Jimquisition: Defending Call of Duty

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Trishbot:
COD is not hated for being "popular", and those that don't like it aren't all grouped into the same pretentious camp. Most COD-haters used to BE COD-lovers, but the game was diluted, diminished, and ultimately ruined from iteration to iteration.

"Call of Duty" is currently the most popular shooting game, and possibly franchise, in the world, and I struggle to see why it NEEDS "defending". There are so many games that need awareness, defense, and discussion, ranging from the artistic merits of L.A. Noire, to the untapped potential of the Enslaved franchise, to the jarring changes made to Dragon Age 2, to the bold originality of Mirror's Edge, to the emotional resonance of Okami, Limbo, Silent Hill, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, Beyond Good & Evil, Psychonauts, and even games as brilliant yet divisive as Brutal Legend, Assassin's Creed, Bayonetta, Deadly Premonition, and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.

The merits of those games are worthy of discussion, debate, focus, awareness, and consensus.

Just want to say that is beautifully worded and I support this idea 100%.

HalfTangible:

captaincabbage:

Sylocat:
*sigh* Is his solution to each complaint about his overacting just to overact even more? Is he deliberately trying to try way too hard to be funny? Is his intention to come off as desperate "ironically?"

I think you're just about right here.

What really gets me is how self-rieghteous he is, either intentionally to try and be funny, or *shudder* unintentionally.
Unfortunately, his wanky bullshit, which was supposed to rub off as ironic and taking the piss just rubs off instead as him being an unlikeable prick.
On top of the fact that he shows other arguments in a painfully sarcastic light shows up as him just being as big of a prick as the people who actually use those flawed arguments.

Anyway, on the topic of CoD, I always felt that the reason that it was despised by the general community was that it had a cocky fanbase, half made up (as the stereotype goes) of 14 year old kids who all slept with our mums.
I've honestly never heard of someone dissing CoD on the basis that it introduced an excellent unlock, level and perk system, let alone calling it superior to, or inferior to Quake or Halo, or any games like that with a more arcadey set-up.

Personally I really hope The Escapist pulls Jim Sterling's show, because after weeks of trying to warm up to him, he's just shown himself as a massive dick, which is not what anyone wants.

I got the impression he's acting like a self-righteous prick as a joke =/

Yeah I do get it, but either way, it's just alienating his potential audience because it's just not really funny. Would Extra Credits really be any better if the main speaker was a massive tool?
Thing is, even when he does make good points, it just seems to me like it's still veiled behind a wall of obnoxiousness. I just don't think it's helping his show.

he makes a good point, COD has changed FPS forever, and with MW3 coming out, from what I can understand it will be an amazing story. MW2 and Black ops had good stories that I enjoyed replaying, but MW2 felt more like a transitional story in the series then a story to stand on its own merit. This website seems to have the most intelligent people in gaming working for them.

theultimateend:

Well MASSIVE popularity does. Admittedly in the beginning many things become popular because they are high quality. They become massively popular because they remove all the things that made them unique.

Are you speaking on the level of 'genre' or specifically on COD? All the things that made COD unique, are still there in subsequent releases. The formula has become widely popular because it simply works, and very well at that. I would argue that no other developer has been able to emulate the formula as well as Infinity Ward or Treyarch, however many of the elements that made COD great have been successfully implemented into games which try to put a new spin in their FPS games.

I think COD is a great franchise and its recognition is well deserved for the most part. Personally, it has become a case of 'too much of a good thing' with the annual release schedule; COD has become stale for me and not through any lack of quality.

simply put cod as a franchise needs to decide NOW as to whether it wants to be a great exculsively single player franchise, a great exclusively multiplayer franchise or a mediocre multiplayer game with single player tacked on.

Thanks, Jim. Thanks a lot.

It's good to see that since you don't actually seem to care about the reception (which isn't good), at least you can address topics far more interesting than Extra Credtis does every week.

But, on CoD. Yeah. I don't get much hate for having the series as my favorite... right until I try to defend it, because then everyone can incidentally link me to the CoD community he despises and then insult all of them for being little kids who don't know better.

But, then, look at most of the comments in the thread, no more complex than just saying how shit MW2 and BO, probably because of the gun and perk imbalance (not that any of that was in WaW and MW, oh, wait), removing the coop campaign (as if one in World at War was sooo fucking good), and being badly-paced and far-fetched.

It's perfectly acceptable to not like CoD. I know a plethora of people who don't and I'm mostly okay with that. However... if your only reasons to hate it are that its American propaganda or doesn't encourage teamwork like TF2!!!11!1 , rethink that.

did the air get sucked into the video, or am I just dying, I think this show got worse, the fucking makeup on this lips, acting to hard to be funny made me not be able to watch the thing, anyways, onto the issue?

I think the original 3 were the the best Call Of Duty's, but four just took challenge and fair skill out of the equation with several perks, thus making online just a roll of the die if I win or lose. I think call of duty didn't reinvigirate dry turds with Modern Warfare, as other games being released soon before or after the thing seemed to focus less on perks, more on guns, allowing for more weapons to see and use. Tf2 is popular as hell, and it introduced so many new weapons, crafting and much more that call of duty just lacks. Perks are fine but can break the game, but add more weapons and what not to the game, it might just win me back.
By the way, online sucks because everyone with a mic is a little kid under the age of 21.
Oh and i used to love the hell out of COD games back in the day, because the players were mature about what they were doing, and totally tried to be fair, if someone got a headshot, no one got mad and just said "good shot man, good shot." But now its "YOU HACKING MOTHER FUCKING TURD SHIT LICKING BALLS NERD FANBOY LOL, I SLEPT WITH YOUR MOM!" Tell me which one is a more caring community. Thanks for reading this, if you feel something needs changed in it, just write me and I'll see what I can do.

jamesbrown:
he makes a good point, COD has changed FPS forever, and with MW3 coming out, from what I can understand it will be an amazing story. MW2 and Black ops had good stories that I enjoyed replaying, but MW2 felt more like a transitional story in the series then a story to stand on its own merit. This website seems to have the most intelligent people in gaming working for them.

God I feel bad for re posting so early. But what story was there, I couldn't follow along because I thought I was going to fucking have my heart burst from so many bullets and bombs, don't spoil it, but what was the Gist of it, I seriously didn't understand it at all.

the problem is see with the present COD is that, at least in the single player, nothing has changed over the past decade. blackops plays exactly like the old allied assault game, but with prettier and bigger explosions. In short they are all cookie cutter games. This is big problem because it's success has meant that a certain formulaic gaming experience is all that is needed to be successful. hense the five million clones, with very few people trying to push the envelope. in that sense Crysis and few others deserve a lot of recognition for at least trying.

At least in crysis when a building starts fallin on people the game seems to be overdoing it.

"Those artsy types who need a story with a message"
What a quote.

I just watch these videos because I am a filthy masochist.

I'm starting to like this thing!
And I don't really know the subject too well- nobody ever accused me of loving COD and so being a bad person (and I like COD pretty much). But if you say there are evil people like this- oh well...
Oh, and the 5 seconds with a well to detailed picture of shit really wasn't necessary.

mfeff:
Thanks for this video, its a refreshing mouthwash from the shit sandwich that was "gun myth" over at extra credits. COD still sucks though... Battlefield 3 for life!!!! ;) (It's a gameplay/mechanic thing) you understand.

I have to ask, why do so many hate on Extra Credits for being Un-Professional, or Not fun, or for any other reason I can't think of, whats so bad about them, their informing, and doing it well. Then people go on to defend Jim as a hardcore critic, but truly is acting like a 19 year old, who thinks they know everything, anytime and anywhere.

Edit, I changed some things around, so it may be a better comment.

What a pointless episode. Its entire message could probably be summed up just as elaborately in a sentence or two (whatever its message was actually supposed to be, I kinda lost track in between the strawmans and hyperbole).

Essentially my only problem is COD is another company will see this big juggernaut of a franchise and instantly want to emulate the success by taking their already established franchises and modify them to appeal to the COD demographics and in turn alienate their standing fanbase. Besides this I just do not like COD, if you like fine by me.

So, he seems to have recovered from his rocky start and is on the up-and-up (touches wood)

Jim Sterling:
snip

Ok, after hating every previous episode I am glad i caved and watched this one to see what got everyone talking. As the odd over shoots at humor and the bad weirdness die down this series seems to be getting good. Now I may venture to guess that Mr.Sterling actually knows what he talks about enough to make listening worthwhile. Starting to come off more and more as a journalist doing an editorial and less like a drunken rant.
[Every one likes feed back right? I assume you like it to.]

OT: I had this discussion with friends many times. I loved Modern Warfare, but the sequels seemed to pale in comparison for me. The story was not as powerful and the gameplay and graphics were not greatly changed, I actually prefer the style of MW1 to any of the new ones it just looks more appealing.

My real issue with the series has been the crap they pulled on the PC Gamers. The server tends to be a cornerstone of community and by removing it they collapsed the community that tends to make games like COD so much fun. Yet pepole adapted and formed community through steam and websites instead, it worked out to some extent but the field changed, there is something to be said for being a regular on a server. When you go in and play with a group until the other regulars become friends and relationships build, that community is gone with the loss of servers.

My second, non-gameplay, related issue is the loss of mods. Its another unwitting attack upon the culture of PC gaming. Mods are a special little subset of the community that revives the game, long after its life span should be over, by adding new content and building new small communities of fans. Mods also have become a steeping stone for many indie devs now, they present the chance for someone to experiment with ideas or simply discover they enjoy creating content as much as playing it.

Yes my issues with COD are not related to the gameplay or the pepole who play it but to the choices that seem to be aimed at destroying something i hold very fondly, the PC Gaming community. They are valid reasons and are make or break for me.

Jim Sterling:
Defending Call of Duty

Very much how men and women of the military defend this nation's freedom overseas, Jim Sterling defends Call of Duty. In many ways, Sterling's cause is more righteous and noble than anything a soldier has ever, ever done.

Watch Video

Kudos, this was a great episode (don't know if you actually read these comments or not but still.) Very well formulated and presented. I am glad I stuck with it if this is what the rest of your episodes will be like

Nice hat!

Well he is pointing out something that does happen here, the would-be elites looking down on fps players.

Aprilgold:

I have to ask, why does everyone hate on Extra Credits for being Un-Professional, or Not fun, or for any other shit reason I can't think of, whats so bad about them, their informing, and doing it well. Then people go on to defend Jim as a hardcore critic, but truly is acting like a 19 year old, who thinks they know everything, anytime and anywhere.

They've been my second favorite over here next to yahtzee. Far more mature that what jim sterling presents as criticism.

I find it funny to this date, this far in. People who don't like him and don't like his videos, continue to watch so they can come onto a thread and tell us of how "horrible" he is.

Still Life:

Mantonio:
It's not the fact that it's a huge thing ALONE that makes it shit. It's the fact that (like you said) because it is so big, so many other companies try to emulate it.

How do other companies 'emulating' the COD formula make Infinity Ward and Treyarch responsible for the lack of creativity and risk-taking in the FPS industry? How does it make COD shit, when they are some of the most polished shooters on the market?

Blame other developers for taking what has been shown to work time and time again.

Let me rephrase myself. I didn't mean the games themselves lack quality. I meant the reason that people hate them is because they're what others are trying to copy. I realise I should have phrased that better.

And while the blame doesn't all lie with them, true, they still deserve some flak. Because they're one of the companies that HAS the money and trust to truly innovate, but they don't. Thus reinforcing the 'Only games like CoD (as it is now) sell' idea among shareholders. If they bothered to try be a little more creative, I have no doubt that a lot more risks would be accepted by them.

Often alienating their original fans in the process and making a poorer product. Example: Bioware and Dragon Age 2.

How is DA2 anything like the COD franchise? Does it focus on the multiple player experience? Is it FPS with a short and intense six hour campaign?

This is exactly the kind of stick-up-the-ass elitist attitude Jim was describing.

Bioware specifically said that they wanted CoDs audience. They went after them, instead of sticking with the loyal fanbase they had built up. That, along with their excuse for a head writer saying this:

tl;dr People try and copy CoD, and ignore their main demographic and make a poorer product. True most of the blame lies with those developers for playing follow the leader, but CoD isn't exactly known for its innovation either.

Episodes are getting better, I think I completely agreed with Jim on this one aswell.

the idea is right but the way he puts it its just bad...

Just stop

Holy shit i actually liked this episode :O although i really cant say much for the humour though, Jim seems to know what he's talking about, its just he cant seem to stop shoving in rather unfunny jokes..

I'm just going to post a couple of what I feel are my legitimate beefs with the series. Do I hate the series as a whole? Fuuuuuuuuuuck no. Do I 'not care for it'? Yes. So, onward:

-I'm not a fan of the lone wolf focus on multiplayer, even in team based games, it's just a case of 'everyone' getting points and winning instead of just one person. I'm not saying teamwork is non-existent, but it's been made clear a solo approach to gameplay is always an option...

-The 'bad' community it generates/harbors for online gaming in general, the racial/sexual/idiotic slur spewing, top of the lungs screaming, completely hostile to every other users, unwilling to accept any negative or positive commentary tweens/teenagers/young adults who proceed to flood into other games and play with the same mindset in call of duty. BECAUSE of the game's accessbility, it results in just one too many otherwise mentally unhealthy people to flood the online airwaves with their hatred and rage, ruining what would otherwise be a fun time for other people. It's not that CoD's the only series guilty of it, but it just happens to be the biggest 'magnet' for these kinds of people.

-The lack of general 'variety' in gameplay for the multiplayer... The Single Player provides an otherwise nifty thrill ride of action in the CoD games, but multiplayer rarely extends outside of 'shoot the enemy to win' rather than 'apply various tactics' to win. Perhaps, at best, knowledge of the map and properly employing positioning and placement within the map is something used well in the CoD games, but the lack of vehicles, 'large' maps, natural resources and again, lack of focus on teamplay, just results in a somewhat 'weaker' and less engaging multiplayer experience. There's bonding to be had between a group of friends playing the game, but I feel you have to go elsewhere to feel a genuine sense of satisfaction in the overall effort from a team effort

-And last but not least, Call of Duty has sort of become a front runner for 'this is a video game' when people outside the gaming industry 'think' or 'see' or 'hear' about what a video game is. Because of its popularity and install base, it results in so many people believing that CoD is all there is to gaming that CoD only players themselves 'scoff' at the idea of playing anything else or non-gamers look at gamers with the judgement of 'Oh, video games, you mean those violent war shooting things that my 13 year old plays?'

For things that CoD does right, there's a list with just enough things to point out its problems. Like most games out there, it is not a flawless gem. To the credit of Jim though, he did reinforce what is good about the series...

...And I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy the 'ride' that Modern Warfare 1 and 2 provided. I'm hoping maybe there will be a remotely similar experience, if not a better one, in MW3 that I can tackle the single player... And move on and never touch the game again.

Mantonio:
Because they're one of the companies that HAS the money and trust to truly innovate, but they don't. Thus reinforcing the 'Only games like CoD (as it is now) sell' idea among shareholders. If they bothered to try be a little more creative, I have no doubt that a lot more risks would be accepted by them.

I can see both sides of the argument here.

Undeniably, COD is Activision's flagship cash cow. Having said that, I don't think a developer should be forced to 'innovate' for the sake of innovation.

Bioware specifically said that they wanted CoDs audience. They went after them, instead of sticking with the loyal fanbase they had built up.

I think every developer wants a 'COD' audience. All that money makes bringing Game ideas to life easier. A COD audience is also very diverse, passionate and accessible: these are good things for any franchise. Never mind the assholes, there are a lot of cool people in the COD community.

I can't speak for DA2, I never really followed its development. For ME, Bioware have stated that its shooter elements will inevitably be compared to the best shooters on the market, therefore they wish to polish it up to par. This does not infer making the experience derivative of COD.

tl;dr People try and copy CoD, and ignore their main demographic and make a poorer product. True most of the blame lies with those developers for playing follow the leader, but CoD isn't exactly known for its innovation either.

DA2 has none of the appeal of COD. The general consensus with DA2 is that they tried to fix the issues DA1 had, but went about it the wrong way and were rushed.

*sigh*

So far, Ive pretty much just seen people hating on Jim Sterling because he's a person who doesnt jump on the "Games have to be art" hipster trend, and evaluates things realistically. Just like movies, some people dont enjoy entertainment for their story purposes. Some people, and this may shock some of you, play games for their GAMEPLAY. Shocking new premise, I know. But it's totally true.

And Call Of Duty being a popular franchise, therefore it doesnt need defending? Obviously you've never discussed Call of Duty on the Escapist and other high-brow gaming communities. If you openly admit to liking CoD, you get mocked. Go to any gaming forum. So, while it is popular, people who enjoy it are told they are shrieking teenagers, and looked down on. If its not sophisticated, then people who enjoy it arent either is the mentality.

Do I like story games? Yes. But I dont need a game where story and gameplay go hand in hand, or like LA Noire, where gameplay is shot in the face for story.

I play games for fun. Gameplay above all else. I dont like CoD's shooting, Im a Halo fan myself, but its still pretty much the same concept. "Halo is mainstream, therefore its bad". Makes me want to throw things at people.

Not a single person here has really refuted what Jim said, other than by personally attacking him, or saying "You dont need to protect CoD, its popular". If you dont like his show, then go watch Extra Credits over analyze Tetris. Instead of posting, week after week, how bad his show is, and his ideas are

This guy's videos are so awesome! Looking forward to the next one, Jim!

The reason COD is annoying is because games like battlefield present warfair so much better.
Reasons why COD is bad

1: RANDOM SPAWNING, this has to be the single biggest problem in FPS games set in a historic / present day theme. Soldiers on the battlefield do not pop up out of thin air. they are deployed, garrisoned, in other words they start at arbitrary point A, and other soldiers start at arbitrary point B. What im getting at is all modern conflicts are team based and deploy troops to locations.

2: MAP SIZE, maps in FPSs on the 360 are small, and I understand that this is due to limitations of the 360 itself. When you have a small map, the problems that arise are location specific camping. this is clever the 1st few times some one does it, and its true that in modern situations soldiers try to gain the advantage with terrain. The problem is that some of the choke points on COD sized maps make it futile to push though, when in a larger map you could put pressure else where to force the campers to move. This ties into problem 3...

3: DEATH MATCH, this is not so much a problem with COH as it is with FPS in general. Death match, while fun, is a rather pointless mode. It alright in Halo, and less realistic shooters because they are not grounded in reality. The problem in death match with the COD is that it makes no damn sense. Armies do not just try to wipe each other out, they try to control territory. Objective based FPS is superior to death match because it requires team work, and allows people to participate that are not the best twitch flex gamers. this is why capture the flag modes are soooo damn fun in any FPS. Dont get me wrong, Death Match is enjoyable and should still be in every FPS, but as far as match making and ranked ladders, Team Based Objective games should be the primary indicator of player skill.

What happens when you fix all of these issues? You get teams that spawn in a designated base with a clear set of objectives to capture and hold territory while fighting against opponents with the exact same goal. The maps are also large enough that its possible to camp AN objective, but not possible to camp the whole map. Also this allows for vechical play.

This allows for more types of people to play the game. The hardcore FPS players with lighting fast reflexes are still important, however players that are better at stratigic thinking can choose how to place said, twitch flex gamers. as well as commander level players can create custom objectives and engage in chess like battles with rival commanders. This is the apex of what a good FPS should be.

Mabye you think this is just an opinion, and to some extent it is. But answer me this truthfully, which do you get more satisfaction from.

Working as a Team in a complex and dynamic situation to accomplish a goal. (like CTF), and knowing that even though you were not the 'star' of the show, your presence helped achieve something that would have been impossible alone.
OR
Head shooting people as they spawn from behind a staircase.

If you think the choice is to much of a loaded question, then feel free to state something you feel you get more accomplishment out of in a death match than the above CTF example.

Mantonio:

Bioware specifically said that they wanted CoDs audience. They went after them, instead of sticking with the loyal fanbase they had built up. That, along with their excuse for a head writer saying this:

it seems like every conversation on the internet gravitates towards DA:2 being a sellout. I'm a little tired of this. I know some people are pissed off that DA:2 wasn't baldur's gate 2.76354, but such is life.

Mantonio:
tl;dr People try and copy CoD, and ignore their main demographic and make a poorer product. True most of the blame lies with those developers for playing follow the leader, but CoD isn't exactly known for its innovation either.

precisely. let's face it. everything we have ever seen in the single player of every CoD & MoH game can at the very least be traced back Medal of honor allied assault. If you ask me nothing has changed in the last decade when it has come to these game. they all play the same, feel the the same(atmosphere wise) & sound the same. The only thing that has changed are the graphics and resultant size of explosions.

Ukomba:
He seems awfully but sore over this.

butthurt** Lrn2internet.

Mr. Omega:
You're defending CoD on the Escapist, one of the most sequel-phobic, anti-mainstream, "popular is bad (Unless it's Valve)", indie-snobby sites on the internet... that takes balls.

It kind of comes across when you read the forum rules and it says at a part that they're, and I quote: "The Escapist forums are different from other forums on the internet. We try to maintain a system that balances intelligent discussion, debate and fun."

Wanna be a little more hipster and start penalising people that post elsewhere?

lovest harding:

Trishbot:
COD is not hated for being "popular", and those that don't like it aren't all grouped into the same pretentious camp. Most COD-haters used to BE COD-lovers, but the game was diluted, diminished, and ultimately ruined from iteration to iteration.

"Call of Duty" is currently the most popular shooting game, and possibly franchise, in the world, and I struggle to see why it NEEDS "defending". There are so many games that need awareness, defense, and discussion, ranging from the artistic merits of L.A. Noire, to the untapped potential of the Enslaved franchise, to the jarring changes made to Dragon Age 2, to the bold originality of Mirror's Edge, to the emotional resonance of Okami, Limbo, Silent Hill, ICO, Shadow of the Colossus, Beyond Good & Evil, Psychonauts, and even games as brilliant yet divisive as Brutal Legend, Assassin's Creed, Bayonetta, Deadly Premonition, and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow.

The merits of those games are worthy of discussion, debate, focus, awareness, and consensus.

Just want to say that is beautifully worded and I support this idea 100%.

I second this notion.

Anybody who says their hatred for Activision doesn't contribute significantly towards their hating on COD is a flat out liar.

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