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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PAX Australia Survival Guide

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It’s almost here! The first (hopefully annual) Penny Arcade Expo in our lovely Australia and I thought I’d share some tips and tricks that I’ve learnt from going to conventions (see: one) and things I’ve learnt from others. So let’s start at the beginning, shall we? read more

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Xbox SmartGlass App review

The Xbox Smartglass App is a handy way to control your 360 from any device. Downloading the application is free from the Windows, Android and iTunes store and set-up is relatively easy. Sign-in to your Windows Live account associated with your Xbox Live account and go! Obviously your Xbox needs to be connected to the Internet for the application to work but those are the only real specifications the application requires.

Its neat lines and clean interface is easy-to-use and reflects Microsoft’s Metro/Windows 8 UI design across their current platforms. With five main screens (not shown: bing search engine) you can get access to everything that your Xbox is able to do from whatever device you have at your fingertips. In a house like mine, with at least 6 Xbox controllers (don’t ask) and none of them with working batteries, being able to use my HTC One XL as a control will be incredibly handy.

The controller function while watching media can be a little slow and difficult to use at first but after playing around with it for a few minutes, I was able to get the hang of things easily and found it quite helpful when my partner came out to tell me something in the middle of watching Smallville. Instead of having to wait for my Xbox controller to turn back on again then pause the episode, it was instantaneous. Bit of a first world problem, but it’s the world I live in.

I’d definitely recommend picking up the Xbox Smartglass app if you’re someone who uses their Xbox as a home media centre. Especially with that FREE price tag.

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Saints Row IV is refused classification.

New classification laws came into effect January 1st this year with the induction of an adult rating for video games. This inclusion bought Australia in line with international bannedphonesstandards.

Unfortunately, today Acting Director of the Australian Classification Board (ABC) Mr. Donald McDonald (no, that’s his name…) announced that Saints Row IV had been refused classification under the new laws. According to the media release, the primary reason for the refusal was sexual violence

“In the Board’s opinion, Saints Row IV, includes interactive, visual depictions of implied sexual violence which are not justified by context,” a press release explained. “In addition, the game includes elements of illicit or proscribed drug use related to incentives or rewards. Such depictions are prohibited by the computer games guidelines.”

It’s interesting to note that Saints Row the Third had the same incentives and themes in the game but was given an MA15+. While that rating was given under a system that didn’t have an R18+ classification, I can’t imagine that Volition have come up with anything more crazy than letting me run around hitting people with a purple dildo the size of a baseball bat.

Volition are yet to comment but I’ll be sure to update this post once they do.

EDIT: (Via OXM)

“Volition, the developer, are reworking some of the code to create a version of the game for this territory by removing the content which could cause offence without reducing the outlandish gameplay that Saints Row fans know and love. Saints Row IV has been awarded PEGI 18 and ESRB M ratings where fans can enjoy their time in Steelport as originally intended.”

We’re back to square one. Volition now have to re-write their code and appeal to the ACB for Saints Row IV to be sold in Australia. While the rest of the western world is playing an uncensored copy of the game, Australia could very well be stuck playing a watered down copy to appease the ratings board. Am I the only one who feels like the R18+ thing hasn’t worked?

ACB Media Release

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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

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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.

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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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