5 Reasons Why Camping Is a Legitimate FPS Tactic – 1/15/2015

In the multiplayer FPS gaming world, the camper is among the most despised players (fourth only to cheaters, noobs and racist trolls). Camping is a tactic that is looked down upon because it relies on luck, cowardice, and having an auto-shotgun.

After all, everyone knows that running and gunning is the only real tactic to use in a game.

However, there is more to being a camper than finding a good hiding place. It requires mastery of a series of skills. Here are five reasons  why camping is a legitimate tactic.

5. You have to know yourself and the enemy.

As the great Sun Tzu said:

Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.”

This ancient quote holds merit even today, and it applies to how one plays online.

Being a camper is not all about finding a hiding spot then waiting for someone to pass (unless you’re a noob). Good campers need to understand the strengths and weaknesses of themselves (and their teams) as well as the tactics of the enemy.

4. You have to know the environment

Level designs have changed as programmers work to ensure that no map has a spot where players feel safe turning their backs. Hence, good campers need to be able to familiarize themselves with the level to find the ideal location to hide.

How difficult this is depends on the game. It’s relatively easy in Modern Warfare 3, while Battlefield 3 requires some time master the environment. To camp successfully, a player needs to quickly identify tactical advantages and disadvantages of an area. The player must also be aware of where other players will likely engage most often, as well as what secret unlocks may be hidden in the level. It takes practice and a certain level of skill to process an area quickly and use it to one’s advantage.

3. Adaptability

Knowing the enemy and the environment allows players to adapt quickly to a dynamic environment. Adaptability is a key skill for any good camper. The player must be able to quickly identify and equip the most effective camouflage or the ideal weapon for a given situation.

Camouflage makes all the difference in how quickly the enemy notices a players who is camping. To successfully blend into the environment, the ideal camouflage closely matches the details of the level. It also helps to add a camouflage design to the weapon to avoid sticking out.

2. Campers are masters of stealth

It isn’t enough to know a setting and to be able to adapt to it. Campers must also be able to navigate their evnironments quickly and quietly, so as not to attract excess attention. This requires a mastery of stealth.

Stealthy play demands both skill and patience. Players will need to be patient and calm when moving in on kills, as rushing in will expose their position. This becomes even more difficult when you’re trying to stab the enemy rather than shoot them.

1. Camping requires accuracy and killer reflexes

This is necessary for pretty much any FPS player, but it’s especially important for campers. When it’s time to make the kill, a camper has only a few seconds before giving away their position. To truly take advantage of this short window of time, it’s important for the camper to be quick and accurate.

Every second will matter, and being hesitant is not a real luxury for a camper. (There is a fine line between the patience that stealth requires and complete hesitation.) Being slow and not knowing how to aim properly are the best ways to fail. When it comes down to a camping encounter, the players’ levels of skill and the quickness of their reflexes will determine who comes out on top. 

As you can see, there is more to being a camper then being some noob hiding in a corner. It is a tactic that requires mastering one’s own skills and the environment, while being quick and quiet enough to successfully take out the target.

Written for GameSkinny
1/15/2015
Original Article: 5 Reasons Why Camping Is a Legitimate FPS Tactic

Review: Call of Duty: Heroes is a mediocre take on a modern classic – 11/23/2014

‘Call of Duty: Heroes’ is a new vision of the iconic shooter by bring the action to the mobile device within the context of a Real Time Strategy game.

Inspired by the Modern Warfare and Black Ops story arc, players establish a base than build an army. Once everything is setup, players could either play a single-player campaign or attack the bases of other players.

Besides controlling the standard units seen in most RTS games, players will also have the ability to deploy iconic characters like Captain Price and Soap Soap MacTavish. Each of these Hero class characters have unique abilities based on the Perks from the multiplayer game.

Despite being a new setup based on the iconic series, its gameplay is almost identical to the setup featured in Clash of Clans. This would have been acceptable issue to overlook, however that setup could easily be described as having dumbed down the concept of the RTS genre.

This setup deprives the player of having to mentality develop a strategy to overcome an opponent. Instead the only plan is making a lot of units than overpowering them with sheer numbers. Sure the player may have the illusion that they are a military tactician but in truth it’s the equivalence of playing Candy Crush.

Not making the game any better is the lazy single player campaign that lacks any kind of a story to connect the events. The player just attacks the enemy base than move on to the next level that feels somewhat the same.

There is some sense of fun in this game but it really requires the player to have never played Clash of Clans or another RTS game on the mobile phone. At best its going to be one of those mediocre games someone will play just to kill time while on the toilet.

Call of Duty: Heroes tries to bring something new to gamers while preserving the essence of two iconic story arcs. Instead it uses a gameplay setup that has dumb down the RTS genre. On the bright side, it’s still a better game than Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Final Score: 3/5

 Written for Digital Journal 
11/23/2014
Original Article:

Criticism of violent video games has lost credibility – 4/5/2014

Despite advancements in technology along with the inclusion of mature content and themes, criticism of violent video games in the media has been on the decline according to the research of Greg Perreault.

The research attributed the decline to the core demographic became older (average gamer is 30 years old and has been playing for 13 years) and violence in video games having become accepted.

Giving credit to where credit is due; kudos to Perreault for conducting the first study on a trend many old-school gamers have started to notice, that is the controversy regarding violence in video games has died.

Perreault is correct that the core audience has matured and with it has video games as a media while the culture has grown to become a major element of pop-culture. In the 90’s it was just an expensive toy but today they are generating more revenue the movies at the box-office while attracting the talents of Hollywood icons.

During the progression; real scientific studies were done on the effects of video games on the audience and they have killed the myth that it “breeds killers”. Meanwhile studies have unveiled the positive effects video games have on the player such as rapid decision making, better overcoming complex problems, helping to develop effective organization skills.

The end result has been that any outrage about violence in video games can no longer be taken seriously while anyone who brings up the junk science is dismissed.

Such an example to look at would be Cassie Rodenberg and her in-depth critic about allowing gamers to have interactions with prostitutes in Grand Theft Auto. According to her observation of students who played the game; such a feature mentally justifies violence against women while recanting the struggles of a real women who are forced into such a life.

Rodenberg would have made a strong case were it not for one minor problem, she wrote her critical analysis in 2013 about Grand Theft Auto V. In no time readers began to pick apart and destroy her entire argument based on a naive approach to an outdated troupe of moral outrage.

Given how critics have praised the game for its thought provoking story that presents an in-depth analysis of the American Dream in a post-2008 crash society in a style influenced Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson, Rodenberg decision to focus on a controversy that is a decade old and very insignificant to the story gave the impression that she was too stupid to understand the games significance.

However; Rodenberg has not been the only person to debate the subject using an outdated mindset. Nobody could forget about the fake gamers at Salon.com and this example of a childish banter that tries to denounce the violence in video games using junk science and the writers own political outlook.

The very few times a video game has been criticized for its violent content was because of some very disturbing element that should always concern audiences. The content in question have been the obvious issues of rape and gruesome torture. No matter how mature the audience becomes; rape and torture will always be something disturbing while its presence in video games will never be tolerated.

The most resent example was the attention that Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes received after the ESRB listed “Sexual Violence” and “Intense Violence” as a listed content. This of course is referring to audio recordings of Paz being raped along with the open surgery she undergoes after being rescued. Despite the act not visually featured; the context of rape in any media is always going to be disturbing to the audience.

Several months earlier; Grand Theft Auto V was criticized for a plot point that required the player to torture a suspect. While some accused it of glorifying torture, many gamers found the moment to be very disturbing and hard to play.

Finally who could forget the controversy regarding Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and the option of playing “No Russian”.  What made this level disturbing was not the fact the player participates in a terrorist attack against civilians but the atmosphere of the environment with screams of terror in background while people are being butchered as they flee or begging for their lives.

These examples attracted controversy because the content was a subject that the general audience will always find disturbing. It was not a game of simple blood and violence but a moment that the player would never forget.

As video games continue to the advance the story will explore darker and more mature themes that is going to attract controversy. However bickering about the simple of violence is an outrage that nobody is going to take seriously as the culture has moved pass that point.

Written for The Gamers Progress
04/5/2014
Original Article: Criticism of violent video games has lost credibility

‘Modern Warfare 4’ rumors have been resurrected – 02/14/2014

Last weeks announcement by Activision of releasing a Call of Duty game on a three year rotation has reignited rumors regarding Modern Warfare 4 being developed by Sledgehammer Games.

Most of this is due to Activision referring to Modern Warfare, Black Ops and Ghosts as their flagship series during the conference call. This has lead to speculation that Sledgehammer games will be developing a new Modern Warfare title.

Already several articles have been published regarding alleged leaks or reasons why the next game is going to be part of the Modern Warfare series. However most of the details have been submitted by anonymous sources and can not officially be confirmed.

Rumors regarding Modern Warfare 4 are not new as there was a great amount of them back in 2013 during the build up to the official announcement of Call of Duty: Ghosts. Those alleged leaks also came from anonymous sources and could not officially be confirmed.

Gamers are better waiting until Activsion makes an official announcement or hope that Tesco Direct leaks it again.

Written for The Gamers Progress
02/12/2014
Original Article: ‘Modern Warfare 4’ rumors have been resurrected

Op-Ed: No Multiplayer will put pressure on ‘Wolfenstein’ development – 5/13/2013

Wolfenstein-The-New-Order

Not too long ago; Bethesda Softworks announced that ‘Wolfenstein: The New Order’ was in the works for a late 2013 release on current and next generation consoles.

Following the announcement; Chris Watters of Gamespot.com had an interview with the development team. More details were unveiled but it was also learned that Wolfenstein: The New Order will not have a multiplayer component

It has been confirmed that Bethesada Softworks and MachineGames are planning on developing Wolfenstein: The New Order as a single-player only game. Could this radical choice raise the bar for what gamers will want to expect?

This decision comes as a shock given that Return to Castle Wolfenstein was highly praised for both a single-player campaign that continued the legacy of the classic game and a revolutionary multiplayer component that became the template for today’s games.

In the last several years; few games have been released without a multiplayer component. Fallout: New VegasBioShock: InfiniteDeus Ex: Human Revolution, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim are just a few examples of successful games without multiplayer. These games had a strong and well crafted single player gameplay that it overshadowed the lack of multiplayer.

This means that if Wolfenstein: The New Order is to be a success among critics and gamers then it can not be a simple FPS-game. Gamers will be expecting a game with RPG-style gameplay with a long campaign in a well crafted environment. These games also require a lot of time to develop; so either the game is half finished or gamers could anticipate a delay at some point.

Bethesada Softworks would have to be foolish to try and appeal to the casual gaming market with a Call of Duty-style game. These types of games are popular mostly because of the attention given to the multiplayer aspect.

Yet a simple FPS-game may not even be the worst decisions if they chose to release Wolfenstein: The New Order as a budget title available only through download. An iconic series like Wolfenstein should not ever be degraded in such a manner and to do so could kill the series for a generation of gamers.

In the last several years; many classic games have attempted to reach a new generation only to fail miserably. Hopefully Bethesada Softworks and MachineGames choice of not having a multiplayer dose not lead to the end of the Wolfenstein-series.

Written for Digital Journal
05/13/2013
Original Article: Op-Ed: No Multiplayer will put pressure on ‘Wolfenstein’ development

‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ officially announced – 5/1/2013

Call_of_duty_ghosts_box_artActivision and Infinity Ward have officially announced that ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ is in the works and will be released Holiday 2013. This comes a few days after the online retailer, Tesco Direct, leaked the news.

A teaser trailer was released that gives little details but confirms some of the rumors but an offical trailer will be released on May 21. Activision has also launched the official website and an official Facebook page has been set up.

Call of Duty: Ghosts became officially available for pre-order on Wednesday. Gamestop is offering a promotional poster along with Ghosts-themed content for Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

News about an upcoming Call of Duty-game was first announced by Activision on February 7 during a Q4 conference call. Little information was given at the time except that it would be released sometime in 2013

News and rumors began to buzz when Tesco Direct leaked information about the game when they had it available for pre-order. The ad was taken down but the little details revealed was enough to cause a major buzz online.

Then a day before the official unveiling, IGN.com revealed that it had obtained official promotional material that confirmed that the next game will be titled Call of Duty: Ghost and will be released on November 5, 2013.

Call of Duty: Ghosts will be the tenth game in the popular series that has sold over 100 million copies and on average has 40 million active players a month. Back in 2011, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 hit the $1 billion mark in 16 days, beating James Cameron’s Avatar by only 1 day.

Written for Digital Journal 
05/1/2013
Original Article: Call of Duty: Ghosts’ officially announced

Free-to-Play ‘Call of Duty’ coming to China – 7/6/2012

Activision has partnered with Tencent in releasing a free-to-play version of ‘Call of Duty’ for the Chinese gaming market.

Call of Duty: Online will allow gamers in China play the award winning game online for free while offering the sale of in-game items. The premise of the game will be based on the Modern Warfare-series.

Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard, stated in a press release, ” We are very excited about our relationship with Tencent and the opportunities for gaming in China. We think China is one of the most exciting places in the world for us to grow our business and to develop innovative new games.”

Call of Duty: Online has been in development for two years by Activision Publishing Inc. (a subsidiary of Activision Blizzard) while Tencent, under a multi-year agreement, will have the exclusive license to operate in China.

According to Josh Engen of GeekParty.com, Activision releasing Call of Duty: Online as a free-to-play game is very significant for entering China’s gaming market due to the nonexistent console market (the sale of gaming consoles have been banned since 2000).

However due to the differences between Chinese and Western consumers, the move could be seen as risky according to Ian Sherr of The Wall Street Journal. Call of Duty: Online is expected to be available later this year.

The news of Call of Duty: Online comes several days after Aspyr Media announced plans to release Call of Duty: Black Ops for the Mac in Fall 2012. Meanwhile Treyarch is developing the sequel, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 which is set to be released on November 13.

Written for Digital Journal
07/6/2012
Original Article: Free-to-Play ‘Call of Duty’ coming to China