This is a continuing SPOnG retrospective of the year’s events.
The month of May was far from the pleasant, field-skipping, outdoor delight people expected it to be. Not in the gaming world, anyway. People were far too engrossed with shooting things in the face.
Yes, after more than six months on sale, Activision’s Modern Warfare 2
was still commanding all of the attention - and PlayStation 3 owners were finally able to catch up with their Xbox 360-owning friends.
For the Stimulus Pack, which launched on XBLA back in March, was being released on PSN (Modern Warfare 2 Stimulus Pack Hits PlayStation Network
, 4th May). It was such a big deal that this was the top story on SPOnG for the month.
Just as popular was Activision’s explanation for the add-on’s price point, asking gamers for around $15 for some extra maps. COO Thomas Tippl said that the time people were putting into the multiplayer justified the price (Activision: MW2 $15 for Map Packs is ‘Fantastic Value’,
Just as PS3 owners were getting a taste of Stimulus, Activision had spilled the beans on the game’s second map pack, titled Resurgence. As before, it would launch on Xbox Live for an exclusive period of time before Sony console players would get the chance to play it.
On top of the five-map reveal, Modern Warfare 2
would see a couple of Double XP weekends, the first of which would kick off at the end of May (Modern Warfare 2 - Resurgence Map Pack Xbox 360 Dated
, 13th May).
The future of the popular war series was just around the corner however, and in May the lid was formally lifted off of the can of bullets known as Call of Duty: Black Ops
. Not only was an extended trailer unveiled (Call of Duty: Black Ops Trailer Crashes Through The Window
, 19th May), but we were able to report back on the very first moments of the game (click here
to read the SPOnG preview) and speak to Treyarch’s Mark Lamia and Josh Olin
on the pressures of following in Infinity Ward’s footsteps.
Activision’s fallout with Jason West and Vince Zampella showed no signs of ending, although at least it seemed as if they were over the messiest part of their breakup. The chaos that took place in April prompted the publisher’s CEO, Bobby Kotick, to say that the former Infinity Ward execs “compromised our friendship” (Kotick Questions West & Zampella’s Ethics
, 7th May). EA was pleased as punch about snapping the pair up, but Frank Gibeau was a little bit cheeky in regards to how the deal occurred (EA Changes Tune: Respawn ‘Fell into Our Laps’
, 5th May).
EA wasn’t resting on its deal with Respawn to tackle its rival’s Call of Duty series. Medal of Honor
saw a complete reboot in an attempt to stay somewhat relevant - there’s only so many times you can recount events in World War II, after all.
We had a sneak peek at the new shooter
, set in Afghanistan and focusing on special Tier 1 operatives. I noted at this early stage that the Ranger side of play seemed very much old-school Medal of Honor
in design, but was told that there would be more interesting elements later in the game. Little did we know that, really, there wouldn’t be.