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3:05 PM on 12.03.2012

Hitman: Absolution, first contract.

Earlier this week I picked up a few games, God of War Saga, Metro 2033 and Hitman: Absolution. I have my reasons for picking each title up but mainly itís because Iím burned out of online shooters after playing Halo 4 and CoD for the last few weeks.

Having never played a Hitman title I felt like I was going in a clean slate, not letting any negative press I might have read online about previous titles or hype surrounding this particular entry into the franchise, sway my feelings.

The first level was welcoming for me, a nice tutorial and fairly linear in design. Grab a few items use the disguise feature and eliminate my first target, all in all a pretty solid outing. Enter my next mission. Iím thrust into a crowded Chinatown marketplace and told there is 12 different ways to complete my assignment, 12! My mind was blown, I have 12 different ways to play out this mission, how many challenges can I complete with just one attempt at this level.

I fumble though the first attempt, getting spotted 3 or 4 times and end up opening fire in plain view. Not exactly the way for a Hitman to earn his keep. Upon examining my score for completing the task it was very low and embarrassing compared to some of my friendís numbers. I hit replay mission.

With a better lay of the land and a firmer grasp on the gameplay I ventured forward picking up items and gathering information. I wonít spoil anything but letís say thing ended with a bang this time around.

Itís this unexpected feature I find most interesting about Hitman, I can see how other people have scored and played missions and see where I stack up to them. Itís the feeling of having your name on an arcade cabinet high score, or more recently an online leader board for the world to see. Itís that rare combination of a single player experience but adding in a multiplayer community feel.

So far Iím impressed and excited about more play time with Hitman. Let me know how your enjoying or not the game so far. Check out my review when I finish up Hitman.

Thanks for reading, Patrick.   read


10:45 AM on 11.20.2012

My emotional roller coaster, Black Ops 2.

Like many gamers, this weekend was spent playing Black Ops 2 into the wee hours of the morning, only stopping to sleep and ingest food, to continue playing.
Over the course of my weekend I went through what I can only describe as the stages of CoD.

I started in a honeymoon like phase where nothing could go wrong. I was winning games getting score streaks and just having a great time. This phase seemed to last most of Friday night.

As I awoke Saturday morning/afternoon and proceeded to turn on my Xbox, the honeymoon was clearly over. I was still winning games here and there and putting together decent matches but I could feel some problems starting to surface. SMGs started to beat me a longer and longer ranges despite my use of assault rifles. I could feel the CoD rage starting to build.

By Saturday evening I was in full blown CoD zone. My friends had signed on, we had a party going. Thus I entered the next stage of CoD, Questioning everything.

My friends had no problems at all getting kills and having a good time. I consider myself above average at CoD having, K/D hovering around 2 for the last 3 titles. Something was going terribly wrong. I couldn't get kills. Every time I died it seemed as if I had been cheated by terrible spawns, cheap tactics or the ever great scapegoat lag. I couldn't understand why I wasn't doing well. Is Black Ops 2 broken and unbalanced? Am I not as good at CoD as I once thought?, all these questions running through my head, throwing me off what should have been a good Saturday night game session with friends.

Enter rage.
All of a sudden I had become the hulk, smashing my fist into the arm of my chair every time I was killed. Each death was followed by angry cursing of the poor soul who happened to end my digital life span. My focus was slipping and I was falling into a sort of trance.
Madly mashing X to respawn, only to be shot down or exploded by enemy lightning strikes and Hellstorm missiles.

I packed it in for the night at what must have been rock bottom. My CoD self worth had been broken and I had sworn I would trade it in 20+ times that evening. CoD had, broken me.

Sunday morning rolled around and I felt beaten and worthless. Saturday nights thrashing of my CoD ego had left me a shell of my form pub star mentality. I spent the beginning of Sunday playing party games, trying to find a glimmer of enjoyment in Black Ops 2.

Throwing axes and shooting crossbows all morning seemed to lift my spirits and I started to actually enjoy myself. Sure I was still getting killed by questionable hit detection, but I was having fun and it didnít seem to matter anymore.
With my faith restored to a tolerable level I ventured back into proper team death match with a slightly different view of Black Ops 2. Thus I entered my final stage of CoD, acceptance.

Black Ops 2 had chewed me up and spit me out. I saw the worst emotions that it can instill in a human and was humbled by my new place in the call of duty world, no longer destined to be a 2.0 player, but someone who runs around getting kills here and there and I am okay with that.

Games are emotional and sometimes we get our own emotions tangled into them. Obviously what I have written is a bit satirical, but I did go through varying stages of what I wrote. Has anyone else been emotionally connected to the games they played and realized, they might need to step back and think about what they are actually so upset or happy about.

Thanks for reading, Patrick.   read


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