hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Call of Duty

Black Ops III story photo
Black Ops III story

Hope you enjoy this Black Ops III story trailer, last-gen players

Because it's all you're getting
Sep 30
// Jordan Devore
Call of Duty: Black Ops III will have multiplayer and the usual star-studded Zombies mode on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, but no campaign -- it's too "ambitious" for last-generation hardware. If you want Christopher Meloni (and who doesn't?), you'll need to play on PC, Xbox One, or PS4.
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Official Call of Duty Twitter account tweets fake terrorist attack

Broke Twitter verified account rules
Sep 30
// Laura Kate Dale
As part of a promotional stunt to promote Call of Duty: Black Ops III and reveal new information about the plot of the game, Activision yesterday tweeted out several reports regarding a fake terrorist attack that had allegedl...
No Call of Duty campaign photo
No Call of Duty campaign

New Call of Duty doesn't include campaign on PS3, 360

Black Ops 3 pared down on last gen
Sep 25
// Steven Hansen
The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have already been out for two years but still games as whopping and recent as Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain have been releasing on the "last generation" of systems. The same goes for pere...
Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

Black Ops III-themed PS4 with 1TB hard drive announced

Pre-orders start today
Sep 22
// Mike Cosimano
A Call of Duty: Black Ops III-themed PlayStation 4 bundle has been announced on the PlayStation Blog. The system will come with a 1TB hard drive, a copy of Black Ops III, the pre-order bonus map Nuk3town, and a bunch of silly...

Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Nuketown reborn in Black Ops 3

But there's a catch
Aug 31
// Robert Summa
If you are a fan of the Nuketown maps in the Call of Duty: Black Ops series, then you'll be happy to hear that Treyarch is bringing the popular map to Black Ops 3. However, this time it's got an edgy name and you'll need to p...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

The Black Ops 3 beta on Xbox One is stuck in the trenches

Codes not working for many users
Aug 26
// Laura Kate Dale
So, picture the scene. You've been patiently waiting weeks for the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 beta to hit your Xbox One. The day has finally arrived. You input your code for the beta and get told it's invalid. You are not alon...

Call of Duty: Black Ops III feels familiar, but the beta maps are great so far

Aug 18 // Chris Carter
[embed]306570:60036:0[/embed] The first thing I noticed about Black Ops III is the addition of specialists -- a clear nod to other class-based games like Team Fortress 2. Here, you'll be able to choose between nine different "characters," all with unique names, a special weapon, and an ability. For instance, "Ruin," a Berserker-like, has short-range gravity spikes and a speed boost, and the sneaky "Outrider" sports a bow and extra vision. Don't fret though, as you can still fully customize your killstreaks, loadout, and abilities just like the previous games -- the characters are merely a template. In terms of the beta, the following playlists were available -- Team Deathmatch, Demolition, Kill Confirmed, Hardpoint, Capture the Flag, and Search and Destroy. The vast majority of players flocked to the former, and I have to say, I had a blast. The maps are just so varied this time around, especially "Hunted," my personal favorite. It's an outdoor map set at a resort-like location, with caves, underwater paths, and plenty of variety. It really highlights how far the series has come in terms of sound direction, because with headphones, all of the ambient sound effects are top notch. In terms of movement, Black Ops III feels like a more grounded Advanced Warfare. While you can double-jump you can't airdash, and players won't be zipping around quite as much, in favor of a more methodical playstyle. All in all, I'm not crazy about the multiplayer so far, but I'm happy with how it's turned out if the rest of the maps are as vibrant as the ones included in the beta. The beta officially starts tomorrow for PS4 users, and next week for Xbox One and PC gamers.
Call of Duty: Black Ops I photo
Check out some gameplay
Call of Duty: Black Ops III runs the risk of falling into the trappings of some of the previous bad games in the series, but as always, I have faith in Treyarch, the best developer in the franchise's history. Even if the...

Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Sony is going all-in with Call of Duty, publishing Black Ops III in Japan

They done switched wallets
Aug 17
// Chris Carter
We already knew how aggressive Sony has been with their heist of Call of Duty from Microsoft's clutches, with the new DLC timed exclusivity deal and an enhanced presence in the eSports arena, but Sony is going the extra ...
Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

This is how Black Ops III has the moves like Jagger

Aim for the heart if you feel like it
Aug 14
// Brett Makedonski
Wait. I don't actually know how Jagger moves. That dude is super old. It's probably not like this now that I think about it. Disregard the headline, but retain all the flashy running, hurdling, swimming, and boosting you can do in Black Ops III. That's what it looks like if you're good. If you're bad, it likely looks more akin to Mick Jagger running around a battlefield.
Black Ops beta photo
Black Ops beta

Call of Duty: Black Ops III beta has robot bugs that rip people's legs apart

PS4 on 8/19 Xbox One and PC, 8/26
Aug 12
// Chris Carter
The Call of Duty: Black Ops III beta is coming next week, and it looks pretty hefty. At least seven modes and three maps are planned, as well as a look at the new skill system. The trailer is pretty action packed, and I really want to use whatever rips that guy's legs apart at 0:40! Expect coverage of the beta when it hits next week on August 19. Xbox and PC get the beta one week later.
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Sony has stolen the Call of Duty eSports scene from Microsoft

In addition to the timed DLC releases
Aug 06
// Chris Carter
I've played every Call of Duty online since 4, and have experienced every DLC pack to date. I know, it's insane, but I like most of them (Treyarch is my boy, blue), and a lot (a lot) of my friends play it, so I like hang...

Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Reckoning

Aug 04 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Reckoning DLC (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Sledgehammer Games (Current-gen) / High Moon Studios (Last-gen) / Raven Software (Zombies)Publisher: ActivisionReleased: August 4, 2015MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) Let's kick things off with Overload, the sexiest map in Reckoning. Taking place in a giant Middle Eastern hotel complex, it has all of the pizazz you'd expect, and more. It's a great mix of indoor and outdoor environments, with a layout that keeps you in the action while allowing you to have condensed firefights. It allows the Exo movement and jetpack mechanic to really breathe without confining it like some maps in the past have. It also has these little tesla coil things littered about, which are basic in their functionality (an area-of-effect jolt when shot), but very cool aesthetically -- plus, they sound really neat. Next up is Swarm, a map set in a ruined Korean city. It's nice to see the series return to a setting like this, as I enjoyed "Magma" in Black Ops II. There's plenty of windows to boost into and buildings to hide in, and the map lends itself to vertical movement well. They really go with the destruction theme, and there's a ton of detail present that I wasn't expecting. It's another great showing for Reckoning. Fracture is an ice level that reminds me of The Thing, in a good way. The backgrounds are very detailed, and the smaller, more intimate theme works to its advantage. It's basically all outdoors, which gives it a distinct feel compared to the rest of the DLC. Although Array from the original Black Ops is probably my favorite snow map in Call of Duty history, Fracture does the frozen sub-genre proud. Quarantine, the last of the four core maps in Reckoning, gives off a distinct Walking Dead TV series vibe, which I dig. It also feels like it has a Call of Duty 4 theme with its simplicity, but it's not as vertical as I hoped it would be. The general gist is that the arena is a testing site for experiments on primates, complete with tons of banana boxes and even a room full of live test subjects. It's a rather generic theme, but it must be said that I do enjoy playing it in the rotation. I wouldn't consider it a wasted slot. [embed]297123:59780:0[/embed] Now, onto the best part -- the zombie level. Following along with the narrative that saw the demise of John Malkovich's character (and the debut of Bruce Campbell), and his ascension into zombie-hood, Descent is one of the most unique zombie stages in the entire series (the one that featured mafia ghosts withstanding). It straight-up feels like you're in a Bond villain base, which is partially true as Malkovich is there to taunt you every step of the way as you navigate your path through an underwater testing site. As you make your way through each wave, various power-ups will start to appear at the top of the deck, which you can periodically gather. These range from standard stuff like turrets, to more interesting mechanisms like defensive AI robots that float around your character. Everything feels much more action-packed and desperate, with more firepower and abilities to match the more aggressive enemies. At times, Malkovich will teleport you to a room for a boss fight session of sorts, with different hazards to avoid (like laser grids above you, preventing double-jumps) and a variety of enemies to best in close-quarters. It's a sight to behold with four players, as power-ups are constantly appearing in this secluded room while you fight for your life. Again, intensity is what they're going for here, and it really works. I'd have to think about it for a while, but it may be the most fun I've had with zombies since first playing World at War. I mean, Malkovich actually says the line "The teleporters are mine now, bitch," to give you an idea of what I'm talking about here. At the end of the day, I'm happy with what Sledgehammer Games (and Raven) brought to the table with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as a whole. Though it'll be tough to dethrone the current kings of the franchise (Treyarch), I have more confidence in their follow-up than before, and I'm eager to see what they can come up with next. At this point Infinity Ward is a lame duck, and the odd developer out. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the developer.]
Call of Duty DLC review photo
Did John Malkovich just call me a bitch?
So here we are with the Reckoning DLC pack, the last add-on for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare after Havoc, Ascendance, and Supremacy. All in all, it's been a great ride, and slowly but surely, each map pack has improved upon the last. It's great then that Advanced Warfare is going out with a bang with its best DLC yet.

Advanced Warfare photo
Advanced Warfare

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's final DLC pack comes to Xbox on August 4

The torch has been passed to Treyarch
Jul 28
// Joe Parlock
While Call of Duty has lost a lot of its steam from the Modern Warfare 2 glory days, Activision is still pushing ahead with the DLC schedule for the series. Now that Black Ops 3 is on the horizon, it’s time for Sledgeh...
Bestsellers photo

Mortal Kombat X is the best-selling game of 2015 so far

We're half way through 2015 already
Jul 27
// Joe Parlock
We’re now half-way through 2015. As time marches ever onward, quicker and quicker towards the screaming oblivion that is our graves, we shall hear that bell will soon ring and we will be taken into the void by the reape...
Xbox One backwards photo
Xbox One backwards

Black Ops II, Red Dead, Skyrim lead the Xbox One backwards compatibility charge

Call of Duty is now the tops
Jul 23
// Chris Carter
It's time to check in with the great Xbox One backwards compatibility race! It looks like Call of Duty: Black Ops II has taken over the charts, with 78,172 votes at the time of this writing. Read Dead Redemption and...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Dates revealed for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3's multiplayer beta

Starts next month
Jul 23
// Chris Carter
Activision has revealed the dates for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 beta, which the PS4 platform will be getting first. It will run on August 19 until August 23 for PS4 users, then August 26 through the 30th for...
Fridge > Pip-Boy photo
Fridge > Pip-Boy

Call of Duty: Black Ops III Juggernog edition with mini-fridge is sold out

Way cooler than a plastic armband
Jul 10
// Jed Whitaker
Did you want to pay $200 for a tiny fridge that comes with a free copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops III? Well sorry, it looks like you missed your chance as the Juggernog Edition is sold out at basically every online retailer i...
Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

Black Ops III has a classic Zombies map remake, but only for special editions

We've seen this trick before
Jul 10
// Brett Makedonski
Treyarch's at San Diego Comic-Con spilling the beans about Black Ops III's Zombie modes. The biggest splash came from the new film-noir "Shadows of Evil" and its star-studded cast. But, Black Ops III also has something f...
Call of Goldbum photo
DLC...DLC finds...a way
Activision has sent us a great deal of information regarding Call of Duty: Black Ops III's upcoming zombie mode today, revealed at its San Diego Comic-Con panel. For starters, the all-new zombies cast features Jeff Goldblum ...

Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

Black Ops III gets a multiplayer beta soon, and it may be PS4 exclusive

'More information coming soon'
Jul 08
// Brett Makedonski
[Update: Activision has contacted us to clarify a few points. The beta will be coming to Sony first, but it will be coming to other platforms as well. Pre-ordering will grant you beta access.] Like most triple-A multipla...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Black Ops 3 Zombies reveal coming soon

SDCC visitors may get the first peek
Jun 25
// Vikki Blake
In a tweet yesterday, Call of Duty: Black Ops III developer Treyarch teased at zombie-flavoured news coming July 9. Wondering what's so significant about July 9? Yep, me too. It's not particularly mysterious, though - turns ...
Activision remakes photo
Activision remakes

Activision 'thinks a lot' about remastering Call of Duty games

Maybe it's just a matter of time
Jun 22
// Brett Makedonski
The video game landscape in 2015 is rife with remake after remake, and it's just something that we've sort of learned to live with. So, why is a publisher with a reputation for chasing cash not pumping out upgraded remakes of...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

New Black Ops III video goes deep into co-op

Killing with friends is so much better
Jun 19
// Robert Summa
In order to continue the hype-train coverage that is so much of the norm for today's AAA mega franchises (and probably lesser games too), this hot-off-the-presses marketing video for Call of Duty Black Ops III will take you on a 13-minute tour of the "cooperative campaign with the Cyber Core tutorial." Sit back, relax, and let the sounds of war bathe you in a warming glow.
Black Ops III photo
Black Ops III

Call of Duty: Black Ops III multiplayer looks chaotic

Same goes for four-player co-op
Jun 15
// Jordan Devore
Treyarch showed competitive multiplayer for Call of Duty: Black Ops III as well as the game's four-person co-op campaign at Sony's E3 2015 press conference. The former had wallrunning and sliding all over the place while the...

Review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Supremacy

Jun 02 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: Supremacy DLC (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Sledgehammer Games (Current-gen) / High Moon Studios (Last-gen) / Raven Software (Zombies)Publisher: ActivisionReleased: June 2, 2015 (Xbox) / TBA (PC, PS3, PS4)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) First up is Skyrise, a map that takes place in futuristic Greece. Well, you wouldn't notice the setting unless you really looked, as the only clue is the Acropolis landmark on one side of the map. As it stands, it's basically a straight remake of Modern Warfare 2's Highrise. It's a classic arena in its own right -- but as I've said in the past, I'm not a fan of injecting remakes in a $15 DLC pack. Having said that, Highrise really holds up. It's a classic tiered map with plenty of high, middle, and underground paths, with a giant playground in the middle, and hidden side paths. It's a nice addition to the rotation, and enough time has passed between the release of Modern Warfare 2 to not piss me off. Parliament is set on the River Thames in London, and is yet another tanker map. It's almost like Activision needs to fulfill an imaginary quota of tankers in every Call of Duty, so this is where you can get your fix if you're a fan of steel traps. It's a lot like Skyrise in that most of the cool stuff is happening in the background, but there's some decent opportunities to jump around the map and over hazards like the river itself. It's not quite on par with Skyrise's layout, but I have no real qualms when it comes up, since it takes advantage of the increased Exo mobility quite well. Kremlin, obviously set in Russia, is extremely colorful, and sets itself apart from the rest of the pack immediately. I love that it feels like a legitimate map from an older game like World at War, as there's tons of detail inside and out, and nearly none of the layout is wasted. It's one of the best objective-based maps currently, as there are multiple chokepoints built into it, including one really rad area that involves a long road and a mounted machine-gun perch. Whenever it comes up in a playlist, my eyes light up and I mash the vote button. It seems like there always needs to be one bad apple in these DLCs, and Compound fulfills that niche. Taking place in a staging ground in Colorado, Compound is a boring, small map that serves no real purpose in Advanced Warfare, which is a much more mobile game than past iterations. From what I've played, opposing teams tend to spawn on top of one another, leading to a bunch of messy firefights. They tried to go for a more tiered design here, but it mostly fails because everything is so low to the ground. Thankfully, the Exo Grapple playlist returns for Supremacy, and I recommend playing it to get more mileage out of Compound. In case you were wondering, there's no DLC weapon this time around -- which I'm more than fine with. [embed]293187:58782:0[/embed] Like clockwork, a number of issues I have with Supremacy have been alleviated with the third part of the Exo Zombies tale, Carrier. I really love how Sledgehammer and Raven Software are moving the story along with the same cast of characters, and its narrative style is pretty much exactly where it needs to be. It's not as cryptic as Treyarch's method, it's not too on-the-nose, and it's far more interesting than Infinity Ward's alien-oriented Extinction lore. It helps that Bruce Campbell is now along for the ride, and he fits the tone of the game perfectly. Maybe he'd be better suited as a full-on Ash cameo down the line with a wackier take on the zombies mode in general, but he does a great job of acclimating to the already talented cast here. Carrier itself looks aesthetically similar to the first Exo Zombies mission, but the intricacies will soon start to pop out the more you play. One of my favorite bits involves a makeshift Pachinko machine on a random wall that takes spare grenades, rewarding you with cash. There's also a lot of cool skirmishes with humanoid opponents this time, which elevates the mode and gives it a certain degree of depth that exceeds your normal "horde" expectations. Objectives like defusing bombs while fighting off ravenous zombies do a great job of keeping you on your toes. Call of Duty: Advance Warfare's DLC drops have become incrementally more impressive as Sledgehammer is willing to take more risks. While I didn't think it'd be able to bring anything new to the table for its first Call of Duty outing, the studio has proven me wrong, surpassing Infinity Ward in my mind. While the jury is out on the fourth DLC for Advanced Warfare, Sledgehammer has already done enough to make me look forward to its next project. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Call of Duty DLC review photo
Third time is a charm
Another year, another round of Call of Duty DLC -- four rounds, yet again, in the case of Advanced Warfare. We've already had the Havoc and Ascendance packs drop so far as part of the Season Pass, and while they weren't bad offerings, nothing about them really vied for a purchase. With Supremacy, there may be a case for the pass, at the very least at a discount down the line.

Review: Shooter

Jun 02 // Nic Rowen
Shooter (Book)Released: June 2, 2015MSRP: $5.00 Shooter is a collection of essays from recognizable names in game criticism speaking on a wide range of topics related to games that involve some kind of gunplay. Some chapters take a deep dive into the mechanical and technical details that make shooters what they are. Steven Wright's “The Joys of Projectiles: What We've Forgotten About Doom” for example, laments the rise of “realistic” modern shooters and how their largely interchangeable hitscan assault rifles have abandoned many of the mechanics that made early FPS games so pleasurable and skill testing. Others are more personal, such as Gita Jackson's touching reflection on how Counter-Strike could be seen as a microcosm of the (seemingly one-sided from her self-deprecating perspective) sibling rivalry she shared with her brother. Shooter strikes a great balance, it never gets so bogged down in technical minutia that it feels like a lecture in game design, but has enough mechanical grounding that it doesn't just become a series of anecdotes either. The games Shooter examines are varied and numerous. Of course genre forebears and trendsetters like Doom, Half-Life and Call of Duty are discussed as you would expect, but there is plenty of attention paid to less bombastically popular titles as well. Genre-defying shooters like Red Orchestra 2 with its brutally unforgiving depiction of realistic combat, and the insidious darkness of Far Cry 2, which sets aside the typical rationales for heroic violence to make the player complicit in something unsettling, get entire chapters dedicated to them. It's a great technique. By examining the few games that step outside of the bounds of typical FPS conventions and power fantasy dynamics and figuring out why they feel so different, it is easier to pinpoint the standard tropes and expectations of the genre that have become so ubiquitous that they are nearly invisible. Perhaps the greatest praise I can give to Shooter is that it made me reexamine and reflect on my feelings about a few games. When a piece of criticism grabs you by the collar and demands you take a second look at something, you know its doing it's job right. Filipe Salgado's chapter on the intentional ugliness and barely contained chaos of Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days almost made me want to play through the game again with a fresh set of eyes -- eyes more willing to see past the clunky mechanics and thoroughly unlikable protagonists to scan for deeper meaning. Almost anyway (this is still Dog Days we're talking about). At its best, Shooter feels like a lively conversation with some very smart people who enjoy, but expect more from, their trigger happy games. Its snappy, intelligent, and occasionally funny. At it's worst, the book veers into the pretentious. At times, it feels less like a conversation and more like an awkward dinner party dominated by a lecturing windbag everyone is too polite to interrupt. Thankfully these rough patches are few and far between. The rest of the book is well worth putting up with the occasional eye-rolling turn of phrase. Mostly though, Shooter feels important. The industry needs more “capital C” Criticism to unravel the subtext and ideas behind the games we love. Games mean something. They impart messages, communicate ideas, either by conscious choice on the part of their developers or by the assumptions they make -- the casual omissions and things taken for granted. We have to start examining these ideas in a mature, intelligent, and yes, academic way. Shooter isn't the first example of this kind of criticism in games writing of course; there have certainly been other books written, and articles penned (on sites like Destructoid, I might add) that dive into these waters. But, it is still very much a nascent field. Video games are a young medium, and we haven't had time to establish a critical tradition like film and literature has. We need to cultivate these voices; the generation of writers that will talk about games in a serious manner in the coming decades. What better way to stake a claim in this new field than to gather a variety of exceptionally talented voices to talk about and critically examine what is generally considered gaming's dumbest, most developmentally arrested genre? The thrill of shooting a Cyber-Demon with a rocket launcher may be obvious and simple, but there is a lot to unpack when you take a closer look.
Shooter Review photo
Looking at life down the barrel of a gun
Shooters seem simple. You step into the shoes of your typical tough guy space-marine or mercenary and empty clip after clip into the faces of Nazis, or aliens, or alien-Nazis from the vaguely disembodied gun bobbing up and do...

Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

Call of Duty's newest DLC has some kickass weaponry

And a shark
Jun 01
// Brett Makedonski
Activision's going through that awkward time of year where it's gearing up to make a big splash at E3 with it's new Call of Duty game, but it's not quite done promoting its old Call of Duty game. That's how we get trail...
Closure photo

Spark Unlimited's ironically lost its spark and shut down

I kinda liked Legendary
May 05
// Joe Parlock
Developer of Legendary, Lost Planet 3, and Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z Spark Unlimited has closed up shop and laid off all of its staff after 13 years of game development. As reported by Polygon, the company’s assets were fou...
Wii U photo
Wii U

It looks like Wii U is getting snubbed again for Call of Duty: Black Ops III

We'll always have Black Ops II and Ghosts, Nintendo
Apr 27
// Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops III is finally making the jump to a full-on current-gen experience, on PC, PS4, and Xbox One later this year. Sadly, that means yet another snub for the Wii U, the constant "is it or is it not current-...
Treyarch photo

The Call of Duty mural at Treyarch

A quick look at the studio
Apr 26
// Robert Summa
While visiting with Treyarch for its upcoming release of Call of Duty: Black Ops III, I happened to notice some impressive artwork that ran across a few of the walls inside. Done by iam8bit artist Dave Crosland, the pieces represent the entirety of Treyarch's contributions to the Call of Duty franchise. Here's a look at some of that art.

Auto-loading more stories ... un momento, corazón ...