My Recommendations: 10 Anime Series You Must Watch

Animes is one of the best sources of entertainment out there. They are filled with action, adventure, humor, thrill and whatever you can imagine. If you don’t watch Anime then you are missing a lot. Here are some Animes that the Anime fans will enjoy.




The Anime is made in minimalistic art and contains only a short range of main character; only four. It is not possible to reveal how the viewer feels after seeing this Anime; you have to see the Anime to feel them. The story is more focused on character development. There are also action scenes, but they are short and portrayed in the most beautiful way. The ending has a twist, but the overall story is very well written and portrayed.

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei

Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei

This Anime is more of a philosophical Anime. The story doesn’t include much action or fight scenes. But the Anime is not only made to display action. Some Anime have different plots and teaches you many lessons in different ways. The Anime points out the “Despairs” in our lives. I like the opening and closing song of the Anime which are sung by the voice artists of the Anime themselves. This Anime has a good lesson teaching story.

Naruto Shippuden

Naruto Shippuden

Naruto has two parts, the original Naruto series with the same name and Naruto Shippuden; both are amazing and a must watch Anime. Naruto Shippuden is good in one way that it contains less fillers. Naruto has tons of fillers in every arc. They were annoying at times when the story was going great, and sometimes they provided a good laugh. The Naruto Shippuden filler list and Naruto filler list are the lists that can help you differentiate the filler episodes and canon episodes. Anyways, these fillers still developed the characters and later were somehow fitted in the main story in some way. Naruto has a large collection of characters and all of them are amazing. It is packed with action, humor and a great story.

Gurren Lagann

Gurren Lagann

The blood pounding, inspiring, jaw dropping moments present in this Anime cannot be explained in words. The Anime looks like it is divided into two seasons, but the story is told in only one season. The character cast is very memorable, and the Anime contains some moments and lines that you will remember forever.

Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist

Fullmetal Alchemist is a very famous Anime series for good reasons. The Anime is very well portrayed and written, and it gets the viewer involved in the story from the very beginning. The characters in the story have the same goal from the beginning and continue to follow it till the end. It is a unique story and although it doesn’t contain much twisted plots, it still keeps the audience entertained.

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop

Cowboy Bebop is one of the Animes that is well renowned among people in good terms. Both the series and movies are quite famous among people. The Anime has a touch of 80’s America along with futuristic technology, spaceships and devices. You will really like the characters and dialogs are not just any random communication. The great thing about the Anime is that it doesn’t portray a single character as the most powerful entity. No one character has that super ability that makes him stand out from the rest. All characters are NORMAL and EQUAL when compared, and no one has that special tag.

Soul Eater

Soul Eater

What I liked about this Anime is its story, action, characters and pretty much everything else. The story has great set of characters that blend well in its environment. This for some might sound boring as it becomes easy to predict the story as the story progresses, but Soul Eater has a bizarre story which is filled with twists on every corner. The Anime has light gothic theme and carries it till the end. The animation is beautifully designed with impressive fight scenes. The animators have done a great job with facial expressions of the characters.

Samurai Champloo

Samurai Champloo HD Desktop Background

The Anime tells the story of three characters with different stories, past and goals. As the story progresses, more is revealed about the characters and their past. The series is made for the adult audience as it contains mature content, blood and have overall 18+ themes. The story combines the new and old Japanese environment and gives us something strange. This Anime is for you if you don’t watch Anime just for their cute faces or super powers.


It is a great work of Studio Gainax. Find out more what Gainax has produced at The Anime is a little bit strange and a lot crazy and has six episodes. It follows around a boy, a girl with a guitar and a robot. The plot is very strange and different so it cannot be explained here as I will need to write another article just for it. The story has mature subjects, but it is explained in a childish manner. FLCL is an Anime that you must watch as it teaches a lot to you.

Lucky Star

Lucky Star

You have to watch this Anime at the last; not because it is not good but because that would make it more fun for you. The Anime is filled with comedy and follows the story of four students in high school and later add whole class into it. The Anime portrays the Japanese culture in everyday life, and it contains references and cameos from other Animes. That’s why I told you to watch it at last, otherwise you will not be able to catch many of these and will miss out on jokes.

Xbox One vs. PlayStation 4: Which One You Should Buy in 2015

Xbox One vs PlayStation 4

The war of the dominance is on between Sony and Microsoft. Both companies are trying their best to make their console more dominant in the gaming industry. It is not possible that you are a gamer and there hasn’t come a time when you thought of purchasing either of Xbox One or PlayStation 4. However, good for you if you still haven’t decided yet. We are here comparing both of these consoles to see which gives you the best performance and at what cost.


Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 Games

Xbox One

During the writing of this article, there are almost 200 games made for Xbox One and are available on sale. Some of these titles include Forza Motorsport Five, Killer Instinct, Dead Rising Three, Sunset Overdrive – all of these games are only available on Xbox One (when comparing with other consoles). Halo 5 is also coming on Xbox One. Microsoft is working on making the games of Xbox 360 available for Xbox One.

PlayStation 4

Currently there are almost 340 games available for purchase on PlayStation 4. These games include Bloodborne, DriveClub, which are only made for PlayStation 4. Some upcoming games include Street Fighter 5 and Uncharted 4. PlayStation 3 games can already be played on PlayStation 4, but you play them using PlayStation Now.


Xbox One

The Xbox One is available for $349 (for US customers). At this price you get the console, 500GB HD, 1 controller and a code to download a game. With $50 more, you can get 1TB HD instead. Also, you will need to spend $60 yearly for online play. For Asian prices: in China is 3,699 Yuan, ¥39,980 is in Japan while Xbox One price in Malaysia is RM 1,590.

PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 4 is available for $399 (for US customers). At this price you get the console, 500GB HD, 1 controller and the game “Batman: Arkham Knight” in recent bundles. For Asian prices: PS4 price in Malaysia is RM1,799 while in Japan is ¥39,980 and in China is 2,899 Yuan. Other bundles are limited and may cost more because of their limited availability. Also, you will need to spend $50 yearly for online play.

Subscription Perks

Xbox One

The Xbox Live Gold lets you play your games online with an annual subscription price of $60. The gold membership also gives you additional benefits like unlocking certain features of the games and discount offers. You can also subscribe to EA Access to enjoy older EA titles for $5/month.

PlayStation 4

Song gives you the PlayStation Plus services for $50/year that lets you enjoy your games online. You also get discounts with the membership. PlayStation have another service called PlayStation Now which lets you stream older PS games on your PlayStation 4 for a subscription price of $20/month.


Xbox One

You can get Xbox One controller for around $50 at retail stores. The controller is designed to be comfortable and easy to hold. Its d-pad is upgraded from Xbox 360’s and is finer now.

PlayStation 4

PS4 controller has improved a lot in every way compared to its predecessor. The joystick is wider now, easier to hold, with improved d-pad and jack for headphone. The touchpad is at the centre is not very much utilized. The controller is priced at $60.


Xbox One

The Upload app lets you quickly capture clips, edit them and share online. You can capture screen while playing and share it. The Twitch app makes streaming very easy.

PlayStation 4

PlayStation 4 has lot of support for sharing and playing online. The Share button lets you capture an image or video. With ShareFactory, you can then edit them and share using Ustream or Twitch. Also, you can play with your friends using SharePlay.

Other Features

Xbox One

Xbox Live is providing a great online gaming experience for over a decade now. You can see how Microsoft works hard to maintain this service. Xbox One has the option to show you the progress bar of your games. You can attach two hard drives on Xbox One for more storage. This gives you enough space to hold all your data. TV and Xbox One go great together. You can attach the TV box into the console directly and enjoy your shows with console’s interference.

PlayStation 4

The PlayStation 4 has support for many devices. You can interact with the PlayStation app using your iOS and Android devices. You can even use the Sony smartphones as controllers for gaming. With complete integration of Spotify in PlayStation 4, you can play your favorite music in game. You don’t even have to stop your gameplay; just use your tablet or smartphone to switch music.


Xbox One vs PlayStation 4 Conclusion

At the current time the winner is PlayStation 4 in terms of features and services it provides. It may cost more than Xbox One, but the features it provides are worth the cash. However, Xbox One is close behind the PlayStation 4. The war between the both consoles isn’t going to end soon. With Windows 10 set to come in Xbox One and PlayStation 4 ready for Project Morpheus, the results might be different in future.

In the end, it is good to look at the features and services, but the main thing you should be focusing on is the gaming. The core attraction of these consoles is the gaming experience. So, if you like a game that is exclusive to one of these consoles, then you should select your console according to that. It’s all about the gaming in the end after all.

Checkout this interesting video if you’d like to:

Keep updated with Xbox and PlayStation stuff here:

Uncharted 2 Tells Modern Warfare 2 You Better Step Up

OK so I honestly meant jump online on Friday. I missed the Gearheads and wanted to join you for some gaming. But a little guy named Nathan Drake grabbed me by my testicles and wouldn’t let go. Seriously. Uncharted 2 is freaking incredible.


I’m only a little over three hours into the game, but it’s easily the best example of how video games can surpass movies if the quality of the cut scenes and story isn’t laughable. The thing about it is that Uncharted 2 treats you like an adult. It tells you a story rather than assume you’re only entertained by beefy dudes doing manly things. The cut scenes are the most entertaining I’ve ever seen. And the action is remarkable even if it isn’t always positive. I’m still not a fan of how the grenades work even though they stripped out the Sixaxis controls. But the scene with the helicopter they showed at E3 is just as incredible to play through as it was to see.

I won’t go too much into the rest of the story because I’m not sure how many Gearheads have had a chance to play this game. But it is my frontrunner so far for game of the year. Even over NHL 10 so far. And they took what was a very good concept of Uncharted 1 and made it into something remarkable, unique and completely engrossing. I meant to play it for only a few minutes last night before going to bed, but I wound up being up until 1:30 a.m. playing the thing when I was going for a 30-mile bike ride in the morning. Games just don’t get this engrossing.

The key will be whether or not it continues throughout the game. I would’ve given the first Uncharted a much better ranking in my all-time games, but the game devolved near the end into a zombie game, and this one BETTER not do the same thing. It was just so very out of place.

If you have a PS3, get this game. Play it. Love it. And be glad you did.

I Stand Corrected: Gears of War 2 Commercial Rules

I’m never one to run away from being wrong about something. If I’m wrong, I’ll often openly and freely admit it. Well, Gearheads, I’ve got to say that I was very wrong when I had a lengthy discussion with Blankman a few nights ago.

What was I wrong about? Well, my first visceral reaction to the Gears of War 2 commercial was not a positive one. My general feeling was, “Wow, this is basically another Mad World, but since we’ve seen Mad World already, I was hoping for something a little different with a different vibe.” I also said, it feels a bit like Gears of Emo.

Well, I stand corrected. I’ve watched the commercial multiple times now. You know, it’s really effective. And it’s effective for the same reason that the first ad was. The commercial has very much a movie trailer feel to it. And there are very few times that I see a video game commercial where it has that emotional connection with a viewer. Granted the ad probably has a disconnect from the actual content of the game, or at least the first ad and game did, but the ad resonates with you. There truly is nothing out there in video games that approach advertising like the Gears ads have. I mean, I’m not sure if there is a more visceral video game franchise out there right now and so the advertising seeks to evoke a pure emotional response from the viewer. In many ways, the visceral nature of gameplay in Gears speaks directly to those emotions of joy when getting a perfect headshot or sneaking up on an opponent and sawing them from behind.

So the commercial seeks to evoke the sadness that Dom feels in searching for Maria. The reluctance of fighting that Marcus feels. And the memory of a beautiful Sera when Cole sees the flower through the sniper scope. Ultimately, advertising is intended to do a few things, including raising brand awareness and evoke a gut emotional response. I think this ad does accomplish that.

I’m free to change my mind on things and upon further examination, I think the Gears 2 ad is brilliant and I expect it to help move a ton of Gears 2 units.

Mixed Assassin’s Reviews

I always find it interesting when reviews from different publications seem to vary wildly on a game. Usually most of the publications don’t vary wildly between scores. But with Assassin’s Creed, there seems to be quite the split.

On one hand, you’ve got Game Informer, Games Radar and GameSpot saying that Assassin’s Creed is one of the best, most engrossing games we’ll play this year.

On the other hand, 1up and IGN are pretty down on Ubisoft’s big holiday release for 2007.

Now IGN and 1up aren’t saying that Assassin’s Creed is terrible, they just aren’t putting it in the lofty territory of 2007’s bigger releases like Call of Duty 4, BioShock and Halo 3. They’re both saying that it’s good, but the other three sites are saying that it’s outstanding and an experience not to be missed. I still plan on buying Assassin’s Creed this week, but I have decided to get the regular version rather than the collector’s edition copy. I usually trust the EGM/1up people more than anyone else, but in this case, I do think that it’s going to be a subjective thing. One of the things I enjoyed the most about Prince of Persia was the ability to be this agile bad ass and I’m assuming I’m going to enjoy the same thing about this game, even if it does get repetitive.

I put up a poll on the front page about the reviews and which media outlet you trust the most when it comes to reviews.

Oh and by the way, the demo for Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune is pretty damn cool. The controls are almost identical to Gears of War and they completely fixed the enemy AI and hit detection. Plus, it’s a ton of fun to climb up ledges and traverse the jungle. The final game might not be nearly as good, but I’m actually pretty excited for this game now. I might wind up owning more than just three PS3 games finally.

I Love Crysis (and why you should too)

Before i begin my self admitting manlove ramble about Crysis, let me state a few things. Yes, i know Crysis is a VERY hardware demanding game and Yes, i know most of us gearheads won’t be playing it until it is most definitely released as a port or brought to life from another team’s perspective. But just because a lot of people cannot experience the game now, doesn’t mean it wont impact their gaming in the coming years.

Needless to say, Crysis is going to influence the way game’s are designed. The layout is unbelievably immersing and on a massive scale. You literately feel like you are dropped on this island. The game gives me the sense that i got from Half life 2 all those years backs (a design formula most games use now). Crysis will influence games in the years to come.

Let me break down the demo in terms of design. You sky dive onto the island, your landing place is controlled because something happens. (Any other free landing options as seen in Medal of Honor airborne are to be seen) After recovering from your fall you approach a beach from the water. The path you are to follow is linear but the use of rock head high give a good illusion and the LUSH environment in the distance keep a sense of scale (all of the island is rendered in real time, so there is no noticeable pop-in) After proceeding through the cave, there is a beach and lush jungle. Being wise men, you obviously have no choice but to go deep into the jungle instead of the open beach with endless ocean in eyesight. After making your way through the jungle (and getting introduced to some completely badass plot ideas) you reach a way out of the jungle and in front of you is nearly 9/10 the rest of the demo level all rendered in front of you. From this point on, it is do as you please, your commander gives your things to do (deactivate a transmitter, infiltrate a camp etc) But the way you do it is completely up to you.

There are TONS of ways to approach a situation in Crysis. Your core features are; Super Strength (high jumps included), Speed, Armor, gun changes, and my favorite cloaking. The first big conflict your given is this. There is a building, a bit of farm land, and a lot of water in front of you. A lot of men are scattered around this area and the minute one spots you, everyone is out to kill you in the area. There are men patrolling in front of the buildings, a guy on the dock taking a piss, and two boats patrolling the water with heavy fire power to boot. How did i approach this situation? First, i turned on cloaking and went straight to a stray bogey in the first house. After killing him, my cover was blown and relied on super strength and fire power on the rest of the guys.

Playing the demo (which i have done ALOT) the experience is always different, and things happen the way you would expect things to in real life. Which is what makes the game so damn immersing and fun.

Now to the graphics. I won’t ramble. The Crytek engine 2 is the most unbelievable engine in terms of realistic visuals and most importantly realistic interactions and physics with the environment. The game would still be the most impressive game visually if it featured none of the advanced physics, but they are the icing on the cake. I literately shot a single tree trunk into 20 different pieces, and every tree features this level of destructibility. The smaller pieces, i could pick up and through at enemies, another layer of realism. If you can grab it in real life, most likely that object is grabable (so not a word) in Crysis. After plowing a building to rubble with super strength, i could pick up the piece of the building all individually.

People complain about the hardware demands, but honestly i was surprised it ran so well on a current high end rig (8800 and duo or quad core). Very high settings (and “ultra settings unlocked”) my rig runs at 30FPS+, which with the high end motion blur feels somewhere between 40-50 in other games. I am extremely pleased with Crytek in that a rig could actually run the game on high settings (but still this is without high AA or Kranked up resolution considerably higher than 720p)

Basically, the point (if there actual is one :p) is that the game is more than just mindf***ing visuals. Gameplay, level design and physics/environment interactivity make this game the complete package of what i expect games to be in the next few years.

I hate to rub this in the faces (maybe i love it?) of those without PCs nice enough to run the game at any decent setting, but i expect 360 games to play and be designed similar to this in the future.

Back to the roller coaster ride that is COD4.

Most Wanted Games: 2008 Edition

After writing about Prototype and reading Blankman’s comment about it being in his top five most anticipated.

I wanted to mention my five most anticipated games in 2008. I’m going to make some assumptions of games that will be coming out this year like God of War 3 and Gears 2. There are a ton of other good games coming out this year as well, like MGS 4, Killzone 2, Ninja Gaiden 2 and Super Smash Brothers.

Any way, here is my top five list of most wanted games right now:

Gears of War 2: Well, duh. Read the name of the site. I just hope that the Epic team spends a lot of time perfecting the net code so we don’t have a ton of shenanigans like before.

God of War 3/God of War: Chains of Olympus: I’m a Kratos-phile and I wear it on my sleeve. That bald badass MFer is one fun person to control. He takes down huge enemies in cinematic fashion. I’m lumping these two together because it’s the same franchise.

Prototype: Yeah, I’m that excited about this game. My hype meter is on overload right now. And yeah, this game is higher than GTA IV mainly because it’s new. GTA is a game in which you know what to expect and frankly, even though I’ve owned all of the GTA games, I’ve never finished one. The characters have never been interesting enough to finish. The closest I got was Vice City because I loved the aesthetic of that game. What makes me so excited about this game is the combination of my love for Assassin’s Creed and the scaling of buildings and whatnot as well as the Hulk: Ultimate Destruction legacy. That game was a blast.

Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway: This might surprise a few folks, but the videos have really sold me on this game. It just looks like they really thought through every single detail. And since rumor has it that the next Call of Duty is going back to WWII but is being developed by Treyarch and not Infinity Ward, I need me a great shooter and I think the Brothers in Arms people can do it.

Halo Wars: Number five was down to three titles for me. Killzone 2, Alan Wake and Halo Wars. Yes, I’m not the biggest RTS guy in the world, but I still do love the Halo universe. And if it plays anything like something like Advance Wars on the DS, then I think I’m going to love it.

The announcement of Resistence 2 has made me decide that I want to finish the campaign of Resistance as well (even though I wasn’t crazy about that game). I’m also pretty excited about Rainbow Six: Vegas 2.

What would your top five list be?

Revisiting the Most Anticipated Titles of E3

I put this post up before E3 asking what titles you looked forward to the most.

My top five were (Gears 2 was my top game, no doubt and it didn’t disappoint):

Killzone 2
Alan Wake
Brothers In Arms: Hell’s Highway
Far Cry 2
Prince of Persia

I’m wondering what you’re list was and if it changed at all. My list changed quite a bit.

And here is my new one with the reasons why:

Far Cry 2: No game looks prettier to me than this one. And the shooting mechanic looks fantastic. The setting and trailer that had deceiving your enemies was one of the best I saw. Also, the live demo looked really cool.

Fallout 3: God help me, this game looks fantastic. It looks deep. The art style is cool and the shooting mechanic looks better than I thought. Todd Howard didn’t seem to have a great demo at first at the Microsoft press conference but the G4 demo was awesome. Very bloody and using teddy bears as weaponry? Count me in. It doesn’t seem like a typical RPG. I hope I’m not disappointed from the shooting mechanics like Mass Effect.

Resident Evil 5: I liked Resident Evil 4, but I’m not quite the fanboy that many others, including my brother, happened to be. But the co-op situations looked incredible and damn if Sheva (sp?) isn’t the hottest virtual lady to grace video games I’ve seen.

Killzone 2: They didn’t show much because they don’t want to upstage Resistance 2. Good thing because Resistance 2 just isn’t all that interesting to me and this game is.

Brothers in Arms: Hell’s Highway: Yep, this one is still way up there, just barely edging out Prince of Persia for top five.

So there you have it. My re-shuffled list. Obviously number one by a long shot is Gears 2. But I’m still pretty damn psyched about the rest of these.

Let’s have yours.

Let’s Do It

I know I say this almost every week, but last night was one of the best FFF ever. We essentially had nine guys at all times and went into Ground War on Call of Duty 4. I think we only lost one round all night and that round actually happened to be the same round where the opposition team happened to have Gearhead Savage Injun on their team. So I’m going to claim that the only reason they beat us that round is because of the Gearheads mojo.

Regardless, it was fantastic fun. It’s somehow more fun to play a team full of Gearheads against opposition teams rather than a private room. It feels like we’re banding as a community to dispatch the others. And when we play amongst ourselves, it just somehow doesn’t feel right killing other Gearheads. Maybe that’s just me.

I’m not the best Call of Duty 4 player, that’s for damn sure, but I really do have a blast in that game. And it’s even more fun now that I have my mic set to friends only. By the way, a few of you have asked me how to do this. It’s pretty easy. You essentially just go to the dashboard, then go to the system blade and in there is an audio option. You can choose what privacy settings you want in there. I chose friends only because life is too short to deal with the a-holes that permeate XBL.

My favorite moment of the night was probably on the level with the bus (not Bog, I can’t think of the name of it right now), when about four of us went into the upper level on a building and just mowed the other team down from across the map, over and over and over again. They just seemed to keep trying to run straight into our hail of bullets.

Oh and I also absolutely love Domination. I know people are mixed on it, but on the right map with the right teammates, nothing beats it. I loved listening to people yelling out what capture point the opposition team was after and where they were guarding those points from. It was just incredible fun. Not only that, but you get a crapload of points for it which is nice. I’m getting so close to that P90 I can hardly wait. The funny thing is, I’m not sure I’m going to use it all that much because I think I have the perfect setup now on my gun. I have the M16 with bandolier, steady aim and stopping power. I may not always have the most kills, but it often leads to me coming in with a positive K/D ratio and that’s what I look for in my matches.

Any particularly memorable moments you had from last night?

Gearheads Interviews Infinity Ward About COD4

In November of 2007, many of us “Went Deep and Went Hard”. To this day, so many of us haven’t stopped playing Call of Duty 4, which resoundingly and somewhat easily won Game of the Year from the Gearheads of War vote.

It’s really the first game that has regularly torn us away from the Gears of War gameplay that brought us all to this site. We’re playing it regularly every Friday night for our weekly Friday Night FragFest and despite the fact that I’m not terribly good at COD4, it was my favorite game of 2007 and will be my most played game…probably right up until I finally get my hands on Gears of War 2. I really don’t see any multiplayer game replacing it any time in the near future.

All that being said, it was my great honor to have a chance to interview Robert Bowling, the Community Manager at Infinity Ward. Below is the exclusive Gearheads interview with Bowling. Enjoy!

Gearheads of War: First of all, congrats on the success of Call of Duty 4. We’re all addicted to it over at Gearheads of War. It’s the
one game that finally tore us away from playing Gears every week. Did you ever imagine that it would be neck and neck with a juggernaut like Halo 3 for people’s precious MP time on XBL as well as sales wise?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: From day one we set our goal on making the best multiplayer game for Xbox Live (and any other platform we were releasing on). So we had our sights on that #1 spot on XBL, PSN, and on PC from the beginning for our multiplayer. On Xbox Live if that meant going head to head with Halo 3 then that was something we were prepared to do. The ambitious plans we had for Multiplayer and the loyal community we had established, we were confident that we’d be presenting a challenge for some of the current Xbox Live heavy weights. However, while I hope that’s what all developers shoot and hope for, the overwhelming popularity and success sales wise of the game has really been humbling and overwhelming to say the least. It helped to have a fantastic community standing behind the game early on, with the 600,000+ beta testers that helped us fine tune the game pre-launch to the millions of dedicated Call of Duty players that came after, we’re very fortunate to have such a hardcore and dedicated community to go along with game.

Gearheads: When developing the perk system for MP and leveling your character up, how hard was it to balance the game so that newcomers weren’t immediately turned off?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: That was a big concern for the designers here at Infinity Ward, how to quickly introduce new and old players to the in-depth new leveling and unlockable system introduced to the franchise in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. With perks, weapon attachments, and custom classes, we were hitting players with a lot. To help balance and reduce confusion or overwhelming the players we decided to space out how the unlockables in the way that New Users start out with just the five pre-set basic classes which have pre-defined perks as well. This allowed them to play around with a few different weapon classes and perk sets to get use to the concept, while also limiting the new players to Team Death match and Free for All Playlists. A few games in, we unlock Create a Class for them and a few more perks to let them start playing around with customizing. With this method, I think we were really able to make it not so overwhelming for new players and veteran Call of Duty players a like who aren’t use to the massive amount of new weapons, attachments, and of course perks we’ve added to the game.

Gearheads: Does the game take skill into account in the matchmaking because I’ve often seen someone at Level 13 going against someone who is a Level 55 prestige three times over?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: The Matchmaking system on Xbox Live is based on top of Microsoft’s TrueSkill ranking, not your in-game Rank. So if you’re a high-ranked shitty player, you’re going to be placed with other winning-handicapped players. So skill is the #1 matchmaking factor above all else. Rank is a good way to hopefully gauge a player’s dedication, but not always their skill as an individual player.

Gearheads: It seems to me like it was a smart decision to keep the achievements focused on the campaign to keep the annoying achievement whoring out of the MP experience. But a lot of people have complained about no achievements for MP. Do you have any regrets about that decision?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: No regrets. Whatsoever. We’re big fans of keeping the Multiplayer about the multiplayer experience. You play to have fun, you play to win, you play to better the team. Sometimes multiplayer achievements take away from that because they’re more focused on unlocking an achievement rather than winning the match. I think achievements are fantastic for Single Player, and some games they really work in Multiplayer, but some they don’t and I feel Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is one of those where they’re best in SP.

Gearheads: Was there ever any consideration given to also adding the ability to customize your character to further enhance the RPG elements of the MP game? It would be fun to be able to design your own character.

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: There has been a lot of consideration put into further character customizations, and still something we talk about a lot for future releases. It’s something we’d like to see taken even further but you have give and take in development, and that was something that was given up so we could put more focus on another feature before launch.

Gearheads: Lots of people have complained that the M-16 is overpowered. Do you guys have a counter that will beat the M-16 most of the time?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: The M16 is a popular weapon online, but I think there’s lots of counter weapon load outs that can easily compete with it. I personally use a G36c w/ Suppressor in Hardcore modes, or w/ Red Dot in non-hardcore and I can go head to head with any M16 clad player. So, I don’t feel it’s some kind of uber-weapon. In the end it comes down to speed and skill to determine who will come out on top.

Gearheads: My biggest problem with the game is that I thought that either the three nade perk should have been given much earlier or that it shouldn’t be in the game at all because I’ve been in games where people on the other team all have three nade perks and they just litter entire areas with them. It’s not much fun. Have you found that to be a problem?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: We’ve received a lot of community feedback on this, particularly concerning Search and Destroy games. All in all though, frag grenades are something gamers in general tend to hate on. To me, it’s part of any shooter game. Soldiers have grenades; they typically carry more than 1 (around 2 / 3). If you’re in an area open for fragging, it’s a risk you have to take into the assessment. I think it’s noticed a lot more in S&D because players typically take the same route to a target, and the enemy knows they’re going to be on the target at some point so it seems a bit overwhelming. A good tactic I’d suggest to players is to stay aware, listen for grenade pings (bouncing off walls) for an extra warning before the grenade indicator (or in hardcore) and be prepared to “fake plant” the bomb, then run away to attract the spam-naders before actually planting the bomb. Also, try to stay about 10 meters apart when running a group and mix up your approach route to the target. Regardless, we take community feedback really serious and I won’t lie that this has sparked a lot of debate among the development team as to if and how we can maybe balance out nades if need be.

Gearheads: A lot of gamers are also having issues keeping their friends as they go into a game online. They’ll be in the lobby with you, but when it’s setting up the game, the player is gone. It’s one of the only negatives of an otherwise stellar experience. Is there a reason that is happening to some players more than others and is there a downloadable fix coming for that?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: We’ve done a lot of investigation into this issue and have been talking with Microsoft about it quite a bit. In the end the biggest factor in the parties staying together and joining properly to games is corresponding NAT settings. If there are conflicting NAT settings (i.e. OPEN nats joining up with STRICT NAT hosts) then players with strict nats are going to drop out, or be left behind from the rest of the party. Just because you’re NAT is open, doesn’t mean you’re 100% good to go, if the host your attempting to connect to has a STRICT NAT then you may be dropped or not connect. The best thing all players can do is ensure they have an OPEN NAT, the more open NAT settings the smoother it will go.

Gearheads: What is IW’s favorite (or most played) map? What is IW least favorite map? What is your favorite gametype?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: I think everyone has their personal favorites, so it’s hard to speak for the entire team as to what maps our collective favorite. My personal favorite is probably Crash or Overgrown depending on the game type. By far my favorite game type is Hardcore Search and Destroy or Search and Destroy in general.

Gearheads: Care to comment on when we might be seeing some downloadable content like new maps?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: I’m excited to say that we’re working on some really cool downloadable content right now for Xbox 360 and PS3. We’re working on some new maps which will bring a lot of variety to the existing maps and have been listening to a lot of community feedback online, in the forums, and via the blog over at We’ll be talking about the maps quite a bit as we progress and letting out some sneak peek details here and there as they develop. That’s about all I can say for now though.

Gearheads: Let’s shift gears to the campaign now. The campaign has some shocking moments in it. The first-person view of the president getting shot. The crawling out of the crashed helicopter to an unceremonious ending. These are things that I haven’t really seen in a first person game before. How did you come to the conclusion that COD4 would be one of the first games where you’d experience dying (and no respawning for those characters) from the first person perspective?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: It wasn’t so much a decision that we wanted to kill off the characters, but that we wanted to fully immerse the player in the experience, the emotion, and the intensity of every situation. Once you’re in Call of Duty 4, we never wanted to take you out of that. So we never wanted to take control away from the player and force them to passively watch a cut scene, they should be actively involved in the entire plot and story. If that means experiencing your own demise, then that’s a powerful emotion that we didn’t want to take away from the player and wanted to put you right there.

Gearheads: How did you guys come up with the idea of the pilot talking in a monotone and detached voice while you blow up your enemies on the ground because it was pretty funny and disturbing all at once?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: We did a lot of research and reference for the game throughout development, which included lots of videos, photos, and speaking with soldiers directly and meeting with them, going to their bases, etc. For AC-130 we watched a lot of actual AC-130 footage. So all of that is taken straight from real-life scenarios and inspiration, they’re calm, collected, and precise. We really tried to capture that emotion and mentality when designed the AC-130 level.

Gearheads: The game is a fictionalized experience based on hypothetical situations but it didn’t include a real country from the middle east. Why not and do you think that a game will tackle a topic like that or do games have to avoid it because it would be too close to reality?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: We didn’t want to take away from what Call of Duty has always been about, soldiers answering the call for action against an undeniable evil despite overwhelming odds, and putting the player in that role of a grunt soldier doing what has to be done. So we made it clear; here are some bad dudes, they’re doing some bad things (like shooting you in the face). It’s not about what you may or may not think about any particular conflict, or political stance, or enemy. It’s good vs. evil, and you’re good. Go you.

Gearheads: How did you get the running animation so perfected? I honestly think it’s better than any game I’ve ever seen.

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: We have the absolutely best character animators in the industry here at Infinity Ward. It’s that simple. We also have a great new feature in our CoD4Engine (CODE) which allows for seamless transitions between mo-cap animations and standard animations, allowing for the smoothest and natural movements in games.

Gearheads: Two more quick questions. First of all, do you think Call of Duty 4 deserves the Game of the Year for 2007? And second, is the franchise (at least the IW-produced games) now permanently entrenched in modern times?

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: I feel we’ve delivered what we set out to do and that was to make the best game of the year. So, Yes, to me Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the 2007 Game of The Year. As for where Infinity Ward’s versions of Call of Duty titles go from here, I never presume to know what will be happening tomorrow, let alone an entire development cycle from now. So I honestly can’t say where we’ll be next game, we’re going to set our sights on setting the bar even higher next game so whatever that means in terms of what the game will be, is anyone’s guess. No reason to limit our selves to a deadest option. Anything’s possible.

Gearheads: Thank you so very much for your time. Perhaps some Friday Night FragFest, we can get the IW guys to face off against the Gearheads. Oh and the Go Deep and Go Hard song at the end is brilliant. Please release it on iTunes.

Robert Bowling / Infinity Ward: We are always down for a challenge so bring on the Friday Fragfest.