Call of Duty 4

Today's daily reacharound concerns a contentious story: The rumor/speculation that Activision plans to start charging fees for playing multiplayer Call of Duty. As you might expect, gamers do not like this idea.

Reader Odin360's response is typical:

"Activision must be out of there minds if there actually going to make players pay to play COD multiplayer. We are already paying for Xbox Live, so there is no reason for Activision to make us pay for this. If they go forward with this then they will be possibly losing a quite a lot of money since no one might not buy the games anymore or even play it. I love the Call Of Dutys, but if they go on with this they will be making a big mistake losing many fans and players. Plus this could be helpful on some cases, they are probably trying to help the people by adding this to possibly remove the little annoying 7 yr olds, or they are only doing this for money. We might never know what they are doing."

I don't know... Gamers have promised to boycott Call of Duty for various reasons in the past, and yet it seems to keep selling. I think most of the hardcore would keep playing, even if it cost something. So be honest: What would you pay per month for COD?

Tags: Reacharound

Metal-Driven Brutal Legend Track Pack Being Prepared For Rock Band

It’s easy to take pot shots at Activision CEO Bobby Kotick; the guy’s made some colored statements that rightfully earned the ire of video game fans. Fueling the flames today were comments from favored game designer Tim Schafer of Double Fine, who at one point called Kotick a “total prick.” The ensuing comments included a call to virtual arms that included Socrate’sMind demanding a new president be instituted at the Call of Duty publisher.

“Personally I think Activision needs a new President.... Someone who cares about making good games that are creative, fun, great stories, etc..... I think the person who understands this is a gamer not Bobby... At some point here in the future Bobby is going to crash and burn and we all knew it was going to happen...”

Maybe Kotick just needs to pick his words more carefully. What do you think?

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Daily Reacharound: Is Call Of Duty: Black Ops An Instant Buy?

The buzz so far on Call of Duty: Black Ops is surprisingly strong. I didn't get around to playing Call of Duty: World at War, but I won't be missing out on Treyarch's return to the franchise. Following news that Black Ops pre-orders may be outpacing Modern Warfare 2's, a number of readers -- the very people who are helping determine these numbers -- chimed in about their thoughts on Black Ops so far. NetNapoleon wasn't as convinced about the game as some others.

This will be a wait and see for me. After being disappointed by the last couple of Call of Duty's made by Treyarch they will have to prove themselves before I lay down the $60 that could go to another good game.

Rumor Says Next World of Warcraft Races Revealed

Blizzard’s decision to ditch a proposed plan to force message board users to use their real names has generated considerable debate, and while a large number of gamers saw their outrage directly influence Blizzard’s policy proposal, reader blindsideofthesun brought up what is arguably the best argument for requiring forum posters to use their actual names:

My only argument for their decision is that the use of real names would force people to think a bit more before posting some of the bullcrap that makes it onto message boards, and throw some form of accountability for ones actions into the ring. Imagine a place where you have to really come up with intelligent arguments, and wouldn't be able to simply change your forum name every time you get booted for inappropriate behavior/flaming.

Which do you value more: anonymity or accountability?

Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood

Ubisoft’s decision to take a break from Assassin’s Creed for a year or two (or three) after Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is obviously their attempt to avoid the all too common franchise burnout, but as reader R3LF_13 points out, Ubisoft’s decision, and announcement of the decision, might very well be part of a large financial strategy as well:

To me this sounds like a marketing strategy to sell more Brotherhood. I'm sure there are a lot of people (me included) who are unconvinced that they need to spend $60 on an Assassin's Creed game that is not [Assassin's Creed 3], but if AC3 is a signifcant time away then the purchase of Brotherhood may become a more reasonable expense. I'm still not sure I need Brotherhood, but if i have to wait till 2012 for Assassin's Creed 3 i may change my mind.

Do you think the AC hiatus is some kind of marketing ploy, or is it just Ubisoft acting responsibly with regards to one of their most successful franchises?


Daily Reacharound: Please Keep NBA Jam A Wii Exclusive

Clearly, there are more than a few gamers out there really pulling for the “NBA Jam coming to PS3/Xbox 360” rumors to be true. While I can’t speak for all of them, I’m guessing that most of these folks don’t own a Wii, but love the classic franchise, and simply want to play it. I totally get that. But I also have to agree with reader MrNelson92 who defended the idea of NBA Jam being a Wii exclusive.

"If the people want to see the Wii become a "viable console", then quit whining every time a good game doesn't come out for 360/PS3, and be glad the Wii actually gets something cool from someone that isn't Nintendo."

Amen, brother. And even though EA stands to make much more money by releasing the game on other platforms, I'm pulling for them not to. But that's just me. What do you think?

Daily Reacharound: Downloadable Bang For Your Buck

When it comes to downloadable content, there are many, many varieties: costume packs, map packs, new quests, new characters, and so on. Some you have to pay for, some are free, and some seem like they should be free even though they aren’t. This obviously speaks to a much larger issue about the nature of DLC and price structuring, and reader kampfer_sama presents had this to say about it in response to newly released Aegis Pack for Mass Effect 2:

"This DLC, like the other equipment only packs, is garbage. I want gameplay, not power ups. Maybe those players who are playing it on Insane difficulty are looking for every advantage they can get, but a small stat boost isn't worth the money. For the cost of all of their extra costumes and armor packs I could buy a really good game on Steam . . . Wait a second, that's exactly what I did."

Is kampfer_sama onto something here?

Daily Reacharound: Avatar Clothing + Your Wallet

So far, I've managed to avoid paying anything for my Xbox Live Avatar. I can't say that's the same for some of my friends. As user DreamingDarklyRobin put it...

"People love to buy virtual items for a steep price, as evidenced by my by my friend's avatars."

Nugget From The Net: Pokemon: Gotta Buy 'Em All

Shigeru Miyamoto may reveal a new character sometime next year. Maybe. He will someday. Probably. The prospect of something completely new from Miyamoto prompted user JDarkley to pitch one of his dream Nintendo games, an idea that's been floated before but not forgotten:

"I'd like a new character yes, but a fresh take on the old franchises would be a good idea. Co-op in Super Mario Bros. for Wii was a good start, but something I would like to see would be a (I'm not joking here) Pokemon MMO. Think about it, run around fighting other Pokemon in a huge world map and and fighting/teaming up with fellow trainers (players). C'mon, that sounds just plain fun!"

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

E3 2010: Fable 3 Preview

Microsoft and Lionhead's episodic Fable II experiment was phenomenally interesting. They broke up the game into chunks, giving the first one away for free. If you wanted more, pay up. You'll be able to do the same thing eventually with Fable III, too, which user osubluejacket applauded:

"For all of the people who HATED Fable 2, this would be PERFECT for you. So you hated the second one? No big deal, download the first part of the third one for FREE and see if they 'fixed it'. If they did, you can buy more, chapter by chapter, or you can go buy the full retail copy."

There doesn't seem to be a downside here. I'd love to see more games embrace this. You?

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.

E3 2010: Twisted Metal Screenshots

The relationship between visuals and gameplay has always been a struggle for video games, a medium that is constantly embracing the latest technology but whose enjoyment is so intrinsically tied to the mechanics under the hood. Angelicsin87 praised the developers of Twisted Metal for seemingly putting their biggest focus on the gameplay, not the visuals.

"I truely can't wait for this game. I like that they're focusing more on gameplay rather then visuals, visuals are nice but games are truely for gameplay."

While most gamers would agree with the sentiment, how often is it really true?

Have something to share? Sitting on a news tip? E-mail me. You can also follow me on Twitter.


E3 2010: Gears of War 3 Screenshots

I enjoyed playing through both Gears of War and Gears of War 2. Neither blew me away, but they were pretty enjoyable co-op experiences. I've heard from a number of folks who are looking forward to Gears of War 3 because they're hoping it'll capture more of Gears of War than Gears of War 2. That there was such a favorable differentiation between the two came as a surprise to me, but user Pwnproof reinforced what I've heard from others in a comment from earlier today:

"I loved the first game with all my heart,the second one not so much.....So maybe if this one can re-spark the greatness i got from the first one i might grab an arcade 360 (still have my old HDD) but it will have to be a really good game at lest enough to make me buy this system again. If not oh well but i shall see."

Are you with Pwnproof?

Mortal Kombat!

Today the new Mortal Kombat game was announced. Called simply "Mortal Kombat," this ninth game in the series brings back the most important aspect of the games: Fatalities!

Reader AngrySeniors sums up the general mood with:

the return of the fatality, thank you jesus

We'll let you know how this one plays after we get our hands on it at E3... I just can't wait to hear that iconic "Finish Him!"

Tags: Reacharound

Five iPhone Game Developers React To Apple's iPad Announcement

Today's big news is obviously the news that Apple is planning to unleash another, better iPhone. Previous rumors that Verizon would be cut in on the hosting duties and that the phone would be entirely powered from early-adopters smug sense of self-entitlement turned out not to be true, but the reaction here at G4 has been a pretty unanimous: Gotta get that thing.

Our commenters, on the other hand, seem pretty mixed, with many not drinking the Apple-flavored Kool-aid. For example, starclassics posts:

Another Apple fail. Way to go Jobs.

I don't know about boiling down a significant advancement in the tech industry to a simple "Fail," but perhaps you feel differently. Is the new Apple phone a fail?

Red Dead Redemption Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 Comparison »

Yesterday's post of a side-by-side comparison of the 360 and PS3 versions of Red Dead Redemption sparked a big debate in our comment section about which version of the game is better, with accusations being hurled that our videos proved a bias in favor of the 360 (because that version looks brighter) or a bias in favor of the PS3 (because that version looks darker) as well as suggestions that TheFeed's Jake Gaskill is on Sony's payroll, Microsoft's payroll and is secretly a reverse-vampire.


I'm not sure what Jake has to gain by screwing people over who own a PS3 and 360 trying to make informed decisions, but jacking up the brightness on that 360 version yesterday to make it look worse was pretty low. I've realized the darker they kept that PS3 version, the less you notice the awful graphics of the backgrounds.

Let me clear the air once and for all: Jake Gaskill is a reverse-vampire. He did not, however, create the video in question. It was made by Jefferey Kanjanakanpanagana. But before you accuse Jeff of being on anyone's payroll, keep theses points in mind:

  1. This and all our comparo-video are captured with default brightness settings.
  2. We use the same video card to capture footage, so that doesn't cause the differences.
  3. We're not offering any editorial opinion -- To me, the versions they look slightly different, but neither looks "better."
  4. Kanjan cannot afford jeans without holes in them; he is not being paid off by anyone.

I hope this clears everything up.

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