Alright, if anyone is a gamer out there, you know tonight is a huge night as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 hits the shelves at midnight. There is a lot to talk about. Did the sequel live up to the hype? Has the multi-player been balanced? Is the single player worth playing? Is the game worth $60?
Well, I'd love to answer these questions. But there is one problem. This is a hockey blog. And while I am sure there are several NM readers who would be into discussing CoD, I also know there are plenty of you out there who don't know the first thing about CoD. And quite frankly, you're probably really angry I even brought it up. "How dare you talk about video games?" you must be asking yourself. "Who does he think he is?" you might be pondering. "I want to punch this clown in the face. IN THE FACE!" you might be muttering to yourself. Well calm down! I have the perfect solution. Instead of reviewing the new Call of Duty game, I will review the Chicago vs Vancouver game, but talk about it as if it was a Call of Duty review.
"Why would you do that?" you might be asking yourself. Well let me tell you why. First, because let's face it, what else would you expect from me? Secondly, I love talking about Vancouver spanking Chicago, and with no game until Thursday, I feel good about riding this game into the ground. Thirdly, my creative juices are flowing (not a metaphor for peeing) so I wanted to try this out as an idea for fun. I don't know if I will get to the links part of the post, so I hope you can forgive me if I don't add links at the bottom in the morning. Fourthly, by reviewing it like it was Call of Duty, I can make myself giggle. Which is pretty much what this is always about. Me giggling. With that being said, I present to you....
Call of Duty: Chicago vs Vancouver
Story line: The story line of the previous entries to the series were amazing. It wouldn't be too far fetched to say this series has some of the best story lines of all time. People know when they see CoD: C vs V that they are going to see something spectacular. And this game was rumored to have some amazing plot twists and developments. Unfortunately, a lot of it fell flat. This new Carcillo character they brought into the series had a lot of hype but sadly he didn't live up to any of it. His character was flat, unoriginal, and let's be honest, looked a little too much like Mike Ricci. Also, it's one thing to bring in a crazy type character to reprise a role held by someone previously, but at least give us someone that actually looks like they can play hockey. Carcillo came off as really unbelievable as a hockey player.
Speaking on unbelievable, I found it hard to accept the story line of Hamhuis and Rome scoring on the PP. I may not be an expert, but something tells me these two wouldn't be scoring on a PP in real life. Someone on the team needs to do some fact checking.
The rest of the Chicago team was pretty terrible too. Lifeless, despondent, and dreary. You got the feeling the programmers didn't know what to do with Chicago so they just left them as an unfinished product. Halfway through the game you got the sense things might turn around, but nope, the story line quickly dropped back into the same tired dialogue of Vancouver beating the crap out of Chicago. Not very original to be honest. This is something we all expected. I give the story line aspect a 6 out of 10.
Gameplay: I'm not going to lie, the game play seemed terribly unbalanced in this game. Anytime Chicago was used, they looked terrible. They couldn't score, they couldn't pass, they could barely hit. If it wasn't for a a glitch in the game, Chicago wouldn't have made this interesting at all. (Terrible goal glitch on Luongo) Also, the game play got really really repetitive throughout, as Henrik Sedin was the best player by far in the game. It was kind of annoying because you just know everyone is going to pick Henrik online and not use anyone else. Also it looked like they used Henrik's skin and just pasted it on other players, because at times I saw other characters that looked just like Henrik, except they had a different number. It seemed like it was lazily programmed.
Aside from everything Chicago related being significantly weaker than the Vancouver side, the game was decent. It's fun to go out there and just dominate with the Canucks, shooting and passing at will. Although not the most realistic approach to gaming, it is nice feeling to go out there and physically and mentally destroy an opponent. A very arcade like approach to gaming to be sure, but a fun approach nonetheless. I give the game play a solid 7 out of 10.
Graphics: I understand hockey is a gritty sport, but there was a lot of ugly in this game. Dan Carcillo is not a pretty character to be seeing on your screen all the time. And I would understand it more if they were going for some gritty mafia style approach to the game, but half of the characters had ridiculous porn mustaches on their faces. It is hard to take a game seriously when you don't know whether your character is going body check a guy, or start making love to a guy. This game was one soundtrack away from being x-rated. Also the longer you play this game, the more red you see disappearing from the seats. I don't know if this is a glitch or what, but before you know it, the arena is very empty looking and the color has kind of drained from the arena. I found this quite odd.
I also found the graphics to be quite glitchy because at times, Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane would simple disappear from the screen. You could swear you had seen them just a second earlier, but for the majority of the game they seemed to be missing. I know that games have a deadline to be released, but you would think for such a hyped game as this, they would take the time to have the players show up properly.
I had also heard about an adult rated feature in which if you used Chicago you were able to "expose" Vancouver, but I never saw anything of the sort while playing. Broken promises, there is no "Hot Coffee" to be found in this game. I give the graphics 5 out of 10.
Sound: The sound was much like the graphics, a bit underwhelming. The game starts off amazing with a ton of sound, fans screaming at you from the left and right...it really set the stage well for the game. But about 10 minutes into the game the sound drops off and at times goes silent. I assume this is a bug because the sound came back for a short while, but then it completely shuts off 2/3 of the way through the game. I hate to harp on this, but for such a hyped game, this was a bit disappointing.
Also, I heard that the song Chelsea Dagger was going to be used mainly as the theme in this game, but I was lucky if I heard it twice the entire time while playing this game. Granted, the second time I heard it, the song kept playing and playing and playing as if someone was desperate for it to be heard, but still, I did not hear it nearly as much as I was promised. I gave the sound 5 out of 10.
Overall I would give this game a 6.5 out of 10. Don't get me wrong, I am a huge fan of anything the Vancouver franchise is a part of, but I couldn't help but feel almost bad going through this one. Chicago was just so unbelievably bad that the realism would often be lost to you because no one would be that bad at hockey. It just seemed like they could have made it better by having Chicago been a little more balanced, and being a little more competitive. I enjoy kicking ass as much as the next guy, but at one point it became a bullying exercise more than anything.
I look forward more to the sequel to this game, which is being released November 16th. I have heard the graphics of the fans is WAY better in the sequel, the sound is a thousand times better, and that the Burrows character is unlockable in the next game. Save your money on this one and wait for the November 16th release.