Love/Hate: PS3

Love

  • Trophies – Probably my favourite innovation that the PS3 brought was the advent of trophies (which, to be fair, were modelled after the Xbox’s achievements system). These things are so addictive though. Basically, as soon as I start a game I head over to the Trophies section to see what trophies I could realistically go for and whether I actually want to bother going for the Platinum.
  • Blu-Ray Player – Like the PS2 and PS1 before it, the PS3 came with a new media format innovation, this time with a blu-ray player. Also similarly, the PS3 was cheaper and better than most blu-ray players at the time, which helped to tip the format war between blu-ray and HD-DVD into blu-ray’s favour. Like DVD’s, the PS3 was my first blu-ray player and was the reason I stopped buying DVDs and made the switch to HD media.
  • Free Online Play – While it was widely agreed that Xbox Live had the more robust and reliable online system, you did have to pay an annual subscription for it, whereas online play was free on PS3. There was an optional ability to get PS+ if players wanted additional perks, but leaving it free by default was honestly the better move, since there really isn’t a good excuse that online play is a paid-for service on modern consoles.
  • Strong Hardware – While the PS3 was thought to be difficult to develop for early in the console’s life-cycle, by the mid-to-late period of the PS3’s stronger hardware was allowing the system to run games much easier and smoother than the comparatively underpowered Xbox 360. In addition, the PS3 did away with region locked games, meaning that you could play games from other regions out of the box (this was good for gamers who wanted to play Japanese-exclusive games, for example). When you consider that the PS3 also had a built-in wi-fi adapter and the blu-ray drive, whereas the Xbox 360 had to get a wi-fi adapter as an add-on, had only a DVD drive, and you had to pay an annual subscription for Xbox Live, the higher cost of the system was actually quite comparable.
  • My Favourite PS3 Games – Not a definitive list of the best games on the system, but my favourite games include: Uncharted 1 and 2, Dead Space 1 and 2, Battlefield Bad Company and 3, Bioshock, The Walking Dead, The Last of Us, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Fallout 3 and Dark Souls.
Mixed
  • PS3 Controller – I’m really mixed on the PS3 controller. On the plus side, they were all wireless by default (another leg up on the Xbox 360, which also required AA batteries on their wireless models) and you could finally connect up to 8 controllers at a time without requiring an add-on peripheral. Buuuuuut… the triggers were really strangely designed and unappealing, the SIXAXIS motion controls were badly utilized and the controllers originally lacked rumble functionality. I mean, at least the controller is better than the awful boomerang concept that we were initially shown, but the product we got is still a real mixed bag without any clearly-good innovations.
Hate
  • Backwards Compatibility Phased Out – The original PS3 release did include backwards compatibility and I did manage to snag one of these models back in the day (although the system eventually died and was unsalvageable, riiiip). However, in order to cut costs, backwards compatibility was cut out in subsequent models. This, in my opinion, was not worth it and has unfortunately weakened the PlayStation brand ever since as a result. Now I either have to track down a PS2 to play older games, or hope that they have been made available as remasters or digital downloads on PSN, which isn’t really reliable at all.
  • The Cost – I’ve already tried to justify the cost of the system a bit, but there’s no denying that the PS3’s initial asking price of $600 was a huge barrier to entry. I snagged mine after the first price drop, but even then it was around $500. This was probably the biggest factor in the PS3’s slow adoption rate and the Xbox 360’s dominance throughout this console era.
  • Network Stability and Security Was Unacceptable – Sure, PS online was free, but history shows that that came with some major caveats. Extended network outages happened far too regularly, including one major outage which lasted a whopping 23 days as hackers breached the network and stole customers’ personal information! This was simply unacceptable and a major black mark on the PlayStation brand for years.
  • System Updates – Throughout its life, PS3 players would often sit down to get into a gaming session, only to have the system reveal that they have to perform a system update before they can get online. These would often take up to ten minutes to complete, leaving you frustrated and potentially not even wanting to play anymore by the time it was complete.
  • The Gaming Landscape Began to Get (More) Corporate – Gaming was changing by the time the PS3 era rolled around. Major publishers were starting to rake in serious cash and profit was starting to noticeably interfere with enjoyment. DLC began to become egregious (probably most offensively with the online pass), pre-order culture kicked off, games began seeing “feature bloat” (such as tacked-on co-op and multiplayer modes that no one wanted or played, which existed only to provide an excuse for cheap DLC), and we saw the start of microtransactions in games such as Dead Space 3. Publishers also began trend-hunting, with Activision riding the sudden success of Guitar Hero into the ground in a couple short years after saturating the market with crappy spin-offs and sequels. Everyone was also chasing after the success of Call of Duty with numerous FPSes which didn’t come close to replicating the same success. This also led to “niche” genres, such as survival horror, starting to become more scarce, while those that remained where “Call of Duty“-fied and stripped of their own identity (see: Resident Evil 6). Basically, gaming was no longer the domain of hobbyists looking to succeed by putting out good products, it was no becoming a calculated profit-making machine.
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My Thoughts on the State of Battlefield 4…

If you follow video game news, you might have heard that Battlefield 4 is a broken piece of shit which has essentially tarnished the reputation of one of the biggest franchises in gaming. In spite of that, I’ve logged about 150 hours into the game and have been playing from launch to now (and will continue playing into the future for that matter). I’ve been meaning to write a BF4 guide for quite a while now, but the issues with the game made me postpone that for a long time because I couldn’t be sure how much it was going to change things. However, I think the time has finally come where I can start talking about the game properly, and address some of the claims about it.

First of all, I played the BF4 beta on PS3, and despite being a tad buggy, it controlled fairly well and was a lot of fun (although the draw distance bug on the rooftop of the C flag was pretty egregiously broken). All-in-all, the game seemed to be a clear improvement on the foundation of BF3. At the initial launch, I played BF4 on PS3 for about 2 weeks waiting for the PS4 version to release… and it was buggy as shit at launch. The game would freeze up pretty frequently and I ended up in one server where you couldn’t even kill anyone. Oh, and Defuse mode, the game’s take on a Search & Destroy mode, was absolutely broken. Seriously, there were so many bugs just in that mode that it was insane – players would spawn but couldn’t control their characters, the killcam would randomly appear when you were still alive, the bomb carrier would randomly appear on the enemy team’s radar (LOL), etc. Things were worse on PC, where the game would crash frequently and wouldn’t even play on many systems. In spite of that, I figured this had something to do with a combination of the PS3 hardware and the launch period – the game clearly wasn’t built for last-gen hardware, so they weren’t going to give it as much attention as they were the next gen versions. On top of that, I remember BF3’s launch being very rough as well, freezing very frequently until about 3 months in, when a large patch took care of most of the issues (although Seine Crossing in Rush was still notoriously freeze-prone and never got fixed).

Anyway, come the PS4 launch, the game was in even worse state. For the first day or two, PSN servers crashed and so you couldn’t even play the game online, forcing me to play through the godawful single player campaign… twice. Yes, I got the notorious single-player-game-deletion glitch about 4 hours in. And for some reason, my copy of the game seemed to think someone who had English (UK) as their language meant that they wanted to play the game in Spanish (oddly enough, it was fixed when I changed my language to English [US]). Things actually got worse when PSN got back up because Conquest mode, the main attraction in the series, was broken to the point where DICE had to remove it from the game for weeks. This was especially egregious because my favourite mode in Battlefield games, Rush, was poorly supported by the maps in BF4 – very few of them are fun to play Rush on, whereas every map in BF3 was a viable Rush level. On top of all this, the game still crashed quite frequently. Simply put, it was a bit of a mess, but when it worked, it was a lot of fun.

As time went on, the game kept getting patched and issues started to go away. I can’t really speak for the PC version, which sounds like it had the biggest performance issues, but the PS4 version hasn’t crashed for me since perhaps mid-December, and the game got way more enjoyable when Conquest was reinstated. I also managed to complete the single player campaign without losing my save game again*, so that was nice too. However, for each patch, it would seem that something else would end up getting broken – there have been a few separate patches which have rendered the game damn-near unplayable for me due to horrendous lag and rubber-banding issues, although these have usually been patched yet again within a week. The China Rising DLC added more issues as well at launch, but I didn’t really like it all that much anyway so I can’t really remember everything that was wrong with it. There was also a notorious glitch which was only patched a couple weeks ago, wherein every loading screen a game of Russian roulette – basically, after the load screen for a map completed, a final loading indicator flashes for a second and then you enter the match. However, with the bug, the loading indicator would flash indefinitely, forcing you to return to the home screen and reload the game. That particular glitch was so bad that I’d estimate you had a 1/3, or maybe even 1/2, chance of encountering it the first time you tried to load a map.

That said, significant progress has been made. The game is pretty much playable now, with nearly every major issue now patched (including some stuff which we didn’t expect, such as significantly lowering the time it takes to spawn in and making DMRs better… however, the kill cam is totally broken for some reason). The DLC has also improved since China Rising, with Second Assault being fantastic fun (and bringing back 4 awesome Rush maps in the process). Naval Strike also looks to shake things up and make me happier to have bought a Premium pass at launch. The only real issue right now is that the netcode is probably worse than it was at launch – players seem to lag behind the action by about half a second (I actually spotted a guy before he even showed up on my screen the other day), which is pretty fatal in a fast-paced FPS. DICE is promising to patch this soon, so I hope that they can at least get it to the level that BF3 was at (although even then, BF3’s netcode wasn’t exactly great – if you didn’t die around a corner a half dozen times per match, then you could consider yourself lucky).

All-in-all, BF4 is still a bit of a mess at times, but it is fun in spite of all of its issues. I wish that the game had worked out of the gate, but I don’t regret buying the game (or Premium for that matter). I am pretty annoyed at EA though for forcing the game out of the gate when it was in such a poor state. I wish that game producers would learn to put quality ahead of release dates – Ubisoft seems to understand this, hence why they pushed Watch Dogs back instead of releasing an unpolished game that would just disappoint everyone. Worse still, I fear that EA might try to annualize the Battlefield brand, putting out a new game every year in order to compete with Call of Duty. Please, please do not do this EA – Battlefield: Bad Company 2 won you fans, such as myself, because it was so much more refined than Call of Duty had been for years. Give us another year to enjoy BF4 now that it’s working half decently, and we might even forget this whole launch fiasco ever happened…

Oh, and make the P90 available for the Assault class again. Who the hell wants to run a PDW on the Engineer class anyway?!

*The single player campaign is absolutely horrendous. It’s only about 5 hours long, maybe, and features absolutely no logic. Stuff just happens as you listen to infuriatingly annoying characters banter and then mow down useless mooks one by one. I would never even touch it if I didn’t need to beat it to unlock the P90 and M249…

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Quick Fix: Battlefields, Retrospectives, Aliens and Novels

A bit of a quick post this week on, coincidentally, the 5th of November. Not that I’m an anarchist or even a huge fan of V For Vendetta, but the date has a bit of pop culture significance so it’s notable in itself.

Anyway as you probably know, Battlefield 4 was released a week ago and (predictably) I’ve been playing the shit out of it. Actually, I rented it for 4 days and have since had to return it, but I’m already jonesing to play again. I’ve only gotten ahold of the PS3 version so far, but I’m stoked to see it in action on the PS4. I’m actually surprised at how BF4 turned out on PS3, the beta had tempered my expectations, but it’s fully-featured and functional. Graphically, it’s muddier and has worse textures than BF3, and I think the maps might have been shrunk, but overall if you can’t get any other platform then the current-gen versions of the game are certainly a lot of fun. When I’m a bit more acclimatized to it I’ll probably make a new “Battlefield Tips” post, but in the meantime you can check out my Battlelog profile. I’m also seriously considering buying an Elgato Game Capture HD to record in-game footage, so keep an eye out for that – my Youtube page might be getting updates in the near future… On the negative side though, the netcode needs some retooling, at the moment it’s extremely frustrating getting killed in what seems like a single shot by everyone. I probably need a bit more practice (it took me about 30 hours to acclimatize to Battlefield 3 from Battlefield: Bad Company 2), but hopefully this issue is rectified in the PS4 version, or a patch comes along soon.

I think I’ve also got the next Retrospective lined up, partially out of convenience since one of my brothers owns the whole series on DVD. I don’t have a firm date on when I’ll begin the series, but it should be before the end of the month… actually, now that I think about it, that’s pretty much perfect and should coincide well with future events… and I won’t say anymore than that. Ho ho ho. In any case, I’m thinking of doing something unconventional for the Retrospective after this one, so be sure to keep an eye on the blog in the new year!

This is a bit of personal excitement here, but there’s an AVP miniatures game coming soon, and based on the sculpts it looks FANTASTIC. I’m seriously stoked beyond belief for this. It’s coming to Kickstarter and traditional retail methods soon, so I’ll post up a link when it becomes available and when more info is released. In the meantime, I need some people to play it with on release…

Finally, a bit of exciting news. I have begun writing a sci-fi novel, which will expand into a series at some point. Of course, this is assuming I finish it – I already have an unfinished manuscript sitting on my computer from an abandoned project so I don’t like to count my chickens before they’re hatched. The novel is largely in the conceptual stage at the moment, but I’ve got the basic trajectory of the story developed and have written first drafts of the prologue and about half of the first chapter already. All-in-all I’m pretty excited about it and sincerely hope I actually take the effort to finish the damn thing!

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5 More Tips for Battlefield 3 Players

I want to preface this article with a story of 2 kids on headsets that I played with a couple weeks ago. We were playing in a DICE server, the most popular maps/modes from the base game. The whole time, they were bitching about how the enemy team was cheating, spawn camping, ripping them off (how the hell did he kill me, I shot him first!) and so on. I found them incredibly grating, and so wrote down their PSN IDs for future reference. Later I checked their BF3 stats and… they suck. Hard. They both had around 20 hours of experience. One of them had less than a 0.5 K/D ratio, while the other had around a 0.38. Kiddies, the enemy is not to blame for your poor performance – you are. Try to keep that in mind.

My previous BF3 post covered most of the basics that an aspiring noob should know, but it was hardly comprehensive. This post covers a few more tips, and is based on my own experiences so it’s a little more opinionated (as you’ll soon see). That said, I’m sure you’ll agree for the most part and will find this info very helpful.

5) Laser Sights/Flashlights… not a fan
I see people rocking Laser Sights all the time, and I just can’t fathom it. Flashlights are a little more rare now since DICE nerfed them, but they still show up from time to time. However, this brings me to my point – why do people still use these things? Both give away your position to the enemy very easily, and the blinding effect is really poor. I can honestly say that I have never been killed because of the blinding effect preventing me from killing someone (if anything, they already had the drop on me). In fact, I find the blinding effect easy to compensate for – just shoot towards the middle of the light, or take cover. I think it’s pretty telling that when my enemies’ laser sights and flashlights have given me more kills than deaths that they’re a pretty terrible weapon attachment.

That said, they have their useful situations, but I would never turn off my useless attachment every time I spawn on the off-chance I might need it someday. The laser sight in particular gives you better hip-fire accuracy. However, I personally have learned to just take my silencer/RDS P90 and compensate.

4) Sometimes You Just Have to Charge
If your team and the enemy are stuck at a choke point firing back and forth, your attempts at flanking have failed, and your team is bleeding tickets, sometimes you just have to take the initiative and barrel in there (I’d recommend Assault or Support classes for this, or if you’re using a shotgun). I’m not going to lie, 9 times out of 10 you’ll probably die (although you may drag a couple people down with you). However, sometimes you’ll catch the enemy off guard, especially if you’re quick out of the draw. If you’re lucky, you’ll kill 3+ enemies (possibly the entire opposition on that side of the door) and single-handedly pave a path for your team to advance.

3) Persist
Sometimes, no matter what your team does, it looks like you’re totally screwed. The urge to rage-quit can be pretty strong, but it’s not over til it’s over. And by that I mean that the tide can totally shift unexpectedly. I’ve had games where my team was getting their asses kicked all game, and then suddenly, with 1 Rush objective left, suddenly we rally and hold the last base from the previously unstoppable foe (and with 300 tickets no less). The reasons for this are simply because if you have a bad team that is losing, then there will be rage-quitters, whose positions will hopefully be filled by skilled players who then turn the tide. In a recent game, I was barely pulling off a 1.0 K/D average in a game (I was about 23 to 20), but my team suddenly was boosted and I managed to rally with a 60 to 40 K/D (pretty damn good considering how badly I was doing).

If you lose a match, then a similar thing will happen with rage-quitters. As a result, the game rebalances the match by taking players on the other team and then puts them on yours (depending on your server settings anyway). In another recent game, my team lost pretty badly, but I knew that the game would rebalance after the match since most players were quitting on my team. Lo-and-behold, in the next match we shut out the enemy and I actually managed to top my Nemesis Victim streak.

Basically, if your team is doing poorly, stick with it. Consider hanging back for a few minutes and picking off the enemy more conservatively. They might turn things around unexpectedly.

2) Change Up Your Tactics
When I play, if I have tried to attack a base from the same approach but have died the last few times, then I believe it is essential to approach it from the opposite vector. For example, if I’m playing Rush on Damavand Peak, and I’m trying to capture the 2nd set of objectives, I generally hang towards the right flank and make my way into the destructible building overlooking the right objective. However, if the enemy has holed up here, and are anticipating us, I will immediately change up my approach, hanging towards the left side of the battlefield instead. Unless the enemy is smart and have spread out evenly, a disproportionate number of troops will be on the right flank, expecting an attack which has stopped coming, allowing you an easier chance at taking the left flank.

Of course, if no approach is working, refer to point #3 and keep at it!

1) Play As a Team!
This ties into my previous list’s points, but I didn’t really state it quite so explicitly: Battlefield 3 is a team-based shooter, and if you’re not playing as a member of a team, you’re going to suck. Similarly, if you’re going to set the MCOM station but don’t have any cover, there’s a very good chance you’re going to die. BF3 players, support your allies and don’t dick around uselessly! I shouldn’t have to say this sort of thing so often!

Good luck, and see you on the Battlefield!
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Top 10 Basic Tips for Battlefield 3 Players

I’ve been playing Battlefield 3 since release, and while I’m not amazing by any means (currently a 1.41 K/D ratio), I am consistently one of the top players in the server when I play. That said, I’ve seen some absolutely brutal players out there (who, more often than not, are rocking headsets and acting like they’re uber-l33t). With that in mind, here are 10 basic tips for people playing Battlefield 3 (although some are pretty general so you can apply these to any shooter/paintball/airsoft):

10) Flank
Is the enemy holed up in one area? Are you able to get around behind them? Watch this video and see the value of the opening this gives you:

A successful flank like the one above can disrupt or break an enemy’s defense line and allow your teammates to advance much easier. You might not survive, but you should bring down a few of them with you.

9) Know When to Fold ‘Em
In any shooter, when you’re facing off against an opponent it’s incredibly easy to get tunnel vision. You feel like you have to kill that guy, or die trying. However, if they have the upper-hand (you’re at >50% health, low on ammo, sniper vs shotgun, etc) and you have enough cover to make a safe getaway, it might be a good idea to get your ass out of there. After that, you can set up an ambush if they choose to pursue, get some reinforcements, or at the very least heal yourself. No sense in dying needlessly.

8) Use Cover
In the above point, I mentioned that you should only fall back if you have cover. The reasons for this should be obvious – cover keeps you alive. If you’re in cover and your opponent isn’t, you have a much smaller profile and are at a massive advantage. Inversely, if your opponent is using cover, then you can beat this in a couple different ways. Either flank them, flush them out with explosives or blow it up (if possible).

7) Stay Mobile
Another common-sense tip, but one that is woefully under-used in almost every shooter… the existence of the word “camper” pretty much attests to this. Admittedly, camping a section of the board can be a good idea, but if you’re doing it it should be to help the team. If you’re just running off, camping on top of a hill and then staring down your scope for 10 minutes, I can guarantee you I am going to come after you and rape your corpse. It’ll be much more infuriating if you kill a couple people in a 30 second period, and then move. If the enemy does not know where you are, then you have the advantage.

6) Spawn Intelligently
The first BF3-centric entry in this list. Yes, it really sucks spawning far away from the frontlines, but sometimes this is your only real option. If your allies are under fire, overextended, or just in trouble generally, it’s best just to spawn elsewhere. Otherwise you’re going to have to respawn in 15 seconds anyway. If you’re not sure how things are going to go down, then watch them on the spawn screen and wait for an opening.

5) Watch Your Mini-Map
Not sure where the enemy is? Check out your mini-map. If they fire their weapon, you should be moving to flank them ASAP. Especially if you’re a sniper, since the scope is cutting down your field of vision exponentially. Otherwise, this will happen (skip to 1:00):

Now this is a good idea if you don’t have a target already won’t work for all opponents, but you can get around it by putting a suppressor on your gun. Some people aren’t so worried about this, but I know that I always put a suppressor on my weapon.

4) Situational Awareness
This applies to infantry and other vehicles as well, but in this case, I’m going to refer to tanks in particular. Tanks rock in BF3, but they have some major vulnerabilities. Among these, C4 and anti-tank mines are probably the most common. Anti-tank mines are rarer than they were in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 but they can still wreck a tank in 1 shot. The easiest way to avoid these is to use your spot button to minesweep and/or keep an eye out for mines. Or just avoid well-traveled paths.
When I was a tank-noob, for every vehicle or javelin attack that took me out, there was at least 1 other time when I got attacked by someone with C4. As a result, it’s a bad idea to charge into confined areas – guys with C4 can hide in these areas easily and kill you before you even know there was someone there. You can counter this with a proximity scanner, but you’ll have to make sure you watch the mini-map frequently. However, I prefer Zoom Optics personally. Instead when I play tanks, I treat them like artillery: sit back, fire off the main gun and bombard the enemy from afar. Then, if the enemy could be hiding in the area where I advance, I switch to 3rd-person view frequently and keep an eye out. If they’re putting C4 on me, I jump out and shoot ’em up before they have a chance to react.
Bottom-line: don’t rush in, use third-person view, kill noobs.

3) Use Your Class-Specific Equipment
Again, you’d think these would be obvious… but if I had a nickel for every useless medic or support class I’ve seen in a game I’d be a bloody millionaire. If you’re a medic, throw down health kits and revive people (don’t get yourself killed in the process though). If you’re a support gunner, throw down ammo kits (especially if someone’s yelling “I NEED SOME AMMO!!!!” at you). If you’re recon, throw down spawn points. If you’re an engineer, repair vehicles. Again, this should be obvious, but the sheer number of people who do dick-all to help out their team in this game are staggering…

2) Spot Enemies
Seriously, the Spot function should be second-nature as soon as you see an enemy. Hell, even if you don’t see an enemy, press the Spot button to see if there’s anyone there. Spot has gotten me so many kills that I’d be much worse at this game without it. Even if you don’t get the kill yourself, you’re basically designating that enemy for your entire team to bring their wrath down upon.

1) PTFO
This whole list was inspired by a recent game which illustrated this point very well. One of my squad-mates was on his headset and talking about how he was bored of defending the objective and wanted to charge the enemy head-on. Predictably, he died soon after, but the whole team started abandoning the objectives in favour of charging like morons. As a result, the enemy snuck past them and nearly took our objectives, if it wasn’t for the 2 of us that were still defending the base.
Battlefield is a largely objective-based game, and if you want to be a good teammate, then play the f-ing objective. This doesn’t mean you have to camp right on top of it, but remain in the general area where you can defend/attack the thing through covering fire, direct attacks, etc. If you’re dicking around in the middle of nowhere because you’re afraid of dying, you’re not helping anyone.
Also, in something like Team Deathmatch, your objective should be to maximize your K/D ratio. Generally, it’s a good idea to stick to the fringes of the map, or to places with wide lines of sight and good cover. Narrow corridors are generally where the action gets funneled, but these are death traps.

Hopefully these tips help you out!

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FPS’s and Innovation

I have a couple ideas for blog posts on a backlog. I’ve been planning on posting them for the last couple days, but I want to give them a better time commitment than I plan to for this one. So I came up with a short rant about the current console gaming landscape so this blog doesn’t whither and die like all my others have, haha.

It’s no secret that console gaming is pretty much dominated by First (and some Third) Person Shooters at the moment, specifically Call of Duty. At present, many people have been complaining that the market is flooded with shooters with no innovation, and the two biggest targets of this diatribe are Call of Duty and Battlefield.

This is where my little rant comes in. I can definitely understand the bitching in regards to Call of Duty: the series has had at least one new release every year for the past 9 years. Of these, the last 6 have been running  on the same engine with little in the way of differentiation between games. Admittedly I was quite a fan of the series up until around Black Ops when it started to get boring. The story mode was fun, as was 4-player split-screen, but the online multiplayer was never really my thing – give me Metal Gear Online any day of the week (speaking of which, can’t wait to play MGO3 when Ground Zeroes comes out). Furthermore, I had always played COD for the story modes – I remember having my socks blown off by the Russian campaign in COD: Finest Hour, and COD4 was absolutely brilliant. However, by the time that MW3 rolled around, the story was… predictable. Every single bloody level ends with a massive moment, whether it be something getting blown up or a main character dies for no other reason than because they needed to fill their body-count quota.

However, I do not understand why Battlefield gets tacked on with Call of Duty when people deride the current gaming landscape. Is it because it is setting itself up to dethrone Call of Duty? Is it because they’re both shooters? Is it because they’re popular? Is it because it’s not art either? Hell, I wouldn’t mind if they were bashing the modern Medal of Honor games since they pretty much are Call of Duty (cue enraged fanboys). Battlefield has only had 3 main releases in 10 years (not counting spin-offs). You might be able to make this argument when Battlefield 4 comes out because it looks like EA is giving BF a semi-annual rotation to coincide with MOH, but that’s not the current state of gaming, that’s the future.

Admittedly, I am currently a Battlefield fanboy. Bad Company 2 was like a revelation after so many stale hours spent playing COD online, and quickly became my multiplayer title of choice. BF3 has been in and out of my PS3 regularly for well over a year now. While I could give less than half a shit about the single-player, the multiplayer is where it’s at. It’s a far more team-based and wide-open game than COD, and suits my style more as a result. So when people compare the two games… is it because they both have guns? Because if you have more of an interest in shooters than simply dismissing them, you’d see that they play quite differently.

That said, I’d like to see the gaming landscape open up a bit, but considering how expensive it is becoming to make a AAA game these days (especially since the next-gen is a year or 2 away), I can’t see that happening soon. But then again, people are always bitching about how the end of ______ is near, and it’s no different with the shooter market. People need to nut up or shut up…

Wow. This ended up being longer than planned… eh oh well. Don’t turn the comments section into a flame war.

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