Video Games Plus is a weekly update on all things gaming. Check it out every Thursday.
Ok, gamers, you can finally exhale. For months, you've been waiting oh-so patiently for details on the multiplayer in "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3" and now we've finally got them. Get ready to read about the new modes and killstreaks in this week's edition of Video Games Plus as well as news on an NBA player gone pro gamer, a free "Red Dead Redemption" add-on and a review of an "ugly" Xbox Live Arcade title.
MW3 Multiplayer Mode Revealed
Sure, gamers who attended last week’s inaugural Call of Duty XP convention in Los Angeles got to witness an exclusive Kanye West live performance, ride zip lines and try paintball courses modeled after old CoD maps, but inevitably the biggest thrill was being there for the long awaited unveiling of the multiplayer for “Modern Warfare 3.”
The dev team introduced all of the gameplay tweaks, perks, and additions for this year’s game. Here’s a rundown of some of the highlights:
Exit kill streaks stage left and enter point streaks. No longer is racking up a giant killstreak the only way to grab rewards. In MW3, you’ll be able to get stuff for accomplishing team goals instead of just playing the Rambo every-man-for-himself role. There are three different groups of pointstreak rewards packages that players will be able to choose from.
The Assault package is similar to the old killstreak system and its full of things that go boom -- airstrikes and gunships and other goodies that you can call down on your enemies. Support is for the team-first players and it offers defensive options like a gun turret, an EMP bomb or deployed ballistic vests for your teammates.
Last but not least is the Specialist, who instead of conventional rewards gets to unlock additional perks like Hardline, Recon and Slight of Hand every two kills until you reach eight and then all the perks become available – transforming you into a one man wrecking crew.
It’s no longer just about leveling yourself, because you’re going to have to level up your guns in the form of Weapon Proficiencies. Basically, the more you use a particular weapon, the better it gets. Leveled up weapons get perks like improved gun sway or a recoil reduction as well as new unlockable attachments.
There’s an intriguing new multiplayer called Kill Confirmed. It’s a team-based mode where each player killed will drop a dog tag. For your team to get credit and score points for the kill, you or one of your teammates must pick up the dropped dog tag.
If you pick up one of your teammates’ dogtags before the opponent, you can negate the point. Sounds like an game type designed to prevent the rampant camping that can plague Team Deathmatch. There’s also a new mode called Team Defender that involves holding onto an enemy flag for as long as possible without having to worry about returning it to base.
Stay tuned to Video Games Plus for more MW3 news in the coming weeks.
NBA Player Goes Gaming
With no end in sight to the NBA lockout, many players are headed overseas to play for international leagues. Deron Williams is headed to Turkey and Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant might be joining him. But the Utah Jazz’s Gordon Hayward is joining a league that involves a different kind of foreigner -- the Zerg.
That’s right, the Jazz forward is partnering with the IGN professional gaming league (IGL) and will compete in the “IPL 3: Origins” tournament at Caesars Atlantic City on October 6-9. There he will take on the best in the world at “Starcraft II.”
“I’ve been playing video games for as long as I can remember. I’m a competitive guy, and I love the competitive nature of video games,” Hayward said in a statement. “Pro-gamers are really sports stars themselves. The mental strategy that goes into planning your next move and what your opponent is going to do are skills you need to be successful playing basketball -- and playing “StarCraft II.” If you want to be good, you have to put a lot of time and effort into it, just like with other sports. I’ve got the best of both worlds.”
But the question remains: can Hayward take the Protoss off the dribble? That remains to be seen.
Free Red Dead DLC
By now, we’re used to companies charging extra for downloadable content for existing games, but Rockstar’s upcoming DLC for “Red Dead Redemption” has a nice price tag –- free.
Called the “Myths & Mavericks Bonus Pack,” it will contain new fan-favorite multiplayer characters from the single-player story mode, as well as new multiplayer locations including Cochinay, Nekoti Rock and Beecher's Hope, plus new Stronghold games in Armadillo, Tumbleweed, and Chuparosa.
The bonus pack will be available for all to download on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live on Sept. 13.
Ugly Americans Game: Strange But Fun
If you’re unfamiliar with the Comedy Central TV show the game is based on, it might take a bit to get used to the universe of “Ugly Americans: Apocalpysegeddon.” There’s a character who is the daughter of Satan, a drunken wizard, a normal social worker guy and plenty of manbirds, zombies and, well, just about every kind of strange monster imaginable.
But if you can dig the unconventional cast and the dark humor, there’s entertainment to be had with Apocalpysegeddon. It’s a twin stick shooter in the style of many Xbox Live Arcade games with a bit of the customization and leveling of “Castle Crashers.”
As a single player game it can get tedious, but if you have a couple friends to join in the demented fun -- Apocalpsysegeddon is worth the small price of 800 Microsoft points.
Follow Ryan Smith on Twitter: @RyanSmithWriter