I once spent an entire afternoon watching the latest news about the major happenings of Canadian politics. This is odd for a variety of different reasons, but by far the biggest is the simple fact that, I am not Canadian. Yet, there I was consumed by the latest happenings of Justin Trudeau, Stephen Harper, Tom Mulcair and company. I am fascinated by politics in general, hence my degree in Political Science and this past few months has only heightened it, what with this tiny little election in my country. But foreign affairs, the politics of other countries have always held a special place for me. I have always wanted to know more, to be as knowledgeable about them as I am about American history and politics(almost certainly an impossible task given my 24 years of idolizing and consuming every single sliver of information about the Presidency and Americas wild, terrible, complex, impossible history). I am an internationalist in so many ways, drawn by the idea of the world joining together to do impossible things. I have been resolute in my belief that we are stronger together then apart ever since I first read Abraham Lincoln's words that a house divided can not stand. I love stories that reflect this, that showcase a tale of people from a plethora of different backgrounds banding together to do something remarkable. All of which is a long way of saying that I love the new Call of Duty.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.
I love Call of Duty, I know that it no longer is a cool or popular thing to do, but I don't care, this series is brilliant. I am given the ability to play a big, epic summer action movie, why would I not love that? These games play as flawlessly as any thing out there and as someone who only plays the campaigns actually tell some incredible stories.
Sure, I already hear you beginning to say that they are all the same and that the series is tired, stale, and without original ideas anymore. Well to that I would just like to point you to Infinite Warfare, one of the very best games I have played the entire year and in the running for being the best Call of Duty I have played.
Astounded is simply the only way I could describe my reaction playing Infinite Warfare. How radically different and unique this game is from Call of Duty's of old is shocking. I honestly don't know where to begin, the addition of side-missions that feel important and like they matter while also being fun to play. The ability to customize what weapons you bring into every mission, the feeling of tragedy and melancholy that hangs over the games entire proceedings. This game is sad and filled with sorrow. Throughout it's runtime I was floored to discover just how little they held back in showcasing the brutal nature of combat.
The letters of the fallen, which are a series of letters written by those characters who passed away in combat are striking in their breadth, resonance, and beauty in conveying how numerous different people approach thier own mortality. I praised Battlefield 1 earlier in the year for it's approach to handling the tragedy of war and yet in many ways Call of Duty does an even greater job in driving home the humanity of these people. This game is sad and beautiful and moving and funny in ways I didn't expect at all. I haven't seen anything like this from the series since Black Ops 1 and nothing like it from a shooter since Wolfenstein: The New Order. I just finished it today and I'll have full thoughts up later, but damn this is something special y'all.
Telltale Batman Episode 4
So, my thoughts on Telltale's Batman story have basically run the gamut of emotions. I loved the more grounded, early Batman story they were telling in the opening episode and hated when they suddenly pivoted and began to tell a more fantastical, supervilliany story in the next two episodes. That said my love of Telltale's take on Bruce Wayne and the group surrounding him(Selina, Harvey, Alfred) has only grown stronger every episode. The studio has nailed those characters and watching Harvey slowly come undone has been masterfully done. So with all that said I am cautiously hopeful to see what Episode 4 has in store for me this week, fingers crossed on this one.
Shout-Out of the Week.
So heres the thing...I forgot who I originally was going to make my shout-out of the week. So, instead I'm just going to name a bunch of people I've said before who continue to do hella(look how hip I am) work. From the fantastic 2-Player Co-Op guys who put up a bunch of great work this past week, including a Game Awards prediction episode, to the wonderful Alex O'Neill, have you seen Alex Talks yet? You really should watch it. To Jurge Cruz who continues to wow me with his often hilarious and always great IP contributor work. To of course the stellar guys over at Kinda Funny of whom I owe so much and who constantly stun me all these years later at the sheer volume of fantastic content they put out. Their are of course so many other brilliant people out there doing great work. From within the KF community alone you have in addition to Alex(and I suppose myself) Trevor, Xyger, Tom Hawkins, Ally, Christian, Andrew, Barrett, and so many others who are out there doing awesome work of any kind. The internet can be a rough place sometimes, full of anger, rage, and loud noises shouting down everyone else, but I dunno I'm an optimist and all the super talented people out there doing great stuff just reaffirms my faith that there's a helluva lot more good out there. Anyway, I got a pizza to eat and some West Wing to rewatch for the hundredth time, so until next time have a great week everybody and make the internet a brighter place.