Jimquisition: Defending Call of Duty

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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.

Anyway, the defenses have been pretty good. It's not the best defense, but it's good. And I do not like the whole "CoD players are dicks" mentalities.

I was wondering if I was the only one who thought that this was the wrong website audience for this topic...

You got better Jim. Good job.

Clips of games make it more entertaining too than just watching you at a podium.

Episodes have been improving.
I enjoyed this one.

My problem with Call of Duty is that there is no way to distance yourself from the bulk of the killing and still be effective. I know that sounds like a retarded complaint for a shooter, but that's the reason I don't like many shooters. Even in objective based missions, you are only effective if you are killing and avoiding death. I have felt that halo does a slightly better job with the inclusion of vehicles, but even those end up being used mostly for killing. I would much prefer CoD if there was some way to hang back and provide support for my team that doesn't involve the use of a gun.

I know why this isn't ever used, but I still think it'd be cool if some players opted to be outside the field and were seriously just at a computer screen and designated the targets and activation of kill streak bonuses that the fighters earned. Everyone would hate it because they feel that they earned the kill streak and should get to pick targets and when to use it, but that's what I think would be awesome.

I'm happy that there is someone defending COD, but I disagree with a few points.
Singleplayer is one thing. COD 4 excellently showed that a narrative could be great in a COD game, but MW2 and Black ops are lacking. I just think that the 2 games moved too fast and didn't really develop one area. There are two major areas throughout COD 4, Russian countryside and Arabic town (plus a few exceptions) and I never got bored of it. But in MW2 you spend, at most, 2 levels per area and in Black ops, only one level. For instance, the Kowloon level was awesome but went by too quickly for me to truly enjoy it. It could have been longer or been done in a second level.
Also, when it comes to multiplayer, COD 4 is great and Black Ops is pretty good, but I can't stand MW2 multiplayer. And yes, I know it's been said a million times before, but I think MW2 multiplayer is unbalanced. And yes one big reason is the noobtube. It's just too powerful and too easy to use. I understand it helps new people be integrated into the game, but people seem to only use that when I played and it was hard to counter, since it was pretty accurate, could kill you instantly in a pretty generous range, and could be reloaded infinitely. And past that there are more inbalances too, like some other overpowered weapons and fucked up killstreaks.

was there a cheese reference ... i'm not poking fun at anything weight related ... but eating cheese doesn't put you in the 'degenerate' slot of society ... at least not right now ... maybe soon

it doesn't matter what hobbies or pass times anyone is interested in and to be dissed on for enjoying one game in comparison to another is silly, but it's silly to the point of common sense ... pointless vid? maybe, but then comes the whole 'you're buying the same damn game 6 years in a row ... were you held back?' reason to be made fun of and i find it justified

especially justified if a gamer purchases every madden year after year ... there couldn't be a dlc to change rosters and playbooks could there? nope, milk that cow dry while you can ea ... while you can



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 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.

Well when one says "everyone" that implies that well "every single person" hates on Extra Credits... and to fully answer your question I must explain that I have been watching Yahtzee and Movie Bob since they came to the escapist, and as such only recently branched out to the other video series offered here (I followed them to the escapist).

To give this some context, having of watched all the Extra Credit videos I will state that for the most part I found them informing, and insightful, as you have said. Mind you, my professional interest in video games has been in retail (brief stent at Gamestop middle/upper management). As a hobby a moddest modder with simulation (typically) being what I play... although I have owned (I think) every video game system that has ever been commercially available. As far as programming, my only working experience (as a programmer/designer) is the guidance systems for military equipment (hard and soft design) which is well, very similar to game design. Beyond that I hold several federal licenses concerning the construction and maintenance of civil and military equipment.

Specifically my issue is the EC video "myth of the gun", which too me, was the worst type of video I would normally relegate to the YouTube amateur hour, and for a couple of reasons. My experience with the subject matter concerning military equipment and military service, as well as, "Japanization" go far beyond what EC (green shirt guy) has credible experience with. I did not want to pre-judge anything in the video. However, there were just to many correlation's presented that do not stand up to inspection or utility of correlation, and just as you said about Jim, EC this time around, and in this video, were on the slippery slope of opinion being presented as fact.

In Jim's defense (and I have only watched 2 of his video's, this one being 1 of the 2) he states several times that this is "his opinion", and that gives him some wiggle room in the realm of subjectivity. Thats the beauty of being a critic on the front end. The only limited defense I would afford Jim is that he strikes me as looking for his "voice", as an actor or mass communications /drama major/professional. To say 'thats really Jim' would be somewhat missing the mark I would think. As a professional "hard core" critic? No, I am not obliged to agree with that statement. A good game critic is like a Foodie on Iron Chef, they must know a LOT about the subject matter, and perhaps cook, to properly act or be accepted as peer review... this is often missing from reviews and review sites, beyond that is simply taste and learning if a critic has the same taste as yourself. Try to bear in mind that 'knowing a lot' and 'being a know it all' are two very different things.

Much of the information presented in the EC video was either 'tag line' non sequitur or factually inaccurate. This was unfortunate, simply due to the fact that EC is generally, pretty good at what they do. It was to me an F performance (and I am not the only one that pointed this out), from a series that before that video had not done worse than a C+ / B- before. I suspect that the reason for this was that James was not involved with the video, and green shirt kid, was left holding the bag and needed to meet a deadline. Baring that my next argument is that he (green shirt) does not have a very good grasp of the information that is in front of him, and rather than doing any real research scrambled for some 'wiki links' to cover his ass, and it came off very white bread middle class weeaboo to me (urban slang) or Oriental-ism considering the context of the video, though to be fair, falls somewhere in between.

If the next EC video is that poor, I won't be watching it anymore in the future, so it won't be my problem. As far as Jim is concerned, I don't see myself going out of my way to watch him yet, not in the same way that I drink afternoon coffee with the excitement of watching Yahtzee every Wednesday, and too a slightly lessor extent Bob. I am obviously not in high school so high school opinion does not carry the weight that it perhaps does with others... its a matter of target audience, and EC missed it with me.

Now, look again at my comment, I said mouthwash...

Do you keep mouthwash in your mouth all day? Do you drink it?

No, no...

What it was, (this video), was decent, and honest, honestly refreshing coming off EC's dribble, and in many ways far superior to the other video I have watched of his. It's still mouthwash, hardly a good wine but it's getting there, the kid has some talent.

Thanks, I will definetly implement correct changes not to sound like an ass on this community, so thank you very much, you've been very informitive.

I'm not going to lie, adding COD footage to the video so we have something flashy to look at while he makes his points definitely helps.

My favorite JimQ video so far.



Excellent points. I understand the power fantasy angle, as I'm not exempt from that. I just get more power fantasy jolly from shooting lighting out of my hands than wielding an AK-47 with an attached grenade launcher.

Ah, but the fundamental difference is that (with the AK-47) you are exerting your power - dominance - over others. ... They say the biggest aspect of COD is the multiplayer, and all that comes down to the simple fact people want to try and be the alpha male and exert their dominance over everyone else. The game even facilitates this with the killcam. It's quite literally teabagging you for your death at someone else's hand.

You got me there. I'm not a particularly competitive person. Most of the time, I'd rather drop into a power fantasy that is about me vs. the world (single player) or me and my friends vs. the world (co-op). I can definitely get into a serious competitive multiplayer session every once in a while (I particularly enjoyed the multiplayer in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood) but all in all, the competitive multiplayer aspect doesn't have the same draw for me as it does (apparently) so many others.


Here is the crunch, the reason why i take issue with the consistency of Bioshock over the oddball moments of something like COD. Consistency of setting is not paramount to the immersion of the player. It's consistency of gameplay and to a lesser extent, consistency with how you expect a situation to change or react if it were in a real life scenario. None of us can shoot fire from our fingertips, but we would expect a certain outcome because of our knowledge of fire. Using the above example of multiplayer, it felt inconsistent because two players shooting grenades, rockets, shotgun shells, swarms of bees and fireballs don't know when either of them are going to die first. It's an "everything but the kitchen sink" method of combat that can make the player feel isolated from his or her own input. There is no real feedback. You could kill one guy in one shot, then have to dump everything into the next guy simply because of a difference in health. As a direct result, the combat is not as fluid as COD, where you know exactly what the score is. Everyone has a sliver of life and everyone will go down in one or two shots. This branches onto my main gripe about the inconsistencies with Bioshock's campaign. Yes you expect mutant splicers to take a payload to the face, but where the world is inconsistent is how in one 'level' or area it only takes a few pistol shots to drop a splicer, but in the next it takes several shotgun blasts to drop one or maybe more. I understand it's an arbitrary method of increasing the difficulty, but it makes the gameplay feel inconsistent, like the rules have suddenly been changed. This can frustrate the player. Going back to your earlier point about consistency of setting, what about games with diverse environments? You could be playing something like Bulletstorm where one minute you're in a space ship and the next you're outside in a lavish jungle, and then after that you're in a disco nightclub. The setting is far from inconsistent, but if anything, it's likely more pleasing to the player than having the same old thing thrown at them. Yet it's the gameplay that remains consistent. You know what the leash is going to do, you know how much damage your weapons will do, you know what enemy is cannon fodder and what requires more firepower. This keeps the game more consistent than Bioshock where the enemies for some inexplicable reason suddenly gain in power, meaning they require double the amount of shotgun blasts by the face while the player does not.

I definitely take your point about what is and isn't important being subjective. Narrative and gameplay hold different values of importance to different people, just like how some people play Mass Effect for the lore and the story and some people play it because it's a functional third person shooter. The environmental and gameplay mechanic inconsistencies may not bug people as much so long as it has a functional and consistent story.

Finally i would argue that, despite its more outlandish moments, COD's story was consistent. Perhaps not with reality, but it knew what it was and it stuck to its guns. The whole way through (MW, MW2, Black Ops) it was viciously self-aware of its heavily action based B-movie conspiracy plot complete with Jack Bauer moments and it played on that. It didn't try to be serious. (Being able to draw 'serious' messages about the nature of warefare is incidental) The fact it kept this wacky tone throughout means that it was consistent with itself, plotwise. Even if it did go for realism in gameplay and fantasy in story.

In regards to the "ramping up" of enemies as you move through the game, it didn't really strike me as so inconsistent. You make a really good point, but I just assumed that since modifying yourself with Adam gradually made you stronger, the splicers could grow stronger too, and it makes sense that Ryan would keep the stronger ones closer to his sanctum.

Yeah... I know it seems like I'm grasping at straws, and it really comes down to the age-old "RPG problem" wherein it really doesn't make to much sense that by taking an "endgame" character back to a starting area you are effectively a god. But, with the Adam as a plot device, I think Bioshock gets around this problem better than most games with RPG-style character power growth.

In terms of the Bioshock vs. MW2 scenario we keep revisiting, they both have their challenges in terms of immersion and maintaining suspension of disbelief:

-MW2 tells me that two well-aimed pistol shots mean death but a ridiculous snowmobile jump will leave me, my friend, and my vehicle sitting pretty. This makes no sense.

-Bioshock tells me that certain "people" can take multiple shotgun blasts before they die and these "people" become even more resilient as I get deeper into the city. If I ask "Why?" it expects me to accept a "Ryan made it happen" or "it's because of the Adam" plot device as a sufficient answer.

I find the latter to be less immersion-breaking because I value the consistency of how the rules that govern my character in terms of story also govern my character in terms of gameplay, and vice-versa. Like you said, it really comes down to subjective importance. In a game that prominently features a story, I place a lot of emphasis (maybe too much) on the narrative quality of the game and I believe that the rules of the narrative should govern the gameplay. As such, I'm more willing to accept gameplay/plot devices like "Adam makes it work" than I am willing to accept gritty realistic gameplay back-to-back with over-the-top unrealistic narrative.

Hmm, this just now makes me realize that World at War may be the one of the most overall consistent games I've ever played, and even though I didn't realize it at the time, it was arguably one of the most immersing gaming experiences I've had.

Asuka Soryu:
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.

I only come for the comments. I hate the dude, but usually only comment after reading all the comments at the time and see the gist of the episode through the comments.
I recall one of the previous comments [a older videos of his] coming from a bunch of people was that they only also came for the comments, but every time they click the proper place to see the comments, it counts as a video view, not a page view.

You're right a lot of things, Jim. CoD is a great game. The multi mood was fun for a time, but yeah, some people are swearing teens, who needs a good slay; they ruin it for me. There is nothing worse then being called names by some kid who got the worse K/D and is the highest level only because he played a lot.

The newest CoD is a drain. The money plus level to get your weapons, is annoying; and really took me away form the game. I would of rather payed for it with a higher cost depending at level or powers it had.

On that topic, I found CoD to be a big grind. Alot of the newer shooters are though... It's painful. Give me the older Class based with no changing gear any day~

Frankly CoD has become a little over baring and samey. I enjoyed the way CoD 3's online played and the style MW had, but now it's just the same thing with new or more weapons and on a new map.

Those are my complaints to the CoD style of game play. I'm by now someone has posted something like this, in their own way. No matter~ I'm to lazy to read the 16 some pages.

Jim, I have to give it to you that took balls to make a video about. On The Escapist we are known for the levels of art snobbery and elitism that saying the most popular gaming franchise is good is going to cause some nerds on here to rage.

I love the COD series, they are fun and I am so sick of the idiots here saying I should be punished for liking the series.

The only time I hate CoD is when a new one is released and the next 6 months afterwards.
This is me and my friends BEFORE BlOps was released:

Me: "Hey, want to go on Red Dead?"
Friends: "Yeah! I love that game!"

M: "Bungie just added a new game type to REACH. Let's check it out!"
F: "Awesome!"

M: "Got anytime for some GTA?"
F: "Yes it's soo fun to mess about on their!!!"


M: "Hey, want to go on Red Dead?"
F: "pfft, CoDs so much better buy that"

M: "Hey, what happened to Halo?"
F: "God, that's the worst game ever, totally wripped off from CoD (which baffles me, as it's NOT)"

M: "Anything but CoD... Please?"
F: "What do you have in mind?"
M: "...uhhh... How about GTA?"
F: "It is not CoD, so no"

Everytime a new CoD is released, my Xbox Live becomes incredibly lonely. Yes, playing it is alright. I would play it too if I hadn't of had other games I wanted to play in my spare time, but really? My friends on weekends get up at 7:00am, and Play CoD until 9:00pm. Only now are about 50% of my friends playing something else, but with MW3 round the corner, I feel like I'm about to lose them again.

Thankfully 3 people said they don't want MW3, so I'll at least have th... oh, no wait.


thats all i got to say


"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a game which defined what a modern multiplayer shooter could be".

Wrong, that would be Team Fortress 2.

Jim is doing a great job of embarrassing himself. He didn't acknowledge any od the main reasons people tend to dislike COD.

Boring environments.
No innovative mechanics.
No teamwork


There's no reason that the game that you apparently prefer couldn't also define what a modern multiplayer shooter could be (since it isn't just one thing that defines what a modern multiplayer shooter is), although that doesn't make jim wrong.

However stating your own opinion as fact is actually quite wrong.
According to my own taste the only thing team fortress did right was it's colour palette.

Don't quote something from the first page.

Eh. I agree with it to a degree, though I dont like the fact that I do. I personally am not a big fan of Call of Duty. I thought Cod4 was very good. But MW2 didnt really do it for me. Not my cup of tea. But he is right(reluctantly) about some people bashing it, just cause its popular.

And I dont agree with his saying that MoH copied CoD. MoH was around before CoD, am I right? Or is he talking about the most recent installment, which I have not played.

He's complaining about elitism and snobbery? He has watched his own show right?

I do prefer the WW2 games instead of the MW games. Just have less interest in MW and the guns etc, just feels less interesting than the WW2 CoD games. Each to their own i guess. But what jim needs to realise is that a person can hate something that is popular. Like for instance i really dont like GTA4, although i loved Vice City.

Yellow hat ftw!

Really good episode, I agree with the points made.
Sure CoD games arent the best or most innovative games on the market, but they are not bad games by any means.
I really enjoyed the imitation of the "im better than the mainstream" guy, I knew someone like that once - he refused to listen to any music that made the top 20 chart, and would change his opinion on something if it became popular.
I always thought attitudes like that were hypocritical - "I don't like that everyone likes this and follows it like sheep without having justified reasons - so I'll automatically dislike it without having any justifiable reasons".

Holy Smokes this was BAD.

And I don't mean BAY-YAD!

I mean "What colour shoe polish were you drinking when you thought that up!?" BAD.

This is the LAST time I will watch this show (promise); Sorry Jim but you had you're chance and you failed!


Yeah I've never really cared for Call of Duty myself but I'm not bothered by its popularity. Does kinda bug me how many studios insist on copying its style and design though but the lack of originality across the industry is hardly the fault of any single series of popular titles.



"Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is a game which defined what a modern multiplayer shooter could be".

Wrong, that would be Team Fortress 2.

Jim is doing a great job of embarrassing himself. He didn't acknowledge any od the main reasons people tend to dislike COD.

Boring environments.
No innovative mechanics.
No teamwork


There's no reason that the game that you apparently prefer couldn't also define what a modern multiplayer shooter could be (since it isn't just one thing that defines what a modern multiplayer shooter is), although that doesn't make jim wrong.

However stating your own opinion as fact is actually quite wrong.
According to my own taste the only thing team fortress did right was it's colour palette.

Don't quote something from the first page.

I'll quote from were ever I like thanks ;).

He's complaining about elitism and snobbery? He has watched his own show right?

Yeah i'm pretty sure that's the joke : /

I do have to say that the videos are at least getting better (far less pathetically drawn penis infused pictures, thank christ). But the thing is, you only talked about 1 game in the Call of Duty series, so you're not so much defending CoD as you are just defending Modern Warfare. And (from what I've heard, so don't quote me on this) many people believe that the first modern warfare is better then the 3 installments that came after it (minus zombie mode, loove the zombie mode), hell even Yahtzee said the first MW was pretty good (and that no2 and Black Ops was a non-stop foreigner kill fest). So yeah, essentially a good video, but next time incorporate the REST of the CoD series, and maybe draw more comparisons to other games and not just a quick scene from Metal Gear (because we all know that shit is bannanas).

My reason for hating CoD? Let's go:

- Essentially the same game released on a yearly basis.
- £10 map packs. (As you mentioned)
- Terrible post-launch support, sure they get lots of map packs out but at least in the case of Black Ops I still can't actually play the game due to crippling framerate issues. (My computer fits the required specs)

I don't have much of an issue with the community for the game personally though.

My problem with COD is that it is not a such good multiplayer. Master one, you master all of them, mechanics are almost the same since COD II. Also I'm getting older, I kind remember when a studio split Medal of Honor to do the COD series, bad jornalism Jim, simply bad.
COD single player is a blast of fun. Then multiplayer is torture. See one guy ccan make a team lose. Worse, one guy plays COD to get prestige too fast and then enters in any map, destroys noobs and curse at them! In psycology it's called obssessive behavior. There people playing this game just to do that. To show off skills in an imaginary game. It's like a cult to this generation. Reckless tortuga (just see on youtube) is doing a hole series about this kind of people (pretty funny). Not that BF3 or TF2 don't have their addicts, but at least they are balanced enough not to allow the single super hero who out machtes an entire team.

Lol! Well Paced Narrative? COD:4's plot was great. Still replay the Campaign. Modern Warfare 2 was more of a Big Moments kind of plot, but it's still a good continuation. But Black Ops? Mercer's Story is all over the place, not paced well at all, and for the most part is trite cliche anyway...

Doesn't mean I didn't like it. I loved the fact that my main character wasn't all there. It was a wonderful change from super-manly overly gruff characters. Just saying the story had next to NO pacing in it.

-Raptor, out.

I actually liked this video, because I really like CoD, although I never defend it or get in to debates about it (because of the folk you mentioned in your video)

I kinda just hide away and play it >.>

Does it even need to be said that the vaguely effeminate straw-man character in the silly hat is an obnoxious, intellectuality dishonest, infuriatingly stupid way of making an argument?

Here's something that Idiot Straw-Man Guy didn't bring up: In terms of theme, the Call of Duty series is xenophobic, tonally inconsistent, and (with the exception of the post-nuke sequence in the first Modern Warfare) morally bankrupt. To point this out is not to say "I hate fun feh feh feh," or whatever. It's just to say that games, like all media, mean things--and that what the Modern Warfare games mean is a little queasy.

The games can still be fun, well-made, innovative, and so on. But let's call a spade a freakin' spade here.

While I can see where he's coming from with a lot of his points, I've never really been a fan of Call of Duty. I bought Modern Warfare, finished the single player campaign, tried the multiplayer, didn't like it and never played it again. However his points didn't make as much impact on me as his presentation did. I.E. Being loud and obnoxious to the point you'd want to punch him in the face.

16 pages but I'll reiterate this since I didn't see it on the first: the CoD story lines aren't all that bad. This is a game all about modern war, and they articulate it with the shades of grey it deserves. No it's not a perfect commentary or even a particularly good one, but at least it's not Duke Nukem blowing away terrorists like an all-American badass.

This man is a hero for risking the wrath of CoD haters.

I can't say I approve of the way the franchise is handled - personally I'd be happier to see one company dealing with it rather than flicking between Treyarc and Infinity Ward - and there are some concerns I've had over the balance of matchmaking.

Personally it's gotten to a point where it's hard for me (and I suspct others) to tell whose following a crowd by claiming to hate it and who actually has legitimate reasons for disliking the series. So rampant is the hate that everyone gets classified as a troll until providing their 'not a troll' ID card it seems.

@ Jim Sterling
Why do you feel the need to bring the "art" subject in everything you talk about?
Consider this: what does CoD being shit have to do with art-games at all? It's not like they're the reason people are getting sick of running in circles in the same fishtank maps and shooting dudes for countless hours, is it?

I'd take that as unintentional humor (like that guy in The Big Lebowski who can't stop taking about Vietnam) if your opinion about art-games weren't so stupid in the first place; people want innovation/new directions for the interactive medium, so what? Is it bad because some art-games are pretentious? Will CoD-like games stop being made?
Why can't the interactive medium be more than just "fun", and what gives you the authority to say such things?

Seriously, shut up about your "art issues"...

It's not the serie that I hate, it's what the serie is doing to the rest of the industry.

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