Today I wanted to talk to you all about my feelings towards Downloadable Content, or DLC. There has been a lot of controversy this year surrounding DLC, with Batman Arkham Knight announcing an incredibly small amount of information, that they were then expecting people to buy a £32.00($39.99). Bungie has had people up in arms talking about the different versions of their upcoming expansion, The Taken King. Every year without fail, the big shooting franchises such as Call of Duty or Battlefield(not quite yearly but the point stands) release a season pass. In the case of the latest CoD, Advanced Warfare people had to shell out £34.99($49.99) in order to continue to get new content after the game has been released.
Looking at the other side of the spectrum, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is in the process of releasing two small pieces of DLC every week until a total of 16 pieces have been released. They have released these bits of content for free to all gamers, to matter what console or version of the game they bought. This is because they think they owe gamers for buying their game! Now on top of this there is a season pass you can buy for The Witcher 3, which will "only" set you back £19.99($24.99) which includes between them 30 hours of gameplay.
The cost of season passes, specifically surrounding multiplayer games is very hard to quantify, some people will play these DLCs for countless number of hours. Where as someone like me who bought the Advanced Warfare season pass, but I no longer enjoy the game, thus barely play the DLCs! Looking at the single player game DLCs which are slightly easier to lock down in terms of the amount of time they will take to complete. As I said above The Witcher 3 season pass is claiming that the two DLCs that will be included in the season pass will add up to 30 hours of total gaming content. Looking in terms of content then, rather than the amount the gamer will play said content. It is impossible to say how long it takes to produce say the Advanced Warfare DLCs in comparison to The Witcher 3 DLCs. However I would take an educated guess that two of the Advanced Warfare DLCs don't take more time to create than both Witcher 3 DLCs.(I reached that comparison loosely basing the price of the 2 Advanced Warfare DLCs £17.50 or $24.99 and The Witcher 3 DLCs being £19.99 or $24.99)
Now I would like to stress that I have no game development knowledge, however I do reckon I know enough about games in general to know the difference is literal content in the above, compared DLCs.
To bring this discussion to a conclusion, maybe DLCs are a good or bad thing, I feel that I am not qualified enough to answer that question. However I feel that the prices of these pieces of Downloadable Content are far more expensive than the content supplied warrants. It has nearly reached the stage where Year 1 content is costing the gamer nearly as much as the original game, when arguable the additional content doesn't supply nearly as many things to do, as the base game.
I'm sure many of you have opinions on the issue of DLCs and the price tags attached to said DLCs, you can let me know what you think in the comments below, or you can Tweet me!
Thank you very much for reading,
I would like to say at the end of this article that the prices(and their Sterling to Dollar differences) have in no way been made up by me, I have used a combination of Amazon.co.uk and comparing those prices to Amazon.com.
I have now had Advanced Warfare(or AW as I will be referring to it as) for a few days now, and have put a good number of hours into the game, so I thought it was time for me to bring my initial reaction of the game to you, though I will only be talking about the multiplayer side of the game today, you will learn about what I think of the rest of the game in my full review later this month! Also I have played AW on the PS4 so that is what I will be referring to. Let's start with the most obvious change in the CoD series history, the exo suit, for from reading about it or watching some footage of the multiplyer you will not fully understand what a difference that the exo makes. I know going into playing for the first time I was quite anxious that the movement would be hard to control, and I wouldn't be using it much, however within a few matches I came to the realisation that this game really is the comeback for CoD. The movement, I find, is fairly easy to pick up, as long as you remember that you can only exo boost every 3 seconds, and you have 2 boosts, so you can boost twice, but then wait 3 seconds for one to regenerate, and another 3 seconds for the other boost to regenerate. Any time you are in the air(quite a lot) you can press sprint in any direction and you will boost in that direction. While you are on the ground you can boost any where in the 180 degrees behind you, so left, right and behind.
With all of the new movement, how are the maps? Well, they are just as amazing as the movement, you never feel like you are to far from the action, this feeling is amplified by the fact that you can traverse the map very quickly. There is a lot of verticality to all of the maps, but I haven't come across many if any people camping in hard to reach spots. The rate of progression is very nice, and though I have played in 2XP I am already at level 30! There are the new supply drops, which though very fun when you earn one, they are too random to be anything more that a side fancy. Which is a real shame because the system of random loot, is a very appealing one, especially as you can do just as well, with the standard weapons, they just maybe aren't quite right for you, but there is probably a variation out there to suit you!
Moving on to the weapons, they are all highly satisfying to use, from the 12 hours or so I played of Ghosts, all the weapons had no personality to them. Where as in AW there are so many weapons which feel like they do something different from the rest, you have the BAL-27(OP? Yes!) which shoots the first 5 or so bullets at a slower rate of fire. You have the AK-12 which is a nice all round weapon, but doesn't exceed at any one thing. You have the HBRA3, which has a rather slow rate of fire, but you feel like each bullet is packing a noticeable punch, but don't try to take it into a close range engagement. Moving on the the SMGs, I have only really used the KF5 and the ASM1 a little, the KF5 really does feel like a pole apart from the ARs, and though all SMGs need a buff they are still usable in the right scenario now. With the increased rate of fire and approximately 10% increase movement speed while holding an SMG, you feel totally different from when you are using an AR. And the ASM1 is a modern take on the Tommy Gun, which is an absolute blast to use.
You then have the most diverse create-a-class system to date, the Pick 13 system, it is the same as BOII's pick 10 system, but this time score streaks count as one point, so for me(someone who doesn't go on many kill streaks) I am running with a UAV and Carepackage, and going into the fray with one more perk. Speaking of score streaks, you can now tweak your streak to how you want it to be, there are about 6-7 modules you can attach to a score streak, each of which adds to the score you must earn before you earn said streak, so for me I am running UAV with player direction and support(progress towards the streak carries on after death) and a Care Package with Better Odds and Support. This means that I am guaranteed to earn at least 2 score streaks per match. The depth with which you can customise your streaks to be how you want them to be is really amazing, and don't worry, you can only add support to a hand full of streaks, and non of the high streaks!
Now we have talked about all the awesome things in the game, let's talk about the few things that I don't like with AW. It really boils down to two things, firstly there are some pretty bad spawns, I have spawned in the line of sight of enemy players, I have spawned on the exact spot on which I just died, though this hasn't annoyed me as much as I thought it would. The game is just so fun to play that these occasional free deaths don't really bug me. The other annoying thing I have found(though you should note again that all my thoughts are before any patches have been released) is occasional severe frame rate drops and extreme lag, these bouts last for between 10-20 seconds, in which time I reckon I was getting about 5 frames per second! Such instances occur too often for me to dismiss them as nothing, but it is possible that the issue was fixed in the patch on 11/11/14. One last note, the reason I haven't spoken about the new game modes in AW, I due to the fact that I have only been playing Hardpoint, so you will know my thoughts on Uplink and Momentum in my full review!
That just about wraps us my impressions of Advanced Warfare, it is very very good, I would highly recommend anyone picking it up, whether you are a CoD veteran or new to the series, this is the time to get into it!
Thanks for reading,
This might be a slightly strange concept to try out, but I thought today I would give you a tour of my armoury, which stores all the loot I have in the game. I have left out the few pages of permanent loot, because most people have the same type of things in that area. Before we get into the pictures, I would like to say that I have put 40 hours into this game so far, and I feel I have been very luck with some of the weapon variants I have unlocked. There are only really three elite weapons I don't have that I really want, the HBRa-3 Insanity(I have the other Elite HBRa-3), the AK-12 RIP(I have the other Elite AK-12) and the ASM1 Speakeasy, if you follow me on Twitter I'm sure you won't miss my tweets if ever I unlock on of these weapons!
A few things to note with the above picture, I have earned the AMR9 Pro Pipe 3 times from supply drops(as you will see in a future post), and it is a really bad weapon, though rumour has it the AMR9 is getting a buff in an upcoming patch! Also if you didn't know weapons such as the Crossbow variants have no stat changes what so ever, it is purely just a reskin of the normal weapon, for this reason I could destroy it, but I hate doing that to Elites!
There are three dud weapons in the picture above, firstly the EMP3 is atrocious no matter which variant you pick. Then there is the MDL Backdraft(grenade launcher) which-like the crossbow- doesn't have any stat changes! Then there is the MK14, which is also an awful weapon, going back quickly to BO2, the FAL in that game was amazing. Not too powerful, put could still pack a punch(pun intended), seeing as both the FAL and the MK14 are single fire weapons, I would really love to see the stats from the FAL brought across to the MK14!
As lucky as I may be with certain classes of weapons and their Elite variants, the PDW Crusher is one of the areas where my luck is lacking. Similarly to the AMR9 Pro Pipe, I have unlocked the PDW Crusher a whopping 4 times! The only other note worthy thing on the above pic is the Ameli Subverter, which has increased damage by two points(20% I believe) in exchange for halving your magazine size, which is a trade I would take any day.
Nothing really amazing here, those glove are the only gloves I wear, and I have an irritating number of MK14 variants, non of which I use!
Moving on, we can see that I have as many PDW variants as I could ever need! Also the MP11 Saviour is a really good/nice weapon to use, when you are using it you really do feel like you are a bullet hose, and the gun backs up this feeling. I use the Saviour when ever I am fed up of using the normal weapons, and want to run around like a headless chicken!
Lastly this page is very lackluster, the only thing worth mentioning are the two EM1 variants, both of which are quite good, and I would use them both over the base version, nothing to massively write home about though!
Right guys, that brings us to the end of my Armoury tour, I hope you enjoyed taking a peak under the hood of my variants! Are there some hidden jems in there which I have missed? What variants do you have? Let me know on Twitter.
Thank you very much for reading,
Before you look through my journey through Advanced Warfare, please not as it says in the title there are major spoilers about the plot on this page, so be careful! That being said I had a brilliant time going through this years campaign, but seeing as it is the first CoD campaign I have ever finished, I am by no means an expert on the subject of what the norm is!
Hope you like some of them,
Today I thought I would show you some of the best Supply Drops I have opened in Advanced Warfare, don't think that I have amazing luck with getting Elite items, these are the cream of my supply drop crop! Unfortunately I can't show you the supply drops I earned earlier on in my time with the game where I earned the two Elite Bals, as I stupidly didn't take screenshots of them at the time! Anyway I hope you enjoy looking through some of my unlocks!
Thanks for reading,
Thanks again for reading, I hope you haven't found it boring looking through some of my favourite Supply Drops, have you earned some nice rewards from Supply Drops? Let me know on Twitter!
One of the amazing new features in Advanced Warfare are the weapon variants, there are two elite variants for each weapon, and they usually are better in some way than the base version of the weapon. As you may know the Bal-27 is the best assault rifle in the game, so obviously the elite variants of the Bal are very good. I have been lucky enough to get both Elite variants for the Bal from supply drops, and today I will be doing a review/class guide for you all! If you would like a review for the Obsidian Steed(the other elite variant, then just tweet me!).
The Bal-27 base weapon is available from level one, so don't worry about not having the base variant unlocked when you earn this. The tweaks that make this weapon so good are, 10% increase to rate of fire(quite common in variants, but nearly always with a damage reduction!), 20% tighter hip fire spread(a smaller area that your bullets can go when not aiming down sights), and the only penalty with this weapon is a whopping 30% reduction in ADS(Aim Down Sights) time, which I don't really notice the difference much, but if you want to reverse the affects of this then you can use the Quick Draw grip(earned after 10 Headshots). This may not strike you as overly amazing, but just that little 10% increase in RoF(Rate of Fire) produces a massive change in the time-to-kill. Meaning that if you take this weapon into a gun fight with a normal Bal-27 you are going to be winning more of those fights, just because of the weapon you are using.
You should think of this weapon as a SMG(Sub Machine Gun-eg ASM1) variant of the Bal-27, while still holding onto the damage stats of an Assault Rifle(AR). You probably already knew this but never delete this weapon if you get it from a Supply Drop!
Now looking at the attachments for this weapon that I use, the Stock I like to use on all ARs, though sometimes I replace it with something like Quick Draw Grip, especially with this weapon. Then we have the Foregrip, I find this invaluable for the Inferno, especially with that increased fire rate, it may be the way I think of the weapon but it may have slightly increased recoil, which this counters beautifully. Lastly there is the Suppressor, or silencer, this is the first stage of many that I employ to not let the enemies know where I am as much of the time as possible. For a player like me, who doesn't play TDM much the Parabolic Microphone isn't used by players too often, so by and large I can always stay off the enemies mini-map! I nearly always run three attachments on my weapons, so that third attachment costs me two slots(one for the attachment, and one for the Wild Card).
Moving onto my Perk selection, in the Perk 1 slot I always run Low Profile, as it shields you from appearing on the enemies mini-map when they have a UAV active. This is another part of my stealth build, as I mentioned previously staying of the enemies mini-map is one of my highest priorities when creating my class, and Low Profile helps be immensely.
Peripherals, is a perk I run on every class I use, it extends the size of the mini-map so you can see further away from you, it also doesn't show the death icons above enemies you have killed, which is very useful, again to not let the enemies know where you are!
Moving onto Perk 3, this is where I employ the use of my second Wild Card and get a second perk from the third tier. Blast Suppressor is beyond essential in AW, I personally am exo-boosting all over the map, so for none of these movements to show up as pulsing red icons on the enemy mini-map is incredibly useful. Unlike previous CoDs, Hardline only takes 100 points off your score streak, rather than a percentage like some games before. I swap Hardline out for Scavenger depending of what I am looking to achieve, whether it be long killstreaks with the same weapon, or my streaks faster!
Next looking at my scorestreaks, these are the thing that change the most in my classes. As you can see above when ever I run with the Care Package, I always put Support, Better Odds and Double Tap on, to almost guarantee that I get a good result, I always earn one per match sometimes two, despite the high cost! I have also run with the Bombing Run, with no modules attached, this is partly because there is nothing good to attach in my opinion, and partly because it bumps up the price of it! Other than these two I run various other scorestreaks, so look out for another post in the future where I give my suggestions about what modules to run of what scorestreaks!
Lastly there is my Exo Ability, which is always Overclock, no matter the class. I use this to suit my play style, which is quite objective based, so I can race to the OBJ as quickly as possible, both from spawn and from around the map! Occasionally I run the tier 1 perk, Overcharge to give me more time overclocked, but I feel you get enough time with the normal counter!
That wraps up my review/class guide for the Inferno variant of the Bal-27, all in all, this is an absolute monster weapon, and certainly in my top three best Elite Variants in the game! So I am giving the Bal-27 Inferno a rating of 9.5/10!
Thank you very much for reading,
Friends of The Games Critic:
My name is Ed, I write everything here, covering all kinds of games, but I only play them on the PS4!