Between blogs, I managed to get, play, and finish Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The single player campaign was intense, fun, bloody, and awesome. Picking pretty much right where MW2 left off, you fight to try to end Makarov's ambitions. I just dove right in on Veteran mode, and it's doable, but as usual there are a few hair-pulling spots, especially the final level where they seem to leave you without great cover, but once you know where the enemies come from you can be a bit proactive with grenades and some machine gun fire.
Of course, the multiplayer looks great, but there've been some well publicized snafus, especially with the Elite service. I'm also bummed that the changes I hated in BlackOps they decided to implement in the Modern Warfare side of things: Scavenger perk nerfed so badly as to be useless andshotguns as primary weapons to name the two biggest. Also, the great things BlackOps did have not been included: I get Wager Matches not being here since there's no currency used, but Gun Battle was a fun mode. Also, why did they leave in the near-universally reviled heartbeat sensor? On the other hand, the new Kill Confirmed mode is super fun, where you or a teammate has to collect a dropped dog tag from downed enemies to make the kill count on the scoreboard, and you can collect your own team's tags to deny kills.
Also, not in love with the maps. Some like Underground (at a London tube station) and Resistance (in streets of Paris) are beautiful, but overall they lackthe sniping alleys and neat nooks and crannies that both MW2 and BlackOps had. They seem much more tailored to people who just want to use machine gun-type weaponry. They also fail in the same way some MW2 maps did by visually offering lots of vertical promise, but then it's "oh, that ladder is conveniently blocked off" or "the Dumpster you could climb in that other map we're not letting get atop on this one."
On the more plus side, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is more than any person could imagine. It's not game of the year, it's just flat-out the greatest achievement in gaming ever. And that they managed to squeeze it on to just one disc—after Oblivion was two—makes it all the more a marvel. I'm maybeten hours in,and the main quest is such an afterthought at this point, as there's just so much to do. The world is gorgeous, and in the northernmost parts of the map you really feel like you're in a blizzard as the snow and wind whip around you, and at night there is sometimes an aurora across the sky. What they promised about the dungeons is true; they all feel unique and have their own architecture and little quirks, unlike the cookie-cutter ones in Oblivion.
The system of each skill having perks that you can pick each level (assuming your skill level is high enough to have access) is well thought out. I'm concentrating on a thief/magehybrid character, focusing on stealth, one-handed weapons, light armor, destruction magic, lockpicking, pickpocketing, and archery. You're also a bit more competent of a fighter right out of the gate, with blessedly no mud crab deaths. Not to say I haven't had my failures; my first death was stumbling across a trio of mages. I went to approach a lone soul atop a hill, not knowing if he was friend or foe, and two others came up behind me and started blasting with a Frostbite spell. I just couldn't keep up and was too slow on the healing potions.
Also, not every dungeon should you explore right away. At a place called Shriekwind Bastion I defeated a "vampire's thrall". Now, I knew this meant an actual vampire had to be in there, but I've no idea what level I need to be to takeone on. He was actually the next creature I encountered and he royally Sanduskied me, as he was near-immune what paltry magic I could toss his way and my mace wasn't much more effective. Time to reload!
Which brings me to possibly the best part of Skyrim, their commitment to disaster recovery, both due to bugs or your stupidity. The game very smartly rotates between three auto saves, plus you can still save anytime. It's like they know files can get corrupted or people forget to save, so they protect you both against bugs and from yourself. Mind you, I've not yet had a corrupt file, but I greatly appreciate this.
That's all for today. Thanks for reading, everybody!