Posts tagged Call of Duty
As usual, I’m only talking about the singleplayer as for me the multiplayer doesn’t exist/is useless:
-, -, – very blocky world design. It felt like a game crew that couldn’t afford sculptors and only box modellers, or if it could was given no budget for artwork as everything was subservient to “60 frames per second” or some-such gamey goal (probably due to the multiplayer?). Coridors are very boxy, many empty spaces, instead of details “bump maps” or such other “2d” effects. Some pretty good, but not enough to make up for a more interesting world.
-, -, – this is quite related to the above, the setting of the game. The fact that it’s a scifi setting should’ve been a wonderful thing, an opportunity for imagination and originality, but combined with the above the game remains a shallow “go soldier, go go!!!” game with a team with either not enough time/budget or imagination to create an interesting futuristic world. I say this in the following sense: if this same team/budget is given to create say historical weapons/locations/architecture, then (even within their constraints of low poly for high framerate) they could create a world which is interesting and has some measure of believability/interest, because even behind lowpoly objects, we can feel the functional design, their reasons for existing, what they’re supposed to do and in what context. All this becomes false for a futuristic world, and instead you end up with like in this game with a lot of generic “sci-fi-looking” equipment/coridors/objects, which you can tell are “skin deep” shallow”, nobody thought enough about them to make them a true original world, nor did somebody strugle enough to make them very interesting visually. In this sense I would say that within this game/constraints the setting results in a lot of mediocrity
+, +, – the thing that saved the game, and why i kept playing was the fact that you were able to keep moving forward. This kept things a little fresh, and even if I found the story shallow and events and characters uninteresting, at least you could sort of steadily advance.
– however I felt i had very little control, like it was useless to play somehow, like I was just playing chunks of cinematics, like the team wasn’t there to support my actions but me there to support their actions, just waiting for the next checkpoint, the next trigger event, more incentivized to waste time and keep ducking back than to play anything engaging
– the story felt very shallow, soldier propaganda level, with a foolish commander/admiral type who regularly forgets to be one but rather acts like a hero, “one of the soldiers” and always aims to save everybody, which without superpowers of course means he dies a lot (even on easiest difficulty)… and getting back to the story, the guy seems to have the idealism of a rookie who’s never seen casualties (or has done so much propaganda he convinced himself). The villains seem cardboard cut-out “bhaahaha” evil, which i guess they need to be since they seem to be colonies which want to break away so in fact the game is from the perspective of an empire trying to keep them under control as they rebel (particularly ironic when one thinks of America’s origins and the British Empire)
+, -, – it tries to mix things up with space fights, which i guess should be appreciated for variety and occasionally *looks* decent i didn’t enjoy it and felt like the rest of the campaign somehow very limited and not player centric
-, + the music felt forgettable, though i think there was some good stuff too, i just never really noticed it
Overall I’d give the game a -1. It’s still a high budget production, but the most disappointing CoD game in the last probably 8 or so. It feels bland and rather pointless. I wouldn’t recommend this game except to really dedicated and bored FPS fans (I guess I must be one since I finished it?)
Congratulations Jaco for reaching legendary 100 gameSketch points! Hoard or spend? that is za eternal question :D
This portion of the game would’ve fit so perfectly inside a Last of Us game you’d think it was a copy-paste. I mean it as a compliment! Great work in mixing nature into the scene with retro architecture!
This one has been a long time in the playing but finally finished it, so with the credits rolling, here’s my thoughts and memories on the artwork in it:
+, +, +, + Amazing variety of environments. All of them handled and lit with amazing care and love. They tend to be of the uncreative real-world type, but for that they’re interesting and varied real-world places all alternating at a beautifully quick pace. Many a times i was going to play just a bit/a mission and then i was like “i just wanna see the new place”, and then the new place was so interesting I was almost tempted to pull till the next one…
– , -, + it’s a very linear experience. Sometimes it’s understandable and of course it makes sense fo the story it’s trying to tell of the people and the relationships between them, but sometimes the leash felt particularly short as the game was showing fascinating places just a few steps more forward yet if you went there too soon instant death (though well masked, maybe even simulated) awaited. Still, on the plus side for accepting this leash you get a steady pace of high quality scripted events and storytelling so it’s easy to endure for shorter bursts
+, + quite good glorious music
– the checkpoints sometimes were enough but even on the easiest difficulty more than once i experienced frustrating repetitions of the same sequences forcing me to take it even slower and re-see/do the same things. A couple of times this was so frustrating to almost put the game down for a few weeks/months.
+, +, + great cinematic storytelling, interesting story
– , + now those who know me or have been following my impressions on games know i really dislike it when a FPS puts in a driving sequence, but this game did it sooo well, i almost accepted it. That may be also due to the fact that they were also highly scripted events just like the FPS sections. I was amazed not just that they managed to create a half decent driving simulation (i was expecting a very low budget on rails fake feeling one) but what really blew me away were some scripted driving sequences, in particular the one in a middle eastern market+city where I was shocked and delighted to see great attention payed to little details from market stalls to bikes on the road and side and all sorts of neat touches
+, + cohesive overall mood and tone of story. The gameplay, the cinematics, the dialogues, all merged to forme a cohesive emotional picture of the game’s message. Even if the message may be a american pro war propaganda, the game managed to do it well, beautifully presenting one point of view, with everything from story to character motivations, and culminating with the heroism admiration moods and “worthy cause” feeling. I may be more skeptical about the point of view, in that even if they were truly honest in their story the game omits to mention why maybe the other side was doing it’s own stuff, but in fact even in this aspect the game felt excellent as if you looked between the lines you could see even the hints of that, perspectives from the other side or simply ended up questioning why the soldiers were in places so far from home killing people and doing their own objectives… still, all that is part of the richness of the game’s spectrum as every hero becomes stronger the better you portray it’s villain’s strengths and so this game manages to do a decent job surprisingly even at that while remaining consistent (and sometimes enigmatic!) at it’s reverent heroic tone.
Overall I found the game to be quite fantastic and to be honest i find it totally unfair that it gets a horrible 55 metacritic rating as I found it pretty much as good as the very praised in the 90s Modern Warfare series of games to which in my mind it is so similar both in content and quality of production that i had to multiple times focus very hard to remember it’s not a “Modern Warfare 2-3” game :P Similarly having had recently played Halo 3 which was spectacularly reviewed by everybody i can’t but find this game shines fantastically at the quality of it’s presentation and the beauty and love of the memorable locations and fights it created. So I’d give it a quite good 2.5 on a -5 to 5 scale, I find it to be a very solid AAA high budget FPS and I’m super thankful to Sony for making it a free PS+ game, totally an underrated gem IMHO … if you’re willing to put up with american soldierish … but even in that field i found it was much more a story of comradery an sacrifice with friends than one of barking orders so I was able to tolerate it better than others.
+, +, + the first couple of missions kick off with some incredible environments, both the quality of the environments and the attention to the cinematography and and scene setup is amazing and done with a lot of love
– but then later on it somehow changes into not bad, but mediocre, still AAA quality, but not spectacular IMHO. The worst of these are some helicopter section which look quite bad, like a whole different budget kind of uninteresting game different
+, + nice variety of locations
– the story is pretty forgettable grunt type, with personal revenge and mega villain instead of bigger picture or more logical stuff
+ pretty nice setpiece moments
– no choices, branches, exploration or anything like that
+ The artwork I found good, but not mindblowing. I mean it was very professionally done, however the choices of what was done i found less inspired, and no matter how much work you put into some metal rails and straght corridors, they’re still metal rails and straight corridors.
Overall: a decent war game, I actually liked it better than Advanced Warfare because it stuck more to believable environments instead of making up not thought out scifiones. With nice moments, and nice shooting, I’d give it a solid 1.5 on a -5 to 5 scale: worth a quick playthrough on the easiest level for some well done scenes and locations. Probably won’t remember this one in years, but it was enjoyable for almost a week.
-, – the environments are quite mediocre. I mean if at least if they stuck to realistic present day, but they tried to do near future while having no good ideas or interesting things thought out
+ the pacing of story advances are fast, there’s always a checkpoint and moving on to the a new location
– the exosuit thing was quite lame. Everything they did was done years ago much better by Crysis 2, 3 and even 1. Giving this illusion of freedom at arbitrary moments with such tunnel environments only gives an even more locked feeling.
+ there’s quite a lot of environment variety (even if they’re mostly mediocre, in my opinion)
– the story promises to be different and interesting but it quickly turns back into another hero american patriotic soldier story. Lowly grunt soldier level story. The villain promises in the trailers to be an interesting moral gray with some personality depth & smarts only to be then portrayed as a pretty dumb unidimensional kill-everything-in-sight type of villain. Looking forward to times when games will be able to move from some simplified black & white stories.
Conclusions: -1 (on a -5 to 5 scale) a quite mediocre game. I mean sure, if it was a low budget it would’ve been okay but for such high budget highly advertised title it just seemed to me to be disappointingly mediocre. I even gave the multiplayer maps a chance and they’re as generic and boring as the main game. I would have rather played a WW2 call of duty than such generic empty sci-fi environments.
– yet another glorifying war game, complete with barked orders at you and plenty of quotes inspiring you to die for your country because your life is worthless unless you do so
+, + a great series of set-piece moments, takes you through out the globe, on different continents, capitals and locations
– again the confusing mixed cinematics and confusion by body-jumping you into completely different characters
+ good variety of locations
– there’s absolutely no sense of responsibility because of complete lack of choice and you’re basically just a sidecharacter, waiting until your team triggers the next moment to advance or the next moment in the story, no moral choices
– the story is definitely for grunt level thinking, no bigger picture stuff, pretty silly in it’s oversimplifications, one bad bad wolf guy and if he dies the whole world is saved, no subtleties of geopolitics, incentives
– yet another story where the russians are the mega villains and americans save the day. I mean that’s understandable I guess being an American studio, but being entertainment and this story already having been told for half a century… well… it’s getting a bit old. No moral ambiguity, everything is heroic, everything always runs perfectly, always superiority of equipment or logistics, you never feel you’re outnumbered but that you’re always fighting for the winning side.
– the lighting (at least on the ps3) is often unimpressive, with the models okayish but feeling flat
Conclusions: +2 such a dense series varied locations that despite all the drawbacks it’s still a game worth playing (don’t know about the multiplayer, don’t intend to try it).
+, + a lot of variety in the locations
– i found the storytelling most of the time rather dizzying
+ some nicely set up scenes and locations, for example the Vietnam stuff, and a particularly nice winter scene
– while others were not that great
+ a nice twist at the end
– a lot of boring shooting
– very linear
+ towards the end the story becomes a bit more interesting with the insertion of a brainwashing/lie unraveling plot line, but that doesn’t really compensate for the otherwise boring inter mission cinematics
Conclusions: 1 (on a -5 to 5 scale). The variety of locations is nice but a lot of boring shooting, endless linearity and often confusing character changes make it an okay game if you’re okay with a tunnel war game.
A game very well known for it’s multiplayer…
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