Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Call of Duty: World at War - Treyarchs attempt at WWII, AGAIN….

This is not COD5, this is COD: WAW.
Taking this into account, I consider WAW to be an EXPANSION PACK rather than a stand alone game. There are a few improvements, but in all honesty, it’s COD4 in a new skin.

The multiplayer is the same as before, albeit with a few additional perks and game modes. The best addition in regards to the multiplayer is the availability to choose the regions in which you search for a game, Default, Local or Locale only (thank fuck, not so many laggy transatlantic games!).

The main new additions to the game are the Co-op missions. Now in my opinion, all next gen games should have Co-op catered for from the get-go. A large contingent of console/pc gamers are online now and it is worthless making a game without a full online mode incorporating Co-op, because lets face it, competitive multiplayer games are getting tiresome with all the cheats out there (but that’s another article for another time). The Co-op in WAW is not complete, as there are a few campaign missions that cannot be completed in Co-op, a small problem to be honest. For a lot of gamerscore whores who want to get a few of achievements with a group of friends, it’s annoying (see Halo 3 Co-op*) as you can complete the Co-op on veteran but not get the game completion achievement!!

The graphics, as expected are good; it is using the COD4 engine after all. The maps look the part, large, filled with foliage or corresponding debris. Penetrable cover makes a return (if this disappears I will definitely have a shit fit, one of the series saving graces) and it does feel good, and amazingly realistic again, aiming your Tommy-Gun at a beach hut and taking the enemy troops out from behind their cover.

The new addition of the flame thrower is a fun weapon with all the flammable environments, but its not anything compared to the fire propagation in Far Cry 2 or even Alone in the Dark. The vehicles (more like 1 type of Tank) are ok, the look and controls of them are reasonable, but could have been so much better. I was looking forward to some large maps with people carriers not only the odd Tank, like in COD3.

The worst parts of this game for me are the lack of a British Allied campaign in a reasonably good story and a huge lack of originality. The campaign missions are well scripted, even though there is no British perspective (same old American version of world history), and amazingly acted by the vocal talents of Kiefer Sutherland and Gary Oldman.
In regards to the originality of the game, it’s a tough one for people to get their chops around:
First of all, the WWII shooter market is completely saturated after possibly 13 odd years of different FPS franchises.
Secondly, the lack of new innovations in this iteration of COD simply confirms the fact that this is merely an EXPANSION PACK, it is just COD4 in a new skin.
And finally, the blandness of the campaign. Playing through WAW, I felt no adrenaline rush or real interest for the characters as I had in COD4.

I did enjoy my play through of COD: WAW. I haven’t really had many games with the Co-op mode, the few I did play were enjoyable, especially with the ‘Death Cards’ activated (these are collectables you can find in the campaign game that activate cheats in Co-op). Also the Zombie mode, which is unlocked upon completion of the campaign, is a very enjoyable mode, think GOW2 Horde, with the continuing levels getting harder.

The Zombie Nazi mode is probably the best part of WAW for me, as they have used the classic foot dragging Zombie, instead of the sprinting-like-fuck Zombies of certain games/films. You use a grenade on these Zombies, body parts fly off. If they lose their legs, they will still drag themselves to bite your ankles! This mode is something that seems to have been really concentrated on by Treyarch and I’m impressed. I still think it should have some more options, e.g. more maps, weapons etc. but it’s a really solid part to an above average shooter.

It’s a good game, but not the game it could have been.
But really, Infinity Ward spoiled us with COD4.

If you look at WAW as a stand alone game, it’s a slight fail, but as an expansion pack it’s a reasonable game.


*I wish I didn’t have to use Halo as a reference, but the Co-op was one of the few positives.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

The continuing downfall of the gaming community (or the regretable influx of Gaming CHAVS)

I am in no way a retro gamer. I was born in the mid 80's, into a working class family. We didn't have too much but we did have a very old gaming console.

It was a Sonix/Soundic home video game system.This simplistic console gave hours of fun with the standard variation of Pong (Hockey/Football, Squash/Handball, Tennis/Table Tennis) but also had an amazing shooting game using an excellent pistol/rifle light gun, this is probably why I have an unhealthy enjoyment with target shooting. ;)

This is my first memory of gaming. Its a humble beginning to an amazing world of gaming in the years to come. Others had the ZX Spectrum, the Commodore 64 or moving forward to the NES and Sega systems. These humble beginnings enable the gamer to appreciate any new and rule challenging game designs, the ones that push the boundaries and not necessarily the graphical boundaries (which is unfortunately the main focus in this day and age). I did have a SNES, mainly for SF2, Starfox and a MechWarrior game. I missed out on the PS1 until its last year where I became addicted to MGS, a PS2, Xbox moving up to the present day. A Wii (which has now been sold), a PS3 (hardly used for gaming I'm afraid) and the main machine I use, the Xbox 360. I did dabble over the years with some PC games, mainly Star Wars ones as i could never get on with FPS mouse control, a joystick was my main controller of choice. In all honesty, I believe I'm a well rounded individual in regards to gaming, I have played all types of games over the years and I pride myself in not going always with the hype, but with my own likes and dislikes.

These unpretentious beginnings are something that the current generations of gamers do not have. This humble entrance into the gaming past-time has gone and with that we have the birth of a gamer we could do without. The Gaming Chav.

Now I am not a person to ridicule or attack someone for their likes and dislikes. I like to engage the person in a conversation, gather the particular reasons for their opinions and see if I can change their mind or even accept that the person has, in fact, changed mine. I have conversations like this with many of my online friends over xbox live, in particular, Kraven, Tiq and Peace. In these discussions we have all our own likes and dislikes, but do not force them upon others. Something is in common between us all, we were born before or during the 1980's. Now I'm not being Ageist but it seems that any gamer under the age of 20 is more likely to be a member of the Gaming Chavs.

Now the Gaming Chavs are individuals who act more like the Borg. Hear me out. The GC's, as I will call them, all have the same opinions but also split in different directions of fanboydome for games consoles. For example (delete as appropriate):
Halo RULZ it is the best thing EVA
GOW is better than GOW2
PS3 sux ass/rulz
Xbox sux ass/rulz
Wii sux ass/rulz

But they all have the same attitude:


And they will endeavour to change your mind with the insesent "your wrong dude like so wrong" or "halo rulz fullstop!"

Resistance, as they say, is futile. Well in the GC's eyes anyway.

I have PREFERENCES, but I will never be so immature as to be classed as a GC. These individuals may be die-hard fans, but they have no real love or passion for gaming, only the latest fad or overly hyped poor quality game. Having been brought up with the games that are not flashy, but were challenging and interesting have enabled the old school gamers to develop well rounded opinions that have value, not one dimensional arguments from the GC's.

I am really, really grateful of M$ as the new NXE dashboard update enables party chat. Now I don't have to listen to the whining teens moan about how Epic failed with GOW2 or how Halo is the most amazing thing to grace a console. This gives a really bad name to the gaming community, because in any social group it is always the minority that cause the group to have a bad name. We, as mature, well informed and passionate gamers really need to make our cause known. I really hope this doesn't get any worse, as not many people are aware of how close and mature this community of gamers can be.

Truthfully, I can't see it getting any better, what with the current opinion of American gamers getting ever lower (I have a few good American friends online, but it seems that most of who you come across are GC's) and a new breed of British ignorant fools who seem to be getting more and more present over xbox live.

I have hopes, small hopes, but hopes that this terrible situation can be recovered.

We as gamers do need to stand together and try and resolve this now!

Peace out people.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Far Cry 2 exclusive podcast interview

Hi all,
A while ago I had the immense pleasure of interviewing a Mr Patrick Redding from UBISOFT.  He is the Narative Designer of a game you may know of as Far Cry 2.  In this interview I got to ask some questions that so far have not been answered by most magazines and online game sites.  So click on the player to the left and have a listen and leave your comments!!
for those who cannot hear the podcast on the left, here is a youtube version:

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Any one looking forward to Saints Row 2?

I for one am incredibly excited and looking forward to this amazing improvement on the original.  Yes, the original had its issues (pop up/ghost vehicles and was constantly compared to GTA) but this time I think they may have created a very well made game.  Its not GTA, but I never have looked at it as a GTA contender, its a completely different game if you play it, the first one was slighlty more fun than GTA4.  I said more fun, not graphically superior or anything like that.  Well here is a Co-Op trailer that our friends over at THQ have released.

Thanks to THQ (www.saintsrow.com)

Sunday, 31 August 2008

About Righteous Reviews

Hi there,

We are a couple of individual gamers who have decided to publish our honest and righteous reviews on games, movies and what ever else takes our fancy!

But seriously, we aim to give the most honest, informative reviews to our readers and in turn all we ask is that you spread the word about our little blog.

Catch ya later dudes and dudettes!