Features// SPOnG's Review of the Year '09: December

Posted 3 Jan 2010 16:30 by
This is a continuing SPOnG retrospective of the year’s events.


So we come to the end of 2009 - and in fact, the end of the 2000s. This month is not only a time for looking back over the past 12 months (otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this series of articles) but also the last decade. After writing eleven of these, if you think I’m going to go into a ten-year retrospective you can shove it up your -snip-

Sorry about that. It’s Christmas, we should be celebrating! Joyeux Noël and all that. Microsoft and Infinity Ward were more into the whole ‘taking’ than ‘giving’ side of the season though, as it was announced that a recent bug in Modern Warfare 2 was to be fixed. The ‘Javelin Glitch’ in question, involved abusing your weaponry in some way so that you turned yourself into a rudimentary suicide bomber.

Whilst work on the fix took place, Microsoft informed Xbox Live players that anyone taking advantage of the glitch in the meantime would be banned (“MW2 Javelin Glitch Being Fixed, Will Get You Banned”, 3rd Dec 2009). Xbox online boss Stephen Toulouse tried to explain the decision to clearly irate players, to no avail. Eventually he lost the plot and referenced the art of car stealing to make his point.

December was a cursed time for sports stars - in the golfing world, Tiger Woods ended up in a car crash that resulted in about a million and one affairs being revealed. But in tennis, Andy Murray had also been having some problems with the better half, splitting with his 22-year-old girlfriend. The reason was due to “long hours playing video tennis and PlayStation 3 games such as the best selling Call of Duty sequel,” according to the Daily Telegraph (“Andy Murray’s Video Game Habit Loses Him Girlfriend”, 1st Dec 2009).

Electronic Arts announced a reboot of its Medal of Honor series in December, and all signs were pointing to a head-to-head clash with Activision’s Modern Warfare. Turns out, EA is indeed intending to chase its bitter rival in the war genre, with CEO John Riccitiello boasting an “advantage over Modern Warfare 2 with our multi-player” (“EA’s Riccitiello: We Have Multiplayer Advantage over Modern Warfare 2”, 3rd Dec 2009).

DICE has been handed multiplayer development duties on the new Medal of Honour, which features an Afghanistan setting and a mysterious bearded chap. Riccitiello said that he thought “the Infinity Ward guys are great”, but added that, “if you’ve played Modern Warfare, and you’ve played the first one - and you’ve played the last Call of Duty - it’s sort of starting to feel like they’re making the same game again.”

SPOnG went to see a special Winter Showcase of EA’s upcoming games, and while Medal of Honour wasn’t one of them, Bioware’s Mass Effect 2 was. Studio co-founder, Dr. Ray Muzyka, sat down with us to have a chat about the sequel and what the future held for the series after the trilogy. During the interview, mention was made of the controversy surrounding the original game’s handling of sex. Muzyka was keen to stress that, in the face of all the FOX News viewers out there, “[The sex,] it’s never casual... the relationships you build you our games you have to invest time in. It’s all about reflecting emotional intensity” (“Bioware: Mass Effect 2’s Romance not Sex”, 2nd Dec 2009).

So, romance and not mere body bumping, then.
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