Black Ops 2 Trailer: Blow stuff up in Los Angeles, future style

As an objective writer, I have to say one thing about the new trailer for “Call of Duty: Black Ops 2″:

It looks pretty amazing.

The trailer appears to show, among other things, future special forces operatives fighting drones in Los Angeles. It’s very Terminator-esque, and a nice break from the “Kill Russians!” theme of we’ve seen in recent video games that seem to have been made by people who don’t realize the Cold War ended more than two decades ago. (I’m looking at you, “Bad Company,” “Ace Combat: Assault Horizon” and well, “Call of Duty.”)

Being someone who plays games for their single-player than multi-player modes, I haven’t really been excited about a Call of Duty game since the series was still set in World War II and I played Call of Duty 2’s demo at the Circuit City in Newport Beach. I thought that game, as well as original “Call of Duty and its “United Offensive” expansion pack for the PC did a great job of allowing players to imagine the chaos of a World War 2 battle from American, British and Russian perspectives.

I have yet to even get around to playing “Call of Duty 3″ or “World at War. Regarding the games set in the modern era, I think “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare” deserves much of its praise whereas the storyline for “Modern Warfare 2″ didn’t make any sense to me and Black Ops was OK, except I thought the twist at the end was pretty ridiculous. I’ll probably eventually find time to try “Modern Warfare 3″

I know judging recent Call of Duty games for single-player is kind of missing the point, but I don’t have enough time to play multi-player to compete with all the players who take it seriously.

I’m sure Black Ops 2 will continue to emphasize multiplayer, since that’s what the games biggest fans like most. But giving the game a drastically different setting from its predecessors should allow some opportunities for gameplay innovations and wild new weapons. The futuristic setting should give the developers an incentive to be creative, as opposed to “realistic,” and I’m all for it.

QuakeCon Panel: 20 Years of id Software

Readers who are fans of id Software’s titles (Doom, Wolfenstein, Quake) and have a lot of time may want to check out this link to “20 Years of id Software” panel from the QuakeCon 2011 panel.

QuakeCon 2011 took place Aug. 4-7 in Dallas. id Software’s next game, to be published by Bethesda Softworks, is Rage. Rage is set for an Oct. 4 release.

Teaser Trailer: Bioshock Infinite

Irrational Games and 2K Games today released a two-minute teaser trailer for Bioshock Infinite, the forthcoming title which won the Game Critics Awards “Best in Show” prize for its showing at this year’s E3 convention.

The teaser-trailer’s release precedes a scheduled July 7 broadcast of a 30-minute Bioshock Infinite special on Spike TV’s “Game Trailers TV.” The broadcast is set to include a play-through of the game’s 14-minute demo and an interview with Irrational Games president Ken Levine,

The teaser trailer, available here, introduces audiences to former Pinkerton agent Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth within the floating city of Columbia. In the game’s world, Columbia is a floating city that resembles the United States of the late 19th/early 20th century. The game takes place in 1912.

The first Bioshock immersed players in the underwater city of Rapture and a violent critique of Ayn Rand’s proposition of the virtue of selfishness. Game critics – especially philosophically-inclined ones – regard the title’s “would you kindly moment” as a pointed commentary on the illusion of choice within video games.*

Bioshock 2 also took place among the art deco architecture of Rapture, but Bioshock Infinite trades that venue for the Americana of Columbia. I expect the game’s writers to use the venue to express some kind of satirical viewpoint regarding American politics and culture, while simultaneously providing players with the chance to shoot at many, many enemies.

Bioshock Infinite is being developed for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

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New videos for Hunted and Fear 3

Here are a couple links to new videos for the forthcoming “Hunted: The Demon’s Forge” and “Fear 3.”

Developers working for inXile entertainment talk about creating the villains for Hunted in “At War With Monsters.” The game’s publisher, Bethesda Softworks, released the vid.

The second video, classily titled “F**cking Run,” is for Fear 3, developed by Day 1 studios and published by WB Games. The video shows how players must avoid antagonist Alma’s “wall of death” while playing the title’s cooperative mode. (Obvious strong language in the link. You’ve been warned, folks.)

Modern Warfare 3 teaser trailers released, or, violence is still awesome

Green “night vision” imagery, shouting, gunfire and explosions dominate new teaser trailers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

Activision released the images Friday on the company’s Call of Duty channel on You Tube. America, England, France and Germany each get their own spot, so players can expect to see each country featured in this year’s Call of Duty installment.

Oddly enough, there was no imagery of fighting in Baghdad, Afghanistan’s Helmland Province nor Tripoli. But as far as fake wars go, it looks like Activision and EA Games, makers of “Battlefield 3,” will be fighting a tough battle this year for gamers’ attention and money.

(H/t G4

Brink news, FPS fans can “Get Smart”

Bethesda Softworks is releasing a series of videos for their forthcoming shooter, “Brink.” The vids explain game concepts like character classes, the game’s HUD and general gameplay.

One interesting tidbit: The game will allow players to change classes in the middle of the game.

I can’t post the videos since the game is rated M for Mature, but I’m assuming everyone who can find this blog can click a link.

Brink is scheduled for a May 10 North American release for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

 I can also post the opening sequence from the classic “Get Smart” television series. So there.

EA Games announces Battlefield Play4Free

EA Games today announced the release of “Battlefield: Play4Free“, a new title the company describes as a mix of “Battlefield 2″ and “Battlefield: Bad Company”, without the price of having to pay for either title.The free game combines Battlefield 2 maps with Bad Company’s weapons and character classes, EA Games announced. Battlefield: Play4Free also features 16 vehicles, including the Mi-28 attack helicopter F-35 VTOL fighter jet.

Video games have proved that many people enjoy participating in kinetic military action as long as they don’t actually have to leave home and get shot at. EA Games is now making it possible to play a kinetic military action game without having to pay for it, which seems like a pretty shrewd way to reward PC loyalists and lure FPS fans away from Call of Duty in advance of Battlefield 3.

Battlefield 3 is set for a Fall 2011 release on PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360. I thought Battlefield 2 and its franchise brethren were well-made games, although newcomers to  the series need to be prepared to be bombed into the stone age when pitted against longtime players who know how to use the game’s aircraft.

I’ll have to wait until I get away from my work computer to download the game and offer my opinion. Check back for a new posting later this week.



Duke Nukem Forever delayed, try not to be shocked

In what 2K Games calls “the shortest delay in the history of ‘Duke Nukem Forever,’ the title’s release date has been postponed from May 3 to June 14 in North America.

“In case you haven’t heard, Duke never comes early,” said 2K Games president Christoph
Hartmann, said in a press release Thursday. “We’re committed to deliver a laugh-out-loud,
politically incorrect experience that people will talk about for years
to come. We thank Duke’s fans for their continued patience – I promise
this won’t take another 15 years.”

Duke Nukem fans who have been patient enough to wait 15 years for the title have matured aged bit since 1997. The game appears to have more than enough violence, profanity and nudity to warrant an M for Mature rating, although the word “mature” may not be the best word to describe anything related to Duke Nukem.

Duke Nukem Forever was supposed to be released in 1997, but that didn’t happen. Games that actually came out in 1997 included “Starfox 64″ and”GoldenEye 007″ for Nintendo 64, “Star Wars: X-Wing vs. Tie Fighter,” “Fallout,” “Grand Theft Auto” and “Age of Empires” for PC and “Gran Turismo,” and “Castlevania: Symphony of the Night” for PlayStation.

Homefront goes gold

“Homefront,” the upcoming FPS that puts players in a world where the Communist “Greater Korean Republic” occupies the United States has gone gold. In other words, the game is now in production.

It would probably be impossible for any military to execute a transpacific invasion of the United States – given that this country has satellites and missiles that can be shot at big surface ships or transport jets carrying troops – but who cares about realism? “Red Dawn” screenwriter John Milius wrote Homefront’s single-player campaign, and anyone who ever saw Red Dawn knows the movie asked its audience to believe that a Soviet-invasion of the United States would result in Soviet paratroopers attacking a small town in the Colorado Rockies, thousands of miles from supply lines or the military realities of the 1980s.

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But  … Red Dawn was still an entertaining movie with a relatively high quotability quotient, so Homefront may turn out to be a fun game. The under-rated Freedom Fighters (2003) featured an equally unlikely Soviet-invasion scenario in New York City, but it was fun to play the role of a patriotic urban guerrilla fighting commies alongside heavily-armed NPCs.

Homefront, developed by KAOS Studios and published by THQ, is set for a March 15 release in North America for PC, PlayStation 3 and XBox 360.

Review: “Fallout 3″

By Todd Kistler
Staff Writer

“Fallout 3″ depicts the world at its worst. Anarchy has replaced a civilization devastated by nuclear war, and most survivors maintain only a tenuous grip on their sanity and humanity. Horrifyingly mutated animals and humans roam the wastes.

And when you’re there, you’ll want to stay as long as you possibly can.
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