“Cry ‘Havoc!’, and let slip the dogs of war”

Happy (Long?) Weekend TAY!

I wish all those who have to travel this Easter weekend a safe journey, sounds like the weather in many places will not be a lot of fun. Enjoy your extra time off, if you are lucky enough to have any.

I finished Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’s campaign last week. It was respectfully paced at 8 hours and I was ready for that to be over when it ended. I’ve never been a huge fan of the Call Of Duty games, though they are always somewhat satisfying enough to play on the cheap.

Yeah, yeah...I know...I’m playing the wrong part of Call Of Duty when I’m playing the single-player content, but this one felt even slightly less enjoyable than the past entries. It is seven years old, maybe I was expecting too much. It does have an arcadey hunt-and-peck mechanic that works well.

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The subject matter hits closer to home than I would have liked; Russia attacking the U.S. and chemical attacks in Europe. It sort of ruined the illusion for me. It is hard to be a part of a fantasy when it skirts your reality.

Also, having gun company names in your face felt weird, with what’s been going on in the U.S. Had I played the game when it came out seven years ago, it would have probably felt like the 007 movie it wanted to be instead of the possible CNN it ended up as.

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It was clear, I didn’t really need to be playing Modern Warfare 3 at that moment in time. However, by the time I felt somewhat unsettled, I had already racked up a couple of hours on the game and knew I wasn’t in for a terribly long haul.

...and you know what? I’m kinda glad I stayed with it. Once I made my peace with the strange coincidence of themes, I was able to have a bit of fun.

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Call Of Duty has this wonderful game mechanic of making you move forward. This is often a standard behaviour in many multiplayer shooters, but it is not often a part of most single-player shooters today. If you choose to stay in one place in MW3, enemies will just keep coming. You can create lulls in the spawns if you are quick enough to clear the field, but more baddies will come in short order.

You have to keep pressing forward to gain ground in this campaign. As you move forward, you wipe the enemy spawn points behind you and create new ones in the distance. If you have enough support NPCs with you, it is possible to spend a good chunk of the time just moving forward (without shooting) to advance your army (and the story).

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This mechanic forces me to be more aggressive than I usually play and offers an exhilarating change of pace. My preferred shooters have a heavy stealth component, but even most single-player action-games today don’t keep pouring on the bad guys unless you are playing some form of “horde” mode.

Modern Warfare 3’s simple gameplay offers broad appeal and the game does it all with a grand spectacle, it is easy to see why it sells well (and of course people want the multiplayer). It is too bad the story hit me so weirdly, I probably would have liked the game when it came out seven years ago.

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I’m on to Watch_Dogs now. This is my first time playing it and I haven’t been able to put a lot of time into it yet. It seems alright so far, maybe a little dry and plodding? It looks nice with the mods I’m using on the PC version, though I hardly glanced at the stock version of it to really see what the performance hit is giving me. I’m running 60fps at 1080p but had to dial back the shadows a bit to keep the framerate up.

Watch_Dogs also has weird parallels with today’s headlines as there is lots of hacking of networks, illegal data collection, and a big company bent on using this data to their advantage.

My character has also been upgrading his skills and gaining data to use against people. Maybe I’ll be able to help the world, or maybe I will be part of the problem.

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It will be okay...I will use my powers for good...and revenge...good-revenge!

My family has a lot of plans this weekend, so my game-time will be limited. Maybe I’ll be able to play Sonic 3D Blast with the kid on Monday. I’d be happy to put that one to bed, it is not a good game at all, but it is enjoyable to poke fun at it with my son. 3D Blast has simply dreadful controls and tears the heart out of everything that is Sonic.

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So, what are you playing this long weekend?