Tag Archives: Infinity Ward

“Modern Warfare 3” sets sales records

Making sales and taking names...

The early sales are being counted and in an entirely stunning development, foreseen by absolutely nobody whomsoever, Activision and Infinity Ward’s FPS juggernaut “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” has sold quite a few copies.

Six million or so, worldwide, to be exact, indicating that the “Modern Warfare” brand is good for at least one million more sales than the “Call of Duty” marque on its own, depending on which website you look at and if you care a jot.

More of the same, but if it ain't broke...

Sales are one thing – anybody sentient knows that this thing is going to be big – but reviews and initial reception are quite another.  The reviews embargo broke earlier today and the likes of Games Central, OXM UK, Joystiq and even movie magazine Empire giving the game very positive reviews – at this point, it would appear, the people at Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games might just have an idea or two about how to make these games and make them huge sellers.  The Metacritic is at a sterling 90 out 100 on Xbox 360 as I write this, fact fans.

With the five-hour campaign being the only aspect of these games that I generally get into – having myself multi-player murderized consistently by garrulous pre-teen racists on Xbox Live has never been my idea of an evening well spent – this is sounding like a solid rental to me, but I’m only too aware that is many gamers highlight of the year.  If you’ve picked it up and made your way through the game, feel free to leave a comment and let me know how you enjoyed it – is it really as good as the reviews would have us believe?

For a final word on the game as it releases into the wild, why not take a gander at what Penny Arcade’s Tycho has to say?

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Sunday Games Musings

Modern Warfare 2

Suggested by Dan Amrich on his Twitter page, check out a fantastic video blog on the moral issues emanating from a play through of the  “No Russian” level from “Modern Warfare 2” by Anthony Burch at Destructoid.

As I’ve not played “MW2” yet, I can’t make an informed judgement on the now infamous scene when viewed out of the narrative context of the game, but seeing the footage in isolation is a very troubling experience.

For the main part, my shooter gaming tastes lean toward the “Halo”/”Gears” Sci-Fi end of the FPS/Third Person scale – I prefer to blast away at ravenous alien beasties and monsters rather than recognisable human avatars.  I don’t know that this makes me in any way morally superior, as the argument about resolving conflict through violence still remains, but I can happily plow through “ODST” and not feel that the events on screen are going to be repeated on the nightly news any time soon – the divorce from reality in an SF FPS is more or less total and allows for a retreat into fantasy which is in sync with the way that many of us play games.

That said, I played and really enjoyed the first “Modern Warfare” iteration of the “Call of Duty” series and found it a visceral, urgent and undeniably compelling experience.  In terms of fairly loathsome right-wing politics and self-justifying narrative, it left something to be desired – these guys are allied, somehow, with these other guys who want to do something fairly genocidal and nationalistic to America, so they’ve got to be stopped – but it went a lot of the way towards bridging the gap between the game space and action cinema (seen an action movie recently with any of the build and release tension of the ‘All Ghillied Up’ level in “Modern Warfare”?  Didn’t think so).

The “No Russian” footage from the sequel is certainly difficult to watch, but I find myself wondering if it bothers me chiefly because it seems to be asking questions about the way that we play games today, about the way that technology allows us to have realistic game avatars, perpetrate horrible acts, in realistic environments in a scripted narrative that we can’t circumvent if we want to progress in the game, all in the ultimate service of home entertainment.

Is a play through of “Modern Warfare 2” really what I want to do with my leisure hours?  And if it is, what does that say about me?  I’d never want to kill another person or sign up for military service, so why do people gravitate towards game experiences which offer a virtualised, interactive perspective on conflict and terrorism.

Is it the modern equivalent of crusing the wrong side of town, looking for trouble and the darker side of life but knowing that at the end of the day you can just quit back to the main menu and forget about what you’ve just encountered on screen.  After all, it’s only a game, right?

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