I saw a propaganda video released by North Korea the other day, and did the obvious thing -- I made fun of its terrible production value. It was really bad. The highlight of the video from purely a graphics standpoint came when the video showed an American city burning. Why'd it look so good? Because North Korea stole the footage from Modern Warfare 3. The video has been removed from YouTube thanks to a complaint by Activision, the publishers of the game.
Modern Warfare 3
As North Korea gets ready to perform a nuclear test, they're also stepping up their propaganda efforts, or at least they're trying to do so. A video released by the country's official website on Saturday shows a dream sequence of a unified Korea, spaceflight, and an unspecified American city being bombarded with missiles. The whole thing would be more frightening if the CGI graphics weren't at best on par with Home Improvement scene transitions and at worst like something out of 1980s Doctor Who.
Kim Dotcom, the founder of MegaUpload, is quite possibly the most interesting man in the world. I don't know if he drinks Dos Equis, but I do know his last name is Dotcom (originally the more boring "Schmitz"), he owns giant giraffe statues, and was -- at least as of yesterday -- the top ranked Modern Warfare 3 player in the world, even since being jailed last Thursday on charges of conspiracy to commit racketeering, conspiracy to commit copyright infringement, and conspiracy to commit money laundering among many, many other things. I mean, what?
As you may be aware, Kmart accidentally started selling some copies of the much awaited Modern Warfare 3 yesterday, ahead of its November 8th release date. The mistake was discovered pretty early on, and the sales were stopped, but there were still a number of copies that managed to make it out into the wild, and what happens when a commodity like this becomes available in a very limited quantity? eBay-ing, and lots of it.
The wait is over. Everything you ever wanted to know about Call of Duty's new social-networking, stat-tracking, DLC-content-delivering service, Elite, is now known to the public. Where do we start? For the sake of background, let's cover some of the features. Elite will allow users to track all kind of in-depth stats like weapon analysis, personal leaderboards, perk and screenshot sharing, advanced clan support and even video coaching in the form of tips and tricks. It also comes part and parcel with forthcoming MW3 DLC, all for the low, low price of $50.
Is that such a low, low price? When Elite was announced, we were all assured that it would cost less than the "fees for comparable online-entertainment services," and to a certain extent that seems to be true. That's cheaper than a year of Xbox Live, PSN Plus, or Netflix, but the thing is that Elite gives you MW3 and nothing else. When you take the variety of content into account (or lack thereof) the comparability to other online services kind of dies down. Still, if you take your Modern Warfare extremely seriously, this pack will have things you'll want, and if you were going to get the DLC anyway, you might as well pick up the rest of the perks by purchasing Elite. Just beware, once they start getting you to subscribe to things, they're going to keep trying to do it over and over again.
If that wasn't enough, Modern Warfare 3 is getting its own specially designed Xbox 360 model too. Check out a picture after the jump.
Not yet confirmed to be a secret marketing move on Electronic Art's part, but when visiting the URL http://www.modernwarfare3.com, what would otherwise obviously be the official URL of the next installment in the Call of Duty franchise, you will be redirected to the official site for rival game Battlefield 3. One really must wonder why Activision didn't feel the need to reserve the most obvious URL for their next probable blockbuster title.
Funnily enough, if you try to visit http://www.battlefield3.com, it doesn't actually link to the Battlefield 3 site that the Modern Warfare 3 URL does, but a different Battlefield 3 site.
The battle for video game genericness may not yet be decided, but someone -- whether it be EA or some troll -- just threw down the gauntlet.
Call of Duty, as a franchise, has never really been my cup of tea. It probably has something to do with my love for the PC for FPS gaming of any kind. But that hasn’t stopped me from playing and loving the stuffing out of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 on the Xbox 360 or even from playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to completion. It also isn’t like I didn’t play its obvious predecessors; Medal of Honor was my FPS franchise of choice for a long time. Something just never clicked with me after the transition to Activision. Which is why the fact that I admit that Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was a milestone for the genre is all the more impressive. It wasn’t that the game is (or was at the time of release) overly exceptional. It’s the fact that it pushed boundaries and challenged some very specific conventions that really made it stand out head and shoulders above the video games being published at Activision’s main competitors. Well, that and it was just well-crafted in general.