Monday, 19 August 2013

A Cynical Call Of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer Reveal Review (Kinda)

Warning: If you are a Call of Duty fanboi this article will make you very angry. Well, more angry than you are normally. Probably about as angry as losing a TDM match with lag. Maybe a bit far but you know, CoD fans be crazy.

In case you didn't know, the multiplayer reveal for this game that's part this little series you probably haven't heard of called 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' happened about 5 days ago. Oh, you have heard of it? Oh yeah, silly me, it's the most successful franchise in the history of gaming of course - dun dun DUUUUN. God knows why though.

So yeah, seriously now, the multiplayer reveal for CoD:Ghosts happened and I forced myself to watch the entire hour long show on YouTube that a couple of years ago I would have enjoyed but now made me want to rip my eyes out and bleed slowly to death while wondering what I had and hadn't achieved in my measly life.

Yeh, I'm not usually this cynical but this fucking game and its boring ass reveal that I sat through has turned me like this.

So let's get down to reviewing the reveal event and then I'll give you my take on the game at the moment and what I think about it.

So it starts and the first 2 minutes are them bigging up the series with some stats about sales and hours played as well as seeing how many clips they could edit together of people saying "Call of Duty" or rather "Call of Dooty", as half of them pronounced it. They even got several clips from Family Guy. I know right, the most rehashed game series was ass kissing the most rehashed TV series. Isn't it cute?

Then the event started. Eric Hirshberg, CEO at Activision, came out and gave a speech about the event and franchise. Now this was all fine until he started to crack jokes. Jokes like "Our fanbase is the best in the world". Needless to say, after he said that I was literally 'rofling', until I realised he was being serious.

I mean, who writes that crap? That's like the head of Riot Games coming out and praising the fanbase of League Of Legends as being incredibly team focused and the best of any MMORPG.

If you're skeptical about my scepticism of Hirshberg commending the CoD fanbase, then think of it this way.

If you go onto CoD online and start winning, you'll be threatened and called every name under the sun, mostly by 12 year old no lives. If you go on there and start losing, you'll also receive taunts and abuse for being crap. Mostly, again, by 12 year old no lives. And remember that Call of Duty is an 18 or 'M' rated game.

Aside from the issue of online abuse by, yet again, mostly 12 year old no lives, you also have the problem that NO ONE ON CALL OF DUTY CAN WORK AS A FUCKING TEAM. They're like the League Of Legends players of the FPS world.

That's not all though. Hirshberg didn't seem to have an issue praising a fanbase that sent Treyarch dev David Vonderhaar death threats because of patches and changes he made to the game. Start a slow clap everyone; this is the 'best fanbase in the world' as Hirshberg called them. Or as we normal people and gamers refer to them as: animals and cretins.

Hirshberg decided to throw in another serious 'joke' a couple of minutes later too, when he started asking what made Call of Duty such a successful series for so long.

"Is it the graphics?" He suggested.

Sorry mate but


Have you looked at a CoD game recently? The graphics haven't changed since CoD 4. In fact, I actually find the proposition that graphics in general could make any series as popular as CoD to be totally stupid. Nobody will play a mediocre game as much as they do Call of Duty just because it looks nice. Graphics play no part in a game's popularity.

Then he added to his list of *failing* jokes by asking if it was the stories that made the series so popular.

I'm sorry but what stories are these? What games have you been playing, Eric? Last CoD I played had me bored out my skull. No one plays CoD for the stories or the single player. Not anymore. Maybe 4 or so years ago, but these days CoD is seen as pretty much a multiplayer only game.

Then he had the cheek to turn around and say "Sure, it's all those things." So you're saying that everything you just listed is why so many people play Call of Duty? So you're suggesting that it's not just the online progression system, but the nonexistent stories and the shitty PS2 graphics from 2007? No, no, no mate. NO. OK. No. Just no. Here is why CoD is popular:

...............

Mike's Lesson On Why Call Of Duty Is Popular

It's easy.

It's easy to get into.

It's easy to play.

It's easy to win.

It doesn't require much assertion from the player except the energy they use from farting, eating, using the controller and yelling furiously down their mic at their shitty team mates.

It's got one of the best progression systems of any online FPS game (I can't lie, the progression system is A*).

It's been popular since the introduction of the Xbox 360 and PS3 and no other franchise has been able to get ahead because of this. You see, who gets in first, wins. And that's what CoD did. It isn't really popular because it's 'OMG AMAZING' or anything, it just made its mark before any other shooter and thus continues to be bought globally by millions each and every year.

Simples.

...............

There. It's not rocket science Mr. Hirshberg.

Hirshberg: "But at the end of the day, none of that matters. If they don't all combine to add up to that one essential ingredient that's at the heart of every Call Of Duty *Dooty* game and that's fun."

Wrong. Call Of Duty hasn't be fun since Modern Warfare 2.

"You can't count on much in this world, but you can count, every year, on Call of Duty *Dooty* to make your knuckles white, your heart race, to unleash your competitive fire and trigger your 'Holy shit' reflex more consistently than any form of entertainment in the world."

You're right, CoD does make me go "Holy shit!" which is usually followed by "How the fuck did that guy kill me first? Fucking lag...".

After Eric's little speech we're shown a trailer for the multiplayer. Not much to say about this except if it was supposed to get me excited, it failed. The trailer looked like it could be for Black Ops II or MW3. The same guns, same gun sound effects, same graphics and same features too. Yeah, they actually decided to make big writing come up during the trailer saying shit like "Customise your soldier". Oh, wow. Thanks so much for that feature that has been in the series since CoD 4.

Some way into this trailer they decide to show us some new game modes, but they only give you about 2 seconds to read all the information about them and so you end up losing track of what the fuck is actually going on. At least it's only a trailer and not proper gameplay huh?

Then they present us with some new modes and perks and shit but again, not enough time to analyse them so who the fuck knows what they're about or do?

Then a gas station collapses in pretty mediocre fashion because if you've played Battlefield or seen the Battlefield 4 trailer you'll have seen a fucking sky scraper come down so a gas station barely gets the skin tingling. In fact it doesn't. It just looked like they were trying to get some BF fanboys to come over and join the CoD party. But there's more chance of Kim Kardashian being a virgin than that happening.

The Call of Duty logo then flashes up and that's the end of the trailer.

The camera goes back to the stage and good ol' Eric walks out again. You know I do like Eric Hirshberg, even if I am 'hating' on him for lack of better term. It's just the game he's promoting and company that employs him aren't exactly my cup of tea. And the shit he comes out with is embarrassing half the time.

Hirshberg then continues his speech thing, quickly giving Eminem a nice little bit of promotion by explaining that the Eminem song heard during the trailer is the first time the song has EVER (yes, evar) been played to the public. I guess even Eminem does some ass kissing these days. Recession ya know?

But the whole Eminem business didn't end there. Oh no. The man himself had prepared a video explaining how much he loves CoD and how involved he is in the franchise. Ya know, cos' a couple of his songs have been used in their trailers and shit like that.....

I'm sorry but does anyone give a shit? I don't really give a crap about Eminem at the multiplayer reveal of a video game. I care about the game itself, even if it is only Call of Duty. Why the fuck is Eminem getting in on the action? I don't want to see a video of a white guy talking like he is black and sounding like he's high on coke. I'd rather see some, ya know, gameplay.

Oh and you can be sure that Hirshberg made a totally generic and cliche joke when he came back on stage about the way Eminem closed his video with a peace sign.

Hirshberg *doing a peace sign*: "That's how I'm gonna walk off later if that's OK?"

Groan and mumble and typical 'Hahaha why do I have to laugh at this?' from the audience.
If Hirshberg wanted to make a funny comment about the hipster slash gangster way Eminem acts and left the video then he could've just come out and said: "What a twat" and everyone would have actually genuinely laughed and agreed.

So blah blah blah, let's skip ahead a bit.

The first proper new feature revealed was the customisation options. You can now choose exactly how your soldier appears to everyone else. And you can also now play as a woman! Yay, finally games are embracing female players. Took long enough.

I don't actually really have anything bad to say about the customisation features. They look.....Solid. I guess. They're won't exactly make the gameplay experience anymore fun or bad but it's a good start. People have wanted this level of personalisation in CoD for some time and it's good they finally listened.

There's also 30 new weapons and more perks too and you have tons of different options when it comes to choosing what loadouts you use as well as equipment too.

However it got a bit stupid when killstreaks were mentioned.

Some new killstreaks include 'Juggernaut Maniac' which just sounds dumb and a guard dog called Riley who kills enemies that are close and growls to let you know when opponents are near. Sounds a bit lame if you ask me.

However admittedly they did redeem themselves by stating that there are, officially, no more deathstreaks. Finally! Hallelujah! Praise da Lord!

I'm gonna be honest, there were a load of new features revealed and, quite frankly, I can't be fucked to talk about them all. Mainly because this happens with CoD EVERY year. Like, EVERY year. They announce the new features, you get excited, then when you play it you realise the gameplay still sucks and it gets boring after two weeks. I don't want to talk about the new features and waste my time on them because I just know it's gonna end up with the same result as last year and the year before and the year before.

The bottom line is that I'm barely even excited for Ghosts. It looks OK, I guess, but even with these new features, it's still the core experience we've had for the past God knows how frigging long. And I know I'm sick of it and a lot of other people are too. Call of Duty is getting old and no matter what 'innovations' they try to make it will still play out the same every single year. The only time this is going to change is when the next gen starts and new multiplayer rival games are released.

Hopefully Ghosts will surprise me, in a good way, but I have to admit, I'm not even remotely expecting that to happen.

What are your thoughts on Call of Duty: Ghosts? Are you looking forward to it? Or are you not bothered? Leave your thoughts below!

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