Welcome to this week's edition of the Game Ranter Banter. Five of our writers have stopped playing Skyrim to give their thoughts on this week's gaming news, so you better be appreciative. This week we'll be discussing the the Steam hacks, Call of Duty related crimes and the whole BF3 vs. MW3 debate. Back into the virtual world, we'll also be discussing Assassin's Creed Embers.
Our readers are as knowledgeable and opinionated as our own writers, so here is the place for all of you to discuss these stories as well as any others that may have piqued your interest throughout the week. Just don't be a troll, because this is Game Rant not "Life Under A Bridge Rant".
The Real Modern Warfare
We recently reported on the armed robbery of a two trucks carrying copies of Modern Warfare 3 - which, sadly, wasn't the only incident of violence reported in the wake of the highly-anticipated game's release. As gamers, it's understandable that we're eager to get our hands on the latest and greatest titles but with Call of Duty fans paying over $1,000 for copies of the title on E-Bay the weekend before Modern Warfare 3 launched, it's becoming increasingly scary out there.
More than one clerk was assaulted here in the states after certain retailers sold out of Modern Warfare 3 deluxe editions. It's understandable that some players want to be the first to play one of their most anticipated titles of the year, but when store clerks are being injured and delivery men are being held-up by criminals who have turned to stealing shipments of video games - knowing full well they'll be able to sell the games off at premium prices (before the game launches in other regions) - it's time to ask ourselves where the line is between standing in line at midnight for a game and compulsively attempting to get our hands on a game by any means necessary. We all love video games but when did we stop loving our fellow neighbor?
If you're one of those people who leave comments or forum posts saying that Battlefield 3 sucks, or Modern Warfare 3 requires no skill, you're an idiot. You're a troll in denial. I say denial because I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you may not actually know how ridiculous you are.
Some of the biggest and best developers, containing teams of some of the most talented people in the industry built these games and they're both great. That's why they're the ones that get the big pre-orders, the ones that make the most headlines and the ones that people play the most online. Their releases are events that people line up for. You may like one over the other, or neither, but to come online behind your keyboard and belittle one game or worse, the players of that one game, makes you a troll. Trolls are evil.
So, to the angry trolls going on Metacritic to give Modern Warfare 3 a 0 or 1 out of 10, you're failing and it's laughable. There are a few hundred of you behind your keyboard vs. 6.5+ million people who bought this game on day one and are having a blast with it. Games are fun. Enjoy the ones you like and let others enjoy the ones they like.
Image edited from art by Guilherme-Briggs.
Crouching Tiger Hidden Assassin
The new Assassin's Creed: Embers trailer has fans of the AC series excited for an Asian influenced assassin. However, this may not be the new assassin that Ubisoft hinted at a while back for AC3. Up until this point we've been following the story though Desmond's bloodline, and it would make sense that the main character of Assassin’s Creed 3 will follow this trend. Since Embers takes place after Ezio has passes on his DNA, it seems unlikely that this new female assassin will be the lead in the next game.
This doesn't mean that Ubisoft can't unplug Desmond from the Animus and have a side story in a different setting. We've already came up with a list of future locales that AC3 could take place in, with Feudal Japan being one of them. Personally, I feel Ubisoft may head more to the West and have the next game centered in Europe or Colonial United States since many well known power struggles have happened in these areas.
As always with the Assassin's Creed games, we'll just have to keep guessing until we get the official word.
A Steamy Situation
This week, the Steam Forums became the latest victim of hackers, continuing what has to be a rough 2011 year for gamers all around. The PlayStation Network Nightmare was a prime example of how many users - and their personal information - could be taken due to lax security. As we just finished putting that experience in the past behind us, now we have Steam to worry about.
Thankfully, unlike Sony, Valve secured our information more securely than plain text files. While there is no evidence of Credit-Card misuse, it's a good reminder that gamers should always use secure passwords and, above that, should be using different passwords for different logins. I know several friends who said they use the same password for both the Steam Forums and their Steam Account. After this week, this places them in much more danger than someone who used two different passwords.
We may be gaming to relax and forget about the dangers of the real world, but in this digital age, doing that can put our personal lives - and financial accounts - at risk. Use different passwords. If both Sony and Steam could get hacked, know that any company could. And remember, if you find fraudulent activity on your credit card, call your credit card company immediately and take action without delay.
There's A Rat In My Battlefield
Earlier this week we reported that animal activist group PETA claimed Battlefield 3 could lead to an increase in animal cruelty as there is a scene where the player kills a rat with a knife. This is, of course, nonsense. There are no proven ties between violent behavior and violent video games, let alone violent behavior towards animals, this is just PETA getting up in arms about a topic they barely have any experience with, a sentiment that seems to ring true for all other anti-gaming groups. Basically, there's no proof that video games will cause one to go out and kill a rat. I play shooter games more than any human should, and I am quite frankly scared of blood. I always have been and the past four years of diving into FPS games haven't turned me into a bloodthirsty killer.
I can respect PETA's core values, despite what they may have done in the past. Animal cruelty is a bad thing, but extremists in a group can (and do) cause many problems for their public appearance. We shouldn't really judge the individuals at PETA for these statements but they should restructure their group and inform themselves of what's going on in the outside world to avoid making these baseless accusations in the future.
Also, the day after this happened, I played a level in Modern Warfare 3 where I shot a Hyena.