You can only re-hash the same thing so many times before it is no longer desired. This goes for movies (see – Saw, Rocky, Rambo, Star Wars (the new crappy ones) as much as it goes for music and video games. In gaming we are starting to experience something that isn’t too dissimilar. Every November we expect a new Call of Duty game. While COD is the most common direction people look when it comes to games being the same every year, it is also a trend that is getting (or has gotten) old very fast.
I am almost to my second prestige in Black Ops 2. While this isn’t shocking to the many people that have already reached the 5th or 10th prestige it is something relatively new to me. I didn’t prestige in Modern Warfare 3 and I thought I would give it a chance in Black Ops 2. The problem with this is the fact that I am playing games and leveling up in their second and third iterations. There have been some changes along the way, but the one thing that remains a constant is the move towards an almost exclusively multiplayer focused game that revolves around leveling, leaderboards and people trying to make it big on YouTube.
While there are other games that are being milked as a franchise (Assassin’s Creed, Metal Gear, Angry Birds and let’s not forget sports games and their wonderful annual roster updates) – it seems that shooters are still the cash-cow that get most of the development attention. There have been some reports/rumors that Call of Duty is starting to see a slight decline in sales. Does this really surprise you? Madden and NCAA have also both started to see a decline in sales over the last few years. While there have been some fluctuations to these numbers in some cases, it should tell the gaming industry from production company to developer that gamers want new games with new ideas.
If you want to look for hope in gaming, take a look at what some of the indie game developers are putting out. Support their cause, but please… demand creativity instead of sequels. That is so… Michael Bay.
When it comes to FPS games, ranking up is one of those things that seems to grab some people in the community by their joy stick and pull them around like parents with kids on a leash. In Call of Duty it is referred to as ‘Prestiging’ and it also happens to be one of the most annoying bases you will find from verbally abusive gamers looking to put you down.
Why do they choose to put people down in reference to prestige? It is quite simple really. They have theoretically mastered the game in such a way that they are actually better than you. The funny thing is that this doesn’t usually become an issue until you start making them look bad in a game that they want to feel elite through some sort of icon.
How do we best come to a decision when it comes to the all-powerful action of ‘Prestiging’?
The decision to prestige often comes from wanting to add longevity and a sense of purpose to the multi-player aspect of Call of Duty. You get a new icon each time you top out the leveling system (in Modern Warfare 3 it is 80) but in exchange, you lose all guns and other equipment you opened in your gaming process. This is a steep penalty to pay in order to get an icon, but some people find it worthwhile. Outside of the vanity of a new blinging icon and having to re-earn weapons… there isn’t any real practical reason to prestige.
Being one of the few that have chosen not to prestige, it is really quite simple. I play the game to have fun, shoot opponents and make them angry for underestimating me based on my lack of prestige. You get to keep every gun and piece of equipment you earn and in the process you will get a chance to earn camouflage for your favorite weapons.
In the end it really comes down to personal preference. Prestiging in itself doesn’t make any gamer better than any other gamer. In some cases, it does seem to make some gamers rather full of themselves if nothing else. In which case, it is often rather fun to put these people in their place after you calmly show up and own them with your non-prestige Level 80 persona… and politely mute their angry voice.
All you need to know is that by the time you purchase Call of Duty and Battlefield with their ‘Premium’ services you will be spending $220 on content that may or may not be worth the money to begin with.
Don’t Buy These Add-Ons If –
1 – You play either or both games sparingly to pass some time shooting things
2 – You only play basic maps with friends that don’t and/or won’t have the desire to buy anything extra
3 – You don’t care about leaderboards
4 – You aren’t obsessed with every facet of the game
Do Buy These Add-Ons If –
1 – You know you will buy them as they come out, every time (this will save you $10 for a couple Hot and Ready Little Caeser’s Pizzas)
2 – You worship the ground these titles walk on and would start a religion in their honor
3 – You are bored with the regular maps and modes and need something to breath freshness into your game
4 – You want to have some sort of bling to look like the digital hip hop version of yourself
5 – You want a couple weeks to know the maps before other people will on the regular release day (because you should always be able to buy shortcuts and then make the game uneven in favor of people that want to sweep the leg like Cobra Kai)