Friday, 21 April 2017

CoD:WWII - Perhaps the CoD to bring me back?

Call of Duty is going back to World War II, and that was enough to bring me out to write this. For those that know me, Call of Duty and Medal of Honor have a very special place in my heart. If it wasn’t for those games, I wouldn’t be who I am today, I wouldn’t have thought to ever get into the video game industry, and I wouldn’t have met a whole lot of people I call friends.

Call of Duty going back to its roots in WWII, for me, is a great thing… if done right. And that’s what worries me the most. I have no doubt in my mind that Sledgehammer has made a great game, from what it sounds like, the amount of effort they’ve put into the story side of this game makes me happy and less worried they’re gonna somehow tie it to other games within the CoDverse. My problem with CoDs as of late have never been with the campaign… that’s a lie, the last Campaign I thought was “good” was actually Advanced Warfare, Blops3 was a little too disjointed, I didn’t touch Ghosts or Infinite Warfare. My problem with CoDs as of late has been the multiplayer, and that’s where I’m worried.

I’m worried about multiplayer for a couple reason, the biggest being this: the target audience for Call of Duty since MW3 has been eSports and kids aged 12-16 who somehow manage to get their parents to buy them the game. People who had been playing Call of Duty since Call of Duty came out in 2003 have not been the target audience for the games, at least in my eyes. This is a problem for both us and them. For us, we have to worry about whether or not whatever they’re about to reveal is going to have gameplay like CoD’s roots back with CoD1-4, or if they’re going to continue down the path of multiplayer that has become the norm for CoD in the last 4-5 games. For them, if they do indeed go back to their roots with how multiplayer gameplay works, the target audience won’t be the group that has spent the money to keep CoD going for the last 4-5 games, but the hesitant group that are the CoD players from back in the day, weary of another cut and paste multiplayer eSports based multiplayer.

My main worry isn’t whether or not the target audience is going to change, its that if they are indeed going back to their roots with this game, that means huge gameplay elements of multiplayer that almost everyone has been used to in recent years… should be stripped from the game. I’m not worried that they might do that, in fact I welcome killstreaks, deathstreaks, ridiculous perks, stupid weapon attachments, and all of the other crap that has clouded CoD recently be stripped out of multiplayer; I’m worried they won’t in order to keep the audiences happy. Some of these are core gameplay elements since CoD4 came out, and by all means, CoD4 is still in my top 10 all time video games (which includes other CoDs mind you), but they are core elements in a modern to future warfare CoD multiplayer. I’ll admit, there are probably a couple “killstreaks” that would make sense in WWII if done properly, but the good majority of kill and death streaks don’t make sense and have just made CoD so gimmicky recently.

Let me sum up with what I want and hope for out of CoD:WWII multiplayer.
  1. No perks 
  2. No weapon addons that don’t make sense for WWII 
  3. A careful curation of kill and death streaks 
  4. A wide array of period only weapons that are balanced but not equal in power
  5.  Slower gameplay, close to what CoD, UO, and 2 were 
  6. Making sure that the multiplayer isn’t designed just with eSports in mind, but the entire playerbase 
  7. No future bullshit in multiplayer at all, don’t even try and alter something from previous CoDs just to put it in 
  8. Keep it real, keep to CoD’s roots 
  9. Make sure it’s fun… again
That’s it, that’s all I’ve got. Other than that, Glen or Michael or any of the SHG team, if you’re reading this, good luck, I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Make me want to play a Call of Duty again, you’re halfway there already with WWII as the timeframe.

-DontCallMeKelso

Thursday, 15 October 2015

SPECTRE - The Organization (and some possible spoilers about the film)

Ah SPECTRE, how long we've waited for you to come back into the BCU.

For those of you who weren't aware, over the last couple of decades a lawsuit has been playing out over the rights of the use of SPECTRE in Bond films. EON had "lost" it back when Never Say Never Again happened and had been fighting to get the rights to use it back. Then a few years ago the man who had the rights to it died and EON got the rights back. I'll be honest that's the really short version as I'm feeling lazy and it about sums it up anyhow.

Right, back to the point of the post: What was the importance of Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace in relation to the SPECTRE organization?

It all begins with QUANTUM, what we all speculated when Casino Royale came out was that QUANTUM was going to be the replacement for SPECTRE since EON at the time still hadn't gotten the rights back. Now that might have been true until the rights were retrieved for the use of SPECTRE, but now QUANTUM fits in a little differently.

As I see it QUANTUM was/is an organization under SPECTRE responsible for financing or helping to finance political projects of 3rd parties. This was seen during the first two movies of Daniel Craig's Bond.

Now, this is where Mr. White fits in, and this might contain some spoilers, but, Mr. White is/was a lieutenant in SPECTRE responsible for QUANTUM. Here's why I think this, if you've watched the trailers for SPECTRE Mr. White seems like he's hiding and on the run from SPECTRE, we know why (see next blog post about SPECTRE spoilers/break down of trailers) and during CR and QoS he was the man setting money in play without touching it, something high ranking members of SPECTRE like to do. After Bond discovers the members of QUANTUM during QoS at the opera, I believe QUANTUM got disbanded since they were discovered and Mr. White took the fall for it being responsible for the organization.

Some history for you all, since the movie is a few weeks away. SPECTRE stands for Special Executive for Counter-intelligence, Terrorism, Revenge, and Extortion, and yes, they do exactly what you think they do. We know that QUANTUM funded the "TRE" part of SPECTRE but back in the day there were many more uses for SPECTRE. In some of the early films we saw SPECTRE responsible for trying to extort money out of the major world powers and Bond had to foil their plans. We saw them try to heat up the Cold War and turn the US/UK directly against the USSR. What they'll do in the modern non-cold war era of the BCU is probably going to be similar to QUANTUM, funding terrorists, pinning countries and governments against each-other, sabotaging them from the inside out.

Possible SPOILERS ahead about SPECTRE the organization in relation to the upcoming film:
Let's move to SPECTRE itself and try to grasp how Bond/MI6 become aware of it. Up until the movie all MI6 was aware of was QUANTUM. I dont know why Bond is in Mexico at the beginning of the movie but the first thing he does according to the trailers is kill a member of SPECTRE which is how he gets the ring. Thus begins his hunt and I assume MI6's hunt to figure out what SPECTRE is.

Along the way we find out that Bond's childhood ski instructor's son is now at some high level within SPECTRE if not in charge. Even-though Waltz, who plays Franz Oberhauser, has said in interviews that he's not Blofeld in anyway, I still think the possibility is there that he perhaps becomes Blofeld towards the end of the movie. Anyhow that was full of spoilers.

The only other knowns about SPECTRE the org going into the film based on the trailers is the following:
1. Mr Hinx (Bautista) appears to be both a lieutenant and muscle for SPECTRE
2. Madeline Swan either works for SPECTRE or is being "held" to ensure that her father, Mr. White, doesn't do anything to compromise the organization (I'll cover this more in the next post)

One thing I believe we'll know more about is that SPECTRE has people everywhere, and this is what Bond is going to discover throughout the film and I believe will cause some tension "at home" at MI6.

What the movie is going to do is set up the BCU and franchise to use SPECTRE going forward as the enemy of the post Cold War world. I don't think they'd "one and done" with SPECTRE after the legal battle over it.

Anyhow, that's about all I've got on the subject going into the film.

Let me know what you think or if you have any questions about all this.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Who is James Bond? The Reboot and Skyfall Problem

Warning, this is sort of rambly.

Who is James Bond? A question seemingly easily answered, he’s 007, only child to Andrew and Monique who died in a mountain climbing accident when he was 11. This is one of the background aspects of James Bond’s life that has carried over from the novels into the film universe. Why am I asking the question “who is James Bond” then? It’s simple, in the Bond cinematic universe, it was never really established that the person we see in the role of James Bond, 007, was actually born to Andrew and Monique, the actors changed, the name stayed the same; but Skyfall changed everything and SPECTRE will change it more.

Never before have the films gone back to James Bond’s past to investigate family connections. As it is now, thanks to Skyfall, Daniel Craig’s James Bond is actually James Bond, child of Andrew and Monique, lived at Skyfall, his parents died when he was 11 and was orphaned. James Bond as we see on the screen now is in fact James Bond, his birth certificate would say so. “But Josh, it’s just a movie, and just another actor playing James Bond, it doesn’t matter!” Sure it does, and that’s the issue, imagine if you would, ever film before Daniel Craig took Walther, the actors playing 007 are playing someone, but in fact that person is not “James Bond” but perhaps “John Smith” and at some point in time there was a “James Bond” who was 007 and made such an impact in the intelligence climate that MI6 decided it needed to keep the idea of “James Bond” around. So every actor who played James Bond before Daniel Craig was just playing someone who had taken on the mantle of 007/James Bond to keep it alive. They’d do missions and eventually retire or die, then another person would be selected to become 007. It sounds like a stretch, and yes it is, but it makes sense.

Flash forward to Casino Royale, the opening scene of promoting the agent to 007, did Daniel Craig’s Bond just become Bond or was there something else going on? Take Casino Royale as the reboot of the franchise, a fresh slate for EON to start rebuilding and redefining who James Bond is and why he is how he is. Skyfall then defines Daniel Craig’s James Bond as James Bond in Skyfall as previously mentioned. We now, for the first time in the Bond Cinematic Universe (BCU, fuck you, I’m making this a thing) have someone who is legitimately James Bond.

Now if Casino Royale was indeed a reboot of the BCU, then whether or not everything that took place before Casino Royale in the BCU is in continuity/cannon now is unknown, since the only constant to those films was Dame Judi Dench’s M. I have a feeling that curve-ball is only because of contractual stipulations and to see if rebooting everything would work the rekindle the movie, and it did.

SPOILER ALERT (sort of)
SPECTRE will establish another part of Bond’s history, and again making the case for “what do we do after Daniel Craig?” The character being played by Christoph Waltz is Franz Oberhauser, son of Hannes Oberhauser, who, after Bond’s parents died, was Bond’s guardian during the school holidays who taught him to ski and was somewhat of a father figure to Bond. It just, like I said, throws another wrench into the whole “what next?” issue. [Stay tuned for another post all about SPECTRE and a lot of my assumptions about the movie and plot]

Now the real question, what will Barbara Broccoli and Michael G Wilson do post Daniel Craig? Will they establish what I said earlier how the idea and name of James Bond is so important to MI6 that they’ll just establish the next actor has taken the mantle and name of James Bond when they become the next 007? Will they introduce some sort of story of “the last James Bond/007 retired, we need you to become him”? Will they do another reboot? Personally, I hope they go with “there was someone before you, but we need you to become him” it makes the idea more important than the man. Skyfall wrote them into a corner they now need to figure out how to get out of.

That’s all for now.

Welcome to my ramblings

Hello and welcome to DontCallMeKelso.com, my blog/place of rambling.

I'll write about whatever I feel like, I really don't have a plan with this... okay that's a lie I have a plan for my first 4 posts, of which one is already written... I guess I should tell you about it. The first 4 posts, maybe 3, I haven't decided yet, will be about James Bond in build up for SPECTRE coming out soon. First post is about "who is James Bond" now that it's been rebooted. Second will cover SPECTRE the organization and how what's in the first 2 films of Daniel Craig's tenure affect it. The 3rd will be a possible spoilerific post about my predictions of the film and cover some back story. 

Anyhow, that's my quick little intro to the new blog.

I'll write an about page one of these days.

 If you want to follow me on Twitter you can do so by following me @JoshPeckler