Tag Archives: Video game

Call of Duty developer nerfs gun, players react appropriately

Call of Duty is one of those games people take seriously. Sometimes; way too seriously. In this case, it’s the latter.

CoD developer David Vonderhaan patched Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 recently to make the game a little more balanced. In the patched, he nerfed the stats of a sniper rifle, changing the fire time from 0.2 seconds to 0.4 seconds and the rechamber time from 1.0 seconds to 1.1 seconds. Point one of a second, people.

When the patch went live and the notes went up on the Cod:BO2 site, players reacted appropriately with constructive criticism and thanks… No, wait. That’s not right. They reacted the way you expect your typical Call of Duty fanboy to react; with threats of violence, death and cancer. I shit you not people. Some minor code was changed and these people act like the game was changed from Call of Duty to My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.

As pointed out on the Gamer Fury tumblr, Call of Duty fanboys used their vast knowledge of the English language to voice their anger over these changes.

hey can you un nerf THE FUCKING SNIPER U FUCKING CUNT WTF WHY DID U DO THIS IM GOING 2 KILL YOU! DICK HEAD FUCKING DIE!!!!!

– FeedMeCreate

omfg you fucking fat cunt i hope you die in a fatal car crash you fucking twat also your nan has cancer

— NeronV2

you are a prick messing up the snipers on BO2 and if u don’t sort it out am gonna rape your family ….. BITCH !!

— SwizzoM8

I HOPE YOU BURN IN HELL YOU FUCKING COCKSUCKER AND I HOPE YOU GET RAPED AND GET AIDS AND DIE IN THE BIGGEST PAIN IMAGINABLE

— DJVAHNCOCKSUCKE

And not proper use of a punctuation mark in sight. I’ve had some anger when it comes to nerfing abilities in games, but it’s to balance the game and make it more fun, it’s not a personal vendetta against you. It’s also not worth threats of rape, violence, cancer or death. This kind of behaviour is why the gaming community and the industry at large has such a bad reputation in the mainstream media. Don’t feed the trolls, guys. Report them and move on.

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Review: The Last of Us.

The Last of Us has me at a loss for words. When I first saw the trailer for this post-apocalyptic world, I was excited. It was amazingly pretty, the characters had depth and the live gameplay was impressive. Unfortunately, after a few weeks and a whole bunch of new trailers coming out, I promptly forgot about The Last of Us. After playing it, how I managed to forget is astonishing and I think this game is one that will stick with me for a good, long while.

From the moment you start the game, you’re thrown directly into the action. You’re as confused as Joel and his young daughter Sarah are and you want to know what’s going on as much as they do. Within the first 25 minutes of the game, I’d already felt guilt, panic, fear and heartbreak and the emotions continue to freely flow.
Trying to break down my favourite part of this game is hard. I’m not sure if it’s the hauntingly beautiful soundtrack from Gustavo Santaolalla that you don’t notice until it hits you and it overwhelms you or if it’s how Neil Druckmann has crafted the characters into people you care for and you want to protect but it all melts into a story with a gorgeous backdrop. Whether you’re running through the barren cities overrun with nature or trying to silently pass through a broken building trying not to alert the Clickers, the detail that has gone into this game is immense and very little has been overlooked.

In fact, even when talk about the monsters in this game, the developers have taken from real life inspirations. On the night of Joel’s birthday, a Cordyceps-like infection breaks out and spreads across the United States. The infection is based on Ophiocordyceps unilateralis which is a fungal infection that infects ants and alters the way they behave and eventually the infection uses them to spread spores to infect others. Ophiocordyceps unilateralis turns ants into zombies.

In the game, there are varying levels of infection which range from relatively tame to stomach-churning. While they aren’t your typical gruesome zombie with decaying flesh and missing

Last_of_us_infected

limbs, the infected in The Last of Us make you terribly uncomfortable. The Clickers (which I mentioned above) are completely blind because physical, fungal growths have formed on their faces. Clickers eventually become bloated and die at which their bodies will start producing infecting spores, like the real life infection.

Non-infected enemies are even more difficult to encounter. Naughty Dog developed a new AI-System called “Balance of Power” where enemies act more like real people. Enemies will take cover, call for help and try to flank you with their reinforcements and even take advantage of weaknesses. During gameplay, I’ve been taken by surprise when trying to reload and had someone grab me from behind. Thankfully, I’ve got Ellie.

Ellie is a masterpiece all of her own. This fowl-mouthed 14-year-old isn’t just a character in a game that’s essentially a game-length escort mission; she’s a fully-fleshed personality who takes care of Joel and herself. She’s a major catalyst for change with Joel, too.

Ellie was born after the Cordyceps infection spread and she’s never known a world where there aren’t military, checkpoints and infected so her personality is mature for her age, but she’s willing to take on so much more than you think she’s capable of. When Joel is being attacked, Ellie can help by attacking his attacker. Once or twice, she’s helped my Joel by stabbing his attacker in the neck! When she sees the outside world for the first time, she’s blown away by how beautiful it is.

the-last-of-us21

When I was first introduced to Ellie, she was just another person I had to protect and just someone else to get in the way but when you go through these events with her, she grows on you and you genuinely care for her well-being. I’ve found myself saying, “Excuse me, Ellie” when she’s blocking a doorway or wondering where she is during an attack because I want her to be safe.

The only ‘problem’ I’ve found (and I say ‘problem’ because I’m really just nit-picking at this point) is that sometimes I could put the controller down and not want to play for a while. It’s definitely not a bad thing, but I’m able to just stop where I’m at, save the game and come back to it later.

The Last of Us lives up to the hype. It’s been called ‘perfect’, a ‘masterpiece’ and some are calling it a significant title for the current generation of consoles. Everything about The Last of Us from the writing, the sound, the characters and the graphics works together and compliments each other. It’s scary, breath-taking, edge-of-your-seat kind of game play that you need to be a part of.

Naughty Dog have done something amazing with this game and I’m genuinely looking forward to see what they have in store for us next.

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SEGA Bids Farewell to its Australian Development House

According to both Gamasutra and Kotaku AU, SEGA is closing down the Australian arm of its development studio later this year.

After last year’s staff layoffs, this closure may come as no surprise to some watching the market closely. While the media release doesn’t say how many employees will be affected, this recent closure adds to the worrying trend of Australian development houses. Team Bondi closed its doors in 2011 after the controversy that struck with the Triple-A game, “L.A. Noire.”

Not only this, but this is the second development house to be killed off by their parent company this week.

Disney representatives announced that it would be shifting LucasArts to a new licensing format instead of a internal development studio. LucasArts were responsible for Psychonauts and Grim Fandango and had been working on Star Wars: 1313, which had great interest from gamers.

Whatever games these development house had in store for us will either be sold to other developers or left to linger in the world of “what if?”

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NRA Hypocrisy

A big thing that hit the gaming news world this week was that the National Rifle Association (NRA) in America had released a game app on to Apple’s iOS system that used a variety of weapons in a shooting range. The game was rated for ages 4+ and up.

This app release comes weeks after the NRA condemned the video game industry over violent video games, which it blames the Sandy Hook tragedy. The NRA thinks that because Adam Lanza (the accused shooter) was a fan of Call of Duty that was enough to blame video games for his actions. Continue reading

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Sex, Misogyny and Harassment: The Internet Is a Happy Place

The Internet can be an incredible tool. You can use it to connect to people around the world, research your ideas, look up porn or express your ideas; although, the final item isn’t a wise idea in a world full of Anonymous assholes.

I say this as Pop Culture Critic Anita Sarkeesian announces a Kickstarter project to research and analyse the rampant sexism towards women in video games. Now, I’m not one to go on and on about how women are sexualised in games. Actually, I’m generally okay with it (with a few exceptions). I’m aware it’s out there and that some people might be offended but I tend not to read in to too much. Continue reading

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The Sound of Music

There are a lot of elements that go into a game but there are a lot of things that are over-looked because of gameplay or scripting. The thing that I find drawing myself into a game is music.

Games like Bastion and Mass Effect are praised for their musical score and for good reason. You can have amazing graphics, deep characters and amazing scripting but if you don’t have something to tie it all together; your audience may just miss the message. And sometimes, music just happens to take over.

Take the aforementioned Mass Effect. It’s not a secret that I wasn’t a huge fan of the series until lately and even not I’m still not entirely sold on the game but something I adored was the effort that went into the soundtrack. Mass Effect 2 soundtrack was composed by a guy named Jimmy “Big Giant Circles” Hinson and for me, the sound made the game. In addition to the work that made the game, he’s released unused music for Mass Effect 2. (Available here) Continue reading

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The Walking Dead is in Dead Water

Here’s an interesting titbit: Telltale Games has announced that it won’t submit a console port of its game “The Walking Dead” to Australian classification boards. A staff member confirmed the decision was due to a lack of R-rating for games in Australia. However, the game is available on Steam; the PC Game distribution company.

Clearly available for purchase in Australia

As it’s been said time and time again, the people who oppose the R-rating say that the medium differs from others due to interactivity, taking control of the main character and making their decisions. I can understand that logic, but since it’s being released on PC and not on consoles, I suspect there’s something else going on here too. I could just be over thinking things too. Australia is in the final stages of getting our long deserved rating and The Walking Dead could be submitted after it’s been achieved.

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