Tag Archives: DLC

New Call of Duty DLC ‘Vengeance’ Comes Out Next Week: Summer Officially Postponed

So it’s that time again, we have a new Call of Duty DLC coming out just in time to make sure you avoid the beach and stay pale playing indoors for the next few months. There’s actually some cool goodies in this pack which has the standard four new multiplayer maps as well as a new zombie map We also get to see a new weapon in the zombie map, which is cool because it’s an updated version of my favorite gun to take down the undead. But first, let’s let you watch the official trailer below, introduced by our favorite pitchmen: The Replacers.

call of duty vengeance coveIt’s actually a heckuva lot shorter video than what we’re used to and provides very minimal use of the awesome Peter Stormare. Sucks because the previous Replacers trailers were awesome but no matter as we’re really interested about the gameplay itself. With Call of Duty: Vengeance, we have four new maps starting out with Cove, which for some odd reason reminds me of the Koopa Beach map on Mario Kart. Cove seems like a cool map as you’re surrounded by water on an island of rock and rainforest plus a downed plane. Just think of it like the cast of Lost got stranded with guns. With less confusion and smoke monsters too. It looks to be a sweet map though that breeds chaos and yelling at the television; my favorite combination in a Call of Duty map. Next up, we have Detour – a multilevel bridge map that keeps the action head to head and in front of the players. It looks to be a cool map that will have the short range players underneath and the long range players battling up top. Plus lots of exploding cars so more people will be angry when a stray grenade takes out the car and takes them out in the process as well.

call of duty vengeance rush

Next map we have is Rush, which is probably going to become my favorite new map. It’s basically a paintball obstacle course. Indoor, outdoor, close quarters running around, it’s got the makings of a brilliant map. Should be almost as fast paced as Nuketown in my opinion with barely any cover and the need to press forward at all times. The last multiplayer map is Uplink, but everyone actually will recognize this map as Summit from the original Call of Duty: Black Ops game. This one will probably be a favorite of Kronner’s as Summit was his boy. The major difference is no snow and it’s during the nighttime but for the most part, it’s a nice call back for a classic map.

call of duty vengeance buried

call of duty vengeance ray gunOf course, we have the zombie map called Buried and it’s basically an Old West town that’s underground. With zombies. Of course, there’s one major wildcard and it seems to be a giant, somewhat hick-ish type NPC that you can either confront and try to kill (if it’s like Romero in Call of the Dead, good luck) or use to your advantage to clear the path. Either way it looks to be exciting and even more so because I get a new ray guy out of it too. The ray gun has always been my boy and now they have upgraded it with the Ray Gun Mark II. Apparently it’s a lot more powerful and laser-like as it can cut through a whole row of zombies. So yeah, that definitely sounds like my boy right there.

Of course, this all comes out on July 2nd on Xbox Live first so Xbox 360 gamers will get the first experiences with this DLC. From the looks of things, it won’t disappoint at all. Below is a more in depth trailer about the maps so watch it, love it, and I’ll see you guys online. I’ll be the guy swearing and being berated by 12 year olds with no sense of morality or political correctness.

Thoughts On Mass Effect 3’s Endings, Old & New


Mass Effect
is a series in gaming that is unique in many aspects. It’s one of the first to actually portray a truly mature, adult story, in a relatively Hard SF setting. It’s a series that has won many fans because of its engaging, emotionally resonant story and characters, that let you place yourself in the midst of a galactic saga that had social relevance and metaphor for our own, without being preachy or condescending. Along with this, the game has several choices and story branches, throughout all three entries in the series, that could potentially alter the story, it’s meaning, depth, subtext, and character development greatly. It’s in this that I can only regard what the Mass Effect story has meant to me, and My Story, My Shepard. With this in mind, I feel it’s necessary to give you some context for why I loved the original ending, what It meant to me, and why I accepted it as it was entirely, from the beginning of Mass Effect 3, to the very last scene. It goes without saying however, that this article contains SPOILERS, but I’ll say it anyway.

Some people play their Shepards or any game character, as extensions of themselves. In Mass Effect, the beauty of this was that it was meant to be played multiple times through. You were encouraged to explore the game, and see as much or as little as you liked. Since Mass Effect 1, I’ve had two game saves.

1.) My main game. Magnus Shepard, Renegade, Earthborn Survivor of Torfan, Ruthless Commander who’d get the job done at any cost. This was my “Canon” game. The one that mattered, the one where I made decisions I felt “My” Shepard would make, even if I didn’t personally agree with them.

2.) My alternate game. Veronica Shepard. Paragon, War Hero Colonist, who made the tough decisions and did everything she could to ensure her teams survival, at great risk to herself.

I am going to talk about Magnus, because to me, his story is the one I found more intellectually stimulating and meaningful, while Veronica’s story was more personally and emotionally engaging. Magnus Shepard was a bigoted, xenophobic, borderline genocidal control freak. He was cold and hard to everyone around him. In the first game, he made no thought of killing the entire Rachni Species, or shooting an insubordinate Krogan party member in the face, if it meant getting the mission done. He made the tough choices that many would never entertain making, and he made them without questioning himself.

Tough, racist choices.

All of this changed after he died in Mass Effect 2. Being resurrected via the Lazarus Project left him scarred, both literally and metaphorically. His choices led to the destruction of his crew, and himself, despite believing he had truly done the right thing. From then on, he continued to make the hard decisions, and choosing what he now began to believe were the “bad choices”, but held steadfast onto the firm belief that what he was doing was right. That it was for humanity’s sake, and that he’d be vindicated in the end. This is what led him to side easily with The Illusive Man, who represented the flip side of the coin for Magnus, a man who claimed to represent mankind’s best interests.

Magnus joined believing that what he was doing was the right thing, again, despite initially being led to believe he was making a “bad” choice by those he cared about. Slowly, his facade began to crumble, and he opened up to his old love interest, Ashley, the one person he felt vulnerable around. Unfortunately, even she rejected his decisions, claiming that siding with The Illusive Man was going too far. After losing even her, he became destitute, and even more firm in his belief that the ends would justify the means, and hurried his crew, not wasting any more time in approaching the Collectors, and in turn, the Reapers head on.

He was a man who had been broken, and felt everything that was lost so far, was acceptable if only to stop the threat that faced the galaxy. His team suffered HEAVY losses, on the raid of The Collectors base, and upon taking the base, was faced with yet another difficult choice, to preserve the base for study, or to destroy it. Believing his life was spared for a reason, he made the “bad” choice to preserve it, in an effort to gain the upper hand against the Reapers. Again it’d seem, he and the Illusive Man were but a shade of grey apart.

“There… EarthI wish you could see it like I doShepardIt’s so… perfect.” – The Illusive Man

In Mass Effect 3, now recovering from the scars he’d received during the previous two games, he found himself in the middle of a direct Reaper attack. Having spent so many lives at a great cost was beginning to weigh heavy on his shoulders, and seeing an innocent boy’s life taken, despite all the sacrifices he’d made, started to crack at his seams. Throughout all of Mass Effect 3, Magnus began to slip deeper into the hole he’d created for himself, making “bad” choices to kill many of his former crew (Mordin, Legion, etc), if it meant the survival of the human race. Believing once again, that all of this was for a reason, that his choices were just, despite the massive amounts of guilt they brought to him. All of this culminated in nearly everyone he knew, more or less being hurt by him. Every choice he made, brought pain to another life, and not even Ashley, his former love interest could console him at the final hour. When it came time to storm the uploading beam to the Crucible, (a term that literally means ‘”test”), he did it full on, with no more care for the value of his life, believing that this was it. By cruel and ironic fate, he awoke the only one alive, and struggled aboard the Crucible, activating it, and was presented with the famous choice so many players struggled with at the end of the game.

This moment was revelatory for Magnus. All this time, he had made so many bad choices, all in the name of destroying the Reapers. Of righting things for the universe. To make sure the ends justified the means. However, when presented with the three options before him, Magnus had an epiphany. That all of his choices, were made so he could be here, at this moment, to stop all the pain and destruction he had seen. The synthetic VS organic wars of times past, present and future, were naught but for his very whims. With a heavy heart full of regret, sorrow, guilt, and penance, he jumped into the Crucible’s light, sacrificing himself to unite all organic and synthetic life once and for all. He had spent his life making the hard, “bad” choices, and now, only moments before his death, got to repay everyone back, and repent for his sins, and the lives he had taken, only now seemingly for needless reasons. Synthesis united the galaxy, but death redeemed Magnus Shepard, and invited a peace internal and external, for himself, and the galaxy in turn. In my opinion, it was a brilliant ending, and everyone but me HATED it.

Sorry, wrong ending I loved that everyone else hated.

So Yeah. I liked the original ending. It was overwhelmingly deep and thought provoking for me. Magnus was a complicated, unlikable protagonist, with true depth and many layers to his personality. At one point, there is even a song inside Shepard’s cabin, that in my opinion, sums up the many feelings my Shepard had, and his decisions throughout the games. The song is called “Bad Choices” by Shout Out Out Out Out, and it’s inclusion was no random choice by the game creators I’m sure, since it’s lyrics read like a personal journal entry for my Shepard:

I’m self destructing I admit.

I make so, many bad, bad choices.

But here’s the thing, 

that I admit.

I always know they’re bad choices.

It’s a simple set of lyrics. It’s a brilliant song. It sums up my Shepard perfectly, and to that end, my Mass Effect game perfectly. I finished the game in awe, and found myself itching to play it again. Imagine my shock when, after going online to see the Internet’s reaction to such a brilliant game, I found nearly UNANIMOUS hatred at the game’s ending. All of this was compounded even further, when in defense of the game’s ending, which I didn’t feel needed defending, people began speaking about “The Indoctrination Theory”.

What is The Indoctrination Theory you ask? Well here’s a link to it, but I’ll try to sum it up for you as quickly and adequately I can. Basically, there are several allusions and implications throughout all three games, that The Reapers, have all this time, been controlling you. All of your decisions are an elaborate attempt to sway you to their side, as they have Saren, and The Illusive Man alike. Towards the end, there are several continued hints towards this, and ultimately, it is speculated the choosing to Control The Reapers, Synthesize, or Destroy The Reapers, is a test of your internal will, as this is a a mental projection inside your mind, and a metaphysical ending rather than a literal one.

Choosing Synthesis or Control resulted in the Reapers winning over your mind, and only Destruction won your will back from them, with the only hard proof to this assertion being the brief cutscene that you get only from destruction. The cutscene in question, shows Shepard buried in apparently Earth-like rubble, awakening for a half breath, before cutting away. This implies the ending was all in Shepard’s mind, and by choosing Destruction, you’ve defeated the attempt at “Indoctrination” The Reapers have made on you. Personally, I thought this ending was genius. Even though the new ending is decidedly more literal, the mere CONCEPT that The Reapers had indoctrinated ME, the player, was brilliant. I had spent nearly 4 years, gnawing at the bit to kill the Reapers, every last one. And what did I end up picking? Synthesis. Not killing them. I had successfully been indoctrinated.

Bravo.

But alas, it was not enough for the gaming populace who demanded a “new” ending to a game, claiming it was “broken” and didn’t make sense. While some of the more sensible detractors did make a few good points on logistical aspects, I found myself unable to empathize with them, because my gaming experience was so enjoyable. It was with a sense of relief then, that I was one of the few people overjoyed to hear that Bioware was not changing the ending, but were rather adding further closure, and character depth.

Not this kind of depth though.

Now, for the new endings. While I won’t go into all the specifics, (I’ll leave that to my co-writer, Jason, who I’m sure shares a different viewpoint on the original ending’s, and the series overall ending than I do), the new endings definitely provide closure in many aspects. Closure to plotholes, closure to the ultimate fate of many of the species in the galaxy, closure to Shepard’s fate him/herself, and a more final closure to the series all in all. In particular, I found the wholly new ending, which the Internet seems to have dubbed the “Rejection” ending, very interesting, and just as satisfying as the others. In it, you refuse to accept the choices given to you, claiming that it is one sacrifice too many, that the Reapers will be fought on Humanity’s/Turian’s/Krogan’s/et al’s terms. The AI you speak to responds angrily, and we flash forward to the distant future, to see a hologram of Liara T’Soni, explaining to an unseen viewer, all the details of the war against the Reapers, with the hope that a future races watching will continue. The hologram itself was a neat callback to an earlier scene in the game, where Liara actually does archive you, and all their information, for just such a use. The game ends on a new coda, with a child and her mother stargazing, speaking of you in legendary terms, as The Shepard Who United The Galaxy. It also illustrates that all of the information Shepard provided, along with the archived warnings and information, led to future races finally defeating the Reapers once and for all, effectively proving The AI wrong. Seeing Shepard spoken about within this context,  gains a bit more meaning, in terms of how legends are made, told, and passed down.

“Tell me more about The Shepard.”

The new endings will undoubtedly still frustrate many gamers. I have no doubt that no matter what Bioware put out, people would have found things wrong with it. So many people’s stories were very personal to them, as mine was for me, and satisfying everyone is nigh impossible, but these endings are a great attempt at bridging people who hated it, and people like me who loved it, to find some happy common ground in the middle. Because if there’s anything that we should take from playing Mass Effect, it’s that we can only all prosper, if we unite together. And that’s something worth fighting for, no matter what choices you make.

Button Mashing: MW3 DLC, Hitman Absolution, ME3 Characters & More

This is Button Mashing, Grizzly Bomb’s video game news headquarters. Previews, interviews, rumors and all the latest stories relating to the biggest games, all in one place.

I’m The Wozz, and here are the most important things you need to know for the week of January 16th, 2012:

Modern Warfare 3’s First DLC Hits Jan. 24 on Elite – (Side Mission)

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Elite subscribers are about to get their first downloadable pack, featuring new maps and multiplayer content. The first bundle is slated to kick off what Activision and Infinity Ward call a “Modern Warfare 3 Content Season for Call of Duty Elite,” which essentially consists of 9 months of periodic DLC.

The process will dole out all of the game’s future bonus content as it is finished and ready to go, as opposed to lumping several of them together in less frequent, individual packets, as promised to all paid Elite subscribers.

This initial release will include two maps, Liberation (a take on NYC’s Central Park) and Piazza (an Italian villa), which will be playable in competitive multiplayer, as well as Spec Ops Survival mode.

On top of that, Infinity Ward’s creative strategist, Robert Bowling, mentioned that future packs will include more varied offerings, like new game types and Spec Ops missions, and even the possibility of new weapons:

It is something that we’ve looked at,” Bowling said. “All of that stuff is on the table for us when we’re looking at what sort of content drops we want to do throughout the season.” Bowling added that there’s “a bunch of other stuff we want to experiment with” for future Modern Warfare 3 content drops.

Along with the two above maps, premium Elite members will get access to three more between now and March. Later all of that content will be bundled together and released for the rest of the Xbox Live community. As of now there is no word on a release date for non-Elite PS3 or PC players.

A Full List of Mass Effect 3’s Cast of Characters – (IGN)

Mass Effect is hands-down the most character-driven video game franchise out there, if not for its stellar writing and RPG interactions, it’s because of its unprecedented ability to bring some of your old friends and enemies, complete with your full relationship history, into each subsequent chapter (providing you haven’t killed them all, of course).

This means that fans will be dying to know who is going to make a return in Commander Shepard’s final mission. Well, IGN has compiled a list of confirmed characters you’ll reunite with in your battle against the Reapers:

Ambassador Donnel Udina
Ashley Williams**
Captain David Anderson
Captain Kirrahe**
Conrad Verner*
EDI:Garrus*
Grunt*
Jacob Taylor*
Jack*
Joker (Jeff Moreau):
Kaidan Alenko**

Kelly Chambers*
Legion*
Liara T’Soni
Miranda Lawson*:
Continue reading Button Mashing: MW3 DLC, Hitman Absolution, ME3 Characters & More

Mass Effect 3’s Bonus Content Announced

Bioware recently released some info on the bonuses you’ll receive if you pre-order Mass Effect 3. It’s pretty mild in terms of content but I’m going to write this article as an opportunity to release some of the pent up anticipation I have for the game’s upcoming release in March.

So here we go. The ME3 pre-order offers several in-game items that you won’t be able to get anywhere else (At least until they’re inevitably sold as DLC later in the year). Almost anywhere you reserve your copy you’ll receive the M55 Argus Assault Rifle. You can see it in action in this clip below:

As usual however, there is additional bonus content available depending on where you put down your reservation; buying your copy from Game Stop will also net you the ‘N7 Warfare Gear’, which includes the N7 Valkyrie Rifle and Defender Armor. Here is a preview of what they can do:

Meanwhile, EA Origin users can pre-order their copy of the game and receive the AT-12 Raider Shotgun. No video of that, unfortunately. It does kind of feel like an unbalanced offer, with Game Stop customers getting an extra item for their purchase as well as not being tethered to EA’s less-than-stellar digital service, but I suppose it’s not a game-changing loss.

Continue reading Mass Effect 3’s Bonus Content Announced