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What Happened to Halo?

With the release of Halo: Reach last year the series is finally coming to a close. Well, I should say that the series as imagined by Bungie is coming to a close. Microsoft has opened a branch called 343 Industries to oversee the Halo name post-Bungie. But, the future is unclear for the Master Chief, the Arbiter, and the rest of those lovable grunts. It has been rumored that Gearbox is the next in line for a Halo release but as of this writing it is all speculation.

The point…

… I’m getting to it. Halo has changed so much over the past 4 games. From LAN parties to clan matches to forge and then to armor abilities this series has seen it all. The heart of the game is there, somewhere. This newest release, Reach, really marked for me the fall of Halo. Halo 3 was not what I expected it to be by a long shot, especially coming off of Halo 2 which was pretty much spot on in terms of fun and competitiveness.

Every title after Halo 2 has felt more sluggish, with a lesser learning curve, and a larger margin for error. This is a good business strategy, it will allow more new players to instantly pick up a Halo game and generally do well assuming they have thumbs and don’t get motion sick from watching a television. But as a fan of competitive gaming these decisions don’t make sense.

Just not fun.

I had not played Reach since December or so and decided to pop it in yesterday. I dusted off the case and put the disc in… I was actually pretty excited. But that was before the first game. Coming off of Call of Duty this game feels like child’s play.

I know that the game-play is supposed to be more team oriented but having a 1v1 fight is just awful in Reach. The way damage is handled combined with shields, combined with the weaponry available (or lack-thereof) and it takes too damn long to score a kill.

I gave it about an hour or so, just so I could be sure that I wasn’t being too quick to judge. But this game is a far cry from the fast paced shooter that was Halo 2… it isn’t even comparable to Halo 3 which was fun but definitely wasn’t up to par with Halo 2.

I don’t know how they did it but they have killed my favorite game franchise. I am now a COD man, sad to say. Bring on some Battlefield, bring on some Gears, even bring on the next COD because I probably won’t be looking for the next Halo.

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Posted by on April 20, 2011 in Console, FPS

 

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New Map for Call of Duty? Leaked poster image seems to confirm.

Below you will find the image that was leaked earlier this week containing the rumored titles of the Map Pack 2 for Call of Duty Black Ops. There is much speculation to be done, and don’t be fooled by the date format… it is day/month/year as most of the world does(not here in the USA though).

The big question is ‘is this real’. I for one believe it to be genuine. In a lot of images there is a small portion on the bottom detailing Xbox live and copyright info (there is a ‘First on Xbox LIVE’ brand just like the first DLC), it is just cut off on this one. The only thing that points it to being shopped is the picture for Hotel is actually already used on another Black Ops poster but this could just be a slip up on the image designers part or intentional.

There is a good bit of info on the map Hotel already. It’s loading screen has been mined out of the data on the disc that was shipped and there is also a top-down map of the gameplay area.

The Load Screen for Hotel

Hotel top down map.

From the pic and the map we can see that the left side of the map is where the stairs in the picture go to. There will likely be a rappel feature somewhere in the map, possible in the lower right hand corner which is probably the lobby area in the picture on the poster.

Zoo should be an interesting addition to the multiplayer. One can assume that there will be some sort of animal based obstacle or interaction if they continue with the trend from the last DLC of putting in ways to interact with the map such as ziplines.

Convoy is the one I am most excited for. From the teaser picture we can assume that it is set near Crystal City, Texas… a great deal closer to home than most Call of Duty arenas. I am guessing this will be a smaller map set around an underpass on a large highway. Hopefully there will be overturned cars and tanker trucks and the like for cover.

Stockpile is the only one in a snow type environment this go around. It is likely it is the map that people thought was Discovery from Map Pack 1. I have done an article that featured this screen before but it was in speculation of it being Discovery or not, now I am leaning more towards the not side.

I have no idea how the new zombie map ‘Survival’ is going to pan out. It will probably have some sort of crazy easter egg just like the 90 second death machine from Ascension. Here’s hoping!

 
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Posted by on April 7, 2011 in Console, FPS

 

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Call of Duty Black Ops Rush Tactics part 1

What a lazy sunday. No school, definitely no church, guess it’s time for a new post right? Might as well set off the new week with part 1 of a short series about rush tactics in Blops. I’ll be going over some basic strategy for each map with a few routes off of each spawn.

For this mini-series the blue and red lines will represent routes for blue team and red team. Yellow lines will represent line of sight to potential enemies for red, while green will do the same for blue. Confusing right? Also, you should always have a rush class, it doesn’t have to be your main class but you should pretty much always start the match off with a Marathon/Lightweight/SMG(or sniper/shotgun) and switch after you die.

Array

Array is a strange map to rush, there are a few different routes that are viable, with 1 from each spawn requiring either a sniper rifle or very careful aim with an AR/LMG.

I dont recommend rushing the bottom lane as blue spawn, its much more useful for red.

Spawning on blue side one has options, and lots of them. My most used rush is the long rush up top, you won’t likely get first blood but you have a good chance of catching 2-4 people unaware. Just hoof it out around the big open area and do your best to cut corners and jump obstacles to make your way to the backside of the truck ASAP. If you have a longer ranged weapon go ahead and take pot shots at the people running through the array, the 2 sets of windows you will be able to see offer great views of the back of the enemies head.

The other rush is to cut through the open container and head into the basement of the array itself, then use the tunnel to get the side view of the truck. This one is best with a silencer, so you can get the 1-2 people at the truck then quickly turn and go through the main floor of the array and get anyone looking out windows.

On red spawn you will be strongly urged to go to the truck. I mean, thats where all the action happens right? First and foremost you MUST blow up the truck with a grenade before any of your boys get there… otherwise the enemy will get an easy quad with a semtex. Either A) Hop on the barrel, then onto the truck top and spam AR downrange, or B) nestle up on the truck hood and snipe behind the snow vehicle. But make sure to put a claymore at the opening of the stairs to prevent a blue player getting behind you.

On the other hand you can skirt the outside of the array and boost on to the blue spawn area. This is my favorite rush on this map as sometimes all 6 (bad) enemies will go there to snipe and you can pick them off one by one from the back. Also you will be there fast, way faster than any of them are ready for… and the ones that would be ready for it are already rushed to your base to pick off your stragglers, so easy money.

Cracked

Remember, always toss a nade over the middle.

Wow, talk about lines. It’s ok, just take the routes 1 by 1 and follow it carefully and you should be able to decipher what I was going for.

On red you will have 2 quick rushes and 1 roundabout one. I always go for the roundabout because it is likely to net the most kills, and a great place to put a Tactical Insertion if thats your bag. So hit a right after spawning and sprint across the courtyard, take note of the windows on the blue side buildings as they may have people posted up in them. After you get into the safety of the building you are pretty much home free, just sneakily walk up behind the people staring at the middle and get easy kills. Place the tac in the first building you enter, and move it slightly every spawn.

The middle rush is fast, you should throw your nade a couple of seconds after the match starts kind of diagonally right, then immediately go left and under the middle building. After you check the corners for people going to the middle rush to the stack of boxes under the red building and climb up and through the window there.

The left rush is the second fastest rush. It gets you in prime position to enter the red building from the doorway. It is always claymored, don’t question it, just throw a concussive grenade and run in. Before that you may encounter some would-be rushers from the other team, they are probably just coming out of their building area and won’t really suspect you so just spray them down and move on with your business.

Blue side isn’t much different. The left most side(right handed rush) is the long rush, which will take you behind most of the other team. This is safer and more rewarding than the other 2 rushes so it is the one I use the most. You pretty much just need to make sure you are able to kill anyone in your way before you actually get to their spawn. Once you are there be sure to kill all the people in the vantage points first before going for spawners and campers, this will allow your team safer passage over the middle.

The middle rush for blue is a bit different, instead of going through to the other side you make shop in the middle building. After you kill one or two from the safety of the first room sprint across to the other rooms and pick them off from their new spawn. Claymore the double stairs as this is where they will be coming from.

The right rush (left side to blue spawn) leads you to the building that has an indention on it with pillars. This is a great spot to catch people off guard as most people never look/go there. You will be met with opposition on the ground level and from one or more of the vantage points. Incidentally the pillared indention is a great tac insertion point. After clearing the street run up into the 2 story building and wait a while before coming out and nabbing some kills from behind.

Summit

A quick sprint will get you lots of kills on this map.

Summit is a really easy rush map, the thing is a lot of people who are ‘rushing’ are doing it wrong for this map. They either don’t have the appropriate class or they take too long on obstacles and are slow maneuvering over the terrain.

The right side of the map will be a hot spot for both sides. Nearly every game 2-3 people per team will run this way. If you are quick on the draw it doesn’t matter which side you are on you will likely kill everyone opposing you.

Blue only really has one other option in my opinion. And that is to go around the enemy team and to catch the people respawning after they die in the first 15-20 seconds as well as people who are setting up on corners waiting for your team to come through the map. This is best done by entering the main building then hugging the left side and coming out at the end of the long straight away into the red spawn.

Red side on the other hand has 2 other routes for rushing. The first is the middle rush which will put you in the top computer room with a view of at least 1 enemy. They will be either crossing the main room so you can shoot them through the window there or they will be rounding the corner just in front of you where the boxes are… it is best to keep your eyes this way until you know no one is coming.

The other route is a sneakster type deal. It circumvents the whole team so you come up behind them. This is handy if you suspect they will hole up in the computer room looking out of the windows into the main area. Their backs will be towards you just waiting for a stab. Start out going through the building with a pillar in the middle and jump out of it onto the metal bridge, continue on that side of the map until you come up to their spawn, then wreak havoc.

 

Stay tuned this coming week as I release more of the map strategies I have been using, I will update the posts with video and pictures as well.

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2011 in Console, FPS

 

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CoD: Black Ops Pro Perk Guide

 

 

The perks in CoD are what make your class what it is, and having the pro versions is very important. The difference between living and dying in search is often as simple as marathon or marathon pro. Today I will be going over some easy ways to get every perk upgraded ASAP so you can get the exp for the challenges or use the perk.

Blue Perks:

Lightweight- 15 melee kills, 5 escape deaths, 10 offense medals

  • Play CTF, get the flag and get kills, there are your offense medals.
  • When you get shot run away, all you have to do is get hurt and not die 5 times
  • The melees should be able to be done in 2-3 games

Scavenger- 5 kill streak 5 times, 5 grenade kills from scavenged grenades, 150 resupplies

  • everyone you kill get their pack, and your team mates dead bodies… search them too
  • throw your grenade every time you are about to get a pack, doesn’t matter where, the more nades you throw the more likely it is you will get a kill
  • try to stay alive often, if you get 3-4 kills don’t go rambo across the map just play it cool

Ghost- 20 kills while enemy spyplane is up, destroy 30 aircraft, destroy 1 sentry gun

  • use sentry gun yourself, as it is a rare killstreak, throw the package into enemy territory and wait for them to use
  • use hacker to see sentry guns through walls
  • use a Strela so you can kill 2 aircraft in 1 life
  • only shoot at spyplanes/counter spyplanes, carepackage helis, and helis you know have already used their flares

Flak Jacket- throw back 5 grenades, survive 10 explosions, plant/diffuse 10 bombs

  • play demolition for the most plants or diffuse
  • sit near objectives where people are likely to throw grenades that won’t be cooked
  • barrel through claymore for the survive 10 explosions challenge

Hardline- get a 7 kill streak, get 7 killstreaks in one match, share 10 packages

  • for the 7 kill streak, killstreaks count, so if you get 6 and have your chopper just let it get your 7th kill, likewise use an RCxD for that extra kill
  • to get 7 killstreaks in 1 match, use Spyplane/RC, SAM turret, and care package, kill yourself after you get the CP if you need to
  • use sam turret/care package/sentry gun combo for sharing, all these crates work, just toss them near your team mates and hope they aren’t noobs

Red Perks:

Hardened- 200 bullets into aircraft, 10 enemies killed through walls, shoot equipment through wall

  • I suggest hacker to be able to see equipment through walls, it also will give you a close guess to if an enemy is there
  • look for models of players poking though thin walls, or flags waving through a wall
  • ghost pro helps get 200 bullets into aircraft, as with that perk the chopper won’t shoot at you
  • if you don’t use ghost pro the safest aircraft to shoot is care package heli, it stays still for a while and won’t kill you

Scout- 50 secondary kills, 50 one shot one kill medals, 30 headshots sniping

  • use a secondary that is easy to kill with such as CZ75 dual wielded, or RPG
  • when sniping aim for the head(duh) will net you a tick for both challenges
  • if you must aim for the center mass, aim as close to the head as possible, most snipers only 1s1k in the upper torso

Steady Aim- 150 hipfire kills, 2 melee kills in 15 seconds, 100 kills after sprinting

  • sprint everywhere, even .01 second of sprinting will count towards the challenge
  • use dual wield so you are forced to hipfire
  • use ballistic knife if you are having trouble with the fast melees
  • if you see someone who is turned around, knife them, then quickly search for another knife victim

Sleight of Hand- 150 ADS kills, damage and reload to kill someone 10 times, 15 kills after reloading

  • always shoot 1 bullet out of your gun at spawn, whenever you damage someone with a flash or concussive grenade reload, this will count for 2 of the challenges
  • ADS at everyone
  • use an assault rifle with dual mags for even faster reload, enfield works wonders

Warlord- 150 kills with 2 attachments, 10 grenade kills, 1 multikill with grenades

  • use semtex for quick grenade explosions
  • only use a weapon with 2 attachments
  • use dual mags for extra bullets so you don’t need to swap weapons ever
  • use scavenger to resupply grenades/ammo

Green Perks:

Tactical Mask- 20 kills after flashing opponents, 20 kills after stunning opponents, 20 kills after gassing opponents

  • stand near an objective in domination and chuck your tactical nades in there, then kill whoever you hit, simple as that

Marathon- capture 15 flags, 10 first bloods, 26 miles

  • play CTF, it has flags in it… hah… and it has 2-3 rounds, for first bloods
  • play Search for the bloods too if you are good at rushing
  • run everywhere, use light weight and you will get the miles faster, use an smg or shotgun too

Ninja- 5 backstabber medals, 150 suppressed kills, plant 10 bombs

  • play demolition, more bomb plants
  • use flak jacket, extra protection as well as challenges for both perks
  • use suppressor and an SMG
  • flank enemies to get their backs exposed to you

Second Chance- Kill the enemy who downed you 5 times, kill 10 enemies in second chance, get one headshot in second chance

  • use a makarov extended mags or cz75 extended mags, the extra bullets will help
  • spam as soon as you get downed, often times you are still aiming right at the guy you were fighting
  • try not to throw grenades as you get downed as it will take extra time to pull out your weapon
  • the headshot is largely luck but just spam spam spam and you will probably get it sooner than later

Hacker- 10 equipment destroys, 20 kills with claymore/c4, 20 kills close to jammer/motion sensor

  • shoot at claymore through walls, they are 1 bullet kills
  • use claymore and place it at well traveled areas where the trip wires wont show
  • if you use c4, try to flank the enemy and get them unaware
  • use a jammer because its radius is much larger than a motion sensor

 

Well there it is, most of it is common sense but I hope that I helped someone out.

 
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Posted by on March 8, 2011 in Console, FPS

 

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