Tag Archives: Call of Duty

Xbox One Has Been Revealed! Our Editors Debate Yay or Nay

So we finally got our big reveal for the next generation Xbox and it is called the Xbox One. It is being billed as the next revolutionary step  in not only gaming, but home entertainment. The ‘One’ concludes that this will be the only entertainment console and device that will be connected to your television because of its expansive features that will cater to all. From the new Kinect, technological innovations, partnerships with Skype, the NFL, and Comcast, Microsoft wants to be your exclusive hub for all things media. Of course, we have a varied range of opinions of the staff and we’re going to share our thoughts on the system, the press conference itself, and other things. Amanda Denton, Scott Fraser and myself dive into the essentials below, after the video of the reveal part of the press conference courtesy of IGN.

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xbox one kinect

First, let’s just go through everything that’s been announced so far today. One of the big things they are pushing today is the Kinect. From the outset, this is a major part of the console as they have concentrated on improving the use of the Kinect and its integration into navigating the system. They called it ‘rocket science’ type stuff and while skeptical, for the most part it was impressive. Showing off the use of the system in tracking the unique voice and person, the system seamlessly moved between the Xbox Dashboard to cable TV to movies previously watched as well as music recently listened to. This is a result of the architecture inside which uses multiple operating systems and the new hardware that allows for a quick transition. Also taking advantage of the upgrade is the sensor that can recognize things with more accuracy, such as joints and being able to follow gestures of the body, to give a more accurate performance for games that need to track precise movements.

xbox one kinect demo

You are also able to enable something called ‘Snap Mode’, which allows you to run two windows or apps at the same time. By saying ‘Snap Mode’ and ‘Skype’ for instance, you can watch your movie on one edge of the screen and then enable a Skype call to your body and multi-task. It’s a nice feature that should cater to the ADD masses, as well as anyone that wants to have say, a television show in the background and not have to feel interrupted when a Skype call comes through. Also using hand gestures, you can easily go between modes and minimize and maximize windows as need be.

xbox one snap mode

Going through the technical details, it’s probably best to lift the image from the presser and put it below before we dissect it:

xbox one tech specs

I’m sure none of this matters to a bunch of you but it’s important to note that it’s a powerful system inside. Plus a Blu-ray player is what most people are looking forward to and Sony has lost that advantage now from their gaming console. Again, the most impressive feature is the three operating systems that will run the system as you are able to switch back and forth between applications and windows as need be. Being able to go from game to the dashboard, to live TV and other applications will go a long way in trying to establish the Xbox One as the only machine that should be under your television. Getting back to the live television part of it, the demo they used was from Comcast television but they only said that it will work with compatible TV providers and no mention of exclusivity of certain providers. This is something that we need to keep an eye on just in case.

Speaking of TV, Xbox One will now carry original television programming. That’s right folks, get ready for a Halo television series produced by none other than Steven Spielberg.

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Details are still up in the air but it should feature live-action and be done in conjuction with 343 Studios, the people in charge of Halo 4. You can debate that as you will but with the hiring of an ex-CBS programming exec, it was in the works for awhile. Other things we can look forward to is the use of the Cloud in order to record gameplay and saves so you can move from console to console or even to brag to other gamers about your achievements. Also having an editing platform for your videos will be included, as well as a built-in DVR function. With that, expect a constant internet connection to be required because the use of the Cloud and the promise of live updates for your system while not in use will make it essential to be connected at all times.

xbox one controllerThe new controller still is very familiar, with a few different button placements. The most important thing to note is the battery is now internal so the bump on the back will disappear and will now probably charge just like the PS3 controller. The new design also allows for more accuracy in the analog buttons and new triggers as well. Of course, we’ll probably have to wait until E3 to see what other differences there are when we can get our hands on it.

xbox one ea sports

As for game announcements, there were…uhh…not a lot. Obviously the big one would be Call of Duty: Ghosts, as well as EA Sports showing off their Ignite next-gen engine, as well as the new Remedy game Quantum Break for Xbox One but it was very light on games. Forza did look impressive but they are probably saving the rest of the big guns for E3 in the next coming weeks.

xbox one overhead

Overall, I came away from the press conference a bit underwhelmed. Maybe it’s just the gamer in me that wanted to see more games but the Xbox One seemed to really hammer the idea of the Kinect into our heads and the living room experience. That’s all fine and dandy but I honestly want to see why I should get this gaming system over the PS3. Technologically, the system is impressive but to demo that with Skype calls, Windows 8 interfaces, and the ability to switch to Live TV because it’s easier than hitting the Input button on your remote felt like pandering to the casual person. Which is great in a business sense but it didn’t grab me like I wanted it to.

Talking with Amanda and Scoot, our opinions varied a bit as well. Scoot noted that he was underwhelmed as well but he’s still excited. He also added the Kinect will be the big thing they are pushing which is odd considering that the current iteration has mixed opinions in the current gaming community. Amanda came away as impressed although wanted to hear if backward compatibility will make the jump to the Xbox One. I also asked them about things like the original programming. Scoot said the new system opens the door for television on the console, especially with going as far to produce an original Halo series for the console. Original programming also has Amanda excited despite the hiring of an ex-CBS exec for “original” entertainment.

She’s also excited about the use of the Kinect and expanding on that technology as well. With Microsoft pushing for this to be the only thing that you need for your television, Amanda also believed it could accomplish that task. With it having a Blu-ray and the use of Netflix and Hulu, there’s no real point in having a bunch of boxes when one will do. Scoot agreed with that assessment as the Blu-ray player plays a big part in the entertainment package for the living room. I also asked my fellow editors one the top feature they saw, the most disappointing and what they want to see in the next reveal at E3. Scoot said his favorite part was the Halo TV show because of the huge step Microsoft is taking with the inclusion of original programming but that it was also the most disappointing because he felt that was the top thing they were trumpeting with the system. He wanted to see more XBox One exclusives and more info on the new tech running the system, possibly of the rumored projector system. Amanda thought the top feature was the inclusion of the Blu-ray and the expanded Kinect integration. She’s most skeptical of the new programming chief for original programming because CBS doesn’t have the best track record in terms of ground-breaking entertainment. As for what she wants to see next, she wants more information about the television aspect, such as if a contract with Comcast is involved with it or the tuner being built in, or even if it’s included in the initial price point. Also, say you don’t have Comcast and are they the only TV provider? There’s still a lot of questions that need to be answered.

xbox one dash

We do know that it will be released at the end of this year, most likely in time for the holiday season so hopefully we’ll get more information around E3 time. Of course, please share your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page. What do you think, is Xbox One a game-changer or do you need to see more to make it the one and only system for you? In case you want more info, check out Wired’s and Techcrunch’s take on the new console as well!

Call of Duty: Ghosts Reveal Trailer Released and It’s Pretty

It’s Call of Duty. That’s really all that should be said but this time developer Infinity Ward has moved on from the Modern Warfare series. This time, we’re getting a more interactive experience and new story. Plus you get a dog as a teammate, and what better way to take on the rest of the world than having man’s best friend at your side. Call of Duty: Ghosts promises a more intimate experience with the story, which has been written by Academy Award Winner Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) and more emphasis on your teammates. Below is the new trailer for it so let’s take a gander at it together:

It looks beautiful, doesn’t it? Seeing the lush rainforest and other environments should make this a great game to play on the next-gen systems. Having the game take place in a time where governments have fallen is an interesting twist on the genre and if anything, having Gaghan on as the writer increases the clout of Infinity Ward delivering a great single player story. Plus, it helps that the trailer plays like a movie as well. We can all hope for a Band of Brothers type of experience with your teammates being that they are all you’ve got. Of course, the trailer is still pretty vague so that and other aspects of the story remains to be seen. It should still be a great gaming experience to look forward to. Plus, the screenshot below just looks pretty as it came from the Xbox One presser earlier on Tuesday. As for this game, look for it November 5th, 2013. That day will also be known as the day several people call off work and the workplace comes to a grinding halt. Sign me up for that as well.

xbox one call of duty ghosts

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Uprising DLC is Coming!

The Replacers are back and it looks like we’re about to get ourselves from new Call of Duty DLC for Black Ops II! The new DLC is called Uprising and it will arrive for Xbox Live users (sorry PS3 and Wii U peeps) on April 16th which means not only are we being treated to a double XP weekend, but we’re getting a new Replacers ad with the always looking for a job Peter Stormare. Looks like he brought along a new friend, Mr. J.B. Smoove from Curb Your Enthusiasm amongst other things. While not as great as the first one (if anything because that one was brilliant in that we didn’t know what to expect), it’s still a funny ad to check out. Naturally, it’s embedded just below for your enjoyment:

cod uprising magmaAlright, onward with the DLC news. We are getting four new maps called Magma, Studio, Vertigo and Encore. Magma takes places in an Asian village that is being overrun by an active volcano. This introduces the element of lava bearing down on the people and some short and long-range points of attack. We also get Encore which takes place in an amphitheater that is wide open with the center stage being touted as the best position. Personally, this will probably be a sniper haven because of its wide open space so we’ll have to see how it all goes down. Vertigo follows as it’s a skyscraper level and it instantly reminds me of more dangerous Hotel combined with the Die Rise zombie map from the last DLC for Call of Duty. I like the idea of having to jump from space to space and it’ll probably be hilarious to see one Brian Kronner fall off the map repeatedly. The next map, which is destined to be my favorite one judging from how they are selling it, is called Studio. It takes place at a movie studio back lot where all the sets are up from the various genres of movies. But did catch my eye was it’s reference to Firing Range, that awesome level from Call of Duty: Black Ops. Seems to be a good one to check out for sure.

cod uprising mob of the dead

Of course we have to mention the zombie map Mob of the Dead. This map will actually take place in a prison from the 1950s that resembles (if not, an exact replica) of the famous Alcatraz prison. It will also feature four actors portraying old school gangsters like Michael Madsen, Ray Liotta, Chazz Palminteri and Joe Pantoliano that were planning to escape, but get the unfortunate luck of having to blast a few zombies on the way out of the prison. There will be a storyline involved with building a plane out of parts to help escape the island so could we actually get an ending for once? Time will tell but I’m already excited at the prospect of playing this map. There’s also a new mode called Afterlife that is being introduced to where if your character dies, they can see through walls and interact with objects your living teammates cannot touch. Also you get to fire electricity from your hands to battle zombies as well as powerful some perk machines. So this should get interesting…

All in all, this should be good times and you can check the below video to get more details on the Uprising DLC. Until then, we shall see you on April 16th, 2013 on Xbox Live. I guarantee you’ll see the Grizzly Bomb team online and swearing and throwing controllers complaining that was effin’ BS whenever we get killed.

More Call of Duty: Black Ops 2? You Got It Thanks to the Revolution DLC…and Peter Stormare

This could possibly be my favorite Call of Duty video of all time. I’ll get into the rest of the article you view the video but I give props to Peter Stormare, he made this video awesome.

“Now you go pick up my sh*t.”

Obviously it’s not the official trailer of the map but just a fun promotional bit. Luckily there is another trailer for what to expect with the new Revolution DLC, coming out on January 29th first on X-Box Live. It boasts four new multiplayer maps, a new zombies co-op map, a new game mode for zombies, and a new multiplayer weapon called the Peacekeeper that is exclusive to the game mode. There’s more in the video below, which serves as the actual trailer and preview for the new DLC.

Hydro seems like a cool map and having the spillway used to flood and flush out people seems to be a cool element, a la the train in Express. Grind is just going to be a giant chaos map with no real place to hide or hug walls although I can imagine it being a sniper’s haven to like Carrier, which would annoy the living crap out of me. I know Downhill will be a big hit because of people of the white stuff…the snow I mean, not cocaine. Mirage looks cool too because it seems to incorporate wide open space and claustrophobic environments to satisfy everyone involved…unless you’re on the losing end of course.

Die Rise is the new zombie map that takes place in a skyscraper and I’m looking forward to this map because I haven’t gotten into zombies that much in this iteration of CoD but this somewhat reminds me of Die Hard in the high rise so if it provides that type of element to it, I’m sure we’ll play it non-stop. With that, comes the new game mode called Turned, where this time, you take control of the zombie and hunt down the lone human player. If you’re successful at doing so, you then become the lone human player and take turns killing others and the one with most kills as the human player seems to be the winner. At least that’s my assumption looking at the video itself. Regardless, it’s about time we get to see the other side and stalk our human compatriots and make their life hell.

Lastly, we have a new gun called the Peacekeeper coming to multiplayer exclusively.  The gun is a hybrid between a submachine gun and assault rifle so you get a bit of the stopping power of the assault rifles, with the versatility of the SMG. Overall, I think this will be a giant success and am looking forward to the new DLC dropping on XBL on January 29th. Too bad for the other systems though because they don’t get the map packs until later but hey, pick up a 360 and join some of the Grizzly Bomb people. I guarantee you’ll be way better than us.

Guy Ritchie’s “Black Ops II” Live Action Trailer. Featuring Robert Downey Jr.

All that’s missing are Jägerbombs and misogyny. Guy Ritchie became the favorite filmmaker of fratboys everywhere when he made Lock Stock and Snatch. Between pounding shots and subjugating women, 20 year old collegiate males the world over high-fived over Brad Pitt’s unintelligble accent and then played some rounds of Call of Duty, the record-shattering military shooter that single-handedly gobbled up the profits of an entire industry in 2010. It’s only natural, given the matching demographic, that Treyarch would bring on the man to direct a live-action trailer for the second iteration in the Black Ops franchise, but to cap it all off, you’ll spot RDJ in the mix as well:

The trailer is only a minute long but manages to squeeze in a lot of information if you’re paying attention. In a simulated single shot, the camera bounces from one recognizable face to another (YouTube stars iJustine and FPSrussia make appearances too) but the trailer tries to focus the insane arsenal of gadgets at your disposal in Cod Blops 2. The trailer closes on a swarm of zombies, hinting at the added emphasize to the secondary zombie mode that became an instant fan favorite in World at War, and was expanded even further in the last game.

The first Black Ops crammed so much content onto disc that it was nearly impossible to argue against its value. A globe-trotting popcorn movie campaign, the most popular multiplayer platform in console gaming and extras and minigames pouring out of every nook and cranny made it a tantalizing offer. Blops 2 looks to be offering a similar experience this time around, but they’ve rebuilt the multiplayer from ground up, promised a much beefier single-player experience and a much much bigger zombie mode than ever before. The new features of Black Ops 2 are all explored in Game Trailers’ latest episodes of Bonus Round, if you haven’t heard about them yet.