Dear Call of Duty Modern Warfare – Please Come Back We Miss You

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I know some gamers out there would blow up every Call of Duty (COD) game in the world if they could. Personally, I can only think of a few I genuinely couldn’t stand (COD 3, World at War, Black Ops and Ghosts). I have enjoyed most of the other titles quite a bit. My favorites have always been the collection of the Modern Warfare Trilogy.

These titles were not only great campaigns (albeit a bit predictable) but they had hands down, the best multiplayer experiences I ever had in a COD game. The maps were usually well designed with the occasional spawn camping nightmares that would see me rage quit pretty fast. Even with the spawning issues these titles held up well. My favorite part about the move into Modern Warfare (COD4) was that it introduced kill streaks. I loved the simple 3, 5, 7 system that made every map feel like there was potential to get a UAV, Air Strike and Helicopter. They were basic and didn’t typically overshadow the battling on the map between the players.

Eventually, we got to dive into MW2 and experience the best maps, the best weapons and some of the best kill streaks ever. The only aspect that seems negative in retrospect is the introduction of the tactical nuke on top of the growing trend if overpowered killstreaks. Don’t get me wrong… I loved the AC-130 and the Pavelow, but these were game-changers for the future of overpowered killstreaks.

Even with these gains I looked forward to MW3 and it didn’t disappoint, but it also didn’t impress me much on the map end of things. They seemed uninspired at best and the kill streaks felt stale.  This is something that seems to have become a habit and legacy issue of late… not to mention the weak campaigns over the last four games after MW3… and that doesn’t seem like a trend that will end any time soon.

I truly miss the smooth handling and true battles I felt like were possible on Modern Warfare before they started adding jump boosting and wall running. Now they are adding overpowered killstreaks to a game that doesn’t need any sort of additional reason to make Call of Duty into a caricature of itself. Be it the mini-tank or the robot soldier or the HATR that shows the location and movement of every opponent in real time… these are all overpowered and take away from what Call of Duty used to be back in Modern Warfare.

Maybe I am the curmudgeon of gaming and dream of yesteryear a bit too much. I don’t think that is the case. I truly believe it’s time for Call of Duty to go back to its roots. Make it a battle between players with weapons moving around maps. Take the AI out of it and bring back Modern Warfare.

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Vs. Battlefield Hardline – Is The Battle Over Before It Begins?

Over the past couple years I have been eager to buy-in when it came to Battlefield over Call of Duty.

That has changed.

Say what you want about hating Call of Duty, but this rendering of Kevin Spacey alone made me want to buy the game months ago.
Say what you want about hating Call of Duty, but this rendering of Kevin Spacey alone made me want to buy the game months ago.

Now that Call of Duty has started to go in a direction that looks closer to Halo multiplayer gameplay than ever I have to give credit where credit is due.  They are at least going in a slightly different direction.  They have continued to tweak the perk system and showcase the same solid gameplay – albeit arcade(ish).  Is there bullet-drop?  No.  Then again, there aren’t many maps in the history of Call of Duty that would really need to account for that type of simulation.  Then again, you should know that going into the annual release of this title.

If you consider the fact that Call of Duty has been able to consistently deliver a blockbuster movie quality story mode since the release of COD4 in 2007 – there aren’t many shooter games that compare.  Advanced Warfare looks like it will continue this amazing success with the inclusion of Kevin Spacey as the primary antagonist.  As much as I wanted to hate on this game after the disappointment that was Ghosts, I have to admit – Advanced Warfare has made me a believer.

On the other hand, Battlefield Hardline has lost me.  I have been a huge fan of Battlefield since Bad Company 2 (especially the Vietnam Map Pack).  Battlefield 3 and 4 had me rather addicted to solid relative simulation gameplay (it really isn’t much different from Call of Duty if you are honest with yourself).  The problem with Battlefield is that it has become progressively worse in terms of single player campaign and server issues (especially at release).

What are the issues with Hardline?

First – they are trying to make this game feel like Rainbow 6 or Counterstrike.  The problem with that is that it is a game called BATTLEFIELD… not Battlezone or Battlebuilding.

Second – The idea that plastering the monicker of ‘Battlefield’ onto this game in order sell units is insulting – albeit, probably true.

Be honest – if this were called Medal of Honor – Hardline would you (or anyone else) buy it?  Hell no.

EA has pushed the Battlefield series to become more and more focused on online multiplayer rather than single player and that is fine and good.  However, we are now going into our third iteration of a Battlefield title that doesn’t pick up on the intriguing story of the guys in Bad Company.  You have to start wondering if Hardline is going to be another throw-away title like Medal of Honor – Advanced Warfighter.

The problem with that is they are now connecting the ‘Battlefield’ name with presumed failure – and that could spell the end for whatever they gained from a terrible year for Call of Duty with Ghosts in 2013/14.

I have bought in when it comes to Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.  So much so that I traded in Destiny towards the pre-order (that is a different discussion altogether).  Mark my words – Call of Duty Advanced Warfare is going to dominate FPS sales this fall and you are getting ready to see the fall of Battlefield as a respectable series.  I don’t wish COD to fall on it’s face, but I do wish Battlefield would actually return to the Bad Company storyline rather than another half-assed Medal of Honor game masquerading as a Battlefield title.

Will Games Change Their Digital Approach Next Generation?

Now that we are firmly into the high speed internet age and online functionality has become almost synonymous with every game on the market (including the ubiquitous ‘patching’ of games).  The issue many sports gamers are running into is that they are pouring $60+ into games that come out every year with minor improvements/changes and roster updates.  This has caused sports gamers to generally ask on occasion why developers like EA and 2K won’t simply release a cheaper update to the game every other year BLOPS2or so instead of requiring the purchase of new software every single year.

The most obvious responses are ‘…because people are buying the games in droves” and “Why would you stop milking your cash cow when it is obviously still producing results?”

The issue at hand in the coming generation of consoles is that they will be largely focused on digital content more-so than even these current consoles seem to be.  While the PlayStation Store and XBox Marketplace are doing well and provide services to subscribers/gamers it seems like only a matter of time before you will have to start buying certain content by sections rather than a full-fledged title.

Some games like Call of Duty, Battlefield and Halo could potentially be sold in three different ways.

  1. Online Multiplayer
  2. Offline Story Mode/Campaign
  3. Full Game (Online and Offline Content)

This isn’t the first time that something like this has been suggested.  You can go to virtually any rumor mill site for gaming and read about an industry analyst talking about the likelihood of a game like Call of Duty charging people to play online.   The issue that gamers should be considering is whether or not they are happy with the current state of games.  Whether or not you are paying extra for maps, add-ons or even avatar clothing you have to appreciate how smooth the transition has been between the PS2/XBox to the PS3 and 360 in terms of online interactivity and microtransactions like coins for Madden Ultimate Team.

We will soon be entering a new realm of digital content distribution.  Considering the actions of developers in the last 18 months, you shouldn’t be surprised if you will have options to buy games by piecemeal or some sort of full-game combo.

If you disagree about the outlook or attitude towards some aspects of games (such as story mode/campaign) you should ask Battlefield or Call of Duty gamers if they have played more than 45 minutes of the campaign mode.

The fact that Battlefield has a disc for campaign mode on 360 says a lot (even if it is simply due to space)… my campaign disc has been in the system for less than two hours – total.

Get ready for some big changes next gen.