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Overwatch has Become My Shooter of Choice

After playing a couple promising levels of Battlefield 1’s single-player campaign, I decided to jump over to multiplayer. While I hadn’t played a lot of Battlefield 4’s competitive modes, I’ve always been a fan of Battlefield and I spent quite a bit of time with Battlefield: Hardline’s multiplayer. I’ve never been great at it (I’m just not that good of a shooter player), but I always enjoyed the class-based system of Battlefield and the fact that I could be rewarded for playing support characters. I came to prefer it over Call of Duty and halo, primarily for that reason.
But then Overwatch came along. And much like Dark Souls did with RPGs for awhile, Overwatch has kind of ruined other shooters for me right now.

It took me about three matches of Battlefield 1 multiplayer to get sick of the meat grinder that involved me spawning and being sniped or destroyed by an explosion within thirty seconds, only to rise and repeat for the duration. And even though I was in a squad, the tendency of a lot of players to lone wolf in the giant maps of battlefield means my support activities (healing, providing ammo) can rarely be maximized.

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And so, it was back to Overwatch, where I am consistently rewarded for doing my job, and I can tangibly see the results of my contributions to the team. Whether I’m throwing up ice walls with Mei, keeping my teammates upright with Lucio, or making choke points impassable with Symmetra (who I am still learning), I get a lot of satisfaction in every match. Even in a loss it’s easy to understand what went wrong and how I might have done something differently.

Not that other shooters don’t reinforce team play. But with Overwatch, it’s woven into the DNA of the game so much that if you’re not interested in team play, the game really isn’t for you. Sure, there are some classes that are more lone wolf than others, but succeeding in Overwatch means that each person has to fulfill their role. And I love that.

Notice I haven’t even talked about the aesthetics of Overwatch, or the leveling and loot system. That because for me, all of those things are secondary to the core gameplay loop–work as a team, fulfill your role, be successful. I actually think the loot system is kind of broken, as the higher you level, the more frustrating it is to unlock items that you could care less about (sprays, skins for characters you never use, voice lines, etc.). It’s my one real grip about the game. But the moment to moment gameplay is so well crafted, I really don’t even care that much.

When From’s Souls series arrived, it took a while before I could enjoy other RPGs again without constantly comparing them to Demon’s Souls and Dark Souls. I find myself in a similar place now with Overwatch. Battlefield 1 is not enough to pull me away, and I don’t think Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be, either. And with Overwatch’s new character Sombra being announced this week, the game just keeps giving players reasons to be excited about it. I don’t see me putting Overwatch down anytime soon.

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Co-Op Critics Podcast: Black Ops III and The Game Awards

In the latest episode of the Co-Op Critics podcast, Brian and Nick recap The Game Awards and talk about Black Ops III, this year’s iteration of Call of Duty.

 

You can listen to the episode right here in the player above, and check out our SoundCloud page for all the back episodes!

NOTE: The game of the month for December on Co-Op Critics will be Star Wars: Battlefront. We’ll be featuring videos all month and a podcast at the end of December to discuss our thoughts on the game.

Let’s Play CoD: Black Ops III – Ep. 1 (Black Ops)

Call of Duty: Black Ops III is our game of November, and Brian will be doing a let’s play series on the single-player campaign. This first installment is the opening mission of the campaign, entitled “Black Ops.”

Stay tuned for plenty more Black Ops III videos this month, and if you like the video, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube page!

Wanna help support Co-Op Critics? Click here to purchase Black Ops 3 from Amazon.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops III is Our Game of November

Every month here at Co-Op Critics we choose a game to highlight for discussion. Over the course of the month we post gameplay videos on the YouTube page, and we cap off the month with a podcast discussion of that game.

November’s game is Call of Duty; Black Ops III. The latest installment of the mega-franchise launched on Friday, and we’ll be spending quite a bit of time with it over the next few weeks (and months, probably).

Like many gamers, we’ve got a long history with the call of Duty franchise, and we spent literal weeks of our lives playing Modern Warfare multiplayer. In fact, some of the friendships that make up the Co-Op Critics crew today were solidified over that game. So, while we haven’t always dug every iteration of the series, it does hold a special place in our hearts.

As usual, we’ll continue to talk, write and post videos about a slew of other games as well, but Black Ops III is this month’s spotlight game. If you picked it up yourself, we’d love to hear what you think about it so far. Comment here on the site, hit us up on twitter, or respond to the vids on our YouTube channel!

 

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Games I’m Looking Forward To: November 2015

I got all ready to make a monster post about the games of November this month, but guess what? The usual glut of games that makes November the busiest month of releases just isn’t there this year. With a bunch of games getting delayed into 2016, and publishers spreading releases out a bit more evenly through the year, November just isn’t the parade of releases it used to be.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t big releases to speak of this month. in fact, the one thing you can still count on is that November is where the biggest games are usually released. So without further ado, here are the games I’m excited about this month:

 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops III (Xbox One, PC, PS4)–November 6

I played a bit of the beta for Black Ops 3, and while it felt bit more like Titanfall than Call of Duty to me, the super tight gameplay that is the backbone of CoD was as good as ever. CoD is a game all of my friends play, and while my interest in the campaign has waned over the years, the multiplayer is something I’ll always jump into.

 

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Fallout 4 (Xbox One. PC, PS4)–November 10

If I could only get one game this month, Fallout 4 would be it. I am a huge RPG fan, and like many others, spent well over 100 hours with Fallout 3. I also live in Massachusetts, so the Boston setting is just one more reason I’m interested in the game. I will probably buy this one digitally, as I expect it to live on my console for the rest of the generation.

 

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Rise of the Tomb Raider (Xbox One, Xbox 360)–November 10

I came late to 2013’s Tomb Raider reboot, but when I did finally play it, I absolutely love it. Not only was Lara’s new origin story a great adventure, but mechanically, the game was fantastic. As a 40-year old gamer, I’ve been playing Tomb Raider games since 1996, when I played the first one on PlayStation. I’m really excited to see how Crystal Dynamics is building on the 2013 game, which completely revitalized the franchise.

 

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Star Wars: Battlefront (Xbox One, PC, PS4)–November 17

I did not get a chance to play the beta for Battlefront, but I don’t need to. I’m a big Battlefield fan (Hardline was great), and from everything I’ve seen, it looks like DICE got the aesthetic right. Not to mention, every single one of my friends that plays shooters will be getting this game. I expect this to be our go-to shooter for the next year. I’m just hoping the core game has enough content, as I’m not a big fan of season passes, which Battlefront is going to have.

As always, there are several more games coming out in November, and these are just my personal picks, so please sound off in the comments and let us know what games you’re excited to see this month!

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Why I’m Excited About Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

The trailer for the next Call of Duty game (Advanced Warfare) was released on May 2nd, and I found it very interesting for a number of reasons. Of course, the fact that Kevin Spacey seems to be a prominent character, as well as the fact that it appears to be a more futuristic game are the biggest takeaways from the trailer. But, it was some of the design choices and mechanics that got me thinking about the potential of this new CoD entry.

In one scene for example, a character puts on a pair of gloves that let him scamper up walls. Maybe it’s just because I’m playing Amazing Spider-Man 2 right now, but I immediately thought about the fact that the Spidey games are also under Activision’s umbrella. Could the wall-crawling tech in the new CoD be pulling from what Beenox has refined over the past several years? I hope so.

Activision also owns High Moon Studios, the developer of the Transformers games. So when I saw the mech/battle armor portion of the new CoD trailer, I was thinking about that connection as well. I mean, this dude looks just like Megatron, doesn’t he?

And those hover bikes could function like the Cybertronian Decepticons, couldn’t they? Not to mention, it’s rumored that High Moon Studios is actually working on the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Advanced Warfare. Maybe they’re doing more than just porting to last-gen.

I know this is probably wishful thinking, but Activision has all of these studios and a library of action games to pull from when they set out to create each new iteration of Call of Duty. I’d like to see them leverage some of those resources more, and maybe we’ll see some of that in Advanced Warfare. And yes, I know there are different gameplay engines at work here, but even from a design standpoint, it would be cool if some of those other studios are consulting with Sledgehammer.

Finally, let’s not forget that Sledgehammer is a studio formed by two of the creators of Dead Space. I found the story in the initial trailer to be very interesting, and I am a huge fan of the original Dead Space. I’m hoping some of that DNA makes its way into the Call of Duty franchise. Those exosuits did look a little Dead Space-y (no pun intended), didn’t they?