Posts Tagged ‘Berlin’

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and the history of CoD in pictures

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 is set to be another hit in the soldier-simulating game series. The Cold War and future-set special forces shooter is the latest CoD game to let you blow foreigners’ heads off in increasing levels of detail, so we don our dress uniform, salute the regimental colours and think of fallen comrades as we look back over the history of Call of Duty and its junior officer Modern Warfare.

The Call of Duty franchise was born from EA’s Medal of Honour series, which had its origins in the resources and development of Steven Spielberg’s epic film Saving Private Ryan. The team that had developed Medal of Honour: Allied Assault formed Infinity Ward, and was recruited by publishers Activision.

In 2003 the first Call of Duty tapped a full magazine on its helmet, cocked its rifle, and planted its combat boots onto the battlefield for the first time.

Call of Duty (2003)

PCThe first Call of Duty looked similar to the Medal of Honour games, as a first-person shooter set during World War 2. You play as an American, British and Russian soldier, following the three men on different missions throughout the war from the Normany landings to the Battle of the Bulge, commando combat, and fighting from Stalingrad to Berlin. Throughout the game, you play alongside a squad of computer-controlled comrades.

Call of Duty: United Offensive (2004)


An expansion pack, developed by Gray Matter Studios, added the ability to sprint, and ‘cook’ grenades. New multiplayer modes included Capture the Flag and a ranking system that gave better characters to higher-scoring players.

Call of Duty: Finest Hour (2004)

Xbox, PlayStation 2, Gamecube

Ironically, Finest Hour proved to be anything but. The first console version of the game was something of a disappointment, even if it did feature AC/DC singer Brian Johnson as one of the voices.

Call of Duty: The Big Red One (2005)

Xbox, PS2, GamecubeCoD:BR1 was again developed by Gray Matter Studios, which was renamed Treyarch before the game came out. The game saw you sign up for the US Army’s 1st Infantry Division, also known as the Big Red One because of their distinctive insignia. Cutscenes were intercut with documentary footage. It was voiced by Mark Hamill, who had starred alongside Lee Marvin in the 1980 film of the same name, as well as several members of the cast of the BBC and HBO WW2 drama Band of Brothers.

Call of Duty 2 (2005)

PC, Xbox 360
In 2005 it was Infinity Ward’s turn again, as Activision decided the series would continue with the two sets of developers releasing a game in alternate years. In a dramatic upgrade to the gameplay, CoD 2 introduced a proprietary engine replacing the previous games’ Quake III engine. Smoke and fog became an integral part of gameplay, while your squadmates could now react more realistically to the battle. A new health system was also introduced, in which you healed gradually rather than searching for health packs.

Call of Duty 3 (2006)

PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox, Xbox 360
Treyarch developed the first game that was designed for next-generation consoles and not PC. The story follows American, Canadian, British and Polish troops breaking out of the Falaise Pocket after the Normandy landings.

Call of Duty: Roads to Victory (2007)

The PSP version took the war mobile, following the Americans, Canadians and British from Arnhem to Salerno and Belgium.

Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)

Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Wii
For Infinity Ward’s next entry, the developers decided it was time to drag the franchise into the modern era. The game follows SAS and US Marine Corps special forces soldiers in a geopolitical story of espionage and combat in an unnamed Middle Eastern country and across Russia, but it was the online multiplayer game that really got the blood pumping. Modern Warfare went on to sell over 13 million copies.

Call Of Duty: World At War (2008)

Xbox 360, PS3, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
Treyarch took it back to the old school, setting the fifth instalment of the series in the Pacific theatre and on the Eastern Front. A tweaked physics engine meant you could lay waste to your surroundings with impunity. The game was made, however, by the inclusion of a Nazi zombie multiplayer mode. Nazi zombies: we hate those guys.

Call of Duty: World at War – Final Fronts (2008)

PlayStation 2
The PS2 version added a British campaign advancing on the River Rhine. It was developed by Rebellion, the studio which also owns long-running British comic 2000AD.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)

PS3, Xbox 360, PC

The multiplayer game featured bonus killstreak options if a player achieved a set number of consecutive kills in a row, from a supply drop or an airstrike all the way up to a tactical nuke after 25 kills. The game also kicked off a storm of protest over a level that allowed the player, embedded undercover with terrorists, to massacre civilians in an airport.

Despite the controversy, it had sold over 10 million copies in the US alone by March 2010, and earned Activision well over $1bn dollars. Things weren’t so rosy behind the scenes, however, as the bosses of Infinity Ward were unceremoniously booted out by Activision.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Mobilised (2009)

Nintendo DS

A spin-off to the story of Modern Warfare 2 for the DS, Mobilised boasted new kit to play with such as UAV drones and Lockheed AC-130 shootyplanes.

Call Of Duty: World at War – Zombies (2009)


It was only a matter of time before CoD came to the iPhone 5 and iPad, and took the form of the popular zombies mode from World at War. Play with your oppos nearby over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or go online and find recruits to continue the Nazi zombie-blasting.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops (2010)

PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo DS
Treyarch’s next entry to the series fills in the time between the wars depicted in the series, putting you in the balaclava and tiger-stripe camo of Cold War special forces troops in Cuba, Laos and Vietnam, and Soviet-era Russia. If you weren’t there, you don’t know what it was like.

Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)

PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii

Developed by Sledgehammer Games and written by Million Dollar Baby and Casino Royale scribe Paul Haggis, the third Modern Warfare outing sees you play, among others, a Delta Force operator attempting to drive a Russian invasion out of New York. It featured a new mode, Survival, which sees you beset by increasingly tough waves of bad guys. Oh, and it grossed $1bn in 16 days.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops – Zombies (2011)


More iPhone and iPad zombie-zapping.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012)

PC, PS3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U

Treyarch’s Black Ops 2 continues the Cold War adventures before skipping forward to 2025 to control unmanned drones and robots in a new cold war with China. It’s the first time the Black Ops series has put boots on the ground in the future, and it’s also the first to include branching storylines. Known as Strike Force missions, these branching stories change the outcome of the game based on your choices. Wager matches have gone, but Kill Streaks have been replaced with Score Streaks that reward you when you complete different actions.

Call Of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (2012)

PlayStation Vita

A twin-stick-twiddling spin-off from Nihilistic includes Vita features such as holding your breath using the rear touchpad.

Fall out, soldier! Our brothers-in-arms over at GameSpot UK keep the flag flying for CoD, Modern Warfare and all your favourite games. Is CoD still the top brass of gaming or is it time to be dishonorably discharged? Will you be signing up for another tour, and which was your favourite in the series? Tell me your thoughts in the comments or on our Facebook page.

Pictures: GameSpot UK

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Posted on November 13th, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Archos GamePad is £130 Android-packing 7-inch gaming tablet

Latest news:

Gamers prep your thumbs: Archos has announced a 7-inch portable games console that will run Google’s Android OS and carry a sub-£130 price-tag.

If you’ve been lusting after the Playstation Vita but can’t quite afford Sony’s prices then read on.

In addition to a generously-proportioned capacitive touchscreen pane, the GamePad has a full complement of physical control buttons and analogue sticks to keep your thumbs busy.

Under the hood is a 1.5GHz chip and a Mali 400MP quad-core GPU. Pocketlint reports the GamePad will also be Google certified so you’ll get access to Google’s Play Store to download games and apps. You’ll also be able to map touch controls to the tab’s physical keys so you can mash its buttons and batter its joysticks rather than dabbing your fingers on glass.

“Until now, tablets provided gamers with touch controls that lacked response and compatibility, providing a disappointing gaming experience. As one of the main tablet uses, there is a strong need for a tablet that does more for gaming,” said Archos in a statement.

Considering the GamePad is a Nexus 7-sized Android tablet, you will also presumably be able to download books and TV shows from Google Play too, should you want to use it for more typical tablet activities.

The GamePad’s launch date is pegged for the end of October — which is perfect timing for it to be swept up in the gadget-guzzling Christmas shopping rush. 

Archos announced the GamePad tablet at the IFA tech conference that’s taking place in Berlin this week. Stay tuned to CNET UK for more from the show’s gadget-infested halls. 

Are you excited by the prospect of a £130 gaming tablet or would you rather just buy Google’s Nexus 7? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or sound off on our Facebook page.

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Posted on September 3rd, 2012 by  |  No Comments »

Sony sues over PS3 hacking – but will ‘fair use’ argument win the day? – Console news

Playstation root constitutes piracy, argues company – letting slip it has sold 41m consoles – but law precedent set last summer may be on the hackers’ side

Photo by artwork_rebel on Flickr. Some rights reserved

Sony is suing a group of hackers who worked out how to break the Playstation 3’s firmware system so that it could be made to run any applications.

The hack could have allowed any sort of program or game – including pirated ones – to run on the console. Sony argues in its lawsuit that that constitutes computer fraud and copyright infringement – and accuses those involved of “distributing software, tools and instructions … that circumvent the technological protection measures in the PS3 system and facilitate the counterfeiting of video games.”

But one of the hackers caught up in the controversy, George Hotz, told the BBC that he was “comfortable” that Sony’s action would fail. “I’m a firm believer in digital rights,” he said. “I would expect a company that prides itself on intellectual property to be well-versed in the provisions of the law, so I am disappointed in Sony’s current action.”

Hotz, 21, said he had consulted a lawyer and that he felt confident that the action had no basis.

Hotz’s role was to figure out how to break the firmware and, apparently, to demonstrate it on YouTube and discuss it on Twitter.

His defence will probably rest on recent cases which have shown that “jailbreaking” items for “fair use” is legitimate under US law. A landmark case last July allowed such jailbreaking – which gives people full access to the file system of the device – under “fair use”, for personal use, criticism or satire. That, for instance, allows people to jailbreak Apple’s iPhone and use it on other networks.

Hotz has previously “jailbroken” – broken the security on – Apple’s iPhone. He is named along with more than 100 people who belong to a hacking group called Fail0verflow (of which he is not himself a member). That group demonstrated last December that they had worked out how to break through the PS3’s security system, using what they called “simple algebra”.

Legitimate games and movies will only play on the PS3 because the discs provide a password or signature “key” to the encryption system, which recognises them as authorised products. But with the key – essentially a long sequence of numbers – Fail0verflow coders would be able to compile their own custom firmware and then build applications that could run on any system.

However, they did not actually reveal the key at the presentation, at the Chaos Communications hackers conference in Berlin.

Even so, Sony is going after them. The court filing, in the Northern District of California, seeks restitution under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).

Sony says it has sold “over 41m PS3 systems worldwide since its launch” – a data point that may be found useful.

For an action to succeed under the DMCA, any protection system doesn’t have to be uncrackable, or state-of-the-art; all that’s required is for the company employing it to show that they have made an effort, and that it is non-trivial to crack.

It will be interesting to see how Hotz’s defence and that for the Fail0verflow team plays out: Hotz, being in the US, might have a trickier time of it if he did distribute tools that are shown to break the DMCA. By contrast the Fail0verflow team may have it easier, since they demonstrated the existence of a weakness, but did not actively pursue it. But DMCA lawsuits are notoriously complex.

A couple of areas look less solid for Sony: its claims that the Hotz and the rest broke the Playstation Network’s terms of service agreement, that they interfered with the experience of other PSN members, and that they were trespassing on Sony’s “right” to own the PS3.

You can see the document in the embed below:





Intellectual property


Charles Arthur © Guardian News & Media Limited 2011 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds is updated regularly every day with all latest games industry news.

Posted on January 13th, 2011 by  |  No Comments »

Call of Duty: World at War map pack bundle now out

The latest iteration of the Call of Duty franchise has smashed many records along the way since its release pretty recently, outdoing even movies when it comes to total gross, making some people wonder just which industry would be more lucrative assuming one makes it big, so to speak. But I digress – the Call of Duty: World at War map pack bundle is already readily available in North America, where owners of the Xbox 360 will be able to enjoy it on Xbox LIVE Marketplace for 2,000 Microsoft Points, while folks rocking to the Sony PS3 can always get the Call of Duty: World at War map pack bundle for $24.99 over the PlayStation Store.

The bundle from developer Treyarch and Activision Publishing, Inc. features the complete collection of nine multiplayer maps and three co-op Zombie maps from Call of Duty: World at War Map Packs 1-3. Fight through war-torn Berlin in “Nightfire,” battle through the jungle and waterfalls of “Banzai,” and defend an armored island in “Battery.” Zombies and Hell Hounds attack in “Verruckt” (Zombie Asylum), “Shi No Numa” (Zombie Swamp), and “Der Riese” (Zombie Factory). Survive against the onslaught of Zombies with the help of Perks-a-Cola machines, Monkey Bombs, and the powerful Wunderwaffe DG-2.

Expect Call of Duty: World at War map pack bundle to arrive in Europe for our friends across the Atlantic next January 7th, which means they can’t enjoy the title in time for Christmas. What are the video games lined up on your side that you intend to complete during this holiday season?

Press Release

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Posted on December 25th, 2009 by  |  No Comments »