This week, all the attention's going the big-boy versions of Modern Warfare 3. This game exists only as part of Activision's strategy to carpet-bomb their games onto every platform possible.
The hook to get folks to buy it is that it bridges the story gap between Modern Warfare 2 and Modern Warfare 3. And, yes, it's a T-for-Teen COD game, one that Activision can dangle in front unsuspecting, M-for-Mature phobic parents this holiday season. Was it worth the effort? We're gut-checking this one... defiantly.
Evan Narcisse, who swore he had a DSi XL around here somewhere: I wish I had an answer why was Defiance built for a last-gen portable. At least if it was on the 3DS, you could see how the #1 FPS brand in the world looks on Nintendo's most advanced hardware. Instead, you get a heavily pixelated gameworld that looks at times like it's being viewed through a Vaseline-smeared lens. Defiance sports extremely clunky controls that have your fingers jumping from face buttons to shoulder buttons to touchscreen at first. Even once I settled into the controls, they never felt comfortable to me. And, then, the gameplay proved to be crushingly formulaic, where you go from point to point, wait for enemies to spawn and lather/rinse/repeat.
Yes, there's multiplayer for up to six people, a decent arsenal and more recorded voicework than you'd expect. But you can get far better than what Defiance delivers in most middling iOS FPSes. Too little of what you experience from a COD console or PC game — the quasi-realism, big set pieces, the silky smooth animation — shows up here. It's a Call of Duty game in name only. No.
Mike Fahey, Who is Almost Always Ready to Give an Underdog a Chance: I've not played Modern Warfare 3: Defiance for the Nintendo DS, and I don't need to. Just go to YouTube, search Modern Warfare 3: Defiance, and look at any of the uploaded videos. That is not pretty. No.
Brian Crecente, who played a bit with the DS game before returning to its big brother on the Xbox 360: I always want to like these DS versions of the shooter. I've tried nearly everyone that's come out in the past three years or so. But they always struggle with graphics and controls. Shooters have come a long way on Nintendo's portable, but the lack of twin thumbsticks will forever, I think, make comfortable, enjoyable shooter play impossible on the system. I can't recommend buying the game, even though it tries hard to deliver a Call of Duty-esque experience to the portable. Now Call of Duty on the Playstation Vita? That I can't wait for. No.
Gut Check is an off-the-cuff impression of what we think of a game: what we'd tell a friend; how we'd respond on Twitter or Facebook or over a beer if someone asked us "Would you buy this game?" Our lead writer, who has played a lot of the game, decides. Other writers chime in for additional points of view.