Posts tagged with "call of duty"

Gaming Reviews

Going in Reverse of Graphics Escalation

When one thinks of the cutting edge in gaming, graphics are what comes to mind. How well does this game render characters and the environment? How real does it look? Video games continue to push the boundaries of what modern computers could do. What was once science fiction is now a household name.

As spectacular as these games are to behold, they represent only one part of the gaming market. Not all popular games embrace the hyper-detailed graphics of AAA studio games. Other gamers embrace simpler, less tech-intensive art styles. Many of these games are as popular with the general public for a plethora of reasons. They’ve since carved a niche for themselves in a world where hyperrealism is king.

The Road to Realism

Today’s hyper-real graphics reflect developments that fueled gaming since the early days. Then as now, graphical sophistication was a major selling. Consoles duked it out to see which could render games with better graphics. Each new console and game promised better art than the last. Meanwhile, PC gamers, with their customized rigs, could push graphics even further.

Amazing graphics can immerse players into the worlds they play. Many of the big names in gaming today boast of immersive, hyper-realistic environments. Today’s visual spectacles like Assassin’s Creed and Final Fantasy rival theatrical animated films in detail. The best of these games bring historical and fantasy environments to life at home.

The Limits of Hyperrealism

But as amazing as these visuals would look on screen, it comes at a heavy price. In a very literal sense, playing these games is not easy on the pocket. Many titles from AAA studios are quite demanding from technology. Both consoles and an excellent gaming PC come with a hefty price tag. This proves to be a great barrier to entry for gamers on a budget.

Meanwhile, PC gamers must also contend with the complexity of customization. It takes awhile to learn the ropes of the visual settings. The average player must be patient when tweaking them to one’s liking. Even dialing down the graphics is confusing for the novice.

Games that aim for too much realism stand the risk of evoking the uncanny valley. This term was first coined by roboticist Masahiro Mori in the 1970s to describe unsettling robots. Its impact on realistic graphics, however, mustn’t be understated. Even small breaks in realism will be off putting for audiences. Avoiding this is a taxing endeavor. One either attempts to amp up realism (which is costly) or embrace a more stylized depiction. The best 2D and 3D games, fortunately, avoid the worst of this.

Finally, the aesthetic that comes with games takes a toll on development teams. Game development studios have come under fire for crunch culture that overworks and underpays their developers. Often, this has roots in the near-impossible deadlines brought on by game hype. And better 3D graphics don’t always lead to a better product. The buggy messy Cyberpunk 2077 fiasco alone proves that.

A Different Direction

The big names in gaming embraced more elaborate, graphics-intensive art styles. Others, meanwhile, chose a different path. Many indie developers embraced stylized 3D or more isometric or side-scrolling art styles. Mostly, this was a budgetary choice. Advancements in technology have made developing 2D games cheaper and faster.

In the heyday of Flash, developers could build a simple vector graphics game within days or weeks. It allowed indie developer communities to flourish. Soon, sites like Kongregate and Newgrounds had massive archives of 2D games. Even today, older games once made in Flash could be found in archival sites like Plays.org.

Today, developer teams can create complex games using either 2D engines or a hybrid of 2D and 3D graphics. By eschewing the complexities of hyperreal graphic engines, they can focus on refining other aspects of gameplay. Choosing less graphics-intensive visuals also lets them experiment with other genres. Many small titles embrace 2D graphics without sacrificing storytelling. A cartoony point-and-click, Broken Age toys with two different yet unified narratives.

A Flourishing Market

There are a host of reasons why people gravitate toward games with cartoonish art styles. Lower-tier 3D games won’t tax computer hardware as much. Meanwhile, all but the slowest low-end computers can play 2D Flash or HTML games without a hitch.

Devs can even port these games into social media. There was a reason why elderly gamers flocked to Farmville in its heyday, after all. Mobile gaming also fueled the development of less graphic-intensive games. Side-scrollers and isometric games play smoother in smartphones. By using cartoonier and flatter visuals, these games don’t sap the phone’s batteries. Players on mobile can sink hours into these games. This is a lucrative outcome for mobile game developers.

This level of accessibility and portability can prove to be a winning ticket. InnerSloth’s game Among Us, follows the same cel-shaded 2D style of its previous releases. This simple spot-the-impostor social game became a pop culture phenomenon in 2020.

More Than a Throwback

The appeal of 2D gaming lingered even after the rise of 3D graphics. The most popular games in the 1990s still had dedicated communities well into 2010. Some older games, like Age of Empires, enjoyed incredible appeal through gameplay alone. First released in 1999, Age of Empires II continued to have a fan following well into the 2010s. This led to the development of not one but two remasters of the game. It was also followed by several new expansions introducing a mix of new playable cultures.

Throwbacks to retro-style gameplay became a selling point by the 2010s. The wildly successful game Cuphead combined 1980s-style gameplay with 2D 1930s-style cartoons to great effect. This and other games like it capitalized on a niche that 3D platformers couldn’t fill. They also introduced a new generation of gamers to the joys of 2D platform gaming.

Nostalgia didn’t play as big a role in the staying power of these games as one would think. Many developers created side-scrollers to experiment with unique gameplay concepts. Braid played around with time control, creating tactical challenges for the player. These simple games also play around with many game conventions. The popular Undertale subverts the idea that video game characters should slaughtering their enemies. Here, you have the option to negotiate. Different actions create varying outcomes for the player… all in glorious pixelated 2D.  Through its plot twist, Braid makes a statement on how you see its player character.

A Niche of Their Own

There’s room in the larger gaming community for both 2D and 3D games in various levels of realism. Each level of graphics have their own appeal and cater to different types of players. Not every game needs realistic lighting to suspend a gamer’s disbelief.

Graphics-intensive 3D games grew with the idea that video games should be immersive. They are at once a technical and artistic achievement. The best of them are a spectacle that can captivate gamers from all walks of life. Games on the lower end of the graphic scale, however, are no slouches in that department. Some stand out as interactive artistic expressions. They can be an exciting challenge to play and ponder. Others offer a fun and enthralling experience that keeps players on their toes.

Less graphic intensive games add more variety to the gaming market. The lower graphic requirements let developers introduce new gameplay and story concepts. The lower barrier to entry also helps make these games more accessible to a larger audience. Ever wanted a good game that won’t overwork your computer? There’s going to be a 2D or low-end 3D game somewhere.

online casino illustration by Alec Bogdan

Online Casino × Best Gaming Experience

Slots with the best gaming experience online

When you go to an online casino, you will find plenty of slot games to play. These can be great fun to try your luck on and also, there are some massive cash prizes to be won. Let’s take a look at some of the slots that can give you the best gaming experience online.

Call of Duty 4

You may be familiar with Call of Duty, the popular video game, but it’s made its way to the slot world as well. It has repeated its success with a series of slot games. The fourth in the series has been a big hit and that’s not the easiest of tasks as there’s the job of keeping the games fresh.

This five-reel game has 25 paylines and the symbols will be familiar to  those who have played the original video game. There are some exciting bonus features and big cash prizes to be won, so a great gaming experience is available here.

Game of Thrones

There was so much to like about the television series and turning it into a slot game was perhaps inevitable. It makes up for the ending of the show and there’s even the opportunity given to choose which of the great Houses of Westeros that you can be a member of.

Fans of the show will be in seventh heaven with the excellent symbols and the theme song being constantly played. Lots of free spins to be won too, so a great time lies ahead.

Hitman

If the Hitman  (aka Agent 47) has you in your sights, be scared, very scared. Thankfully, slot players are immune from the fear of being one of his targets. Instead, they can sit back and enjoy playing this Microgaming slot.

It has a rather moody look to it with plenty of weapons as its symbols. 18 free spins can be won and there’s some great cash prizes to be won. It’s all so different from the days when the symbols were pieces of fruit with small amounts to be won.

Upon joining an online casino, there are typically very lucrative welcome offers that can be received, as a thank you from the operator for you joining their platform and community. These are incentives to register with a site in a highly competitive industry. Often free spins will be part or all of the welcome offer. These don’t just give you the opportunity to win some money (not massive amounts as winnings are often capped) but the chance to learn how to play games you might not be too familiar with.

A good method to test online slots is to use free spin offers such as these to get your feel for the game, see if it suits your play style and find out if lady luck is on your side! Current day slot games can be very complex with their bonus games, wilds, scatter symbols and thousands of ways to get a win. Playing a game with some free spins allows you to find out more about how they work. This can protect your real cash balance and hopefully teach you the skills that will help you when using your own money.

Music Notes illustration by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

What does Gaming Fashion Look Like?

Gaming fashion has developed massively over the years, both ingame and real life styles have contorted into ways we couldn’t have imagined ten years ago, and we take a look at why and how this happened.

Thanks to games like CS:GO, in-game items and skins have become a staple of what people are looking for in new games. Some of these items fetch more than their real life counterparts and at sites like CSGOBettor.com you can gamble skins or trade them to get better items for your character to wear.

Gamers have incorporated some level of advancement in their lifestyle, adapting to street wear, luxury, and some level of cosplay into their looks. It was some decades ago that video games started taking center stage, but currently, gamers have assumed the status of celebrities, garnering millions of fans online.

The meaning of this is that, in the midst of all other things, we’ve overcome the era when gamers wear jorts and oversized t-shirts. Both streamers and esports athletes now dress opulently, with urbane panache. This has led to some sort of blending between the Kawaii culture of the Japanese, video game fantasy, and Korean street wear and luxury brand worship.

This has caught the attention of most of the major brands. The extremely popular streamer of video games, Tyler Blevins, also known as Ninja, sealed a deal with Adidas, and this came with a release of a limited edition of night joggers, which did not take time before it sold out. The London esports team named Fnatic got into a partnership with Gucci to model a $1,600 dive watch. Collaboration happened between the most popular esports in the globe, League of Legends and Louis Vuitton for some number of shirts and capsules. Also, Jeff Staple, the designer that has always been given credit for initiating the collectible sneaker revolution, got into a collaboration with Overwatch League bordering on a line of jerseys.

I have the feeling that with the rise in street wear, the rise in gaming was also happening, said Mr. Staple. He went ahead to reveal that the collaboration started when overwatch made the contact in 2018. There is also styling in gaming accessories. You can see players wearing very large headphones with huge keyboards that stick out from their backpacks. But a very famous line of gaming headsets was created by Hyperx, and the people that championed it were the street fighter champion, Daigo Umehar, the Pittsburgh Steelers player JuJu Smith-Schuster and singer Post Malone.

Players try to showcase a varying array of styles to their fans, from a Pokémon cosplay camo jacket to a team branded hoodie. In line with this, we had some chats with three players on what they think about their appearance. They included an amateur gamer, a pro gamer and an influencer, and below are the results of the conversations.

Imany Anys

She is just 24 years old and popular for Twitch streaming. Her nickname is Pokimane, and 7 million people follow her on Twitch. Her style involves a mix of street wear, a cute spectacle and comfort.

The first question that was thrown to her was that many streamers are seen dying their hair in colors that are not natural, why?

Her reply was that both your accessories and hair becomes a huge part of your branding and part of your person. She went ahead to say that it is the blue hair for the Ninja for example, but for her, the curly wavy brown signature hair and the use of a headset always has become her identity.

She was later asked what accessories she likes to wear while streaming.

The answer she gave to that was that the thing borders more on the type of accessories that you won’t want to wear. She gave an example by saying that she has discovered that the reason why she rarely wears earrings or bracelets is because the earrings can obstruct the headset, and it even hurts sometimes. For the bracelets, she said that they also make you feel uncomfortable laying your hand on the gaming chair’s armrest.

She was also asked why streetwear is popular in esports and gaming cycles.

Her answer was that those wears make you feel comfortable when you wear them. It could be dressed down or up and that that comfort angle is very essential for people that will sit on a PC chair for many hours.

Asked the street wear brand she wears right now, she replied that she is in love with Prix. She said that she cherishes some athleisure – if one can refer to Nike and Adidas as streetwears. But she later said that one of her favorite stores is Maniere De Voir.

The next question to her was whether there is pressure on women that stream to try and look cute, and does it conflict with their comfort. 

She answered that people are mostly taking to athleisure as a default because there aren’t brands that are focusing specifically on clothes that are comfortable for people to walk around and sit in. For her, the best thing here is for all to do what makes them happy and comfortable, and the popular athleisure brands are Lululemon, Nike and Adidas.

The next question to her was that since Twitch has a very huge male audience, is there pressure on ladies to wear sexier clothes, and whether that is in parallel with her modesty in fashion. If yes, how does she handle that?

She replied by saying that honestly, the desire for both exists. Some people will demand that you turn up in clothes that are more revealing, while there are some that will throw in very rude comments if you choose to do so. She said that she discovered that the best thing is to do what you are comfortable with or what you want.

She was later asked how her style has been affected by the health crisis, and she answered that she initially did not experience much impact from the physical isolation and stay at home rules, but these days, she picks the clothes she normally wears for outings and puts them on while at home. She does this in the bid to add a little bit of spice to life and get the clothes useful until things return to normal and they can be worn for outings again.

Thomas Paparatto

This professional player of the Call of Duty league for the New York Subliners, which is part of the Andbox esports , and also has an arm that is into clothing design, is also known as ZooMaa. However, he made an announcement sometime this month that he will take a break from competing in games because of wrist problems, though he will keep streaming.

He was asked what he was wearing, and he answered that it was part of his collection, which includes a hoodie, which he complemented with a pair of jeans and matching white shoes. He stated that in terms of clothing, he likes keeping it very simple.

He was asked what his goal with the collection was, and his answer was that he just wanted to create something that looks good, which anybody can wear to go out, irrespective of their age. He said that the idea was to create something that people can go to school with and it won’t be obvious that they are gamers.

He was also asked what he meant by being obvious they are gamers, and he answered that he doesn’t want it to have the same effect as a sponsored jersey or a team name. He needed more – something that looks like the casual wear of everyday that could be worn to work, school or around an office.

video game illustration by Gabrielle Archuleta for 360 Magazine

GAME+ RAISES COMPETITIVE GAMING STAKES

Available on iOS and Google Play, Game+ provides a safe and secure marketplace for gamers to play for money 
Today, Game+, the app that enables skill-based head-to-head gaming competition for money, officially launched. Available now to download on iOS and Google Play, Game+ offers members a secure marketplace where they can create or accept gaming challenges for money and have their winnings automatically transferred to their account.

“Video games have always been a passion of mine, are surging in popularity, and are inextricably woven into the very fabric of our culture,” said Karim Sanford, Co-Founder and President of Game+. “We built Game+ to bring a secure, on-demand, competitive marketplace to the category that enables gamers to test each other’s skills for money while removing barriers to access any winnings.”

To use the Game+ platform, upon successful identification verification, gamers will create an account and receive a Game+ Discover® prepaid card that can be used everywhere Discover is accepted – at stores, online, or to get cash at ATMs nationwide.  Members who sign up can receive 5% cashback on purchases, subject to terms and conditions.

Once members’ accounts are set up, they will be able to use the app to send challenges to friends, choose from a library of over 50 games, select the gaming console or mobile device they want to compete on, and set the amount of money they want to put on the line for the game. The game is then played and the winner reports the results to the app, which automatically transfers funds to the winners’ account. Game+ members can participate in competitions across a variety of device formats including Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, iPhone and Android.

In addition to facilitating competitive skill-based head-to-head challenges amongst friends, Game+ enables users to compete in challenges with the broader community for money. The platform currently supports dozens of popular games including FIFA, Madden, NBA 2K, Call of Duty, Fortnite, Halo, Tekken, Street Fighter, Super Smash Bros., and Rocket League. Members will be able to join hubs for their favorite games and create challenges. In the same way they’d challenge a friend, their game will then be shared with the community, providing industry defining, on-demand competition.

Game+ solves two of the thorniest problems in facilitating gaming for money. First, it provides a bank-level financial backend that enables payments to move quickly and safely to winners’ accounts, without excessive delays or hidden fees. And just as importantly, Game+ ensures fairness by vetting all users much as a bank would, and by creating a dispute resolution system in which judges review evidence from disputed matches to determine the winner. Game+ is a clean, trusted community where members’ funds are safe and their matches are fairly decided.

The Game+ app is certified compliant with the age verification and geolocation mandate under the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). The certification was completed earlier this year by a leading independent lab – establishing a new standard for legitimacy and trust in the space.

The Game+ app is available to download on iOS or Google Play (standard data rates may apply). You must be 18 years of age or older to create an account on Game+. Game+ is not available in Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Louisiana, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, South Carolina, South Dakota, or Tennessee.

Dele Alli Launches Call of Duty

England and Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli marks the launch of the highly anticipated Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4, by playing the game in the ‘world’s darkest room’.

Call of Duty® boasts over 200 million global players. The latest game in the series, Black Ops 4 delivers the deepest, most engaging Black Ops game that Treyarch has ever created, with three distinct modes of play: Multiplayer, Zombies and Blackout.

To fully appreciate it, the creators of Vantablack, the super-black coating that holds the world record as the darkest substance made by man, have created a special version of Vantablack known as VBx2 and applied it to every wall of a unique gaming space, the Black Ops House.

Dele Alli became completely immersed within the action of the game as playing in pitch-black conditions highlighted the color and vibrancy on the screen.

Talking about playing with his teammates, Dele was able to enjoy the Multiplayer gritty, grounded combat via the more tactical, team-based experience; as well as celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the original Call of Duty Zombies with the three fully-featured Zombies experiences.

The new game features the return of the iconic Pick 10 system, along with a series of innovations in weapon controls, combat flow, health regeneration, and player movement. Black Ops 4 also contains a combination of new and returning Specialists, each with their own unique equipment and playstyles, allowing players to not only be powerful alone, but devastating as a team working together. It also introduces the all-new Battle Royale mode, Blackout that brings together characters, locations, weapons and gear from across the series in all-out survival combat, all with Black Ops signature gameplay.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is published by Activision and developed by Treyarch with additional development support from Raven Software and PC development with Beenox. The title is scheduled for release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC on October 12th. Black Ops 4 for the PC delivers a fully optimized experience, which for the first time in Call of Duty’s history will be available exclusively on Battle.net, Blizzard Entertainment’s online gaming service.

NIGHTMARCHERS

Nightmarchers – Alpha Preview Invitation

Wyrmbyte Studios invites you to join us in paradise! Well, sort of… Nightmarchers will be hosting interviews and previews in the coming days. We’d love to get you into an early build of the game, connect you to Wyrmbyte for a tour, and see what you think of our Hawaiian epic.

Nightmarchers is an open world RPG shooter which crosses the glory of Hawaiian mysticism with the post-apocalypse of destruction. In this Moana meets Mad Max RPG you will explore the island paradise to rid the land of deadly raiders and unlock the secrets of the gods. Using weapons and abilities to build your character, play through the story and explore our vast world. Resources, weapons, and choices make Nightmarchers exciting for players who want action mixed with an in-depth storyline.

Take a look at what the game has to offer below:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kceKBnbTEJA

NIGHTMARCHERS

OPEN WORLD HAWAIIAN RPG NIGHTMARCHERS COMES TO FIG

Its like Moana meets Mad Max in a sprawling 3rd person shoot

Wyrmbyte today announces that its post-apocalyptic Hawaiian RPG is coming to Fig. A open world hybrid RPG shooter that plays a bit like Far Cry meets Zelda, Nightmarchers is set on the island of Oahu after a cataclysmic event leaves the archipelago cut off from the rest of the world. You play as Kai, a man blessed (or cursed) by the forgotten gods of Hawaii to take back the island from the ravenous Kamapua’a.

Nightmarchers kicks off today on Fig (www.fig.co) offering both equity and rewards opportunities, with an overall goal of $100K. Backers can support by investing in Fig Game Shares that pay a return based on the game’s future sales. Stretch goals add additional features, quest lines, powers, and more.

Nightmarchers has been a passion project of ours for years now, said Wyrmbyte CEO Scott Brown. Hawaii means a lot to all of us at Wyrmbyte, both as a place we love to visit and as a culture. Weߣre thrilled to explore the mythology of Hawaii and reimaging it as part of our world in this sprawling shooter RPG.

As Kai, you’ll wield real world weapons and the powers of gods like Maui and Pele to make Oahu a safe place for its people once more. Take to the skies as an owl and scout ahead or identify new mission opportunities. Take to the sea as a Shark and find hidden items on the ocean floor. Craft and customize dozens of weapons, or use your Uhane powers to strike silently from the bushes with your bow. There are dozens of outposts to reclaim, hundreds of missions to undertake, and six rival factions to work with to retake Oahu from Kamapua’a. His corrupted Nightmarchers and possessed islanders and wildlife will be gunning for you, so you’d better make good use of the factions knowledge and expertise if you hope to survive.

For more information on Nightmarchers, and its campaign visit http://www.fig.co/campaigns/nightmarchers

About Wyrmbyte

Established in 2013, Wyrmbyte LLC was formed by a group of experienced developers all passionate about building amazing game experiences. Wyrmbyte’s first title, Dragons and Titans, brought short session social gaming to the MOBA space with over 1 million players worldwide. Wyrmbyte has also built a VR experience in DragonWingsVR. Wyrmbyte’s extensive MMO experience worked for years helping Star Citizen to improve its backend services and the networking layer. Now the team exclusively focused on bringing Nightmarchers to market in 2018