Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Xbox Live
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Every year we get busy speculating about a futuristic instalment of Call of Duty. Now Treyarch, the team behind Call of Duty: Black Ops has got in on the act, with the game design director admitting he would be interested in a near-future update.
"It would be pretty fantastic!" David Vonderhaar told Machinima (thanks, Eurogamer). "It would be kind of a unique opportunity but the way this works out is obviously more complicated than, 'Hey, me and Treyarch are going to make a near-future shooter.' It doesn't work out that way in practice. It's a tough question to answer. We have not announced any new Call of Duty games at this time but to answer his specific question I think, personally, it would be pretty fantastic to do near-future, you know? Not necessarily far-future."
He was careful to that his answer was, "For me personally. I'm just talking for myself." Boo!
Still, if he thinking about it, maybe there hope. If youe more interested in the past than the future, of course, Call of Duty: Black Ops concerns itself with all manner of Cold War shenanigans. It brilliant fun, and it available right now for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.
Proof, if any were needed, that games are the fastest-growing entertainment medium came yesterday in a report from industry site MCV. According to ERA data, Call of Duty: Black Ops was comfortably the biggest-selling entertainment product of last year. Activision perennially popular shooter sold a whopping 3.3 million copies, more than combined Blu-Ray and DVD sales of James Cameron Avatar.
Just behind the 3D blockbuster in third place was EA SportsFIFA 11, which shifted 2.4 million units. Impressively, both sequels managed to top their predecessors, with Black Ops besting Modern Warfare 2 tally by 340,000 copies and FIFA sales improving year on year by well over 200,000 units.
Just Dance made it a strong showing for games in the top ten, shaking its money-maker in ninth position with 1.3 million copies sold. Though only released in October, its sequel also managed a place on the list, just outside the top 20.
Ubisoft was further represented by Assassin Creed: Brotherhood at 24, while Nintendo saw a combined total of 1.7 million sales for evergreen titles Wii Fit Plus and Wii Sports Resort, both of which were launched in 2009. Rockstar epic western Red Dead Redemption and Microsoft Halo: Reach made it a total of nine games in the Top 40. Could that tally increase when 2011 figures are revealed in 12 monthstime? We wouldn bet against it.
Wii owners won't be left out of the action when Modern Warfare 3 hits the shelves this November. Black Ops developer Treyarch has revealed that it is currently working on a Wii version of the sure-to-be-blockbuster shooter.
Infinity Ward is working on the PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 versions, of course, but Activision executive Eric Hirshberg announced the Wii version this week, while talking grown up money stuff to investors. The decision to squeeze the game into the Wii's smaller system came because the publisher didn't want to leave any of the community out of the excitement. How sweet.
Treyarch certainly has good form where Call of Duty and Nintendo hardware is concerned. It turned out the Wii versions of Black Ops and World At War, and also tackled the Wii port of the original Modern Warfare.
If you're not one of the 6000 lucky fans who got tickets to Call of Duty XP, the inaugural showcase event for Activision's shy and retiring shooter series, then do not despair. Highlights from the show will be beamed live around the world via the magic of internet pipes as well as a dedicated Facebook app.
The highlight, of course, will be the first public play session of Modern Warfare 3, a game that is inevitably destined to make more money in one day than most small countries manage in a year. There'll be a million-dollar tournament to celebrate. As well as getting hands-on with the mother of all blockbusters, attendees will also get a free copy of the Hardened Edition.
But it's not all shooty-shoot. There'll be talking as well, with panels dedicated to the voice cast, the new Call of Duty Elite subscriber service, and the making of the Black Ops multiplayer. If that's not glamorous enough, there'll be the premiere of Find Makarov, the short live action CoD movie, and live performances from Dropkick Murphys and Kanye West.
The event opens at 11am, LA time, tonight (September 2nd) or 7pm in the UK, and runs for two days.
The Zombies-focused DLC, which made its debut on Xbox 360 at the start of the month, will be coming to the other platforms on September 22nd and will include a helping of bonus content.
Rezurrection introduces a brand-new Zombies map called Moon, which transports players into outer space to battle undead monsters with futuristic weapons in low-gravity environments.
It will also include four of the most popular Zombies maps from past Call of Duty games - Nacht der Untoten, Verruckt, Shi No Numa and Der Riese - all of which have received a graphical overhaul.
Also included in the Rezurrection pack will be an enhanced Zombies soundtrack album and a special Moon theme for the PlayStation 3 home screen.
The popularity of Call of Duty: Black Ops shows no signs of abating, having become the biggest-selling game in UK history earlier this year.
GAME best digital games round-up
With the cold weather setting in, picking up an Xbox Live or PlayStation Network point card would be a great idea for Christmas. With your account topped up and plenty of exciting downloadable titles to choose from, there little need to leave the warmth of your home to access a range of quality gaming experiences. Here, GAME rounds up five of the best digital offerings for Xbox 360 and PS3 players.
Lost in limboMulti-award winning platformer Limbo sees players take on the role of a young boy journeying through a hostile world in an attempt to discover the fate of his sister. Taking in an eerie forest and a desolate cityscape, all depicted with stunning black and white visuals, players must overcome a variety of physics-based puzzles and traps involving machinery, electromagnetism and gravity. With its hauntingly minimalistic use of sound, players are also forced to pay attention to every noise, as a lack of caution can lead to any number of gruesome fates in this entrancing adventure.
Stunt happyJoe Danger is a death-defying, side-scrolling game incorporating racing and platforming elements. Assuming the role of daredevil motorbike rider Joe Danger, it sees players boosting and pulling off ludicrous stunts in a bid to maintain speed and successfully navigate courses before a timer runs out. Playing solo or racing against friends to earn a place on the podium, players will leap across giant mousetraps, school buses full of screaming kids and pools of ravenous sharks in an attempt to wheelie their way into the record books in over 60 colourful levels.
Arcade goldMortal Kombat Arcade Kollection PS3, X360) brings the original Mortal Kombat arcade trilogy together in a single collection for the first time. Featuring Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat 2 and Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3, the 2D fighting collection offers fans the chance to play through the games in their original arcade state, rediscovering their favourite characters, fatalities and environments. Newcomers will also be tempted to enter the fray by the addition of modern features including online play, leaderboards, achievements and trophies.
Cartoony carnageTurn-based strategy blast-a-thon Worms 2: Armageddon features cartoon-style visuals, comical audio and great customisation options as players bid to take out opposing teams in a diverse range of themed landscapes. Theyl employ a variety of crazy weapons and utilities to do so, including earthquakes, poison strikes, sentry guns, holy hand grenades, parachutes and jetpacks, across single player modes, tutorials, firing ranges and four-player multiplayer game types. Players can also customise the game rules and create their own battlefields to play on.
Build a new worldBastion is an award-winning action role playing game set in a gorgeous, hand-painted world, in which players must create and fight for civilisation last refuge following the Calamity, a catastrophe that shattered the world into 1,000s of floating islands. Players wield a large arsenal of upgradeable weapons, gain powers from specially-brewed spirits and battle savage beasts as they bid to build a new world. Featuring a reactive narrator who marks your every move, the beautiful art style and immersive gameplay is complimented by a rich, atmospheric story.
The new app is free to use for paid Xbox LIVE subscribers and non-subscribers alike, allowing users to browse and stream hours of BBC programming for up to seven days after the original broadcast.
Kinect owners will benefit from even greater ease of use, as the bestselling motion-sensing peripheral lets gamers navigate iPlayer content using hand gestures and voice commands.
Daniel Danker, BBC general manager for programmes and on-demand, said: "Given the BBC's goal to reach its entire audience, I'm particularly excited that the BBC will be bringing iPlayer to all Xbox users at no extra cost."
This is one of many video apps released on Xbox LIVE over recent months, joining services such as Netflix, LOVEFiLM, 4oD, Vevo, Blinkbox, YouTube and much more.
Microsoft has announced that the multimedia capabilities of Xbox 360 are to be greatly expanded thanks to new partnerships with various TV content providers.
This holiday season, a new Xbox Live update is to be released that will provide UK console owners with access to content from the BBC, Channel 4, Channel 5, LOVEFiLM, Screenrush and many more.
It comes in addition to the Sky TV and Zune on-demand content already available to Xbox 360 fans and strengthens to the console's claims to being a one-stop entertainment hub.
Kinect owners will be able to take advantage of the extra convenience of browsing all the online content using simple gestures and voice commands.
Microsoft's Don Mattrick said: "Today's announcement is a major step toward realising our vision to bring you all the entertainment you want, shared with the people you care about, made easy."
The Xbox 360 celebrated its fifth anniversary last year and is still going strong, thanks to blockbuster Kinect sales and major exclusive titles such as Gears of War 3, Forza Motorsport 4 and the forthcoming Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary.
In the world of modern military first-person shooters, where it can often seem like Call of Duty and Battlefield are the only shows in town, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive reminds us that there is another way. Originally forged by the Half-Life community in the late 90s as a free modification, it's a team-based FPS without perks, kill streaks, experience points and unlocks, but arguably with more depth and finesse than either of its modern contemporaries.
In the main "Classic" mode (split into Competitive and Casual variants with slightly different rules), the set-up is simple: you play as Terrorists or Counter-Terrorists, and some maps are about planting a bomb while others are about rescuing hostages. Either team wins if it achieves its objective, or if it wipes out the other team. The latter is possible because, unlike COD and Battlefield, there's no respawning in Counter-Strike until the end of a round.
Global Offensive uses eight maps that will be familiar to people who have played Counter-Strike before in its previous incarnations, and apart from a few tweaks and a visual overhaul they are exactly the same. This is actually good news: they are some of the most perfectly articulated multiplayer battle arenas ever composed, full of variety and imagination that ekes out all sorts of tactical approaches and human drama. The learning curve is still quite sharp if you dive straight in here - there's no iron sights, the lack of respawning feels harsh, you need to buy your guns at the start of a round - but given a little time the Classic modes reveal their brilliance.
New to Global Offensive though are a few innovations that make the game easier to get into and give old players something new to enjoy. The first is AI-controlled bots, which you can play against offline and which fill out multiplayer matches when there aren't enough players. CS has had bots before, but these guys are the first to be really convincing, following your instructions as team-mates and using all the tactics you'll come to know and love in opposition.
The best additions to the CS formula though are the new modes Arms Race and Demolition. Arms Race is like Call of Duty: Black Ops' Gun Game, which was actually based on a mod for CS anyway; it's a free-for-all where you get a new gun every time you kill somebody, and the winner is the first player to work through every weapon. Demolition uses the same new-gun-every-time-you-kill principle but puts it in a team-based bomb-defusal setting, similar to the Classic mode but on smaller maps. The result is a fast-paced game of classic CS.
Both of these modes are fun anyway, but what they're really doing is teaching you how to play CS, introducing you to each of the weapons, granting you a new grenade here and there, and getting you back into the action quickly. By the time you're really good at Arms Race and Demolition, you'll be ready for the main Classic modes. And if you're a veteran of CS already, the new fast-paced format will give you something new to think about. Despite playing CS for most of my adult life, this is where I'm spending most of my time, because it's new and fun.
The lack of new maps in Classic mode over previous versions of CS is a little disappointing, in spite of all the fun to be had elsewhere. It's forgiveable though, and knowing Valve we won't have long to wait for some more free additions. In the meantime, we have the best ever take on Counter-Strike - a classic team-based shooter that's more than a match for Call of Duty and Battlefield in the fun stakes. If you're fed up of being served mildly different versions of those games on an annual basis, give CS a go - as the old adage goes, form is temporary, class if permanent. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is pure class.
Our rating: 9.0
- Some of the best multiplayer maps ever created.
- Fantastic new Arms Race and Demolition modes.
- Easiest CS to get into ever, thanks to new modes and bots.
- No new maps in Classic modes.
- That's about it.
- Seriously, there's not much else to say against it!
Call of Duty: Black Ops' design director admitting he would be interested in a near-future update to the series.…
Proof, if any were needed, that games are the fastest-growing entertainment medium came yesterday in a report from industry site MCV. According to ERA data, Call of Duty: Black Ops was comfortably the…
Wii owners won't be left out of the action when Modern Warfare 3 hits the shelves this November. Black Ops developer Treyarch has revealed that it is currently working on a Wii version of the sure-to-…
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