Alright so Call of Duty has been almost undeniably the biggest name in multiplayer shooters ever since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. At the same time it’s also the butt of MANY jokes about being ” a crappy game.” Since Call of Duty Black Ops 2 multiplayer is free to play this weekend, I think i’ll take this opportunity to look into the call of duty phenomenon, and also attempt to draw my own conclusions on the matter.
I think the best way to do this will be to individually look at the game point by point and see what conclusions i can draw at this time, and also i will be revisiting this throughout the weekend possibly adding thoughts, each subsequent post I will cite my playtime and rank in game. I also should mention that i am playing on the pc, so any views i perceive regarding the community may differ from what you’ve seen on console, the console population has been known to differ greatly from the PC population.
6 hrs play time, all team Deathmatch in core-mode, I don’t remember if i am lvl 17 or 18 at this time.
Call of Duty black Ops plays a little different than i am used to. It is VERY different from titles i usually play like Counter Strike, Combat arms, and battlefield 3. It’s difficult to explain the difference precisely, but the term “easier” could be used and not necessarily be wrong. Hitboxes are hilariously large, and it is very frustrating to watch killcams where i was killed even though not a single bullet actually HIT me. To the same effect, it took some adjusting to get used to aiming less, getting in the mindset to completely tune out the concept of bullet drop, and focusing on getting as much lead on the target as possible, I somewhat fear the return to those other games after playing Black ops a great deal, because i will be wasting alot of ammo shooting the air around my opponent out of reflex. One thing i must put greatly to Black Ops’s credit, is the learning curve, in that it’s barely there if at all. ( though this may be because i played MW) Also to commend Black Ops, the starting weapons are actually pretty good, and you can get reflex sights and new grips pretty quickly, which is always a big plus for me because i rather detest iron sights. This also makes ranking up and unlocking new guns easier, because you’re not going in level 1 helpless with awful guns against a pile of maxed out characters with very significantly better ones. I’m talking to you Battlefield 3 and Medal of Honor, ( the latter of these two actually gives you a “sniper rifle” with a red dot sight that takes roughly four body hits to kill, I’m sorry… that’s not a sniper rifle in my book, that’s a heavy assault rifle at best. While on the topic of weapon classes, I appreciate that Black Ops 2 unlocks weapons dependent on your rank, not by the weapon leveling itself, which saves you from using an AWFUL mk11 mod for five 40-minute games to get enough kills with it to unlock something better. Speaking for the pc community at least, The players i was put with were pretty good as far as attitude is concerned, though it should be noted as well that there is a huge number of low levels right now clearly because of it being free right now.
Why People Hate on it-
I am able to see somewhat why people seem to so strongly dislike this game, personally i am not a fan of killstreaks, I didn’t like them in Medal of Honor, and i HATED them in COD4 with that stupid helicopter that completely halted play. The killstreaks in this game range from inconvenient to downright devastating. once you get enough kills for a stealth chopper or hunter killer drone you can just hide in the corner and keep deploying them, because they will get enough kills FOR you that you can re-deploy them. I don’t like guaranteed kill weapons in shooters, be they air strikes, helicopters, drones, gunships, mortars, missile strikes, whatever. when someone says they went 34-4 in a call of duty match, i’m not impressed at all, because probably 10 of those kills were yours, and 24 of them came from the killstreaks you deployed.
Stepping back from my personal opinion, the opinion is that the game is very easy, no bullet drop, hit boxes twice the size of your character, and small simple maps seem to be a big turn off for some gamers interested in a tight match or the use of strategy in any way.
Why does it sell millions of copies?
It may sound contrived, but I’M convinced that the Call of Duty franchise is as popular as it is BECAUSE it’s so popular. Contrived as it may be, if you take a moment to think about it you’ll see the merit of this concept.
Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, was as smashing a success an any developer can really hope for in a game, it has hung for 9 years clenched in third place on Gamespots “Best Fps Ever” list, and has sold over 13 million copies world wide. It is also notable that there are two illegal copies of this game for every 1 that is legally obtained. Putting it’s ACTUAL-players somewhere around 36 million. That a huuuge figure. It was simply a great game and MANY people played it, so of course when Modern Warfare 2 came out, tons were prompted to buy it as well, it was essentially the same game, better graphics, new maps new guns, etc, but essentially the same game. This is essentially what they’ve been doing for the last decade, each game doesn’t introduce anything new, but it doesn’t take away what the game has going for it either, so of course some people who are big fans of the series, continue to buy them. Ordinarily tht’s where sales would end, HOWEVER, this is Call of Duty we’re talking about, it’s up there with pokemon, mario, and legend of zelda for brand recognition. Being THE best known, most marketed shooter on the planet it’s a household name. Everyone and their brother owns a copy, and you will too, because you want to play with them. I’ve said before here, that even the crappiest of games can be a blast to play with a few of your buds on teamspeak cracking jokes and just sharing in the experience.
So when i say call of duty is so popular BECAUSE call of duty is so popular, what that really means is that while the game isn’t amazing, the act of playing that game with your friends CAN be. That’s what Call of Duty sell us, not just a few more skins and some updated textures and a different story line for the single player campaign, but another familiar place to gather with your friends from the comfort of your couch/computer chair, and be your unique selves, while competing with other people doing exactly the same thing.
Final Thoughts on Call of Duty: Black Ops2 Multiplayer ( as of right now , lvl 18, 6 hours of gameplay)
I’m really enjoying the game thus far, competition online is smooth, have not seen any issues of lag aside from individual characters occasional, but that is usually quite brief. The multiplayer graphics are pretty good, (max pc settings) they’re not the best i’ve seen, they’re probably even considered below average if compared to the standards set by some of the other triple A keyboards releasing right now. That’s not to say they’re bad though, when i say the graphics are good, i mean they fit their purpose well/ Bioshock Infinite for example had the rough task of creating a fantasy world with an unending sense of wonder, and yes they knocked it out of the park in my opinion, but they had really high standards to live up to for such a task. Black Ops 2 then, falls into a group with distinctly lower standards, in a fast paced online shooter like this, smooth framerates, and very sharp details are what are thrived for, blurry textures, glitching lines, lighting that makes it hard to differentiate enemies from rocks, make games in this genre go from challenging to frustrating, but thankfully there’s none of that here, so I’ll say the graphical execution was done quite well, and might i add VERY well optimized, this game can be run at absolute max settings on a $150 graphics card (citing the ATI hd7850/ GTX 650ti) and keep your framerate locked at 60 fps, which is a very good thing, in the multiplayer that is, i have no idea regarding the single player campaign. I will have more thoughts after some more gameplay to add here so check back, I might even end up buying this game if i continue to like it as much as i currently do.