So, chopping dudes heads off...

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#1 Posted by Kierkegaard (556 posts) -

That's fucked, right? There's already a topic on the politics of this game, but just focus on the decapitation mechanic in the quick look. I mean, maybe a machete is sharp enough to do that, but why would that be a choice Treyarch would make? It's just icky and not in a meaningful way. Discuss.

#2 Posted by Leptok (942 posts) -

No russian

#3 Posted by Kierkegaard (556 posts) -

@Leptok said:

No russian

Icky in a meaningful way--in order to fit into a bad group, you gain loyalty by committing a terrible act, only to find that you didn't have to because the bad guy knew all along. Cowardice made it optional, and the story of MW2 is dumb, but I get the purpose. What is the purpose of chopping Angolan rebels heads off?

#4 Posted by Redbullet685 (5980 posts) -

Because cutting off the heads of bad guys is awesome.

#5 Posted by DeviTiffany (400 posts) -

Personally I would want to see the machete be a skin for the knife in multiplayer with similar effect.

#6 Edited by Vinny_Says (5630 posts) -

yeah man it's better when you curb stomp a head with massive boots because the dudes are not human

#7 Posted by Giantstalker (1445 posts) -

Because if you're really willing to kill someone in a life or death situation, as presumably the protagonist is, it doesn't matter how they die.

Sometimes, the machete lands in their chest. Other times, it hits the neck.

Presumably, Treyarch wanted to communicate that this character is willing to do things in a brutal way because they have no empathy whatsoever for their enemy. Which is - at least on paper - an ideal quality for a soldier.

#8 Posted by laserbolts (5309 posts) -

I thought it was pretty awesome and funny that they did that. This is a video game after all.

#9 Posted by Animasta (14460 posts) -

@Giantstalker: I can't say that alex mason is empathetic to anyone that aren't americans (just played the first game here, mind you).

I mean besides Reznov of course but... he's clearly not a good person, even besides his whole numbers station thing, especially if you read the emails in black ops 1.

#10 Posted by awesomeusername (4057 posts) -

@Redbullet685 said:

Because cutting off the heads of bad guys is awesome.

#11 Edited by JasonR86 (9379 posts) -

Because the entire game is over the top so why the fuck not? I can't see myself getting upset about this when there are games that have things like these....

Screenshot from MadWorld.

...in them.

#12 Posted by TheHumanDove (2396 posts) -

In Fable you could kick the decapitated heads around. I was hoping there'd be more innovation with the whole 'next gen', like using a head as a weapon...no luck

#13 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

I don't see why it's any different or worse from shooting people with rockets and having their heads explode, or pretty much anything else.. didn't you make someone eat glass in one of them? This kind of seems like a silly thing to take issue with to be honest. If you aren't into seeing dudes get fucked up, this isn't the best game to get.

#14 Posted by mano521 (1202 posts) -

its a treyarch game. starting at cod world at war, decapitations and amputations have been a staple in their games. Trying to make a "grittier" cod i suppose.

#15 Posted by Nottle (1912 posts) -

The Treyarch games have always been way more violent than the other Call of Duties. You could blow guys legs off in Black ops and the same could be done in World at War as well right?

#16 Posted by Mister_V (963 posts) -

World at war was way worse than blops2. the shotgun in that game really made a mess of guys.

#17 Posted by ShadowConqueror (2994 posts) -

MURDER MURDER MURDER MURDER

#18 Posted by Strife777 (1433 posts) -

Oh no... not decapitations...

#19 Posted by Gladiator_Games (435 posts) -

Fatality!

#20 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

Who cares, Call of Duty hasn't had any taste for a long time. (I don't think it's tasteless myself)

#21 Posted by sirdesmond (1223 posts) -

While you may be able to argue that the Modern Warfare branch of Call of Duty is trying to somehow be somwhat realistic (read: it isn't), you definitely can't really hold Black Ops to that standard. The entire campaign is all about conspiracy theories, brainwashing, secret missions, secret wars, secret tech, etc.

He cut a guys head off. I'm assuming the reason is because they thought people would be entertained by it. I'm not really sure what you are trying to read from it. It would be far more "icky" if you hacked the neck off over a number of slashes or just planted it halfway through his neck (probably more realistic) and you watched him die as the blood just poured out and he gurgled, begging for his life.

#22 Posted by wemibelec90 (1286 posts) -

It's just a continuation of the trend in video games to go bigger and bigger with the violence. No real reason for it other than for the shock value.

#23 Edited by Phished0ne (2430 posts) -

@Kierkegaard said:

@Leptok said:

No russian

Icky in a meaningful way--in order to fit into a bad group, you gain loyalty by committing a terrible act, only to find that you didn't have to because the bad guy knew all along. Cowardice made it optional, and the story of MW2 is dumb, but I get the purpose. What is the purpose of chopping Angolan rebels heads off?

Oh please, No Russian was as hamfisted an attempt at an meaningless "edgy" thing as the machete chopping people's heads off. It is in no means "icky in a meaningful way". Especially considering the fact that that character dies at the end of the mission. It erases all meaning of the mission when it FORCES you to do something you dont want to do, just to have the character get offed at the end. When you could've shot one of the terrorists, had them kill you, and had the same effect. Just had a few one off lines in the story about how the CIA agent wasn't as good as they thought, freaked out and shot one of the terrorists. Sure you can argue they may have had some semblance of the right intentions when they put that mission in. But the way they handled it proved to me at least that they didnt really care anymore than getting the press of "oh man you play a mission where you slaughter civilians in an airport".

That being said, the story in BLOPS2 miles ahead of any other COD game that has came out recently, and i will gladly look past some meaningless gore because of it. I probably wouldn't have even thought twice about it if the quick look didn't make a semi-big deal over it.

#24 Edited by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

It's a weird decision. The way the guy swings and the way the guys head flew off were so disconnected that it comes off as cartoon-y and doesn't fit at all.

@wemibelec90 said:

It's just a continuation of the trend in video games to go bigger and bigger with the violence. No real reason for it other than for the shock value.

I think this is probably it.

The part where he buries his machete in the guys neck and his face goes limp, reminded me of the scene in MW2 where you stab a guy in the chest really close and his eyes roll back. It seems like they look at scenes like that and say, 'How can we have our moment like this and how can we take it further?'

#25 Edited by Kierkegaard (556 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Kierkegaard said:

why would that be a choice Treyarch would make?

...because it's hilarious when a dude's head pops off and flies up in the air on a spurt of red stuff. Maybe it could be disturbing if you weren't clearly fighting two flavors of clone soldiers but... probably not, right? If nothing else, Treyarch has proven that the opposite of "gravity" is "comedy."

I find the desire to laugh at that... wrong? I see comedy in the zombies mode--JFK and Castro working together is funny. But this scene is specifically in the midst of a complex civil war with your advisor a real person who really fought with Americans against Angolan militia. If this was a satire or a parody or a grindhouse film, fine. It's not. It's a super self-serious conspiracy theory war drama.

The tone and cartoony violence are disconnected. I get it. The internet thinks that moral outrage is the same thing as censorship or scolding or an attack on their gray, V for Vendetta, fuck the man world. It's not. Sometimes games miss the mark and do something wrong. Truly loving them means seeing that, understanding it, and learning from it. Rejecting all criticism as if the critics were uninformed senior citizens is lazy.

#26 Edited by believer258 (11048 posts) -

@Kierkegaard said:

It's a super self-serious conspiracy theory war drama.

Far worse exists for you to get up in arms about. We could always discuss the myriad number of ways in which you can mutilate people in Fallout 3 and New Vegas.

#27 Posted by atomic_dumpling (2442 posts) -

@wemibelec90 said:

It's just a continuation of the trend in video games to go bigger and bigger with the violence. No real reason for it other than for the shock value.

You need to lighten up. You know, just like the dude in the box.

#28 Posted by thedj93 (1237 posts) -

haha that part looked hilarious its just a video game after all

#29 Posted by OtakuGamer (1182 posts) -

@Redbullet685 said:

Because cutting off the heads of bad guys is awesome.

Precisely!

#30 Posted by SuperWristBands (2265 posts) -

Seemed really stupid to me but I just assumed it was there because the general player base for Call of Duty games are always sporting a massive murder boner while playing these games.

#31 Posted by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Treyarch have always been about actual violence when you shoot a dude ever since World at War.

#32 Posted by LikeaSsur (1430 posts) -
@Giantstalker I genuinely enjoy it when someone talks like that. Deep philosophy about a game like Call of Duty is always so weird.
#33 Posted by CptBedlam (4440 posts) -

@wemibelec90 said:

It's just a continuation of the trend in video games to go bigger and bigger with the violence. No real reason for it other than for the shock value.

Yep, and I find this trend a little worrying. Some games are going too far in my opinion.

#34 Posted by Brodehouse (9370 posts) -

Hah. When Skyrim does it it's so cool guys oh man what a great game I knocked Lydia's head off ahaha!

When the awful Call of Duty does it, we need a referendum.

#35 Posted by Demoskinos (13878 posts) -

Cause videogames.

#36 Edited by Kierkegaard (556 posts) -

@Brodehouse: Who said that? I didn't say that. You can't lump all people who play games into one mindset about a very specific aspect. Gratuitous violence and dismemberment and decapitation is weird. If you have a higher purpose to insane violence or the character is dismembering horrible monsters or aliens, that's different than if it's just "hey, on a lark, the machete = heads coming off." I mean. What?

@rebgav said:

@Kierkegaard said:

If this was a satire or a parody or a grindhouse film, fine.

I find videogames to be absolutely at the same level of development as drive-in/grindhouse movies. Especially something like Call of Duty, Black Ops only doubles-down on that vibe. I cannot think of a modern videogame story which isn't, at its core, genre fluff and most games tend to gravitate towards pulpy comic-book narratives.

Calling CoD a "war drama" is stretching the limits of plausibility. The franchise has become a spectacle akin to "event" movies of the 90's, there is no pretense that they're trying to explore meaningful stories about war or represent any sort of realistic representation of warfare.

Edit: too many "represents" in there. That last sentence reads like a Klepek special.

Oh come now. Whatever your highly cynical take on the medium is, the attempt to be serious war commentary has always been COD's monicker. Whether they are successful is pretty clear, but the effect IW tried to have in COD 2 with the beach landing and 4 with the nuke going off was clearly not "coooool," but "whoa, man. War is fucked." Black Ops and trey arch are not Infinity Ward. But Black Ops' is alternative history storytelling, not camp.

What you think games are has to be backed up by the facts of those games. Self-seriousness has been an odd halmark of COD games.

#37 Posted by Terramagi (1159 posts) -

@Kierkegaard said:

@rebgav said:

@Kierkegaard said:

If this was a satire or a parody or a grindhouse film, fine.

I find videogames to be absolutely at the same level of development as drive-in/grindhouse movies. Especially something like Call of Duty, Black Ops only doubles-down on that vibe. I cannot think of a modern videogame story which isn't, at its core, genre fluff and most games tend to gravitate towards pulpy comic-book narratives.

Calling CoD a "war drama" is stretching the limits of plausibility. The franchise has become a spectacle akin to "event" movies of the 90's, there is no pretense that they're trying to explore meaningful stories about war or represent any sort of realistic representation of warfare.

Edit: too many "represents" in there. That last sentence reads like a Klepek special.

Oh come now. Whatever your highly cynical take on the medium is, the attempt to be serious war commentary has always been COD's monicker. Whether they are successful is pretty clear, but the effect IW tried to have in COD 2 with the beach landing and 4 with the nuke going off was clearly not "coooool," but "whoa, man. War is fucked." Black Ops and trey arch are not Infinity Ward. But Black Ops' is alternative history storytelling, not camp.

What you think games are has to be backed up by the facts of those games. Self-seriousness has been an odd halmark of COD games.

The game stopped being about the horrors of war and started being a Michael Bay movie sometime around the point where you got in a fucking speedboat and had to shoot rockets at people.

#38 Posted by Kierkegaard (556 posts) -

@rebgav said:

@Kierkegaard said:

But Black Ops' is alternative history storytelling, not camp.

Quick Q; Have you played the Black Ops 2 campaign?

Nope. Watched Black Ops on youtube and just read the wiki synopsis of 2's plot. It's convoluted, it's poorly constructed, it tries to humanize a villain and fails, but it's not intentional self-parody. I shouldn't have said camp. Camp is in the eye of the beholder. It's not self-aware satire, unless that synopsis leaves out all the winkings at the camera when people aren't killing siblings and dying horribly.

Hey, I've never bought a COD game and only played parts of 2 and all of 4. I have, fascinated by the zeitgeist, watched or read the majority of their plots. My credentials aren't the issue.

I'm bloody annoyed that whenever anyone on these boards tries to start a discussion about the ramifications of developer choices they get shouted down as reactionist silly people. I'm annoyed that the majority of people who have posted in here don't want to think below the surface level here. It's not cool. It's lazy and anti-intellectual.

#39 Posted by Hizang (8534 posts) -

Because it's kinda awesome?

#40 Posted by NekuSakuraba (7240 posts) -

It's too bad you can't pick up heads and then throw them at people, right? Ya know, video games and all that.

#41 Posted by StrikeALight (1111 posts) -

Thats cool. But can you decaptitate teh zombies?

#42 Posted by ExplodeMode (852 posts) -

@Brodehouse said:

Hah. When Skyrim does it it's so cool guys oh man what a great game I knocked Lydia's head off ahaha!

When the awful Call of Duty does it, we need a referendum.

That's true, it was pretty goofy in Skyrim. But I guess that stuff was built in Fallout and the Fallout games are supposed to be dumb like that. It's weird that I didn't even think about how stupid it was in an ES game -- maybe I do have a stick up my butt for CoD.

#43 Posted by believer258 (11048 posts) -

@Kierkegaard said:

@rebgav said:

@Kierkegaard said:

But Black Ops' is alternative history storytelling, not camp.

Quick Q; Have you played the Black Ops 2 campaign?

Nope. Watched Black Ops on youtube and just read the wiki synopsis of 2's plot. It's convoluted, it's poorly constructed, it tries to humanize a villain and fails, but it's not intentional self-parody. I shouldn't have said camp. Camp is in the eye of the beholder. It's not self-aware satire, unless that synopsis leaves out all the winkings at the camera when people aren't killing siblings and dying horribly.

Hey, I've never bought a COD game and only played parts of 2 and all of 4. I have, fascinated by the zeitgeist, watched or read the majority of their plots. My credentials aren't the issue.

I'm bloody annoyed that whenever anyone on these boards tries to start a discussion about the ramifications of developer choices they get shouted down as reactionist silly people. I'm annoyed that the majority of people who have posted in here don't want to think below the surface level here. It's not cool. It's lazy and anti-intellectual.

But Call of Duty isn't anything approaching "intellectual" in the first place.

I don't particularly see the problem here. Sure, if black Ops 2 were the only media out there to have decapitations, then we could discuss "developer ramifications" and stuff like that. And, while I haven't yet played Black Ops 2's campaign, I've played the first one and it was very pulpy and action movie-ish. It was a story that gave you a reason to do and see action movie things. I don't think there were any further ramifications than a dude getting chopped in half toward the end of Die Hard With a Vengeance or dudes getting knifed in several different unfortunate ways in The Raid: Redemption. It's cheap, violent, gory fun, something that humanity has largely enjoyed since the beginning of time regardless of whether they would actually kill someone or not.

I guess that doesn't completely discount it being a worrisome long-time trend, but it does mean that Black Ops 2 is far from alone in this issue.

#44 Posted by Azteck (7447 posts) -

Dude, you are literally killing hundreds of people all on your own throughout the campaign. I don't think decapitation is the biggest problem this game has when it comes to politics.

#45 Posted by darkvare (743 posts) -

@TheHumanDove: you can use heads as weapons in state of emergency

#46 Edited by DjCmeP (1145 posts) -

You do realize that you are killing people in the game right? It's a shooter, you KILL people in them. I don't see anything wrong with chopping off a limb or two, since you're already shooting people IN THEIR FACE. Maybe you shouldn't be playing games of this genre if decapitating someone makes you feel sick.

#47 Posted by Lord_Xp (599 posts) -

@Leptok said:

No russian

Rendering this arguement done already. No russian makes decapitation no big deal in my eyes

#48 Posted by Cronus42 (270 posts) -

@Kierkegaard said:

I'm bloody annoyed that whenever anyone on these boards tries to start a discussion about the ramifications of developer choices they get shouted down as reactionist silly people. I'm annoyed that the majority of people who have posted in here don't want to think below the surface level here. It's not cool. It's lazy and anti-intellectual.

You asked us to discuss, and everybody thinks its no big deal and that you're over-reacting. Getting upset or annoyed that people are showing their different opinions means you didn't want a discussion, you just wanted people to agree with you.

People dont get shouted down as reactionist every time they bring up a topic like this, only when they are making a huge deal out of nothing. Even ignore the decapitation stuff, by the end of that game you will have shot and killed hundreds if not over a thousand generic, look-alike soldiers. How is that any less fucked than taking a fake dude's head off. Call of Duty is supposed to be dumb and over the top, espscially the Treyarch games. There isn't a ton to look at below the surface.

People are saying that your'e over reacting because you are, its pretty easy to name a solid list of games with things just as needlessly fucked if not worse in them, but for some reason you have a problem with one sequence in this game specifically. And the fact you have played none of it does hurt your position. I know all of 0 people that go to call of duty for the deep meaningful story. Yea the story is ok, and kind of entertaining, but its a generic video game script. Turn it into a movie line for line and it would be a shitty, fun, and frankly entertaining action film.

#49 Posted by JazGalaxy (1577 posts) -

@Giantstalker said:

Because if you're really willing to kill someone in a life or death situation, as presumably the protagonist is, it doesn't matter how they die.

Sometimes, the machete lands in their chest. Other times, it hits the neck.

Presumably, Treyarch wanted to communicate that this character is willing to do things in a brutal way because they have no empathy whatsoever for their enemy. Which is - at least on paper - an ideal quality for a soldier.

I don't buy when people try to justify this stuff by projecting some sort of high art mind on the part of the developers.

Most ultraviolence in videogames is put in there just because videogames with ultraviolence sell. It's courting controversy for the sake of courting controversy.

#50 Posted by AssInAss (2400 posts) -

Treyarch is clearly more 70s exploitated-influenced which explains their zombie mode and all the more gruesome violence/torture porn.

Remember stuffing a dude's mouth full of glass?

They're a bit weird with their tones, they show really gruesome torture stuff but their fiction comes off as more comical like with the "america fuck yeah" at the end of Black Ops or the sci-fi angle and Avenged Sevenfold music video in Black Ops 2.

Dishonored and Spec Ops The Line did gore right this year with the more consistent tone.

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