Seeing the general consensus of the finally arrived GT5 has given me a bit of chance to say "I told you so" to a lot of the people I've discussed this game with. Multiple delays, overwhelming scope of the content and a strong competitor that has appeared, equaled, and arguably even surpassed this series in the time since its last release has done this game no favors. In my humble peon opinion, crap like this does no favors for any game, no matter how well established its franchise may be.
When anticipation begins to wan into unrealistic expectations, nothing but disappointment is sure to follow. I'm sure the main problem was probably overwhelming scope and possibly a lack of direction from the project leads, but it’s a shame to see a once great franchise fall so short of expectations. When you screw around and delay things that should have been out years ago, you have only yourselves to blame when it fails.
First off i'll go ahead and get out of the way that i feel there IS a difference between the way Infinity Ward and Treyarch make there games and overall i feel Inifinity Ward still does it better. That being said, I have to say kudos to Treyarch for making a game that truly feels like an evolution in the right direction for the series. So many things in Modern Warfare 2 were put in there with the idea that they would aid newcomers into being competitive. Things like Stopping Power, Danger Close, Commando, Death Streaks, Shotguns and Machine Pistols as secondary weapons, and a very generous magnetic aim assist were put into last year's title meant to aid the less skilled and ended up being abused by the majority of players making the game, at times, unbalanced and broken. Treyarch identified a lot of these issues and decided to correct them in this game. The aforementioned items are either nerfed or completely removed to implement a greater sense of balance. Of course, i'm not saying the game is perfect. There are sure to be issues balance that will crop up but i've seen none so destabilizing thus far that make game a frustrating experience.
I've seen a lot of people complaining online sayin that "Sniping sucks now" and that "the game is broken". Well about 8-9 hours into the multiplayer, i can tell you that if you every fired a sniper in the previous games without using stopping power as the crutch that it was, you'd realize that the snipers are the same, what's different is there's not as much assistance helping you hit your target. Headshots still kill in one shot so maybe you should watch your replay in the theater mode and see where your shots are actually hitting. (Which i also feel the theater mode is a welcome addition should be a standard feature for any serious competitive multiplayer game.) As for the issues i have encountered, I've been playing on xbox live and there's been some issues keeping me and my party members together. However, this could be related to the massive amount of stress on the service over the past week. I believe one night this week i saw the game reporting nearly 4 million players were online at one point.
As for the game itself, often times the spawn system seems even less forgiving than in previous Call of Duty games. Given that the call of duty games seem to be notorious for having bad spawn systems, and that a completely fair spawn system in a multiplayer shooter is a bit of a "white whale", it's a bummer that not much has changed here. Frequently i can hit a patch where i get spawned consecutive times into crowds of enemy players or spawned a few feet from the location i was just killed in. Just this morning, i was killed 3-4 times in a row by a player's chopper gunner because the game kept spawning me in the same location.
With my list of complaints toward it relatively short at the moment and i'm fairly confident that i'm past the honeymoon phase with this game, i'm making a ruling that this game is great in my opinion. It's not a dramatic departure like Call of Duty 4 or even a MW2 but rather treyarch has done to MW2 with this game what they did to CoD4 with WaW, new content, more CoD and they did a better job on this one than they did with World at War.
In just a few short weeks i had already forgotten that i was due to get a member t-shirt. I guess it's just that i when i signed up for my year sub, i just considered it a donation as me doing my part to support the best site i've ever had the pleasure of calling myself a community member of. All the other stuff was just a bonus. This site gives me hours of entertainment and if there's some way i can give back to it's creators, I'm all for it. Big ups to you GiantBomb.
I don't think game releases could have picked a better few weeks to hit a lull. In the past 3 weeks, I've gone on vacation to florida, and gotten several moments of outside time regularly. Still addicted to MW2 like a crack addict hits his crack pipe. Also enjoying Borderlands. Looking forward to Splinter Cell Conviction and Red Dead Redemption in the coming weeks. Also curious about this Halo Reach Beta coming up. Stay cool out there peeps.