IDL FEATURE – Day 1: FPS – Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

First category of the next two weeks is the First Person Shooters. The FPS genre is probably the most popular genre, if not the most prolific. Every year we get dozens of new titles, each competing for popularity. The FPS genre is also one of the oldest in gaming history, with Doom, and Quake, and Wolfenstein 3D. At points it’s been funny, with the Duke Nukem’s, or gorgeous, with the Crysis’i. The genre has been used to tell many stories, from war in the World War 1 and 2 days, battles with demons on Mars, cities under water or in the sky, or used to tell no story at all, but simply made to press the technology borders farther, and just have people compete in an arena till their death, like Unreal Tournament.

For the First Person Shooter category, I’ve chosen 3 games: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 1, Halo: Reach, and RAGE.

Honorable mentions to: Far Cry 3, and Homefront.

Day 1 – Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Developer: Infinity Ward
Publisher: Activision

Looking back now, one of the most well-known franchises, and most popular today, are the Call of Duty games, but it started over a decade ago with their World War 1 and 2 games. Call of Duty popularized the FPS genre on the PC and console by dropping us in a war environment, in the shoes of a soldier and asked us to fight in a war. The game glorified war, but showed the true nature and harsh realities behind it. We lost comrades left right and center as we fought our way through each battle, and it didn’t give us a lot of time to grieve.

Call of Duty became most well-known for its single player campaign, story-telling and scripted events. Head long into each firefight, every instance of the game was a little over the top, and urged the player to press forward, be it your comrades who sit beside you until you advance, or the enemies up ahead flushing you out with well-placed grenades. You never stop moving.

Year after year of the World War 1 and 2 games, the Call of Duty franchise made a sudden, if not relieving, jump to the modern era, with the introduction of COD 4: Modern Warfare. This is also the game that jumped into the new generation of consoles, with a spiffy new engine.

This game changed the landscape of FPS, and is still revered as one of the most popular Call of Duty games to date, and sparking the ignition to what is now the most popular annual franchise.


The game told a great story, following multiple leads, each connected, as they trotted the globe fighting terrorism. The story was kept compact though, a small group making big changes, and dragging the player through it at a ferocious pace.

The game starts as we try to escape a huge freighter ship that is sinking in the ocean, slows everything down and puts us in the shoes and gullies suit of a sniper in Chernobyl, and then ramps it back up without apologizing.

The mechanics of the game were its best attributes. The shooting mechanic was so precise and so fulfilling. The shots felt like they had real impact, the guns so realistically designed. And getting shot also felt punishing, the screen getting covered with blood. The enemies’ deaths felt natural as well. A mainstay of the franchise, the deaths were animated, and not delegated to a physics engine, making the bodies perform unrealistic ragdoll tumbling maneuvers.

The game also reinvigorated the online FPS world, and this is now the most popular feature of the annual versions. People don’t even play the single player campaign. These are terrible people though. The way the online mode was designed encouraged continuous play. You earned unlocks and new guns the more you played, through XP, and you didn’t even need to do well. The game rewarded time and dedication. And then if/when you reached the cap level, you could prestige to Rank 2, and do it all over again, sacrificing all your unlocks and starting from scratch. Why, to show dedication and time, of course.

Modern Warfare, and the Infinity Ward team behind it designed every facet of the game to perfection, and it can be argued that the eight Call of Duty games that have since followed, and the sheer popularity of the annualized franchise, is thanks to the success of this title.

Tomorrow – HALO: Reach –>


WHAT I’M PLAYING – Stop. Shoot. Stop. Shoot.

Do those words sound the same to you?

I’m nearing the end of Far Cry 4, and happily playing it in co-op the oft chance I get. It’s a very fun game with lots to do, but the game does suffer, I feel, from some repetition of the side quests. They are essentially fetch or destroy quests, and don’t require a lot of thought, just more walking or driving around.


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E3 2014 – Microsoft Press Conference

Alright, here we go. E3 2014 is here.

E3 Microsoft

We start today off with the Microsoft Press Conference, where they’re promising 90 minutes of games. And they delivered.

We started off with a huge gameplay reveal for Call of Duty Advanced Warfighter. The game looked incredible. Very futuristic, kind of sci-fi. Very good looking and cinematic.Truly next gen looking, but with the same gameplay that we can expect from the franchise.

Next up we have the Forza guys from Turn 10 announcing the Nurburbring for Forza 5, free DLC, and then they brought out Playground Games to do a full reveal of Forza Horizons 2. 200+ cars, dynamic/ dramatic weather, and the Forza Drivatar tech is coming over. More open-world and seamless multiplayer.

Next up is a quick trailer for Evolve. More info released for it – a 2nd monster revealed: Kraken, 2nd group of hunters too. The game comes out later this year with 3 monsters and 12 hunters, and over a dozen maps. Always liked L4D, so this has my attention. #Excited.

Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed Unity showcasing the co-op function. 4 player co-op missions. Not much said about whether this is throughout the whole campaign, or is this separate multiplayer focused missions. Assassins Creed 3 killed a lot of my love for the franchise. Hopefully my play through of IV reinvigorates me for when Unity comes out. Showed large outside environments which seamlessly transition into indoor smaller compact environments.

Moving along at a quick pace. 90 Minutes goes by quick when its all games… Bioware up next with Dragon Age Inquisition. Look Co-op too? Looks similar to an Oblivion. If it is indeed co-op I’d be down. But it is most likely like KotOR, where you can switch between characters in your party.

Next up, Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive which is incredible looking, and looks very fun to play. Very colourful. Breaking the 4th wall right off the bat. Insomniac knows what they’re doing, and what they’re good at. Starts off making fun of other games. Insomniac has always been known for their creative weapons, and we’ve seen a few to date: record launcher, dynamite teddy bear. Today we saw the Propane Tank launcher. Game showcases some very fast traversal, and announced an 8-player co-op mode. I believe separate from the actual campaign. Oct 28th, 2014 release. XBOX1 Exclusive.

Announcement of a 4 player arcade edition of Dead Rising 3, as DLC, $10. Looks crazy, super fast and competitive. Hyper stylized, and has a crazy name: Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha Prime.

Dance Central announce Spotlight and Disney Fantasia. Moving On.

Fable Legends is up next with a 4 player co-op D&D style game.  5th player can have a top down view and play as the villain, similar to a Dungeon Master. Unreal 4 Engine. Weird.

Microsoft’s creative game, Project Spark, looks.. creative. Announced a Conker pack, essentially saying we’re not gonna make another Conker game, go make one yourself.

Finally, past the mid point, wrapping up the announcements for 2014, getting ready for 2015, bring out Teh Halozz!.

Halo: Master Chief Collection announced Nov 11, 2014 release. Includes Halo 1-4. 100 Multiplayer maps, 4000 Gamerscore, all on one disc. Halo 2 gets the anniversary treatment with the original and classic engine, and all the original MP maps, with 6 re-created.

Also announced is Halo Nightfall, which is a digital series that leads up to Halo 5 Guardian. Halo 5 Beta multiplayer beta coming this Holiday. #RedvsBlue

From AAA to Indy. ID@2015, independent developers working hard with Xbox getting their games out. Ability to self publish. Lots of cool, quaint, stylized games coming our way. Ori and Blind Forrest stood out, and a Limbo-esq game called Inside. Quick montage showing lots of titles.

Next up, an actual genuine surprise, The Rise of the Tomb Raider. Just a quick trailer showing Lara in therapy discussing the events of the first game spliced with footage of her in the wilderness again, running from a bear and launching herself off a cliff wielding her rock climbing spike.

Witcher 3 is next up. Showing gameplay of an actual hunt. Our hero tracking a Griffon and the skills that are needed for tracking. Gameplay shows combat and how organic story elements get can be integrated, as the protagonist Geralt comes across a camp of baddies harassing a female herbalist. We’re shown some pretty gory gameplay. Tracking the Griffon shows some of the terrain and we’re told that any view-able location is traversable.

Microsoft has been blazing through this conference, no breaks, no breathers. No dancing in front of the Kinect, no stats, no hardware announcements, no Apps.

Tom Clancy’s the Division is up, nearing the end of the conference. The game is gorgeous, showing some of the new HUD overlays, GPS maps and highlighting enemies behind cover. Level design is so heavily detailed as we see the characters traverse the New York tunnel system. Game looks very much like The Last Of Us, as in we get the real impression this is post apocalyptic survival. Gun play gameplay shows some fantastic damage. Really impressed, but the game is still a ways out.

Almost last up, Scalebound. a Monster Hunter style game by the guys who made Vanquish. Very Japanese. Character can armor up as he’s in the middle of a monster battle. Puts his headphones on to rock out! Probably Presented by Beats By Dre.

Last but not least. Crackdown 3! Or Crackdown rebooted? Agency Co-op returns as we seen a couple agents trying to take down a baddie who is barricaded up at the top of his fortress tower. We see some new interesting destruction. Utilizing explosive to take down a couple buildings in domino effect as another agent drives a tanker truck wrapped in explosives up the side of the felled building into the fortress headquarters. Very cool, would be awesome if this turns out to be true gameplay possibilities.

That’s it, that’s all. Final montage shows what we’ve seen, whats to come. No big shocking closer, no Halo 5 cinematic, or news on Destiny, or Gears. But everything that we saw is next-gen, and looks great.

EA Press conference is up next. Stay Tuned