Kotaku

Make Your Own Black Ops Christmas OrnamentTreyarch's 2011 Christmas card is also a neat little Call of Duty: Black Ops ornament, all ready to be hung in a tree.


If you're a big fan, feel free to print these out, trim the excess, tape them together and hang it in your own tree.


Hey, where's my Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 ornament Infinity Ward?


Make Your Own Black Ops Christmas Ornament


Kotaku

Guess Which Game Still Isn't More Popular Than Call of Duty Battlefield 3 couldn't do it and neither could Skyrim it seems, Call of Duty, two Call of Duty games actually, remain the most played games on Xbox Live for the week of Nov. 21.


Yes, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim isn't even an online game, but Major Nelson's weekly list counts all games played on connected Xbox 360s. So the game itself doesn't have to be an online game, the player just needs to be logged in.


That in mind, it's pretty impressive that single-player only Skyrim is in the number three spot, bumping Battlefield 3 from its purchase, but not touching Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or Call of Duty: Black Ops from their one and two spots, respectively.


Shacknews - Andrew Yoon

If Modern Warfare 3's lack of zombies has you feeling down, don't fret. Activision is releasing yet another zombie-centric Call of Duty game for iOS tomorrow.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombies is a follow-up to last year's Call of Duty: World at War Zombies app. The universal app will be available for iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch, and will include the Kino der Toten map from the console game.

Like last year's iOS zombie game, Black Ops Zombies will add additional maps post-launch. The game also includes multiplayer support via wi-fi for up to four players. There's also voice chat, so you can hear the horrified screams of your co-op partners.

New to Black Ops Zombies is the unlockable Dead Ops Arcade mini-game--the same top-down shooter featured in the console game.

Dead Ops Arcade

According to Joystiq, Black Ops Zombies will be available tomorrow on the App Store for $6.99.

PC Gamer
Steam Autumn sale
Do you hear that faint wailing in the background? That's the sound of a thousand bank accounts going "noooo!" at the appearance of the Autumn Steam Sale. Thankfully for our wallets, it only lasts until Sunday, with dozens of new deals every day. Consider it a warm up for the monolithic Steam Christmas sale next month.

The sale kicked off yesterday, but you've still got six hours to grab some of the fantastic day one deals. The marvellous Orcs Must Die is just £2.99 / $3.74 (we gave it a score of 90 in our Orcs Must Die review). Portal 2 is selling for just £6.79 / $10.19. If you haven't played Mass Effect yet, the first game is £2.49 / $4.99, and Mass Effect 2 is 75% off at £4.99 / $12.49.

If you're more partial to an arcade explodathon starring Gordon Freeman, Renegade Ops is £4.99 / $7.49 (or you can grab a four pack for £9.99 / $14.99). All of Dejobaan's games are also on sale as well, including AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! for the Awesome.

These games are also on sale for the next few hours:

Call of Duty: Black Ops
Duke Nukem Forever
Test Drive Unlimited 2
Risen
Sam & Max series
Men of War series
Oddworld series

 
These deals will switch out in 5 hours and 42 minutes from the time of writing. Keep an eye on the Steam front page for the next set of deals then.
Shacknews - Alice O'Connor

Call of Duty Elite was swamped when it launched alongside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this month, leaving most players unable to access the social service. It's still spotty, but publisher Activision has now said that it intends to have everything up and running by December 1.

"It was our fault that the service wasn't up and running the day [fans] put in their token or the day they bought it," Activision VP of production Daniel Suarez told G4TV.

Those who subscribed to the optional premium Elite service were offered a month of free service to cover the outage. Call of Duty: Elite developer Beachhead plans to "to have everything up and running by or before the 30-day mark," Suarez explained, before subscribers' freebie periods runs out.

"They kind of have to bear with us while we bring this all back up, but for us it's literally 'Give us those couple weeks, we're giving those to you for free and come December 1 the goal is that we'll have everything up and running.'"

Elite services have been coming online one by one, and this gradual approach will continue. This week will bring the launch of new competitions and subscriber-only "TV series" Friday Night Fights, and the mobile Elite should launch "at the end of November."

There's still no word on when Elite will come to PC. An official representative slipped up last week and said they couldn't "cannot guarantee if or when" it would hit PC, but it is still coming. The problem, Suarez says, is that the PC "isn't as secure" a platform as consoles, so there's greater risk of hacking.

"As we're doing competitions and more things specific to stats and generating those stats and creating leaderboards for people, we don't want to create a situation where the service itself becomes invalidated by people having crazy stats because they've been able to do something to the game."

Beachhead is working with MW3 developers Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games on possible solutions, Suarez said, but none has been finalized yet.

PC Gamer
Call of Duty Elite thumb
Remember the Call of Duty social network, matchmaking and stat-tracking service, Call of Duty Elite? The one that was available on Xbox and PS3 at Modern Warfare 3's launch? The one that Activision described as a "necessity" for games? It might not make it to PC.

Beachhead Studio head Chacko Sonny implied that we were getting it a few weeks ago, abeit later than the console kids: “We’re as committed as ever to the PC, but the need to ensure a safe PC environment is greater than ever,” he said. “It’s really extensive. We need more time to get there, so Elite on PC will not launch on Day 1. We’re working our butts off to make it happen, but we won’t release it until we know that PC gamers can enjoy Elite as it’s meant to be.”

It seems the situation has changed. As Eurogamer spotted on the official Call of Duty Elite Twitter feed, we might not be getting the service at all. EVER.

"We are working towards a universal Elite experience but we cannot guarantee if or when a version will be available for the PC," read a tweet posted a few hours ago. The "if" makes me suspicious.

Call of Duty Elite's console launch has been plagued with technical issues and users have even been given 30 days free use of the service to compensate. We were told that the PC version of Elite wouldn't require a subscription fee. We were also told that we'd be testing it around now. And that it would eventually get released on PC, hence all the coverage. I don't know who to believe any more.
PC Gamer
David Vonderhaar's Twitter avatar
We didn't like Black Ops as much as Modern Warfare 3 but didn't hate it either, awarding Treyarch's game with a solid 64% Not that it mattered though. Black Ops sold more copies in its first week than the superior Modern Warfare 3, which we liked a whole 15% more. Graham even described Infinity Ward's game as "fun."

David Vonderhaar, game design director at Treyarch has admitted that he regrets some of Black Ops features. In particular, he doesn't like the Second Chance Perk that let's downed players pull out a pistol and take a few pot shots before respawning. A more advanced version of the perk even let friendlies revive each other. It looked cool but broke the game for competitive play.

Last night, Sticktwiddlers spotted this tweet from Vonderhaar: "See that gun to my head in my pic? That's how I feel about 2nd Chance. We meant well. I fucked up. Enough spam. Goodnight.
PC Gamer
Modern Warfare 3 destruction thumbnail
Modern Warfare 3 publishers Activision have been banging on about how their latest face-shooter has made more money than the GDP of a small country - but it seems it’s shifted fewer units than its predecessor, Call of Duty: Black Ops.

According to Eurogamer, Modern Warfare 3 has sold “just under” two million copies in the UK - 1.6 per cent less than Black Ops sold last year. Despite selling fewer units, Modern Warfare 3 has somehow made more money for Activision, bringing in £83.1 million for the uber publisher - 15 per cent more than Black Ops.

It also seems that these figures only account for PS3 and Xbox 360 copies of the game, so it’s unknown how much Activision have made from PC copies of the game - the majority of which are presumably downloads via Steam. We’re guessing many, many millions more though.
PC Gamer
Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 preview thumb
As reported on IGN, Studio head of Sledgehammer Games, Glen Schofield isn't happy with the way Modern Warfare 3 is getting treated on Metacritic.

It's currently got a metacritic of 82. That's a reasonable average, sitting just above our Modern Warfare 3 review score.

Glen was more upset by the user rating (formed by the public, not critics). At the time it was sitting at 1.7. Metacritic's users were making a statement. Not necessarily a truthful statement, but a statement nonetheless.

Schofield wasn't happy about this, so he hit his twitter feed and posted: "I don't usually do this but, if u like MW3 go 2 Metacritic.com & help our user score. It's suspiciously low. Be honest but help if u agree."

He's since deleted the tweet. Probably because it got him into trouble. Later on, after some negative feedback and accusations unfair boosting, he attempted to justify his original comments by posting that he "know it's better than a 1.7."

It seems the users agree; Modern Warfare 3's user rating currently stands at 1.8.
PC Gamer
Call of Duty Black Ops Rezurrection review thumb
I remember storming the beaches of Normandy five years ago in one of CoD 2’s most tense and memorable levels. Yesterday in Black Ops I shot a zombie on the moon with a gun that made it vomit blood then explode. What the hell has happened to Call of Duty?

Whatever our memories of the shooter series, the zombie survival mode introduced by Treyarch in World at War has frequently been the best part of the regular Call of Duty: Black Ops packs. It follows, then, that a DLC pack made up of five zombie levels should be the best. It is, but not by much.



Moon is the centrepiece. You and three friends start out in a facility in Area 51, with zombies rising from the mud around you. Every few minutes a horn will sound and the zombies become faster and more powerful. Anyone frustrated by the boredom of the first few waves of a zombie map will greatly prefer this frantic opening. Within two minutes, the swarms will force you to take the cackling teleporter to the lunar surface.

You’ll find yourself in low gravity, gasping for air. Snatching an HEV mask will give you oxygen and eerily mute the sound of gunfire and incoming zombies. Like all of Black Ops’ zombie maps, you must use the points you’ve gained popping zombies to open doors to new parts of the level. Your first task is to turn on the power generator to restore gravity and oxygen to the warren of creepy moon-base corridors. If you fight deep enough into the facility you’ll get the wave gun that cooks zombies inside out. Restoring power also enables you to tear off your HEV mask so you can hear where the zombies are coming from, but it can be more fun to stay outside where a shotgun blast can send a nearby zombie flying into space. Low gravity is brilliant.



The other four maps aren’t so inventive. They’re almost identical versions of the four World at War zombie maps that Black Ops limited edition owners have been playing for months, with some upgraded lighting and slightly reshuffled weapons. The basic ruined house of Nacht der Untoten and the gloomy swamps of Shi No Numa represent the Zombies mode in its most skeletal and boring form. The huge Tesla coils of the experimental Nazi facility in Der Reise are more fun, but the real star of the resurrected maps is Verrückt . This splits your squad of four into two teams who must fight through a building to reunite, shooting zombies off each other’s backs across a large central square.

It’s telling that of all the Black Ops DLC packs the most worthwhile is 80% recycled material. Rezurrection is the best of a miserable bunch. Moon is good, but not £11.50 good, and it all seems moot when you can shell out an extra £2.50 and get Left 4 Dead 2 or Killing Floor for some more substantial, meatier zombie slaying.
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