Grave Gamer News & Views — call of duty: ghosts

New DLC Has Snoop Dogg Narrating Call of Duty: Ghosts Matches;...

New DLC Has Snoop Dogg Narrating Call of Duty: Ghosts Matches; “It’s the Coolest Game in the Hood” Apparently

Well, in just about the best news I’ve heard in 2014, a new personalization pack for Activision’s annual cash-in, Call of Duty: Ghosts, allows you to replace the multiplayer narrator with – and I am in no way shitting you – hip-hop legend Snoop Dogg’s smooth-as-thousand-dollar-velvet voice.

I’m uncertain what brought us to this reality. I understand micro-content; it makes sense for a corporation to further monetize their top selling product. I get that. And I understand personalization tweaks; for a few bucks, you can download weapon skins so people who don’t instinctively double-tap out of the Kill-Cam can see they were murdered by someone with style.

But Snoop to the Dee Oh Double Gee Dogg? Saying shit like “Squad Member active – a brother from another mother” and “Yeeahh, crizz-ay” during an online match? This is a stroke of idiotic genius. It’s completely stupid, yet I will purchase the voice-over pack with less hesitation than I’d have saving my own child from drowning. Just watch this video and try not to smile. Just fucking try.

Ghosts is a rather dry product – admittedly the least amount of fun I’ve had plugging into this series since Call of Duty 3 – butlittle stunts like adding Michael Myers and the goddamn Predator into the game provide the necessary flavoring that stops me from ejecting this vanilla wafer entry out of my collection.

The Snoop Dogg Voice-Over Pack, obviously trumping The Last of UsLeft Behind expansion as the most emotionally affecting piece of DLC this year, releases April 22nd on Xbox platforms, priced at $2.99.

Michael Myers Answers the Call of Duty Infinity Ward is making my...

Michael Myers Answers the Call of Duty

Infinity Ward is making my childhood dreams come true this month. They’re letting me wield a sharpened axe, don a menacingly emotionless visage of a mask, and sending me on a psychopathic rampage.

No, no, no, it’s not my dream to pretend to be a serial killer. My dream is to be a pop culture icon that happens to be a mass murderer. Subtle difference.

Yes, in detailing the first downloadable map pack for Call of Duty: Ghosts, among the ranks of urban and industrial battlegrounds (that are indistinguishable from the scores of urban and industrial battlegrounds that make up the DNA of this series), there was one oddball map that stuck out: Fog.

Fog is CoD’s DLC as it should be: the designers letting their hair down and coding something ridiculous and fun simply for the hell of it. Siphoning the atmosphere and visual staples of countless horror movies before it, Fog is a darkened, dank slice of macabre geography featuring dead woods, a lonely, dilapidated cabin, and an Eli Roth approved torture chamber.

And that’s not even the cool part. Successfully complete an operation during an online skirmish and you’ll transform into a slasher flick icon – Michael Myers, straight out of John Carpenter’s seminal Halloween (mayhaps “Fog” is a slier reference to the director’s filmograhpy?). When Mikey hits the scene, you’ll know. The music takes a shift – featuring Carpenter’s now classic theme – and the chances of eating axe increase exponentially.

Call of Duty is no stranger to the weird – this is, in fact, a series that saw Danny Trejo and Sarah Michelle Gellar pistol whipping an undead George Romero just a couple of years ago – but it’s typically Treyarch gettin’ up to shenanigans while IW plays the straight man every other year. Ghosts being, in my opinion, the driest, by-the-numbers release in the franchise’s history, it’s nice to have a reason not to instantly forget this title like my mind has been desperately begging me to.

Does Michael Myers’ murderous inclusion make sense? No. There isn’t even an official implementation of the knife-only mode that fans have borrowed his name for. Does his inclusion make me happy? Shit yes; and that overrides logic.

Onslaught, featuring four new maps and a new chapter of Extinction, arrives on Xbox platforms January 28th. PlayStation users are likely to see the pack a month later.

From Zombies to Aliens - Call of Duty: Ghosts’ Extinction Mode...

From Zombies to Aliens -  Call of Duty: Ghosts’ Extinction Mode Revealed

Our nation has been invaded by extraterrestrial creatures intent on wiping our collective gene pools off the map of existence. Our only defense? Four-player co-op!

Infinity Ward’s run on the Call of Duty series usually serves as the straight-laced dose of military action while Treyarch pumps out their games with whacky shit like B-List celebrities fighting zombies and an after credits performance by a digitally rendered Avenged Sevenfold (I traded in my copy of Black Ops II without regret or feeling).

Now, IW is joining the genre-bending fun with Extinction Mode; a four-player co-op mode that replaces the undead from Zombies with – get this – aliens. I’ll forever lament a game called Ghosts for not featuring a first-person ghostbusting mode, but the ghoulie wheel was spun and chance said it wanted aliens.

This Invasion: Earth flavored horde mode has you fending through waves of unfriendly E.T.’s while you eviscerate the hives that spawn them. The classic Zombies suite of base fortifying and item hunting return in addition to an upgrade system and character specific classes, each with their own abilities (that just may be the saving grace keeping Extinction from being the tired Zombies clone it’s already teetering towards).

Watch the Extinction Mode debut trailer right hereabouts!

VG Trailer Park

The video gaming industry is a unique one, all right.  Relying on burgeoning technology, industry professionals are able to actually record short gameplay experiences from titles that haven’t even been released.

What the hell do you even call that? Before-Plays? Precognitive Product Viewings? Hands-Off Game Watchings? Unplayable View ‘Em’s? I’ll narrow it down later. In the meantime, welcome back...

Call of Duty Preorders Weakened By Impending Consoles Something...

Call of Duty Preorders Weakened By Impending Consoles

Something interesting is happening to the once mighty COD and Activision is putting the blame squarely on Sony, Microsoft, and your fickleness.

More specifically, Acti says the soon-to-be next generation — which encompasses the unreleased PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (if nobody looks Wii U in the eye, it won’t try to join the conversation) — is negatively affecting preorders for their annualized money bath, Call of Duty.

Eric Hirshberg, Acti’s CEO of Publishing, revealed that Call of Duty: Ghosts’ preorder numbers are nowhere near “the record-setting pace" Black Ops II cemented before its November release last year.  Could it…Could it be that the gaming masses have grown tired of purchasing a rehashed, increasingly formulaic product year-over-year?  Are gamers finally at the boiling point where they’re wisely using dollars withheld to send both a message and a plea for inspired, innovative gameplay once mo—

“Our quantitative consumer research indicates that hesitation amongst past COD pre-orderers is primarily due to not knowing which platform they will be playing on, which is natural at this time in the console transition."  Oh.  I guess there’s also that.  Thanks for clearing that up, Eric.  Indecisiveness hath wounded the beast it seems.

It’s an interesting dilemna Sony and MS have presented third-party publishers with.  Over this past generation, publishers have taken to relegating one-off’s or shaky IP’s to smaller digital affairs and focused their efforts into building sequel spewing franchises because their business models have morphed into almost totally relying on guaranteed cash-in’s.

Besides a shortlist of annual sports titles, you didn’t really see these yearly blockbusters running towards the PS3 and 360’s launch.  Now, we’re witness to companies like Ubisoft and EA packing up their totem titles like Assassin’s Creed and Battlefield, hoisting them over their shoulders, and making the journey to a brave new, next-gen world.

But missed preorders almost definitely won’t mean missed sales when Ghosts launches (like clockwork) this Holiday.  The third-party, Activision included, has a contigency against the very same install base they fought and bled to root over the course of this generation.  Of the three heavy hitting franchises mentioned in my rambling, all have current-gen counterparts being made available for the unwilling and undecided hesitant to go next-gen.

I think the upward battle ahead pushes the first-party into the frontlines more than the third-party.  Any angle you approach it, it’s not a matter if games will sell — because they will.  It’s a matter of where games will sell.  Why cry over spilt milk, Activision?  (If "crying” in this instance means issuing a sales report and the “spilt milk” refers to low preorders on a multi-billion dollar video game…Listen, I wasn’t formally trained in metaphors.  Lay off me.)