Posts tagged call of duty
Another update, another map, but a big change for CoD: Zombies.
The new map in this update is free, which makes a change from previous maps. Also, all the previous maps are unlocked whether you’d bought them or not. I’ve no idea why, but I’m not complaining. (Unlike Internet rage-kids, who think that the months of pleasure they got from the DLC maps have somehow been obliterated by them now being free, or something. I don’t understand the logic, myself.)
Anyway, the new map appears to be huge and very difficult to properly defend. I like that. Danger and variety, the spice of life.
I found the power switch! Hooray! I also got a much higher score than I had before. I do love the double-barreled shotgun. It’s good for blowing off heads, limbs and assorted chunks of rotting zombie flesh. Still haven’t tried any of the drinks from the vending machines – they’re awfully expensive.
You know, this really is a brilliant game. The controls are spot-on, it’s graphically impressive, it’s friendly to people playing without sound and it’s just a great example of how care and attention can do the seemingly impossible. After all, who’d have thought that this game would actually work on the iPhone? Conventional wisdom is often just mob stupidity.
It gives me hope for the recently-announced Street Fighter IV. If this can work, why can’t Street Fighter? Oh, I’m sure it’ll be simplified somewhat, but I’m willing to bet that fireballs will come more easily than with the standard Xbox 360 controller. You mark my words.
It’s also likely to be packed full of expensive DLC, but CoD: Zombies costs nine pounds for the game with two maps and is well worth the cash, expensive as it is for an iPhone game.
So, a big update to CoD: Zombies (I’m not typing out the full name again) came out yesterday. While I was waiting, I practiced on the old version. I’m not really very good, finding headshots tricky, but I do love it. And the flamethrower is just mmmmmmm.
Soon enough, though, the update arrived, which added a whole new map. Okay, it costs £2.99, but it’s much bigger than the existing map and, I think, rather good value given the quality of the game.
The map’s called Zombie Verrückt and I’m meant to be looking for a power switch somewhere. It seems quite important, but I’ve not found it yet. This is mainly due to this map being a lot harder than the old one – I’m dying before I’ve had a good look round.
I know this game won’t be for everyone – dragging the iron sights around either will either feel appropriately weighty or inappropriately annoying, given your point of view – but I reckon this is a fine, fine game.
I’m often asked for iPhone game recommendations, so I’ve decided to post my list of the ten best games available for the platform. The plan is to post a list every few weeks, so please click the “top ten lists” label below to make sure you’re looking at the latest version if you’ve come to this post through a search engine. This list is in alphabetical order and consists of my own personal choice of games, based purely on how much I enjoy them.
A line-drawing game in the tradition of Flight Control and Harbor Master, but with a stealthy twist. Your job is direct soldiers to safe spots on the map, but without them being seen by the enemies. You can’t just draw a path, but must adjust it as the enemies patrol and lie down to stay out of sight. It’s tough, rewarding and incredibly exciting, distilling the essence of stealth into a fast-paced arcade rush.
Call of Duty: World At War: Zombies
A direct port of the Zombies game mode from World At War on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3, CoD: Zombies really shouldn’t work. A game designed for high-definition hardware and a fully-featured controller – on the iPhone? Incredibly, it’s a total success. There are three different control schemes, all of which work well. The graphics are astounding, with the zombie animations especially noteworthy. And the wave-based survival gameplay simply never gets old. Even without considering the online cooperative multiplayer, this is one of the ten best games on the iPhone. At the time of writing only one map is available, as more are added this game will only get better.
Superb conversion of the web-based Flash game, Canabalt is a pure rush, controlled simply by tapping the screen when you want to jump. It’s wonderfully presented, perfectly simple and hugely addictive, with the randomly-generated levels meaning you can never be sure quite what’s ahead.
Civilization Revolution was a great game on the Xbox 360. The core of the game was the same in the DS conversion, but an awkward interface made it difficult to enjoy. The iPhone version of the game, though, is a triumph. It may not be as pretty as the 360 version or have the AI tweaks that top players want, but it’s much easier to control than the DS version. It’s more of a game than the the more simulation based PC Civilization games, but that doesn’t stop it being a great way to build an empire.
It may seem to be overkill to have two first-person shooters in this list when no tower defence or racing games have made the cut, but it’s not my fault that both CoD: Zombies and Doom Classic are deserving of a place in this list. Arguably the best game ever made, Doom has never really translated well to handheld consoles due to control difficulties. The iPhone version, however, controls beautifully and makes this the third-best version of this classic game (after the PC and Xbox 360 versions). The level design, weapons and enemies are still as wonderful as ever. If you’ve ever loved Doom, this is the version to carry around in your pocket. If you’ve never played, now’s the time to start.
iDrop Dead: Flower Edition
A physics-based puzzler where your job is to inflict as much damage as possible to cute cartoon characters. Tear their limbs off, expose their skulls and blow them up. This is a game, though, not an animated joke and the level goals are well-judged and careful consideration and well-timed flicking is needed to get them all. Forget Ragdoll Blaster and Max Injury, iDrop Dead is the pinnacle of the ragdoll genre and the Flower Edition contains the most content and is well worth paying for over the free versions.
There are a lot twin-stick shooters on the App Store, but Minigore is the best. It may not have the RPG-like aspects of Alive-4-ever or the maze-like levels of Against The Fire, but it surpasses all other examples of the genre in pure frantic shooting fun. It’s fast, furious, relentless and tuned to perfection.
Fantastic game that tests your aim and your brain. The mechanics are hard to explain, but obvious when you play. It’s a brutally hard game, but never unfair. Like many great games, you may develop a love-hate relationship with it – but you’ll keep going back.
The sound-bite description is Mario Galaxy in 2D, but with its cute visuals and small, but increasingly challenging, levels Soosiz soon leaves its inspiration behind and proves itself to be its own master. It controls perfectly, features a surprising amount of variety and has a enough levels to keep you going for a long, long time. It’s a joyous, bouncy experience, reminiscent of the best 16-bit platformers while being completely modern.
Sometimes you need to kick back and feed your brain, not your reactions, and there are a number of grid-based number puzzles for such occasions. There’s Sudoku, obviously, and KenKen, but the best of them is Str8ts. It’s impossible to say why, but Str8ts is simply the most satisfying puzzle game there is. It’s always logical and if you’re stuck, it’s only ever because you’ve missed something. The ratio between baffled staring and eureka moments is just right and when things flow, it’s glorious.
I keep dying early. I’ve worked out why, though. When I first started playing I was only about bare survival. Now I try to push things by saving my money, using the knife, going for headshots, etc. Inevitably, when you’re living on the edge, you sometimes fall off.
Killed a lot more zombies last night. I’m happy to report that it’s not getting old. I also tried out the other control schemes available and they all work fine. So well, in fact, that I’m now wondering which to stick with. I think maybe the default controls, which are very similar to the dual sticks set up, but the right stick is invisible and centres on where you put your thumb. Believe me, it makes sense. The tilt controls are great for aiming, but make running around a bit more tiring.
You know how I blogged about this yesterday, praising it to the heavens and calling it a new App Store classic? Remember that? Well, I tried it at home last night and… and… I think I was right. It’s absolutely superb. I’m already itching for new maps, though.
I also tried an online game last night. It took me ages to find one – normally the Quick Game option would spend ages looking and then leave me in a lobby on my own where nobody joined me. Eventually, though, I got into a four player game. As soon as it started everyone started jerking around and then I found myself on my own. It was, quite frankly, awful.
I’m not going to blame the game, though, because I decided to run some speed tests. Looking at the results, it seems I need to try and play online either very late or very early. The evening, which is when I want to play, has terrible net connection speeds.
It may be that my ISP is doing some overly zealous traffic shaping, but I guess it’s just that everyone in my little cluster of houses out in the middle of nowhere is having to share a connection that just can’t handle us all.
Yes, it’s a two-colon game, but let’s not hold that against it. What we’ve got here is the Zombies game mode from Call of Duty: World At War, where you’re stuck in a bunker with hordes of Nazi undead trying to break in and munch on your brains. You start off in a small room with just a knife, pistol and few grenades, but as you earn money by killing zombies and repairing your barricades you can purchase new guns and unlock new areas of the bunker.
I’m not really sure it should work. After all, it’s a game designed for big consoles and big TVs and big controllers. However, against expectations, it’s blindingly good. It looks wonderful, with the zombie animation especially good, and it’s great fun to play. I’ve only tried the dual stick controls so far, but apart from sometimes shooting when I don’t mean to, I’ve not had a problem with them. (HINT: Swiping across the screen turns you 90 degrees, great when you want to look around quickly.)
I was playing it with headphones at lunchtime and it sounds great, with great zombie groans and useful sound cues. Excellently, though, the developers have realised that people will want to play with the sound off, so have included visual cues for when zombies get close to you. It’s just a sign of the love and care that’s gone into this game.
It may have a premium price – and it looks like you’ll have to pay more to get more maps when they’re released (only one comes with the game) – but it’s a game that’s actually worth the cost.
Oh, and that’s before taking into account the online multiplayer, which I’ve not had a chance to try yet. Top marks and a new App Store classic.
Incidentally, in my first go I got to wave three. On my second go I got to wave nine with a combination of the shotgun and then the flamethrower – and maybe could have gone longer if I had switched back to my rifle by mistake. Not a good thing to do when you’re surrounded.
Spent two or three hours this morning polishing off the single player campaign. Good stuff, when you remember that you’ve got to keep pushing ahead.
I’m not sure I’ll ever want to play it again, though, and I never play online any more, so this may be trade fodder now.
That bit with the Ferris Wheel, that’s a bit hard.