September 14, 2009

One A.M. Pessimism

I've kind of put off this post... because I've had trouble finding something to talk about. I haven't been playing a hell of a lot because of trying to start school up properly, and what I have been playing is "let's gear up my tank" in WoW, which does not make for a particularly interesting discussion. Now, I could bore ya with the details of trying to stay defense capped while having enough DPS to generate good threat... but I have a sneaking suspicion you wouldn't give a shit, and I KNOW you have no reason to. So we're not gonna do that. Maybe when I'm feeling more intelligent (aka not at "what the hell a.m.") I'll write something about the experience of tanking, dpsing, and healing- all of which I have now done in a raid setting. It's weird. Anyway.

What I decided I would actually talk about... is why I worry about the upcoming blockbuster titles for this year. In turn, why the big releases don't look so great to me. Yay raining on parades. Stick with me, though- I'm not a whiny pessimistic, I'm just gonna note some things that have me concerned.

First off... Modern Warfare 2. Okay. This is Infinity Ward, this is Call of Duty. That's awesome. I loved 1, 2, 4, and even one of the ones they didn't make, World at War. But MW2 looks to mess up the magic. Why do I say this? Well, for starters, every one of the series that IW has made so far has had some major innovations. 1 introduced an emphasis on iron sights and long-range gunplay. 2 brought in some Halo staples in a masterful way- limited weapon loadout, regenerating health, dedicated grenade buttons. And of course... 4 gave us the Create-A-Class, and that was just freaking amazing. This one adds new stuff... but we have yet to see any real innovation or development of the core gameplay.

But that's not all that has me worried. Two words- akimbo pistols. Okay. It's an arcadey shooter, but its basis is in realistic, modern military combat. In realistic, modern military combat, using two pistols is akin to firing your assault rifle one-handed. Yes, you can do it. But it is incredibly ineffective, and a waste of bloody bullets. It's for action movies, not anything that takes the military even remotely seriously. And medium-range instant kill throwing knives? No. Just no. Do you KNOW how much kevlar these guys wear? You'd annoy them at best.

Next game... Halo: ODST. I am interested in the single player campaign, but A) an insistence to package DLC that many fans have already purchased seems a pretty bullshit move and B) declaring that there is no way it would be full price... then making it full price... smacks of massive corporate exploitation. It feels like Microsoft is trying to turn Halo into the Madden of shooters- a release every year or else, quality/content be damned. And that pisses me off. Also, it STILL has rebounding health. I don't mind rebounding health, but their whole deal was telling us we'd have to fight differently than Master Chief, and it looks like that was just bullshit.

Left 4 Dead 2... I'm not mad at Valve for making a sequel with such speed, they certainly seem to have added enough content... I have other problems. One, I don't like the characters, at least not yet. I loved the cast of Left 4 Dead, dammit, especially Louis. If we don't get some kind of "grabbin' peelz" meme out of 2, I will cry. But it's not even that... it's that I don't actually LIKE the sound of most of the new content. The Jockey, the Spitter, I don't LIKE the idea behind them. Don't let people stop moving, and force them to split up? No. No thank you. And melee weapons are neat, but I really don't care that much.

Just Cause 2. Some critics and reviewers are excited for this title. I would like to remind them they were excited for the first as well. Enough said.

There's probably more I could cry about, but I just can't think of it all right now. There are plenty of titles I'm unquestioningly excited about (Mass Effect 2, Brutal Legend), but I also have plenty of reservations. Maybe all my excitement for Assassin's Creed and inFamous across this generation has made me wary of getting kicked in the balls again (I enjoyed both titles, but... they were NOT what they were supposed to be).

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