The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I've seen and heard a lot of gamers are going to skip the
latest installment of Call of Duty Black Ops II, set for a midnight release in
just a couple of hours. For a series that has broken sales records each year a
new title has shipped for the past couple of episodes dating back to the
original Modern Warfare, is this the year the series finally fails to do that?
Obviously we won't know for a day or two, but it will be interesting to see how
the events transpire. Especially since just last week we were reading about how
the video game sales slid for the 11th straight month and in October
alone they dropped by 25%. (More on that here.)
I for one will be contributing to the success / failure of
the game as once again I find myself preparing to head out the door long after
all of my co-workers are snug in their beds. Well, the non-gamer co-workers
that is. I wonder if you can count the success of the year in terms of video
game releases by the number of midnight launches you attend...this makes three
for me...or is it four?
I don't know what it is about Call of Duty that keeps me
coming back. I've practically given up on the multiplayer and the single player
campaigns seem to get shorter and more outlandish, but I do. Actually I do know
and I have two blogs waiting to publish on the topic. One is on Medal of Honor
Warfigher and the other is on Spec Ops: The Line. I guess what it is that keeps
me coming back is I just like military shooters. In fact, I admit this in my
MoH blog...I am biased. I've always enjoyed shooters since my early days of
gaming and growing up with Wolfenstein and Doom, and now that I'm in the
military, I just enjoy them. I don't expect everyone to of course. And despite
what some say, there is no denying it is a popular genre; and there is no
denying Call of Duty is a popular game. Facts are facts...it sells and people
play it. This can be proven, or should I say...is proven. I guess that gives me
hope that Black Ops II and my journey out into the cold dark night are not a
waste of time and money.
The last time I ventured out this late was for the midnight
release of Halo 4. Overall I'm pleased with the game, even if the launch was
uneventful. Given tonight is a weeknight coming off of a long weekend, I'm sure
this one will be mostly uneventful for me too. If you read my blog about the
events of that night, then you know I basically took a lot of notes and a
timeline of the events, and shared that in the blog. Tonight will be no
different...be back in a little while and see you then.
Captain's Log Stardate
11/12/2012 - Our destination is the local Game Stop located at Harbor View
East district currently being occupied by a band of renegades and vagabonds calling
11:00 PM -
Departed home base a little later than I normally like to for midnight
releases, but since the Halo 4 release was lackluster and there wasn't a lot
going on, I didn't think I'd miss much by going later. This would prove to be
true. The temperature was much warmer, a mild 64 degrees. Perfect weather for
standing in line listening to likeminded individuals mill about, talking about
11:15 PM -
Arrived on station. There are only about 20 people hanging out, including one
who has commandeered a shopping cart and has decided to use it as a chair. We
(kids + me) go right in and pre-pay to speed things along when midnight rolls
around. As I feared but expected, there are no big events like previous Call of
Duty midnight releases. Let me jot that down as a potential topic for a future
(The only gamer t-shirt I saw tonight...and it was being worn by my son)
11:23 PM -
Overheard... "Gamers are really short."
I look around and notice...wow, gamers are really short. I mean, a number of the
people waiting are teenagers, but I barely hit the 6' mark and I feel like a
giant compared to many of the gamers that are standing in line. Hmm...maybe in
addition to causing violence, do video games stunt your growth? I'm kidding of
course. I've known plenty of tall gamers, but just an observation of the
11:30 PM - Okay...so
I'm bored and decided to count how many people are in this line, 30 minutes
prior to the game being released to the public. I count roughly 60 males,
ranging in age, size, shape and color...and only 7 females. I think most of the
females are here with someone but there is a girl in line behind us by herself...and
I think my son is checking her out. Watch out boy, I think she could take you...
11:35 PM -
Overheard... "All I'm going to do this week
is eat, sleep, work and play Black Ops II. I don't think I can pencil you in
man." I chuckle. Tangos before bros, I suppose.
11:40 PM - So, I'm
a bit surprised. I thought this midnight release was going to have a far less
turnout than Halo 4, but here it is 20 minutes before midnight and the line is
starting to grow. I'm guessing it's at about 100 people right now.
11:45 PM - The
guy in front of me is "that guy" - is upset there is nothing exciting going on...specifically,
no DJ and no free t-shirts. Goes on a rant about "should have just went to Wal Mart...there was no line there." I
start to respond and he walks off when I'm in mid-sentence, but I don't mind...
11:50 PM - Hey
guys...guys... I know there are lots of people not liking Call of Duty anymore, but
this line has gotten much longer...we're forming up now getting ready for the
door to open and there are about 200 people in line. Definitely longer than Halo
4. I haven't seen the line this long at a midnight release at this Game Stop
since Modern Warfare 2.
11:55 PM - A Game
Stop employee is giving a way Black Ops II lanyards and posters. Of course I
grab one of each. I'm all about the free stuff. It's a good thing the line is
about to go as somebody without a cellphone to occupy their time decided to set
off his car alarm, then stop it, then start it, then stop it...over and over. It's
pretty annoying and I think this crowd might show their displeasure if they
find out who is doing it.
(What most of us are doing while waiting...except for me, I'm taking notes and pictures)
12:00 PM - Line
is moving. People are happy.
12:12 PM - Game in
hand and we're on our way. The clerk mentions something about Nuketown. Meh. I'll
figure it out when I get home. Final count looked to be 200-250 people in line.
Might not seem like a lot, but it is considering this is a small town and there
are multiple Game Stops.
12:30 PM - Fired the
game up, and would you look at that. Another game I picked up at midnight on
the day of the release, load the game up and have to wait for it to install a
patch before I can play. This one is a bit longer than the Halo 4 patch...but
still only takes a few minutes to download and install.
12:30 AM - I
watch my daughter play a few rounds of multiplayer action. The game is
beautiful and looks to offer a decent arsenal of weapons and some diverse maps.
The biggest complaint I (and others) had with the multiplayer is the problem
with you shooting someone multiple times and they still manage to shoot through
and kill you first. Well, that seems to make a return. My daughter got 3 hit
markers with a sniper rifle...nice clean shots...but still didn't kill the guy. It
appears a fully automatic machine gun with a big clip is going to be your best
friend. Haven't observed any ridiculous knifings from across the map just yet.
I'll play the single player campaign in the coming days and will post an update
down the road. For right now though, it's stable, looks fairly good...and my
guess is...on track to break some records...again.
For what it's worth, my daughter is enjoying it...says it's
better than the original one...and when pressed for a score, rates it a 7 or 8,
compared to Halo 4 which she rates a 9. She likes dual wielding the KAP 40, but
thinks they're overpowered and will be nerfed in no time. Everything else seems
mostly balanced from what I've seen.
Okay folks, back to work tomorrow and I need to get to bed.
If you got the game, I hope you're enjoying it. If you're on the fence about
it, I'd recommend trying the demo or perhaps renting it from the Redbox. And if
you're absolutely refusing to play it, you might be passing up on the next
video game industry's blockbuster hit of the year.