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Reznov… Oops Mason* Will get his Revenge

After Mason comes to reality with what happened to him, he and agent Woods get ready to find the broadcast station where Dragovitch plans to broadcast the coordinates in which he will unleash the nova chemicals on the world.  As Mason recalls, the broadcast station is on a ship called the Rusalka.  Here, the team must stop the numbers from broadcasting and kill Dragovitch.  Well, they don’t really have to kill Dragovitch, Mason just really wants to.   The team battles their way through the ship and gets to the inner guts and belly of it.  But here, they discover that there is more to the ship than they thought.  There was a passage leading underwater to an old Russian submarine base, this is where the numbers would be broadcasted.

It was pretty cool, we scubbadove down to the entrance of the submarine base and proceeded to enter.  The issue and urgency in this segment of the mission was time.  In a few moments, the US navy was going to blow the base to smithereens.  As we battled our way through the base it gradually started to get more and more destroyed.  There was water leaking everywhere and things were exploding and such; they did a good job of creating a very hostile environment.  We eventually made our way to where the numbers were being broadcasted and I was able to stop them, but right as I did, Dragovitch tried to stop me.  I dragged him down into the water below me and started beating him mercilessly.  Blaming him for all the wrong he had done to me, you know with the brainwashing and all.  Then, as the water rose higher still, I drowned Dragovitch.  The only part I did not like about this mission was the part immediately following the death of Dragovitch.  It was almost like there was a bright flash of light and then all of the sudden Woods and I were underwater observing the submarine station as it was blowing up, swimming to the surface.  There was no real escape from the ship.  Then, as we swam to the surface, we see U.S. battleships and allies and soaring fighter jets above us.  Woods says as the fighter jets fly over us: “We did it Mason.”

Beside the corny ending and the mysterious escape from the submarine base, I thought this was a pretty fun level.  I also thought Black Ops did a good job in making me feel like I needed a sense of urgency.

Must Kill… Must Stop… What Must I do Again?

In one of my more exciting experiences in the Black Ops campaign, I was two places at one time… Literally.  My objective starting the mission, as the main character Mason, was to infiltrate a Russian ship with my good friend Victor Reznov.  Our goal was to find Dr. Stiener (the man who created the NOVA chemical) and kill him.

Reznov and I made our way across the huge ship evading spotlight helicopters and troops that were searching for us.   This part of the mission I really enjoyed because there was an aspect of espionage to it.  We had to attack enemies at just the right time or we would be spotted and EXTREMELY outnumbered.  Also, we had to stay in the shaddows of the crates on the ship.  Eventually we made our way inside and found Steiner.  When we found him, Reznov was quick to get started with “getting his revenge.”  But something strange happened when Steiner looked at Mason.  He said “Vorkuta… You don’t know what we did to you.”  After that, Veznov took control again and screamed “I am Victor Reznov, and I will have my revenge!” and preceded to kill Dr. Steiner.

After this segment of the mission Mason is told that he was brainwashed.   All those missions where Mason thought that Reznov was fighting along his side, were all delusions.  They brainwashed Mason at Vorkuta.  So really in the mission I had just played, Reznov was never with me.  It was me alone, on a mission to kill Steiner.

The interesting part of this mission was that after I was told this information, I got to play the mission from the perspective of another US soldier whose objective was to stop Mason from killing Steiner.  The U.S. Government wanted Steiner alive so that they could question him.

While battling our way to stop Mason, I got to man a tank through the streets of an island town, which was pretty sweet.  Then, an enemy helicopter dropped Nova 6 on the town we were battling through.  Once this happened, my team and I put our gas-masks on so that the Nova could not get to our lungs.  Another part I liked about this segment of the game was how realistic it was.  If I got shot or took damage upon myself, the mask would crack little by little.  So that if i took enough damage my mask would crack and I would die from the Nova 6 chemical.  We are successful in finding Mason, but are too  late to stop him (obviously).  As we are looking through the glass at him he screams “I am Victor Reznov, and I will have my revenge!”

A lot of good was done in this segment of the game.  I found out vital information as to why Mason is so F’d up, I got to play through a well thought out level and accomplish some pretty cool objectives.  Overall, it was a fun level.

Heli-Raid

For this glog entry, I decided to mix it up a little bit! I know, you are all probably very excited.  I observed my friend FISHstix02 (Forrest) as he played the mission following my frustrating Nova Six mission.  After he was finished, I asked him to explain his experience whilst playing the mission and told him that I would document those feelings here, in my glog! Exciting, right?!

I found, for the most part, that my friend Forrest’s observations were quite accurate.  We also had similar viewpoints on parts of the mission.  For instance,  we both thought that this level was, overall, well done.  There were many aspects that made this mission a very enjoyable and unique one.  For example,  we both thought that it was unique in that there were many phases of the mission.  It was interesting how you made your way from battling your way to the heli-pad, to flying around in the helicopter destroying everything, to landing the helicopter and fighting your way to the end of the level.  Forrest also appreciated how the level did not “take it easy” on you.  For instance, when you were piloting the helicopter, it was quite challenging.  There were other enemy helicopters that you had to take down, as well as ground turrets and soldiers that were trying to take you out.  This part of the level, was especially challenging.  At one point, there are two enemy helicopters you have to face alone.  However, it was fun trying to get the hang of piloting the copter and honing the weapons.

But the fun didn’t stop there.  After you were finished battling in the helicopter, you land it and battle your way into enemy caves, where the man who plans to weaponize the nova chemical: Dragovitch, is supposed to be hiding.  As you fight your way through the caves, with a little help from your partner Woods and other American soldiers, you are successful in finding him.  Dragovitch is the evil man who is trying to weaponize the nova 6 and use it on his enemies, including Washington DC.  During your encounter,  there is an epic fist fight between your character and Dragovitch which tragically ends with both him and Woods dying because  Dragovitch pulls the pin on a grenade while Woods is trying to take control of him.

The wide range of objectives and opportunities help keep the player involved and interested.  Overall, Forrest and I both thought this was a very enjoyable mission.

I Hate Call of Duty

I feel like I find myself saying that way too often while playing this game.  Whether it be during the campaign or online, this game can be very frustrating. And trust me, it’s not frustrating because I am not a skilled fps player… because I am indeed very skilled. This glog may seem like I’m just complaining, but I feel as though my complaints are quite valid.

In my most recent mission, I am on a quest to prevent the infamous nova six chemical from being weaponized.  Although there were some pretty cool aspects of the mission, such as rappelling off a mountain cliff, parachuting off of a crumbling mountain, escaping an avalanche, and of course more sweet slow motion killing scenes, there were also many things about this mission that I did not enjoy.  The one that stood out the most for me was how I have to kill every enemy in order for my squad to move forward in the field of battle.  For instance, there was ONE Russian enemy that remained (after I slayed all the other enemies single-handedly) that was far back in the field of battle.  I was waiting to move forward with my team, but was curious as to why they were still behind cover and shooting every once and a while.  Then I realized as I went backwards that there was one lonely Russian soldier still alive; the only thing holding us back from advancing in the level.  So WHY in the world didn’t my squad members kill him while I was spending time trying to figure out WHY we are not advancing?!?! It’s things like that that really frustrates me.  And of course before that, I am getting lit up by enemies, doing all the work, while my teammates are behind cover shooting only every so often. I feel as though this is a common issue in Call of Duty campaign games.

In conclusion, I think if COD can fix these small problems, it can create great campaign series and make it a more balanced game, since COD (at least now-a-days) is more multiplayer oriented.

Like Violence…?

If you do… You might really enjoy the past couple of Black Ops missions.  Although the players are warned of the violence and gore they are about to experience before they begin the campaign, I still think that some of the violence seen and committed by players is incredibly gruesome; as well as not fit for a lot of children who are probably playing this game.

In my mission I played as Reznov (where I was exploring an abandoned battleship searching for the Nova chemical-  yeah, you remember, that one) there were two events in particular that were extremely violent.  The first was while we were walking to the boat.  Off to the side out of my way was a Russian commander with a group of German soldiers lined up on their knees with their hands on their heads.  One at a time, the Russian commander shot each of the Germans in the face.  Then, when we were in the ship and the gas was released in the chamber next to us, the camera focused on the prisoner’s face being deteriorated as he vomited and died.

In my most recent mission, there were several instances of face to face extreme violence.  For instance, I had to drag a Vietnamese soldier underwater with me and stab him in the throat, as the camera focused on his face as he bleed to death.  Then, we came across two sleeping soldiers and we had to kill them in their sleep by slitting their throats.  Each of these acts were clearly seen by your fps perspective, which made it even more gruesome.

The warning I referred to earlier was quite brief and even vague.  I say this because when playing call of duty, one assumes that there is going to be violence.  However, I don’t think the players could have really assumed the degree of gore and violence that would be portrayed in some of the missions.  So, I’m sure that little kids didn’t want to ask their moms or dads about the warning because they would probably say no and to play the non-violent version of the campaign that is offered, which led them to tell COD that I want to play the campaign the way it was intended to be played.  I am POSITIVE that if mothers saw the violence happening in Black Ops, they would not be happy.  But, at the same time, you have to commend Black Ops for offering to cut out these violent scenes.  Also, you must commend them on including these acts of violence in the game because I’m sure it accurately portrays how terrible and gruesome war actually is.

Black Ops: Great Job!

My last couple of gaming log entries have been kind of harsh on Black Ops, and it actually deserved it.  But luckily, my most recent mission was very well done.  So I have a lot of good things to say about it this time.  This mission was actually very cinematic.  There were multiple cut scenes where you had no control over your soldier and you just had to watch or listen.  Also, the mission was abstract and the setting was also very unique and just plain cool. And unlike previous levels, it was very extensive.

The whole mission is narrated  by Victor Reznov.  It flashes from a fps perspective of you looking at Reznov in a dimly lit cavern while he tells you the story to you actually playing the mission as a younger Victor Reznov.  It is a bitter cold and snowy setting with a crashed battleship in the distance.  The objective of the mission is to get into that ship because there is a deadly weapon called “Nova 6” that we need to capture in order to keep it out of German and British hands.

We start by trying to find a German doctor who created the Nova chemical. Once we find him by infiltrating a German base, he takes us to the ship where the chemical is located.  On our way to the ship he explains why he created it and how he planned to use it on Washington DC and Moscow.  My favorite part of the level was definitely going through the ship and exploring as we searched for the deadly weapon.  But when we finally come across the weapon, our leader wants to see the effects of it all too soon, and betrays Reznov and the rest of the Russian soldiers by locking them in a chamber and releasing the fatal gas while they are in there.  Luckily, Reznov is able to escape before the gas is released because a British team of soldiers infiltrates the ship also looking for the notorious Nova 6.  When we escape from our chamber Reznov plants explosives on the ship because he thinks that the chemical is too dangerous to be in any nation’s hands.  Once the explosives are armed, we have 2 minutes to escape the ship before it explodes.  On our way out we have to fend off both British and Russian troops because they are all battling to try to get to the Nova.

We escape with time to spare and the ship blows up as we are running away.  Our mission is complete.  I think that after playing this mission Black Ops has proved to me that they can actually have a compelling and interesting campaign level after all.  I hope that  future missions they will be similar to this one.

SLOW MOTION SWEET!

I feel like Call of Duty adds “epic” slow motion segments into each adventure (sometimes multiple segments in each adventure) to make up for the lack of originality in the mission.  I will go more in depth about the slow motion part later on… but as for originality, this mission was about as original as a Nickelback song.  For those of you who don’t understand what I am trying to say, it was not very original at all.  The setting was unique, as I was trying to escape from a rainy Vietnamese town by jumping from rooftops onto other rooftops or balconies.  The other quality of the mission that was semi-unique was the weapon selection, as I came across two different weapon bunkers throughout the mission where I could choose from a wide range of weapons; anywhere from a Sniper rifle to a shotgun.

As for the overall mission objective, me and my two partners began by interrogating some man who had information valuable to us regarding information on a dangerous chemical “nova 6” that we need to prevent from being released.   While we were interrogating him, we were compromised by multiple waves of soldiers, which we must slaughter as we make our escape out of the town. COOL, RIGHT?!?

But back to my main observation so far in this game: the use of slow motion.  So far, through all the levels I have played, there have been one or more dramatic slow motion segments.  I believe this is COD’s attempt to make up for lack of variety and originality by making the game look COOL and EPIC!!! Although I do find the slow-mo scenes to be pretty cool, I also think it gets kind of corny and played out after a while.  I can recall two slow-mo segments in this most recent mission alone.  One, I was falling down off of a rooftop and I had to take out oncoming enemies with my dual-wield sub machine guns.  The other, a simple door entrance by two enemies.  So as you can see, while the slaying of enemies whilst falling down from a roof might be a little cooler in slow motion, the door being knocked down is not.  Stay tuned for more cool slow motion descriptions from Black Ops!

Am I the Only One Shooting Here?

Don’t you feel that way sometimes? I actually have been feeling that way frequently while I have been playing through Call of Duty: Black Ops.  For instance, I felt like I am taking on the whole damn Vietnamese army when I played the mission I discussed in my previous glog. Like, what is the rest of my allied team doing while I am out dominating the trenches and annihilating tanks? I also felt this way a couple of times in my most recent mission; where I had to acquire Intel from an enemy town/base with valuable information about Dragovitch.  It is a relatively close quarters level for the most part, so it is extra annoying when I am doing all the work (as well as getting lit up by enemy soldiers) while my allies sit back and “cover me.” And sometimes I feel like I don’t even get the luxury of cover! But I’ve ranted enough about that, on to some of the details of this mission.

Actually, rather than explaining all the details about the mission (which I’m sure my readers find quite boring, sorry) I will go over the highlights instead.  Much more exciting.  The most important highlight being when Mason in reunited with Victor Reznov; the Russian man who helped Mason escape from Vorkuta, but was never seen after Reznov himself failed to escape.   Other highlights included collecting the Intel on Dragovitch, setting areas on enemy buildings for a friendly helicopter to take out, and escaping on a boat in slow motion with buildings exploding behind us (quite cliche I know).  I’ve noticed thus far that this game really likes to implement the slow motion aspect into scene’s and gameplay.

In interpreting this mission, I found it pretty strange that Victor Reznov shows up in a Vietnamese setting to assist me and my team through the rest of the level.  It looked pretty clear to me at the end of the Vorkuta level that Reznov was captured by the guards and after the uprising that he stirred I sincerely doubt that they would be generous on Reznov’s behalf.

Black Ops Review: Viet Nam AND Creedance Clearwater Revival!

Now, for one of my shorter blog entries.  Why is it short you may ask? Well, I don’t have much to talk say  about my most recent game experience.  However, something very important I just realized must be addressed.  My character Mason has a group of numbers stuck in his head that he cannot get out.  He keeps referring to them… “The numbers, the numbers I can’t get them out of my head,” he says (with a few profanities excluded). Before Mason has his flashback of a mission he did in Viet Nam, he once again questions the people interrogating him, asking “who are you people?” and “what do you want from me?”  They reply simply: “The numbers, Mason.”  These numbers must be of extreme importance in the story line of this game.

As far as the actual gameplay goes, it was somewhat frustrating.  One of those levels in a shooter game where there are tons of enemies and very little cover.  So you just feel like you are getting lit up the whole time.  The objective was to just reach a rendezvous point while battling your way through extensive groups of Vietnamese soldiers. I had to take out a total of 9 tanks.  6 with a guided missile from a jeep vehicle that my fellow soldier was driving and 3 with a rocket launcher I picked up in a trench.  At the end of the level we meet with another soldier at a helicopter, which I assume will take us to the next point in the mission.  But yeah, like I said: for a relatively long and drawn out level, not really much to say.

However, something that I did find interesting was a the song being played at the beginning and end of the level.  The song “Fortunate Son” by Creedance Clearwater Revival was being played in the background at the beginning of the mission when I was just talking to the soldiers and getting the lo-down on what we were going to do. It was also played at the end of the mission when we met up at the rendezvous point.  This is interesting because this particular song was from the time period that is being depicted in this mission, which adds to it’s accuracy and attention to detail. I’m sure that the soldiers in Nam had a radio going listening to the tunes from back home.

Another COD Rescue Mission…

The other week in class was the first time I had been familiarized with the game “Duty Calls.” When the idea of a game making fun of Call of Duty was being discussed, I admit I was opposed to the idea.  I have always thought the Call of Duty games were very entertaining, but this satirical game actually broadened my views on the Call of Duty franchise a bit.

First, let me explain my most recent gameplay in my game: Black Ops.  Mason meets with President Kennedy himself, and is having delusions while he is meeting with him.  The most important delusion would be where Mason takes a gun and points it at Kennedy.  This I think will be useful information later on in the game.  Anyway, Kennedy tells me that I am to seek out a dangerous man by the name of Dragovitch and kill him.  However, the mission that I undergo is much more complicated.  To make a long story short, I along with a  fellow soldier, need to infiltrate a Russian enemy  base where a Rocket is scheduled to take off; our mission is to stop that from happening.  In addition to that, we discover that Dragovitch has one of our friends held captive, so we have to save him too (If you are familiar with “Duty Calls” I know what you are thinking).   We do end up saving the captured soldier AND preventing the rocket from hitting the upper atmosphere- this part was pretty cool, as you have to shoot a guided missile at the last second to destroy the rocket.
Although I did enjoy playing through this mission, the whole time I was playing I could not help thinking back to the trailer for “Duty Calls”: “Blah blah blah secret base, blah blah blah,  nuclear missile bomb, blah blah blah counting on you, good luck.”  Discovering the Duty Calls game made me realize that mostly all call of duty games, while they may be slightly different in characters or time periods, have very similar goals and plots.  Which can indeed get tiring.

But, I digress, I am NOT questioning weather Call of Duty is fun, because it is very fun… at least in my opinion.  With every game there are still new weapons and new technology that can be explored both in the campaign and in the multiplayer category.  And some might say that is the only reason why COD is a good game; the multiplayer aspect.  But that argument is for another time.

Overall, although COD can seem redundant and unoriginal at times, it is still very fun.  And if you look deeper into the gameplay, you will see that it is NOT all the same. Especially as the years pass and technology becomes more advanced.

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