abilities with Synaptic using Prophet’s rewind ability while Warfighter’s SMG could easily match that of Battery’s chaotic grenade launcher, and even FTL easily keeping up with Seraph in the essence of map control with his FTL Jump, which easily gives him map control.

While other abilities are present from the past game, Infinite Warfare‘s multiplayer feels like a heavy copy and paste job of Black Ops III and offers little innovation to the ever-growing-stagnancy that surrounds the multiplayer. If you can look past that, however, and enjoy the game – Infinite Warfare is a blast and offers up some amazing gameplay in both 4K and 1080p for PlayStation 4 Pro users. For Xbox One and PlayStation 4 standard users, the game is still a gorgeous example of next-gen graphics while also embracing the Call of Duty “photorealism” that was first introduced in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – PC, PlayStation 4 (Reviewed), and Xbox One 
Developer: Infinity Ward, Raven
Publisher: Activision
Cost: $59.99 Standard | $79.99 Legacy (feat. MW: Remastered)
Release Date: Now Available

Even with zombies (which takes place in the 80’s and features David Hasslehof), much remains unchanged even on that front, except for the card system, which offers up unique cards that benefit the player much like active perks. Even here, however, not much has changed enough to call the multiplayer unique, revolutionary, or even innovative. It’s pretty much the same-old-same-old cliche that the franchise has been on the same route of over the years.

Closing Thoughts – I’ll be Eating Crow for Dinner Now

While I’ve been on the steady path of calling the franchise horrible, attrocious, and a marketing ploy – it’s hard to say that Call of Duty isn’t fun. It carries nostalgia, enjoyment, and a unique way to bring friends back together that haven’t played together a while. Even then, however, Infinite Warfare is a tough purchase for those trying to justify the $79.99 just to play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered and excusing Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare as part of the equation. Even with 150GB’s required with all DLC including the remaster, it’s hard to justify such a thing as games are ever-growing in size, and 50GB’s has become the new norm for many of us.

If this is just too much for you, it’s highly suggested to wait till the sales on it start this holiday season, or just simply stick with Black Ops III, which will offer up much-of-the-same experience that you’ve already become used to over the years. Lets just hope with a years worth the DLC in front of us that Infinite Warfare will be ready to embrace the uniqueness of outer space and this latest installment and make it as unique as ever. Besides, who doesn’t want to see zero gravity battles while floating across space while using asteroids or meteors as fighting grounds? I know I sure as heck would. We can only dream, however, we can only dream.


Our review is based upon a retail version of the game we paid for ourselves. For our review, we also used a PlayStation 4 Pro with a 7200RPM HDD for our review.  For information about our ethics policy please click here.


 Final Score: 8 out of 10


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Announced for Next Gen Consoles

Infinite Warfare

If anyone has been awaiting for announcements for Call of Duty, we know it’s the fans. Especially after the accidental leaks by Sony on the store that revealed Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare as the next entry in the series. While the game was at first seemingly going to take place purely in space, many players began to denounce it. However, today, Activision has confirmed that Infinite Warfare will be the first title in the Call of Duty franchise to venture past the realms of earth, and into the possible future of man and space in our very own solar system. While the game isn’t deploying the idea of a science fiction approach or even massive space battle approach, Infinite Warfare is at its core a Call of Duty. This means boots will be on the ground with infantry combat on the ground as well as in the depths of space.

While piloting vehicle in combat will happen, the game will approach space as a plausible battleground. With that, players will be taking to never before seen war zones. While the team has been heavily focusing on the games story, they are looking at how to push the boundaries for online combat. Maps will be in never-before seen locales while also using new mechanics to play. This will allow for fun, frantic combat in each multiplayer occasion.

For those of you who prefer Zombies, Infinity Ward has announced that a all new cooperative Zombies mode will be there as players take on a new story with new features. More about that, however, will be released at a later date. As with Black Ops III by Treyarch, the map packs will be exclusive to PS4 for 30 days.

Along with the games announcement, they’ve confirmed that the most critically acclaimed title in the franchise will be heading to PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One for the first time ever. In the Legacy Edition they have announced that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered will be included and was produced by Infinity Ward while being fully developed with Raven. The title will include all previous content including maps, story, and even a graphical upgrade to modern standards for next gen consoles. You can head to the the official site and plan your November 4th for a day of Call of Duty.


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over on TwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.

Opinion: Should Activision Blizzard Drop Call of Duty Campaigns Completely?

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Depending on how much you’ve followed Call of Duty many know that the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 versions of Call of Duty: Black Ops III will not be joining the set-list with a campaign. Instead, the two versions will feature Treyarch’s renowned multiplayer approach that has captured the hearts of fans around the globe. With this move, it struck a simple thought: What if Call of Duty went to a multiplayer only standard?

As someone who loves war based stories, I tend to lean towards games I’ve ventured into each Call of Duty since the days of Call of Duty back in 2003 on PC and PS2. As someone who has taken a delve into franchises such as Battlefield, Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, Socom, and many more, there’s always been a wonderment to what would happen if a renowned franchise stepped away from the campaign much like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six has in the latest entry into the Six franchise.

When looking at Call of Duty I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the series, while I understand the choice behind Black Ops III being focused as a “Next-Gen Only Game”, I decided to take a look at what potentially could be if Activision and its development teams would be if they departed from the classic approach to Call of Duty, which is a minimalist campaign (Modern Warfare 2 seemed to be where this stopped for many), and an approach that focused solely on the multiplayer in the long run.

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If you are familiar with the news of Call of Duty Online (this link will redirect you to Polygon’s article regarding this) in China, it’s not a bad sign for what things could be in things could be in this world if Activision just decided to drop the idea of campaigns all together and focus on their famed multiplayer element. While China’s version of Call of Duty will seem much different from what Western and even some Eastern gamers are used to, the game in itself is well balanced for the Chinese market and aims at giving them the title they need, but what if that title was released in the United States at the standard of being like Call of Duty Ghosts in graphics, but advanced in its gunplay as well as capabilities like Advanced Warfare and the upcoming Black Ops III?

In order to set the stage for the discussion, let us take a look at the ever-growing approach to free-to-play games that by standard, do have in-game charges to either access to new content such as weapons, maps, armors, character appearance, and other variants of paid options. The game that could be used as my prime example is one that I’ve played for quite a while and one that has seemed to grab a soft-spot in my heart: Warframe.

When it comes to Warframe the game is focused on several things that are namely cooperative play, content progression, and player connections. Through player connectivity, the game has grown to one of the titles that have become a fan-favored free to play and a success story to Digital Extremes (Dark Sector, Warframe), and has been a driving force within their offices. Thanks to Warframes ever-growing library of content that is made freely available behind paywalls or player dedication, Warframe is successful, and thus it has become a title that is fairly well known among online gamers.

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With those facts in mind, what would happen if Call of Duty took this approach in their marketing in order to help their game grow even more to those who get tired of purchasing a new game yearly, but instead can sign up for yearly season passes as the same price? This is something that would be a unique approach to how CoD is handled and would allow Activision to make extra revenue.

This move would also their studios such as Treyarch, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games to work together in a cohesive manner in order to bring out new modes, new weapons, new customizations, and even the capability of providing cross-platform play for PC and console users in order to tighten up the reigns on the professional leagues that the game keeps built into it.

Something many users were accommodated to with the League mode that was introduced to us with Call of Duty: Black Ops II back on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC only to be continued on future titles due to rising popularity. With the rise of Call of Duty being an online title, there is not a doubt or even speculation as to why Call of Duty has become an online phenomenon that draws players in year after year even though each title has little change or even little cause for change in what occurs in each of the titles aside from campaign and minor tweaks to game mechanics and graphics.

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With campaign gone, many players won’t be taking notice that the game would be following in the steps of titles like Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege, which has all, but removed any sign of a campaign within it aside from tactical commentated moments as well as communications voiced by Angela Basset as the head of Rainbow Six.

The question now is simple: what happens to games such as these if they focus solely on the multiplayer? Improved mechanics; the capability of adding, removing, or even creating new side-content that can be unlocked over time and even graphical fine-tuning that can be done through in-game updates much like Warframe as well as several other free-to-play titles have seen in the long run. It’s just a matter of how Activision Blizzard would handle such a transformation for Call of Duty if such a thing happened.

In truth, it’d probably bring in many new players for Call of Duty to take this route and shed its skin as a campaign and online title. Who wouldn’t mind a steady flow of yearly content featuring online multiplayer and online co-op modes such as Zombies, Extinction or even Spec Ops modes?

In truth, Call of Duty may be better off with the money being able to go into developmental resources and dedicated servers for all platforms while the current version(s) of Black Ops III will only see dedicated servers for the PC version of the game while PS4 and Xbox One will still be using a peer-to-peer connectivity client. This is a sign that Call of Duty truly should look at dropping campaigns all together as it would be an effective and cost-efficient approach for the future development of the fan-favorite franchise that proceeds to set new goals with each new launch.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III will be available for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One starting Nov. 6th, 2015. Pre-Order now at your local retailer or online at GameStop, Best Buy or Amazon and receive the pre-order bonus NUK3TOWN map available while supplies last.

What’re your thoughts on this? Would you like to see Call of Duty leave the campaign arena to focus on solely multiplayer and cooperative modes? Would you prefer Call of Duty to return to its roots with the focus on the campaign? Let us know your thoughts and opinions regarding this.


About the Writer:

dustin_batgr_prof

Dustin is our native console gamer, PlayStation and Nintendo reviewer who has an appetite for anything that crosses the boarders from across the big pond. His interest in JRPG’s, Anime, Handheld Gaming, and Pizza is insatiable. His elitist attitude gives him direction, want, and a need for the hardest difficulties in games, which is fun to watch, and hilarity at its finest. You can find him over onTwitterGoogle+, and or you can find him on PSN with RaivynLyken.