Modern Warfare 3 DLC Rings in the New Year!

1 01 2012

And to kick off the new year, Activision is throwing some DLC your way! If you purchased the CoD Elite service which has mostly been broken but still cost you $50, then rejoice. On January 24 you will be playing some brand new maps. No real word on how many yet, and hopefully if since we are forced to pay for them, it won’t be just some “Redux” versions of old maps. I mean after all it’s “the greatest selling first person shooter of all time”. Or at least that’s what Activision would tell you. At any rate, a few new maps will do the franchise good, maybe even spark some players to drop the game they are currently playing and pick up the old CoD mantle once more.

The aptly named "Park" a park...



A Single Player Take on Modern Warfare 3

12 11 2011

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (Single Player) Review

Srsbizniz was nice enough to give Modern Warfare 3’s multiplayer high marks, but my single player review of MW3 isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just not that great.  Have you played MW2?  If you have, than you’re in for no surprises.  Hitting the ground running, MW3 continues the ongoing story of MW2.  Boasting a whopping 5 1/2 hour campaign with no real plot twists or unexpected outcomes, MW3 is a cinematic epic FPS on rails.  It did have some “shock factor” moments though; *SPOILER* when killing an airport full of civilians just isn’t enough, you kill a child on vacation.  I’m not upset with the scene, but it didn’t add anything to the story, maybe it was there to induce some anger deep down inside of me for Makarov, but it didn’t, and it didn’t really shock me either.  Infinity Ward definitely went for broke, que the Michael Baysplosions and death defying escapes, in which you survive and limp away from…often.  MW3 does not slow down and is continually dragging you along for the ride, there is no rest for the wicked.

Everything isn’t subpar though, Modern Warfare 3 does have improved graphics and weapon mechanics.  The city scapes were impressive, but you get little time to enjoy the scenery while being shot in the face.  While I knew what cities I was fighting in, I didn’t recognize them, it didn’t feel like I was fighting in NY or Paris even after seeing iconic landmarks.  It just felt too surreal.  Cinematics transition in and out of action smoothly, but made the game feel too much like an interactive movie, and less like a video game, taking too much control out of the players hands.        

Modern Warfare 3 is an over the top action adventure filled with plenty of head shots and explosions.  The game continues to be in your face screaming, yelling and tugging at you to move along.  It’s hard to complain about constant action, it’s really an action movie lover’s wet dream.  But the lack of an intriguing story and strong characters, besides  Capt. Price, there’s much left to be desired.  The game does end with much needed closure concerning Makarov, and finishes with everything we already knew about Price.  He’s a bad ass.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (single player) scores a B. 


More MW3 Tournament Pics From Insert Coins Las Vegas

10 11 2011

Insert Coins was nice enough to post a few pics on their Facebook fan page for your enjoyment.  Here are a few of us and some of our favorites. There’s even a photo included of our night vision goggled friend.

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Photos thanks to Peter Suh.  Be sure to hit up Insert Coins during any of their many events.

MW3 Launch Tournament at Insert Coins Las Vegas

9 11 2011

MW3 and a DJ at Insert Coins.

My plans for picking up Modern Warfare 3’s launch at Gamestop was thwarted when Insert Coins Las Vegas announced they were going to hold a tournament of champions for it’s MW3 launch.  Readers now know that Nerd Farm is not just about being a nerd, but getting out in the real world and spending time with other nerds, so I jumped on the chance to participate and write about this titles highly anticipated launch.  Little did I know that the night would end with me actually winning the tournament.

Sunday night after rubbing the sleep from my eyes I spied a post by @insertcoinsLV on the Twitter feeds celebrating the launch of MW3 appropriately with a tournament.  I tried to gather as many troops as possible, but only managed to snag Greg, who coincidentally doesn’t enjoy the COD series.  As a matter of fact, neither of us have played a COD title in months, but with cash prizes at stake we moved forward.  The plan was to register at 9 p.m. and chill until the tournament began at 1130, but things don’t always go according to plan.  Between Greg waiting on our friend Andrew, myself needing cash from the ATM, and picking up one more person, we arrived tentatively later than anticipated…around 1015.  No worries, even at the time we were still only the 8th and 9th people to sign up for the tournament.  Would this tournament even happen with so few people?  I almost felt bad for Insert Coins having put forth a lot of effort with to make this night happen.  With questions aside, MW3 was playable at the bar, so we bought our drinks and began playing on the PS3 version.  Insert Coins is always buzzing, even on a regular Monday such as this, the DJ is spinning mixes for the dancers on the dance floor, the arcade machines are getting used, booths are full, and every TV in the bar has someone playing something on the screens in front of them.  A very intense gentleman to our left, playing MW3 in his Modern Warfare 2 beanie and special edition MW night vision goggles suggested he was registered for the upcoming tournament.  This gentleman would later be a large part of our enjoyment throughout the tourney.  The 11:30 p.m. start time was delayed in favor of getting more players and then would start promptly at the stroke of midnight.

I will admit, Greg and myself rarely lose in any of the COD franchise games, and with MW3 being VERY similar to MW2 we easily picked it up and went to work.  The DJ was still spinning loud dubstep and house throughout the night, so forget about hearing footsteps, and with no customization available, every player was on the same playing field which I felt was very fair.  I was disappointed at first seeing the game mode to be played was 6 man “Free 4 All”, since I brought Greg as my teammate, but it didn’t matter since I only faced him in the final round.  The first round went off without a hitch, finished tied for first in kill/deaths, but not without disheartening news.  The person in charge of keeping record didn’t get a chance to write down the final scores, we would have to redo the round.  I was not excited to hear that, I wasn’t sure I could perform at that level again.  After the redo I was in a disappointing forth place, well below my first great round.  Was my night over?  My luck is never great, but things always come together in the end.  After much discussion amongst the ranks, the first round was counted and I advanced to the semi-finals.  I sighed in relief.  The competitors around me were all talking with each other and most were amazed that I was only here to write about the tournament for my blog, I truly was just there to have fun and document the event.  But a particular quote by the person I tied for first with in the first round stuck with me, “A true gamer can just pick it [any game] up and win.”  12 of us advanced to the semi-finals, now without strike packages, the playing field just became even more level.  This was my funnest round since I got to trash talk our night visioned friend next to me.  Out of bullets and reloading my pistol, I managed to catch him reloading and decided to charge at him, knifing him before he could reload.  “Knifed in the face!” (in the tone of the guy who says “and the quarterback is toast” in Diehard), is all I could come up with.  I felt I had played a solid round, and my first place finish again proved I had.  In a few minutes I would soon be one of the six to play in the final round for $500.

I can’t remember how nervous I was, but I knew I had to keep cool and try to remember to have fun.  I knew I couldn’t get caught up in my kill/death ratio, or worry about how I was going to finish.  It was time to bring my firefighter/paramedic professional calm to the surface.  Seated in front of my designated TV the final round begins.  I chose the UMP with Rapid Fire class since I had previous success with it and started sprinting through the map.  No mini map and no HUD were present, “Hardcore baby!” rang from the judges mouth, and that’s when I formulated my game plan.  Hardcore has always been about “may the fasted gun and reflexes win”, and with a respawn timer, I knew I had to stay alive as long as possible.  I know, great plan right, kill people and stay alive, thanks Madden.  But I finished the five minute round in first place with a k/d of 7 and 3.  Looks like the game plan worked.  I don’t know what came over me, giving hi-fives, thumbs up, and doing the Discount Double-Check (or Aaron Rodgers touch down dance, check it out on Youtube).  Pictures were taken with all the winners, I was awarded my winnings, in which I was kinda envious of the t shirt Greg won, and gathered up with him and Andrew to finish our night with some quality arcade games.  Our nemesis Dragon’s Lair proved victorious once again, but my second place leaderboard score on Joust finished the night out just right…well, that and the $450.

Thanks and for putting together a great tournament, and for giving gamers something to leave the house for.



8 11 2011

Now before you get all uppity reading the header, don’t take it the wrong way. I LIKE the Modern Warfare franchise. I like the leveling up, I like the myriad of multiplayer modes, and the piles and piles of weapons and upgrades they throw at you. But to be quite truthful, this “MOST ANTICIPATED GAME OF THE CENTURY” title does for the first person shooter genre what Madden does for football.

Lets look at the pro’s: Solid game play, quick and rewarding level system, most of the time you will be matched with players of the same skill level (MOST of the time) and all in all this installment doesn’t, to me, let anything feel too over powered. They have taken the kill streaks and put them in to two separate categories so that no one player can have TOO much firepower. The perks have been reworked and altered slightly so you shouldn’t be seeing a “god-mode” set up any time real soon. One gripe I have though is the Support kill streak package, which allows a player to obtain extra perks instead of weapons for his or her kill streak rewards, and I think this alone will lead to many god mode combos and rage quits (a small few probably by yours truly). But over all the MW Team took a winning formula, played it safe and had another major success.

One new game mode is “Kill Confirmed” which is a team deathmatch variant which not only requires kills to win the game but promotes Non-Camper style gameplay in that it requires players to pick up gold dog tags dropped by their kills and “deny” kills by picking up red dog tags dropped by teammates. This mode is my particular favorite especially in hardcore mode, although I notice my teammates seem to be either nowhere to be found while I am being shot or looking the opposite direction until I’m dead. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

If you are looking for tried and true “if its not broke don’t fix it” game play, modes you know were good and are good again, I recommend Modern Warfare 3.  You can’t go wrong with a good thing.


Get Your Modern Warfare 3 on Early

3 11 2011

This morning around 5 a.m. PST Kotaku reported that a Kmart in Tampa, Florida had sold copies of Modern Warfare 3 for PS3 early by mistake.  Apparently boxes sent to Kmart were marked for immediate sale, so the employees unknowingly put them out on their store shelves.  After receiving this news I got off work and went down to my two local Kmarts to see if I could get my grubby little hands on a copy.

A pic circulating around the web of a PS3 copy from the Tampa Kmart.

My quest for an early copy of MW3 was almost a success.  The first Kmart I went to did in fact have an empty spot marked for MW3.  I asked an attendant if there were copies in the back, he checked and confirmed there were 95 copies in the store.  He informed me he would have to get a hold of the electronics clerk for verification.  The electronics clerk suspected the games release was this coming Tuesday and consulted this weeks Kmart add.  There it was, releasing 11/08/2011, as if the stand up posterboard I was standing near with the MWS logo and date weren’t enough.  I hit up the next Kmart about 15 minutes away with the same result, a marked empty spot for MW3 and a clerk who consulted last weeks releases to confirm it didn’t come out then.  I have a feeling this mistake was only made at the Tampa location, but it at least was worth a try.  But as a side note, Kmart is selling MW3 for $10 off if you buy a 12 pack of Mt. Dew with a pack of Doritos using their rewards card.  So you have that going for you.

Is Battlefield 3 the “Real” Deal?

1 11 2011

Battlefield 3 Review

The hype machine has been grinding away for the past year, and has been running on overdrive months before Battlefield 3’s release.  With “Above and Beyond the Call” and the “Is it Real” campaign, BF3 has been boasting stronger graphics, a better solo campaign, and superior multiplayer to it’s self proclaimed rival Modern Warfare 3.  Can BF3 live up to all this hype?  The answer: very uncertain.  I know WTF?  I understand that’s not a straight answer, but without having MW3 in my hands, it’s very difficult to say where BF3 will stand.  I will say in certainty that MW3 will far exceed BF3 sales, the COD name is just more known.  It’s a fact.  While BF3 first week sales of approximately 5 mil is impressive, I think MW3 will trample these numbers in comparison.  But I digress, this is a review of Battlefield 3, not a grudge match between two titles.  So how is BF3?  Impressive.

Battlefield 3 comes with 2 discs, a solo campaign and multiplayer/co-op with an added option to download the HD shading on your HDD.  Does the “Is it Real” campaign live up to the hype.  It does.  I had never played any previous solo campaigns in the Battlefield franchise, usually opting to dive straight into multiplayer, but with XBox servers down (a whole nother can of worms), I jumped feet first into BF3’s solo campaign.  And I mean you jump feet first into the action.  The graphics engine is just beautiful, well as beautiful as Iran can be.  The experience spans beyond the graphics though, as you’re battling the PLR you can hear echos of gunshots in the background, bouncing between buildings, sirens can be heard in the distance, and the ever ominous loudspeaker with prayers from an unknown speaker bellow from within the city.  You’re a normal marine, not a special operative or secret agent, just a marine with your squad following orders.  I really liked the concept that BF was going with, it made the game feel so much more real, and really actually made me feel scared and proud of our soldiers oversees.  That shit is for real, and BF3 nailed it in my opinion.  You get to use a bevy of modern weaponry, both firearms and vehicles.  Both are equally impressive, but the F-18 mission was just amazing.  I had continuous goosebumps as I was gunning down enemy Migs and firing off flares to avoid incoming missiles.   And that really explains the whole solo campaign in general, simply amazing, leaving me grinning from ear to ear the majority of the time.

Does Battlefield 3’s multiplayer live up to the hype?  Can it succeed as the COD killer?  Ready for the shifty answer, both yes and no.  They may both be first person shooters, but they are two completely different games.  I thoroughly enjoy the Battlefield 3 experience.  The maps are huge and highly detailed, vehicle combat works, plenty of weapons to work with, and game modes promote squad cooperation.  Unfortunately the 2.2 million people playing the first day crashed the majority of the servers, so I was forced upon the single player campaign, and there continues to be lag and server issues.  I must admit that DICE are on top of most of these issues, resolving a majority of these server issues really quickly.  The lack of game modes may be discouraging to some, but I don’t mind not being overwhelmed with choices.  Game modes include: Team Deathmatch, Squad Teamdeathmatch, Conquest, and my personal favorite Rush.  BF3 should stress the importance of squad cooperation, games can be changed by one well trained squad, and watching a squad of 4 dudes teabagging your lifeless corpse via kill cam is always rewarding.  That’s something that can’t be found in the previous Modern Warfare games.  There are plenty of weapons to choose from, but be sure to have fun progressing in the game to earn a majority of them.  I do find the weapon progression often confusing, and customizing weapons on the fly isn’t the easiest thing to do.  I would have liked to see a cleaner weapon customization/loadout screen.  And there are plenty of other ways to customize your perfect soldier, camouflage and dog tags being some of them.

All in all, Battlefield is a very strong title.  The single player, lasting a little under 8 hours, may feel short in comparison to other titles on the market, but the campaign’s story felt complete and was a stress inducing thrill ride.  Multiplayer, while still needing a few fixes, is a fun superior alternative to any other FPS out there.  We’ll know on Nov. 8 how BF3 will fare against the juggernaut MW3, with the fallout of players leaving BF3 to play MW3, or quite possibly vice-versa.  I can see BF3 stealing a lot of MW3’s thunder, and I feel DICE has made believers out of a lot of skeptics.

Battlefield 3 scores an A.