The Bulletin

Call Of Duty

Son Of The Mask

Call Of Duty gets a sequel, EVE gets a TV show, and everybody else gets sued.

By Sam Barsanti • May 6, 2013

The Bulletin is a roundup of a few game-related news stories from the previous week.

New Grand Theft Auto V trailer introduces its three protagonists

Grand Theft Auto IV is the game that caused my first Xbox to flash the dreaded Red Ring Of Death. I’m hoping its sequel won’t kill my new Xbox, but it might, so I’m going to avoid that situation entirely by not letting myself get excited for Grand Theft Auto V. Of course, that doesn’t mean I can’t watch its new triple-trailer that introduces the game’s three main characters. Besides, it’s not like anything really cool happens in this video. Other than that armored car theft, and the airport runway chase, and the police helicopter, and that old man getting choked, and…damn it, I’m excited. But hey, I have a good reason to be: Grand Theft Auto V returns to Los Santos, the Los Angeles parody from 2004’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (which was great), and it’s the first open-world action game from Rockstar since Red Dead Redemption (which was super great). GTA5 doesn’t come out until September, so that gives me plenty of time to save up for a new Xbox when this game breaks my current machine.

Call Of Duty, a series that gets a sequel every year, is getting a sequel this year

I made an offhand joke about it last week, but Activision has released a teaser trailer announcing a new Call Of Duty. The trailer shows various different warriors from throughout history, all wearing masks, before ending on a modern soldier pulling a skull-painted balaclava down over his face and a reveal of the title, Call Of Duty: Ghosts. It all seems to point to the character Ghost from Modern Warfare 2, who, despite having zero characteristics beyond the skull mask he wore, was the game’s breakout character. All we know is that Ghosts is being developed by Infinity Ward, the studio behind the original Call Of Duty as well as the Modern Warfare titles, but the end of the trailer promises that it will be a part of Microsoft’s New Generation event on May 21.

Hey, I can see your eyes glazing over from here. You think you don’t care about a new Call Of Duty. You think you’ve played one, so you’ve played them all. Well, who knows how this will turn out? Maybe Ghosts will totally change everything you know about first-person shooters and nothing in the world will ever be the same? I’m calling it right now: In 30 years, people are going to talk about Call Of Duty: Ghosts the same way they talk about Tetris and Super Mario World. Don’t you want a first-class ticket on that hype train?

Boring space game to become exciting TV show
The Bulletin EVE

EVE Online is an interesting beast. If you’re not familiar with the space-based massively multiplayer online game, it’s all about space economies and micromanaging fleets of starships via a series of increasingly complex menus. To all but the most patient would-be Malcolm Reynoldses, it is exhaustingly boring. But to its credit, EVE Online is extremely open-ended, and the developers at CCP prefer a hands-off approach to directing players. They have a wide berth to collectively build and rework the economies, institutions, and power structures of the EVE universe. That opens the door for elaborate factional politics and Machiavellian scheming that wouldn’t be out of place on HBO’s Game Of Thrones.

It’s fitting, then, that at the recent EVE Fanfest in Iceland, CCP announced that it would be creating a TV show based on actual in-game events that were brought about by the players themselves. As reported by Rock Paper Shotgun, the show is still in pre-production, but Baltasar Kormákur, director of the Mark Wahlberg vehicle Contraband, is involved. From here, the EVE TV show could go in a lot of different directions. If they base it on my experience of the game, we’ll have a few hour-long episodes about Captain Samdar Barsantian piloting the universe’s dinkiest ship from spaceport to spaceport before ultimately being killed in a tutorial mission. If they base it on something like Massively’s list of EVE’s top 10 “Ganks, Scams, and Heists,” the show could end up being pretty cool.

Lawsuits for everybody!
The Bulletin Aliens

People file lawsuits for any number of reasons. Maybe they’re desperate for money, maybe they just want to complain about something, and maybe, just maybe, they’ve actually been wronged. Last week, the video game industry saw all three (but I’ll let you decide which is which).

First up are two studios, Sega and Gearbox, which are being sued by a man named Damion Perrine over the discrepancy between early prerelease footage of Aliens: Colonial Marines and the final product. As reported by Polygon, Perrine believes that Sega and Gearbox (the publisher and developer, respectively) purposely misled consumers about the quality of the game and then placed an embargo on reviews until the morning of its release, preventing critics from warning the public about how terrible it was. Now, most game demos come with a disclaimer about how they’re not “representative of the final product,” so this probably doesn’t have much weight, but can you imagine the precedent it would set if Perrine won? “Okay, some of this looks new and exciting, but to be honest, it’s just going to be like last year’s Call Of Duty.”

Next on the docket is EA, which is being sued by Robin Antonick, the lead designer on the original John Madden Football game. As explained by Game Informer, he believes that every subsequent game in the series (and there have been quite a few) is built off of source code that he developed in 1988. It’s the video game equivalent of the copyright issues that have followed Superman for the last 70-ish years. This case will go to court in June, which means it’s being taken seriously, which is potentially very bad news for EA. And things were going so well for EA, too!

Finally, Warner Bros. is being sued by the creators of Keyboard Cat and Nyan Cat over their appearance in Scribblenauts. According to Kotaku, the suit argues that the characters were “shamelessly [used] by name to promote and market” Scribblenauts. Now, I unconditionally love Keyboard Cat, and I thought it was funny when he popped up in the game, but really it’s just a cat playing a piano—I can see someone arguing that it’s more of an homage than copyright infringement. But the Nyan Cat case is a little shakier. The Scribblenauts character is a cat with the body of a Pop-Tart shooting rainbows out of its butt, which is hard to mistake for anything but Nyan Cat (or the form a vengeful ghost would take to haunt a Kellogg’s executive). I hope they drag this out a bit, because it’s funny to hear people describe internet memes in a courtroom.

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  • Spacemonkey Mafia

    Is Ghost the Boba Fett of Modern Warfare?

       “Hey, I like that guy’s hat.  He deserves his own novel.”

    • Fluka

      A man’s haberdashery is a window into his very soul!

      • Spacemonkey Mafia

        Then what does it say about the character at top that the negative space in his skull mask looks like a weenus?

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           It’s the…uh..weendow to his soul?

  • Fluka

    Hardly the first person to say this, but man, would it have killed GTA to make one of its three protagonists female?  Or to set the game somewhere else than Los Angeles or NYC?  Oh, hey, strippers, that’s a new feature.  The game looks fancy and pretty and all that, but man, it looks like it’s aggressively more of the same.  Then again, I’m not exactly the intended audience here, but…man.  We give The Sims and CoD grief for turning out the same product but shinier all the time.

    I’d totally watch that EVE Online TV shower.  It’s the greatest game ever that I have no desire whatsoever to play!

    • Cloks

      I prefer Saints Row to GTA at this point – I’m kind of tired of the “realism” in Rockstar Games and it’s refreshing to see a game that refuses to take itself seriously. If I want to play as a bright silver madman with a giant package, I’m free to do so.  On the other hand, SRIV is just a SRIII DLC that they decided to expand into a game so the shinier happier product criticism really applies there.

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        I heard they scrapped most of the storyline and assets from the planned DLC, so maybe this will feel like a whole new game. Or maybe it’ll feel like more of the same. We’ll have to wait and see.

        • djsubversive

          yeah, this. All the Enter the Dominatrix stuff got folded into SR4 when they decided to just keep going bigger. If it’s anything like the transition from SR1 to 2, 4 is gonna be, to quote Buster Bluth, “off tha HOOK!”

      • 2StoryOuthouse

        And in Saints Row, my psychopath was an obese 60-year-old Latina with purple fingernails and neon orange hair in curlers. Much more fun than a stubbly, resentful Eastern European immigrant.

      • http://warren-peace.blogspot.com/ WarrenPeace

        I’ve gotta play the Saint’s Row games one of these days; they sound like lots of fun. With open world games, there’s definitely something to be said for being over the top and chaotic; Just Cause 2 is a great example. The GTA series seems to go in a different direction though, and I don’t think “realistic” is the right term for it. For one, the games are really funny, with lots of outsized characters, and the action is often really crazy and over the top too. Maybe it’s a little bit more subtle though? A lot of the humor is satirical, poking fun at American society in different eras and presenting the systems as full of corruption, greed, backstabbing, bribery, and constant murder. So much of the game comes from the richness of the world, all the little details like billboards, radio stations, pedestrians, etc. And as much of the game is an open world that lets you wander around and do whatever you want, there’s a really focused plot as well that always keeps things moving. Rockstar pretty much started the genre, but they’ve got it down to a science, balancing all the different aspects of the games to make for the most satisfying whole. Or so it seems anyway; I still haven’t really played GTA4, so maybe they’ve reached the point of diminishing returns. I don’t know if it’s really the same as slapping a new skin on an existing game, since they come up with new stories and characters for each game and design a whole new environment. It seems more like the next installment in a movie or book series; if you’re a fan, you’re happy to spend more time there. 

        • ChicaneryTheYounger

           GTA and subtle are not things that go together. Rockstar do not do subtlety, they sledgehammer icepick-messages through your ears until you get that America is bad, and all politics is bad, and everyone is corrupt, and reality TV is whoring, and whores are bad, and…

          It’s amateurish, shallow satire with a profoundly Nihilistic philosophy behind it. It’s satire as written by a misogynistic fifteen year old white boy that like Insane Clown Posse too much (i.e. at all).

        • http://warren-peace.blogspot.com/ WarrenPeace

          Subtle might not be the right word for it, but these are video games we’re talking about. The medium isn’t exactly known for thoughtful examination of society’s ills, so having any point of view (beyond something like a generic pro-military feeling in shooter games) is at least notable. It might not work for everybody, but I appreciate their attempts to at least approach social issues, and even if they’re ultimately pretty nihilistic, I still find them pretty damn funny.

          But before people jump on me and point out all the great games that do include social commentary, I guess I’m mostly talking about the big, corporate games (what people around these parts refer to as AAA, I think). There are lots of indie/art games that do use the medium in fascinating ways to make some social commentary or explore philosophical points, and I love that. And if I’m wrong, that makes for a good discussion point: what are the games that do have a greater point to make than “kill the bad guy.” For instance: I hear Spec Ops: The Line is an interesting examination of the toll that killing can take on a person. Does anybody else have any more examples of games with something to say? I’d love to hear about them.

    • duwease

      Meanwhile, in the GTA V pitch meeting:

      Producer: “Alright guys, this time around we really want to give our target audience characters they can identify with.  We’re willing to support three different playable characters for this.  What should they be?  Dazzle me.”

      Designer 1: “White guy?”

      Producer: “Definitely.  You’re on the ball.  What else?”

      Designer 2: “…*non* white guy?”

      Producer: “Perfect.  Brilliant.  Keep those juices flowing.  Who’s the third?”

      *silence*

      Producer: “Think outside the box.  Who’s left?”

      *uncomfortable shuffling*

      Designer 1: “Uhmmm..”

      Designer 2: “Hmmm.”

      Developer: “*Old* white guy?”

      Producer:  “Brilliant.  Get this kid a raise!”

    • Citric

      I like how Saints Row is weirdly progressive about that. How many other games can I play as an older plus size woman who is comfortable enough with her body to go streaking every so often?

      • Fluka

        I’ve never seen a series which so thoroughly attacks gender norms.  Repeatedly.  With a giant purple dildo.

      • http://www.facebook.com/JamesMauriceAlexander James Alexander

        Saints row doesn’t count. It has a “create a character” feature

    • SamPlays

      Valid points but GTA doesn’t get a new release every year. It seems to be long enough between games that any legit critiques fizzle out before Rockstar presents a new playground – though it seems like they’re more content to simply tidy up the playground than build a new one these days. 

    • Kyle O’Reilly

      I’d argue that we’re getting a huge shake up with GTA V.  Mission format is moving to a climax-focused, heist style, wherein instead of doing x-amount of favors for a person, then advancing to do x-amount of favors for a new person, your missions will center around preparing for a heist as in securing vehicles, tools, priming the spot, etc.  This will helpfully avoid the go-here-kill-them-repeat style missions that have been done to death in the genre (though I blame copy-cats for that more than GTA).

      Also, while yes, sadly no characters are female, having three different characters whom you can switch between on the fly is a pretty big shake up for GTA. Gameplay-wise, no longer will I have to worry about driving and shooting the cop tailing me, as I can switch characters, let the AI drive (that could end poorly, we’ll see) and then do the shooting myself.  Story-wise this is probably the first AAA game in which a lead-character has a family and children who are visible and fully-fleshed out, as well as one of the few with an African-American main character, (whether or not his being from “the hood” or not is reinforcing stereotypes remains to be seen.  I’ve always felt the Rockstar does an exceptional job handling race in most cases).

      Add on top of this a map that seems to move away from the densely packed urban areas we’re used to, without ending up like a ghost town wilderness of San Andreas, and I’m wicked pumped for this game.

      It’s actually the only game coming out in the future that I care about which makes me sad.

      • Xtracurlyfries

        This post is ironic, right?

        I find it hard to believe that someone could be actually excited about such des minimus changes to a formula that’s already been pounded into the dirt so conclusively.

        • Kyle O’Reilly

          One, it’s “de minimus” bro.

          Two, Shit yeah, I’m excited.  I get excited about games based around how much fun I think I’ll have playing them as opposed to popular opinion across the internet. 

          Three, I have a wicked amount of respect for the team at Rockstar and know that even though I don’t agree with every design decision they make, more often than not, I really enjoy their games’ gameplay and thematic tones.

        • Xtracurlyfries

          One – You found a typo. Well done.

          Two – So my opinion about GTAV is not based on my past experience with all the previous games, but is instead based on popular opinion? Oh, okay if you say so. I guess you’d know better than me.

          Three – Good for you! I don’t feel the same way.

          Six – I know, just like in the other games, except with Queen instead of [insert other band]! 

          Also, I’m perfectly chilled, thanks “Bud”. Just gave up on the GTA series a long time ago and was amazed to find someone arguing that this next game is a “huge shake up.”  Your post read so much like a parody of a GTA fanboy that I thought is might be exactly that.

          I could critique the specific aspects of the game that I dislike, though have done so in other posts so if you care (which I suspect you don’t) feel free to go read those.

        • NakedSnake

           Lol.

        • The_Primordial_Dr_Zoidberg

           It’s turning into the Gamespot forums over here:

          “You’re exicted about an upcoming game?  You like your hardware? You liked the ending of a game?  Thought the characters were great, well fleshed out?  Great art design?”

          WELL FUCK YOU!

        • Professor_Cuntburglar

           whoa there hitler

      • Army_Of_Fun

        “instead of doing x-amount of favors for a person, then advancing to do x-amount of favors for a new person, your missions will center around preparing for a heist …”

        The latest preview I read, which was on Kotaku, made it seem like you’re still doing favors for a character, who will in turn provide support for the upcoming heist. Didn’t strike me as a radical departure.

    • Dikachu

      I find it really difficult to get excited about a new GTA… the last one to really do anything different was San Andreas.  GTA IV was mostly just an expanded remake of GTA III with a stronger protagonist and the same terrible controls.

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

       Yeah, the lack of a female character is pretty crummy. Though as I understand it, statistically, approximately 3 out of every 3 people is a man, right? That’s how it works in the real world?

      And, honestly, though they’re giving the characters perfunctory special powers, they could maybe push the variety a bit more than just giving us three gun-toting criminals to play with. But GTA isn’t really my thing, and for fans of the series, I can imagine all the extra wrinkles they’re adding to the ‘gun-toting criminal’ stuff (customizable heists, grindable stats, etc.) are pretty exciting.

      Watching the three trailers featuring three characters from three different parts of the city and walks of life made me think how cool it would be for a game of GTA-level ambition to do something like The Wire, where you’re in a complex crime-ridden simulation of a city, and can jump between law enforcement and criminal characters and participating in the conflict from both sides. I know it’s a shitty game to invoke, but didn’t Indigo Prophecy have you alternate between being a police officer and the person being hunted by the police, and, say, clues you left as the target could be found later by you as the cop? Elements of that kind of interaction could be interesting, too.

      • Bakken Hood

        I’ll venture that the GTA sausage fest owes at least as much to the dude-centric nature of crime flicks as it does to gamedom’s well-discussed biases.  I’m trying to think of a movie with a female protagonist that could be adapted for a GTA game and I’m coming up blank.  Plus, I’m not sure that other heist game‘s playable lady, whose job is apparently to seduce guards, counts as progress on that front.

        • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

           Yeah, the ‘play as a cop’ hypothetical I mentioned might be more likely to have a female character, as pop culture is more likely to depict female police officers than female crime bosses. I don’t pretend to know how much that reflects reality, though in The Wire it seemed like there were definitely more women in power on the Law side than the Street, and it was based on Simon’s IRL journalistic experiences… (Oh, man, I now want a Fargo game where I can switch between Frances McDormand and William H. Macy.)

          Though, even acknowledging the likelihood that male violent criminals are more common than female violent criminals – that seems like a good justification for, say, making 2 out of 3 characters men, not 3 out of 3. I mean, it’s not as though female career criminals don’t exist.

        • Destroy Him My Robots

          Hush! Griselda Blanco must be kept a secret or you’ll ruin idolizing horrible people for bros everywhere.

        • djsubversive

          Catalina was a take-no-shit career criminal. Just tone down the crazy a bit (or don’t) and she’d be like pretty much every other GTA protagonist, only without a dick.

          Except Catalina is 3-era, and those people don’t exist anymore.

          Elizabeta in 4 was a pretty successful female criminal, or at least seemed like it during the 3 missions you interacted with her before getting shoved off to the next asshole who wants you to do his dirty work.

        • Bakken Hood

          I’m conflicted.  I can’t blame Rockstar for playing it safe; female antiheroes aren’t always warmly received, and are frequently met with accusations of presenting women as sociopathic, manipulative shrews.  A lady-centric GTA could be perceived as being far more misogynistic than the sausage fest here.

          A GTA take on Bonnie and Clyde might work, although I’m afraid Rockstar’s Bonnie would be branded as either a weak-willed tagalong or the aforementioned manipulative shrew.  Same for my hypothetical, dialogue-heavy/gunplay-light GTA with a grown-up Louise Belcher for a protagonist.  But I want to play both of those games anyway, so I’m starting to doubt my own thesis.

        • Boko_Fittleworth

          This may be completely insane but I’ve been kicking around this theory that one of the reasons female Shepard in the Mass Effect games is so interesting to me is that (as I understand it) in the first game Shep is essentially written as a guy and the female option was introduced almost as an afterthought, with the result that she avoids a lot of the semi-conscious stereotypes associated with female video game characters.

          In the GTA case it might be an interesting twist to simply gender flip one of the dude-centered crime flick templates and see what happens.

        • http://www.facebook.com/JamesMauriceAlexander James Alexander

          That’s the same issue I’m having. I can’t think of many good female centric equivalents to the kinds of stories GTA likes to riff.

    • The_Misanthrope

      The GTA series is, more or less, built on homages to the developer’s favorite crime/mobster movies.  GTA:  San Andreas was an amalgam of the gansta/hood genre of movie, with a bit of Friday thrown in for levity.  They don’t generally directly rip off the source material, but the tropes are pretty thick.  So I suppose it makes sense that the most proactive most women get in these games is the Lady Macbeth role.  I’m not excusing them, really; I’m just pointing out the paucity of female protagonists in the genre.

      I really liked GTA:  San Andreas, despite never actually finishing the game–I got stuck on the damn country race–so I have some vaguely rational reason to look forward to this one.  I thought it rode the line between serious and silly just right.  Previous entries were fun, but the story and character were often so goofy that the entire thing felt weightless.  I actually cared about CJ!

      The gameplay has always been a mixed bag, a fluid set of tools that work quickly but not perfectly.  There have been incremental improvements, but the core has remained the same.  The sloppy driving controls, which I’m sure many people hate, has always worked for me; it seemed to encourage evasive driving and risky getaways.  It just fails when the game makes you do precision driving for a mission.

      And that leads me to the big sticking point–in my opinion anyway–for the series that may very well keep me from buying on launch day:  the narrow mission objectives.  There are a handful of missions that allow you to complete the mission on your own terms, but the vast majority are strict, “do it our way or fail” missions.  It is just really jarring–and really annoying– to go from sandbox freedom to restrictive, multiple trials-and-errors gameplay.

    • Krokamo

      Y’know, a woman with a GTA game is like a mule with a spinning
      wheel. No one knows how she got it and danged if she knows how to use it!

      • djsubversive

        heh heh. mule.

    • Professor_Cuntburglar

       I’m just hoping it’s like GTA4 with all the awful bits removed, so it’s actually playable and fun.

    • Baramos x

       I always wanted a game starring Catalina as the protagonist. She’s not really any more of a psychopath than any of the male characters…well, only slight more, I suppose.

  • His_Space_Holiness

    I’d just like to point out that the EVE Ganks & Scams & Wunks & Argle-bargles article includes a Wikipedia link for the word schadenfreude. They are not leaving anything to chance.

  • Citric

    Incidentally, GTAIV also broke my Dualshock 3. The right stick for some reason got all out of alignment and suddenly pointed the camera directly at the sky. Which I initially thought was a drunk effect since I took my stupid cousin for drinking but it never went away.

  • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

    “it’s the first open-world action game from Rockstar since Red Dead Redemption

    I’m choosing to interpret this not as a reference to the fact that L.A. Noire was developed by Team Bondi and published by Rockstar, but as a reference to the fact that L.A. Noire was too boring to be considered an action game.

    • Citric

      LA Noire’s open world aspects were weird, like they were included because it’s a Rockstar game and that’s what you do.

      I did like the old timey cars though.

      • Phillip Collector

        I’ve heard there was supposed to be a whole heck of a lot more content to justify the open world but that it all got cut due to the developers running out of time and being way over budget.

        Makes sense. Aside from the occasional side story there was really no reason that game had to be an open world game.

        • Naked Man Holding A Fudgesicle

          It’s like you’ve completely forgotten about the collectible golden film reels! Oh, you hadn’t? Well alright then.

        • http://www.facebook.com/JamesMauriceAlexander James Alexander

          I can’t agree, the events of the game still needed to feel like they were happening in a real consistent place.

    • 2StoryOuthouse

      I was 50% of the way through that game before I figured out you could skip the driving portions. That probably added a good 2-3 hours to my total play time.

      • Xtracurlyfries

        I ended up doing them but deliberately running into everyone and everything I possibly could. It gave me a crummy score at the end of each mission but otherwise made no impact to the game whatsoever. And honestly, who gives an F about the score?

        I loved the idea that they keep giving this guy assignments when he’s trying to mow down every pedestrian in LA and blows up several cars just driving from the station to the crime scene. The insufficiently nonplussed statements your partner makes when you do it, e.g., I just rammed two cars repeatedly causing their owners to run screaming, and he says: ”why don’t you watch where you’re going?”, is just icing on the cake.

        • Bakken Hood

          You know what’s annoying?  Spending an hour and a half crashing every car in sight, only to end the case and find out you were, like, two wrecked cars short of the $47,000 penalty you need to get “Public Menace.”

        • http://warren-peace.blogspot.com/ WarrenPeace

          That kind of thing can be hilarious. That would actually be an interesting discussion topic: give an example in which your gameplay style broke the conceit of the game. Some games ask you to play along like that, but by refusing to behave as your character supposedly would, it can add a weird, amusing level to the gameplay. I’d love to read some other examples; the closest one in my own experience that I can think of would be when recently playing Just Cause 2, I was driving down a road at high speed and I hit a couple people on motorcycles/scooters, completely splattering them, and my guy said “Damn stupid pedestrians!”

      • The_Misanthrope

         I knew about it pretty early on, but I didn’t really cave in and let the game take the wheels until late in the game, likely out of wounded pride.  Much like those games that see fit to continually remind the player that they can switch to a lower difficulty setting anytime they want, I felt the game adopting a patronizing tone every time it would give me the option.  “It’s ok, big boy, you’re not that good at this, but I’m sure there’s lots of other things, like dressing yourself and eating solid food, that you’re great at!”

    • http://www.gildedgreen.com/ Girard

       It was definitely more of an adventure game than an action game, and the world wasn’t especially open (especially if you skipped all the driving, which I sure as hell did).

    • Sam_Barsanti

      Both, I guess, but I did really like LA Noire. The end of the homocide section was super cool.

    • CNightwing

      I was really hoping it would become a [i]Call of Cthulhu[/i] style horror game towards the end. Alas no, but the same engine.. and a little creativity.. it could be awesome (well, better than Dark Corners).

  • The_Helmaroc_King

    I’d be willing to stick up for the first Modern Warfare. Everything after, not so much, either because I didn’t like it as much (the rest of the Modern Warfare games) or didn’t play them (everything else).

    If we’re looking at another “full” (i.e. full price) Call of Duty game, then I think I’ll give Ghosts a pass.

    • Citric

      I only played the first Modern Warfare and didn’t like it much. It was like playing an existential quandary. Why is my character here? What is his purpose in the game? If he was not here, would it make any difference, since things seem to happen no matter what my actions are?

      It is entirely possible that it was an accidental art game.

      • SamPlays

        What you’re describing sounds like an anti-war pamphlet.

    • SamPlays

      The mechanics never really change and the scenarios are generally recycled – CoD is the McDOnald’s of video games. It might taste okay going down but it offers little nutrition and you always feel vaguely guilty and buzzed afterwards. Much like McDOnald’s, I try to limit my experience to once per year. Lucky for me, I came to this series years after it became popular so I was able top pick up the Modern Warfare series and World at War at bargain bin prices. If Black Ops ever drops to $15, I’d probably buy that, too. But $60 is out of the question – even a reduced price of $30-40 is too steep for what you get from these games.

      • neodocT

         I do think these games may be worth it for people who enjoy multiplayer shooters. I’m not a fan of these games, but it is one of the few local multiplayer games left outside the fighting and racing genres.

        Also, people seem to really enjoy online multiplayer for this thing, for some unfathomable reason.

        • Army_Of_Fun

          The MP is really quite good. Last one I got into was Black Ops 1. The whole meta-game around your MP ‘career’ is very well thought out and fairly addictive. You also have a lot of freedom over what constitutes your “class” loadouts, which you can switch between during a match. The matches themselves aren’t anything revolutionary, but their gameplay is solid and well executed.

  • Kyle O’Reilly

    I’m embarassed by how many times I’ve watched the GTA V trailer, especially for the character of Trevor.  Let me count the reason’s I’m going to watch it again after finishing this comment

    -It is the character embodiment of the anarchy spirt that makes free roaming in GTA games one of the greatest experiences in video gaming
    -Holy Shit, Waylon Jennings
    -Juggalos
    -Dick Jokes
    -Tightie Whities
    -Howling at the Moon
    -Open Mountain Vistas
    -Denim jackets with fur
    -Airplanes and Ak-47s

    I know, a lot of people rag on the Grand Theft Auto series but I’ve always been a fan.  I feel like they have a singular voice in gaming and their writing and voice over work is usually much higher quality than competing AAA games.

    • DrFlimFlam

      My favorite GTA game is still GTA3, and IV especially was unfun, but yeah, Trevor looks like a lot of fun.

    • neodocT

       I’m pretty excited for this as well. Hell, Michael is apparently Tony Soprano.

      People have been ragging on GTA particularly for because GTAIV took all the fun out of the game, but it does seem like they’re trying to get back to the spirit of the earlier games.

      And if nothing else, Rockstar is, surprisingly, one the more socially minded game developers out there. I may not have enjoyed GTAIV’s gameplay, but I sure admire that they made an Eastern European immigrant their protagonist.

      • Kyle O’Reilly

        GTA IV did suffer from a case of “Look at me I’m serious now”, but it was still a really fun game in my opinion.  Liberty City was thriving with life, and there were plenty of ways to disrupt said life.

  • CFAmick

    GTA5 looks like the next Great American Novel.

    • Xtracurlyfries

      They do have a singular voice!

    • The_Misanthrope

       What was the last Great American Novel?

      • http://www.avclub.com/users/merve,96925/ Merve

        The one that Snooki wrote?

  • Phillip Collector

    “It all seems to point to the character Ghost from Modern Warfare 2, who, despite having zero characteristics beyond the skull mask he wore, was the game’s breakout character.”

    Can’t get enough of this comment! Still don’t know why everybody lost their shit over that character which was really no different than all the NPC’s except that he had the skull mask.

    The same could be said for Captain Price to some extent. Apparently having killer mustache and an accent is all you need to become a hit with the fans. I guess that explains popularity of Duck Dynasty.

    • SamPlays

      Never estimate the power of a killer moustache. Throw in a mullet and you’ve got a prototype for the modern anti-hero.

      • Chum Joely

        Drew Toal, have you considered adding a mullet?

    • Sam_Barsanti

      What I really hate about him is that you have to suffer through a TERRRRIBLE “Guard this dumb thing” mission, and then as soon as you beat it he gets killed as if it’s a big dramatic moment. So, A.) you just wasted my time with this bad level, and B.) you expect me to care about this guy who died when I know nothing about him?

      Oh, spoiler alert, I guess.

  • Aurora Boreanaz

    TOTALLY UNRELATED QUESTION:

    On the “From Around The Web” section just above the comments, the link to “Jennifer Lawrence In All Blue Body Paint (Picture)” from Zimbio seems like it’s been there forever.   It’s been there at most a year, since the site wasn’t around before that, but the damn movie is two years old.

    Now, I’m not knocking a photo gallery of Lawrence nearly nude, even if she is blue, but seriously…how often does that damn section update?

    • Jackbert

      It seems like half of them are related to gaming and half of them are related to celebrity nudity. For me, there’s a link to “PlayStation 4 Price Revealed” and “Katy Perry Wardrobe Malfunction.”

      • Chum Joely

        I am always amused by the auto-produced, MadLibs-like quality of some of the celebrity nudity/sexiness ones, generally “Is (18-to-34-year-old female celebrity)’s (item of women’s clothing) too (tight|revealing)?”

  • boardgameguy

    Has Rockstar confirmed that naming the black character Franklin is a reference to Arrested Development? The trailer certainly argues that it ain’t easy being black.

    • Aurora Boreanaz

      If it is, they’ve made a huge mistake…

    • http://twitter.com/Evad_Dalrymp Unexpected Dave

      He could also have been named after the “Peanuts” character.

    • Erdschwein

      Well I think from the other characters, we’ll soon find out…it ain’t easy being white

  • Jackbert

    But it ain’t easy being white either, and Michael looks pretty well off.

  • Jackbert

    But it ain’t easy being white either and it looks like Michael is pretty well off.

  • Erdschwein

    GIZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ-TA

    I’ve got a first class ticket on the hype train for this one. Although, I was disappointed there weren’t more dogs in the trailer. Personally, I think they should 2-3 trailers devoted entirely to dogs, because, come on, dogs!

  • Travis Stewart

    In other news, The Sims 4 has been announced. Which, I suppose, is good.

  • http://twitter.com/MikoSquiz Miko the Squiz

    EVE is basically Game of Thrones. The problem is that there are no NPCs and early on you’re playing as one of the Unsullied if you’re lucky, and with a lot of hard work and perseverance you may advance to even such a lofty position as Junior Assistant to the Karstarks’ Master of Coin. Or Hot Pie.

  • Tiako

    HEY ROCKSTAR

    ARE YOU GOING TO PARODY AND DECONSTRUCT THE AMERICAN DREAM

    THAT’S REALLY CREATIVE

    I LIKED IT BETTER WHEN SCARFACE DID IT THOUGH

    THE ONE FROM 1932

    SHIT’S PLAYED OUT, YO

  • blue_lander

    I’d like to think that every modern Madden game has an Apple ][ emulator at its core, running the original game.