There is already lots of comments around the web about Infinity Ward “not listening” and “why would they do this?”
Well, let’s talk about that.
When Infinity Ward released Call of Duty: Ghosts in 2013, it was the first Call of Duty game on next-gen consoles. Ghosts was met with harsh comments from press and fans alike. Press stated that the title was “not new” and “not innovative,” claiming that Infinity Ward was too scared to do something big and bold for Call of Duty. One example of this is in Polygon’s review, where they stated that Ghosts “is mired in a distinct lack of ambition” and does not go beyond what previous titles did. Some thing from Kotaku: too much of being similar to old titles. While some fans have disliked Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the press loved it. It got high scores from many outlets, including a 4/4 from USA Today. For Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Polygon praised it, stating Sledgehammer Games was willing to take a “risk” with Call of Duty. And Kotaku even called it “refreshing” for Call of Duty.
Fans alike criticized Infinity Ward for so long about how they hated the game and why they wanted something new. Call of Duty: Ghosts was reflected upon as being “bad” because it was too much of the same and nothing new was there. Some fans even called it one of the worst Call of Duty titles. A lot of fans, here on our comments too, compared Ghosts consistently to Treyarch’s Black Ops 2 and saying Black Ops 2 was a lot better. The feedback was one-sided then: Ghosts was not a good game.
So, why would Infinity Ward develop a Ghosts 2 if that name is associated with a bad title? Activision cannot market Ghosts 2 effectively to fans with its bad history. Just because the campaign had a cliffhanger, finishing up a cliffhanger is not worth developing a whole game that would receive harsh comments.
Now, here’s Infinity Ward looking at this feedback and want to do something new and something ambitious. We have to understand something: Infinity Ward’s vision for Call of Duty 2016 and development started before any of our feedback about Sledgehammer Games’ Advanced Warfare’s and Treyarch’s Black Ops 3’s settings. This title is based around and built on the feedback from what Infinity Ward saw from Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Infinity Ward started developing Call of Duty 2016 right after Call of Duty: Ghosts launched in 2013. That’s how all Call of Duty developers do it: release their latest title, then a team starts on the next one. When Ghosts launched and the pre-launch of Advanced Warfare hype came around, people loved seeing a new studio bringing something new and refreshing to the Call of Duty series. Once the negative feedback came in on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s setting after launch (in 2015), Infinity Ward was already a year and a half into development on Call of Duty 2016. They cannot scrap their idea and start something new, as they do not have enough time to do so. It is the same exact thing from Treyarch last year: when fans saw that Black Ops 3 was futuristic, fans went crazy thinking Treyarch did not listen to feedback. They did, but their ideas and vision for Black Ops 3 was locked in place. These developers do not start developing the latest game when Activision publicly announces the developer each year; the game’s been in development for years.
For the last three years, we have seen a trend here: the first title on the three year development cycle for each studio have all been something bold and ambitious. Sledgehammer Games did something we would have never though of before: took us to the future and changed the core movement system. Treyarch brought a more chained based movement, but kept advanced based movement in. Treyarch’s title also brought the most content in the base game that we have ever seen before in Call of Duty. In 2016, it is now Infinity Ward’s turn to try something bold.
Now, you must be asking: why can’t they re-imagine old Call of Duty titles? Activision would never, in our eyes, put a lead studio in charge of a remastering a previous Call of Duty. That would be a waste of their resources for the time being as trying something new makes more sense then spending three years re-building something old. While Activision CEO has stated remastering is something “they think about a lot,” it just does not make sense to spend three years for a main studio to re-up assets of an old game no matter how many fans ask for it.
Before we criticize Infinity Ward for what they are doing this year, we have to remember that it is our feedback on Call of Duty: Ghosts that shaped Infinity Ward for this year’s title.
Call of Duty: Warzone Season 3 review – a huge step in the right direction
Warzone Season 3 has been a huge step in the right direction, but there’s still more Raven Software could do to improve the game.
Significant changes to Verdansk and weapon balance have put Warzone back on track, but there are still some kinks Raven Software needs to iron out to make Warzone Season 3 the best yet.
After months of leaks and theories surrounding the nuking of Verdansk, it was an exciting week when that prospect finally became reality.
Fortnite and Apex Legends have done an amazing job in creating live events and shaking up the map between each season but Warzone’s season updates have felt severely lacking, with Cold War x Warzone Season 2 being a particularly low point.
The community’s frustration with the game appeared to come to a head in Season 2, with broken weapons completely changing the game, and lackluster map changes causing burnout.
However, almost all of these concerns have been addressed for Season 3, and the game is in the best place it’s been in for months. Here’s our full review of Warzone Season 3.
Warzone Season 3’s launch was a mixed bag. While the End of Verdansk Part 1 and Part 2 game modes were fine, server queues and crashes ruined the excitement of the event for many. Even when these events had concluded, many players still couldn’t queue into matches of Verdansk ’84.
Players were equally excited to see the back of the original Verdansk and disappointed that there was no ‘new’ map, and the leaked Ural Mountains certainly did nothing to help this.
While everyone could agree that a brand new map would have been nice, it didn’t take long to realize that Verdansk ’84 is a breath of fresh air.
It really feels like Raven took a step back and worked on everything frustrating about the original Verdansk. Buy Stations that were out in the open have been tucked into new spots, ‘dead space’ has been filled with interesting POIs, and the muted color palette has been given some much-needed color.
Farm and Dam were never fantastic landing spots, but Summit and Standoff have made these areas more interesting and well-worth landing in. Rotating from location to location is more engaging, and the new color palette and changes have made many of the campier buildings more difficult to defend.
And we can’t begin to describe how much better the new Gulag is. No 50/50 gunfights at the start, hardly any head-glitches to abuse, and (so far) no fists has infinitely improved the game and made being eliminated less of a discouraging experience.
While these changes are great and just what Warzone needed, Raven needs to keep an eye on the map and not let it go stale again. Significant updates to locations and new POIs each season would be a massive help in keeping the map fresh and players interested. We’re excited by the idea of the weather in-game changing with the real-life seasons, which Raven have confirmed.
And if they could fix those pesky rocks that are impossible to climb, that’d be fantastic.
While Warzone has had overpowered metas in the past, such as the R-90 fire Shotgun and the Grau 5.56, they were never the be-all and end-all. When Black Ops Cold War’s weapons arrived, that all changed. First, the DMR 14 came and obliterated every other weapon, then once that beast was finally tamed, the AUG, M16, and FFAR 1 came in and created a meta even more imbalanced and frustrating.
After weeks of community backlash, Raven Software gave a massive tuning pass to Cold War’s weapons in Warzone. The biggest offenders were adequately nerfed, and some underpowered weapons such as Cold War’s AK-47 and the Krig 6 received welcome buffs. You’ll no longer get obliterated before having time to react, which does a great job in separating battle royale from the chaotic feel of multiplayer.
While some weapons clearly shine above the rest, there is so much more variety in gunfights. You’re likely to come up against almost every SMG, a variety of Assault Rifles, and almost any other gun in between.
The ground loot could use a little work, though. Streetsweepers on the ground and almost nothing viable for medium-range combat makes early-game fights feel a little weird.
Room for improvement
While weapon balance changes and Verdansk ’84 have been extremely welcome additions to the game, there’s still room for improvement in Warzone Season 3.
The perk meta hasn’t shifted since day one, so some of the lesser-used perks could do with a major buff to provide more variety in loadouts.
Almost every player on the map has Self-Revive, prolonging gunfights and making team fights a frustrating experience. If this was rarer, or more expensive, gunfights would be in a better place.
Also, Dead Silence and Stopping Power are further sources of imbalance. RNG is a staple of battle royale games, but these power-ups give a more-than-significant advantage to those lucky enough to pick them up.
And vehicles are still a severe problem in Warzone solos, where almost every endgame is filled with several Berthas and other vehicles. If Berthas were removed from the solos mode, it would be a much more balanced and competitive experience.
These are by no means game-breaking, but little niggles that a significant portion of the community would welcome changes to.
While Warzone Season 3 has been a huge step in the right direction, there is still more that Raven Software could do to make Verdansk ’84 a more balanced experience. Shaking up the perk meta, limiting Self-Revive, Stopping Power, and Self-Revive would be a welcome change.
However, almost all weapons feel viable and Verdansk ’84 is exactly what Warzone needed to keep players engaged.
Image Credit: Activision
6 things we want to see in Black Ops Cold War Season 3
Here are 5 key things we want to see in Season 3 of Black Ops Cold War to make it a memorable Call of Duty game.
The official start for Black Ops Cold War Season 3 is close, but here are six things we want to see implemented during the course of CoD’s newest season.
Overall, it feels like CoD: Cold War has taken a backseat to Warzone as of late, due to the battle royale game’s zombies and game-changing nuke event. But an incredible amount of players are still enjoying Cold War, and do have plenty of new stuff to look forward to in Season 3.
Season 2 brought back Gun Game, debuted the exciting new Outbreak mode, and threw some new maps into the mix. We still have a few months to go until Call of Duty 2021 releases, so there’s plenty of time to make Black Ops Cold War even better.
Here are six things we desperately want to see in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Season 3.
6. Old & new maps in CoD: Cold War Season 3
Needless to say, Black Ops Cold War probably could’ve had more maps at launch instead of spreading them out periodically throughout the game’s release. But this gripe has been remedied thanks to these extra doses of content.
It was claimed a while back that 8 more map remakes were coming to Cold War at some point. Since that announcement, we’ve been treated to updates of Express, and now for Season 3, we have Standoff to look forward to.
At launch, Season 3 will have 15 maps, with Standoff coming later, and we would still love to see more remakes and fresh experiences like the incredible Pines map.
See where we ranked The Pines and Express in our official ranking of all of Black Ops Cold War’s maps.
5. New game modes in Black Ops Cold War Season 3
One thing that Black Ops Cold War is definitely not short of is a veritable selection of game modes for players to indulge in. Between Standard, Hardcore, and a plethora of other playlist options there are so many options for players.
Season 3 is bringing back the melee-heavy game mode that frowns upon guns – Sticks and Stones. Yet, we’re still shy of some absolute winners e.g 3v3 Gunfight, more Hardcore modes, and another Black Ops favorite, One in the Chamber.
4. Better Spawns in CoD: Cold War Season 3
We can’t think of a Call of Duty game in recent memory that has had such unusually placed spawns. Several maps such as Crossroads, Armada, and Satellite all possess blatantly exposed spawn areas that leave players susceptible to a litany of consecutive deaths.
We can forgive this kind of thing occurring on a small map like Nuketown ’84, but it really shouldn’t be happening on mid-to-large-sized maps. Season 2 reworked some of the game’s maps, including reducing the size of Moscow and fixing their spawn positions to make them less vulnerable.
But it still feels like the aforementioned maps can be exploited far too easily by the enemy team, and we’d like to see this looked at further.
3. Improved weapon balancing
Warzone has notoriously suffered from weapon balancing issues since its release with its meta dominated by the same few guns. Cold War hasn’t quite suffered in the same vein, but it’s definitely had some weapons feature more prominently.
This isn’t necessarily because of weapons being stronger, but a smaller selection of guns appears even smaller when you consider how LMGs and Sniper Rifles don’t stack up as well compared to Assault Rifles and SMGs in Cold War.
If Treyarch could adjust the lesser-used weapons, then Cold War may feature a greater variety of weapons.
Also, see how we’ve ranked all of Black Ops Cold War’s guns from worst to best.
2. Less bugs & glitches in Cold War Season 3
We acknowledge this is probably more difficult than it sounds, but fewer bugs would make for a wholesome experience. We’ve commended the efforts of Treyarch dev Josh “FoxhoundFPS” Torres for trying to assist players as much as he can, but Cold War is still ridden with glitches and bugs that never get addressed.
1. Improved scoring system in Black Ops Cold War Season 3
It’s no secret that Black Ops Cold War’s scoring system is horribly unbalanced. Regardless of the mode you’re playing, the game actively encourages players to focus on kills, kills, and nothing but kills.
A player that ignores the objective to get a 10 killstreak will greatly benefit far more than someone who’s spent the whole game focusing on capturing flags in Domination and locking down Hardpoints. There’s little incentive to concentrate on objectives and Treyarch absolutely needs to address this.
We believe these are six massive things that would change Black Ops Cold War for the better and make the game even better in Season 3.
Image credits: Treyarch
Ranking the GTA games from worst to best
We’ve gone through and ranked all of Rockstar’s GTA games from best to worst, and assigned them a tier too.
It doesn’t get much bigger than Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto when it comes to video games, and its legacy is untouchable. So we’ve gone through the main games in the series, ranked them from worst to best, and given them an official tier too.
GTA is the franchise that single-handedly popularized open-world sandbox games, and has had nearly as much controversy as it’s had sales – a lot. Rockstar’s violent and grim take on crime has sold several hundred million units with the mega-successful GTA V selling 140 million copies as of February 2021.
Every game has been accompanied by an engrossing story filled with memorable characters, missions, and insane activities to complete. They are all unique in their own way, which is why it makes it a difficult task to rank them all from worst to best. But we have done so and given each one a tier too.
Grand Theft Auto games tier list
Before we delve into the official ranking, here’s a quick summary of each game with an assigned grade.
Here is our official tier list of all the GTA games in alphabetical order:
- S-Tier: GTA 4, GTA 5, GTA: San Andreas, GTA: Vice City
- A-Tier: GTA 3, GTA: Liberty City Stories, GTA: Vice City Stories
- B-Tier: GTA 2, GTA 1, GTA: Advance, GTA: Chinatown Wars, GTA: London
Just to explain the system, our S-Tier games are undisputed greats, the A-Tier titles are great, the B-Tier games are just missing something, and C-Tier ones are not worth your time.
Main GTA games ranked worst to best
8. Grand Theft Auto
For newer gamers, it’s hard to imagine that Grand Theft Auto 5 started here. Even by PS1 standards, the graphics were extremely primitive, and the in-game camera jerked around more than a rocking horse.
However, it introduced people to the idea of vehicular homicide, killing for money, and various other gameplay elements that would become scrutinized by the media, making the series so well-known. GTA 1 also received some healthy expansions in the form of the GTA: London spin-offs.
7. Grand Theft Auto 2
Grand Theft Auto 2 expanded upon a few ideas that its predecessor had introduced such as an improved save system, better missions, more NPC randomness, and open-world unpredictability.
GTA II essentially laid the foundation for the third major game in the franchise, and its modern setting allowed additional benefits over GTA 1 such as weapons and vehicles.
6. Vice City Stories/Liberty City Stories
Whilst both games are great additions to the series, Liberty City Stories and Vice City Stories are essentially extended DLC of the original games.
Liberty City is more noteworthy for its story as it serves as a prequel to GTA III, as evidenced by its changes to the city. Whereas Vice City Stories went a bit more gung-ho and added a whole new gameplay element, Empire-Building, both to the benefit and detriment of the game.
5. Grand Theft Auto III
It may be the third official entry in the Grand Theft Auto, but GTA III is arguably where the name really got started. Rockstar went big and bold for GTA III and changed the camera perspective to fully third-person.
Completely 3D rendered character models brought the world to life, as did GTA’s take on New York City. There was an incredible amount of content for players to enjoy with Rampages, Stunt Jumps, and Hidden Packages to find. GTA III was unlike any other game on the market, and a silent Claude pretty much kickstarted the craze that many others would follow.
4. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
Vice City took everything that was great about GTA III and went bigger and better. It still retained all the weird and wonderful activities that made the third game a breakout hit, but it added properties, helicopter missions, and much more.
Vice City is Rockstar’s tribute to the 1980’s film Scarface with most of its aesthetic being influenced by the famous gangster film starring Al Pacino. To many, the game features the best GTA soundtrack and has had requests for years to revisit it – which we may do with GTA 6.
3. Grand Theft Auto IV
There was incredible pressure on Rockstar to successfully transition GTA to the PS3 and Xbox 360 after a spellbinding run of games on the PS2 and Xbox. They did so admirably with GTA IV, delivering a realistic, immersive playground in Liberty City once more.
Grand Theft Auto 4 had a tonal shift towards realism, and this was reflected in its vehicle handling and physics. It had arguably the most powerful story in the franchise, following the rise of lowly immigrant – Niko Bellic.
This did also mean that there were fewer zany activities like Rampages though. Nevertheless, the game was well supported by its Multiplayer which served as a great template going forward.
2. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
The only thing holding San Andreas back from first place is the outdated moving and shooting mechanics, otherwise, this might have featured even higher.
San Andreas was so far ahead of its time in terms of different activities you could do. GTA was continuing to innovate by giving players endless side missions: Driving Schools, Burglaries, Races, more collectibles than ever before, and even freestyle Lowrider contests.
CJ’s story was tremendous and San Andreas’s creativity made for some truly crazy missions to partake in. Plus, you could fill him up with junk food, make him look like Hulk Hogan, or turn him into an Olympic athlete of fitness.
1. Grand Theft Auto 5
There’s a reason as to why GTA 5 is the biggest selling piece of media ever – including video games, cinema. Rockstar took a huge gamble by altering the protagonist structure of previous games and allowing players to switch between three main characters instead.
- Read More: New Rockstar games to be announced at E3?
The move was a stroke of genius and made a game packed full of content even more diverse and enjoyable. The enormous map contained Scuba Diving, Base Jumping, Golf, Pool, Darts, and a vast array of other activities. The main game is stacked with hundreds of hours of content, and Rockstar decided to add GTA Online to make the package of quite frankly ridiculous value.
Generating billions of dollars within itself, GTA Online has experienced unprecedented success and taken the franchise to new heights. The game’s longevity is bullet-pointed by the fact it’s coming to a third generation of game consoles, and all this makes GTA 5 the best game in the series.
Image credits: Rockstar
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