05 November 2009

Call of Duty and Gaming Links, 5 November 2009

So close... Just a few more days...

I've got a total of 4 copies of the Xbox 360 version of MW 2 pre-ordered, one for Reibochief for his birthday, one for Matt64 for his birthday, one for my older brother Rick for his birthday (he's a gamer, but single player only), and one for yours truly. I would have ordered the PC version, also, since I like taking screenshots and playing modded servers sometimes, but since the PC version has been consolized, I'm skipping it, along with at least 200,000 PC players. Infinity Ward is denying that the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 is just a direct port of the console version. But the differences between the PC and console versions are virtually nonexistent. Consider this: They capped the max players for the PC version at 18 -- just like the console. Now, the limitation is probably necessary since the PC version will have peer-to-peer multiplayer -- just like the console. There's bandwidth and CPU overhead to take into account on the PC now that the dedicated servers, formerly maintained by clans which rented privately maintained servers, are gone in favor of IWNet in conjunction with Valve's Steam.  Over and above that, IW says, the player cap is necessary because the maps are balanced for a max number of 18 players. -- just like the consoles. I played almost as much CoD4 multiplayer on the PC as on the Xbox 360 (8 days vs 12 days), and IW has a point. Playing the CoD4 console-size maps with 32 plus players was pretty intense. But, taking larger custom maps into account, that didn't matter all that much, really. Of course, the PC version doesn't allow custom maps -- just like the console. The lean function, one of the popular features from CoD4 PC, wasn't in the CoD4 console version, and the lean function has been omitted from MW2's PC version -- just like the console. The PC version has no console function. (The console function in the PC, usually accessed by using the ~ tildis key, allows someone playing the single player game on a PC to type in their own game commands. You can give yourself weapons, ammo, etc., if you know the right command line inputs.) That means PC players have to play it strictly by IW's rules -- just like the console. The lack of a console function also adds an extra measure of security, as console command line inputs sometimes result in a backdoor for hackers  looking for PC cheats. Infinity ward seems to be playing it coy with the PC gaming, modding, and mapping community. There are rumors abroad of a possible dedicated  server patch some time after launch. But judging from the response of irked PC players, a lot of them are going to vote with their wallets and wait to see what kind of game the PC version turns out to be. Not that it will matter to Infinity Ward. They've forgotten their PC roots, it seems, and are going entirely to the consoles, where the big money is.
More Gaming Links:
  • Borderlands is gaining accolades for its mix of FPS and RPG in a post-apocalyptic universe, but you might want to steer away from the PC version based on this Escapist article.
Non-gaming Links: 

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