Why I Don’t Hate Call of Duty’s Multiplayer

by / Wednesday, 10 April 2013 / Published in Editorials & Reviews, News & Articles

I feel like I’m already getting off on the wrong foot with my audience here. It’s like walking into a film appreciation meeting and saying that you enjoyed Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Call of Duty has become the new popular thing to hate, along with EA, always online DRM, and that 12 year old kid that said things in voice chat that no 12 year old kid should ever have the capability of saying.

 I’ve been playing Call of Duty since the original, and although I’ve had a few issues, I’ve found myself enjoying Black Ops 2 more than any other Call of Duty game, but not entirely for the reasons that people may think. I’m the same guy that said Black Ops 1 was simply meh, and Modern Warfare 3 was simply not holding up to the previous games. But I prefer Black Ops 2 not exactly for the game play, but for the customization of your character.

 Now I’m not a completionist, I don’t try to go for all of the achievements; I don’t care about playing games on a harder difficulty level to get an extra…whatever. But the one thing that Call of Duty has consistently done right where others have failed was in their challenge system. Starting with COD4, I cared about how many grenade kills I got, how many times I’ve gotten headshots with the M4A1, and if I fell from a building at a great enough height to die when I hit the ground. Sure, the Grenade x3 perk was ridiculous (and sorry COD4 fans, but the gun sounds were awful, that’s not how an AK should ever sound) but we could look past it because this idea of ranking up and completing challenges was so new. It was like crack, but it was missing one thing, there was no prestiging in the PC version. A couple of months after release the servers would be stock full of level 55′s. Soon there was no point to complete challenges, because all they awarded at the time was XP, there was no proof of what you did, except for the weapon camos of course. World at War did nothing to change this, but then Modern Warfare 2 happened.

Playing with Skjrillex. Skrillex was not very good

Playing with Skjrillex. Skrillex was not very good

 You can talk about Akimbo G18′s or 1887′s, complain about overpowered killstreaks or the nuke. But while other people did, I was trying to get all of the challenges completed, and man did I go for it. I don’t think I was ever more addicted to a multiplayer before MW2, even Battlefield 2 was put on the back-burner for the first time in years. I was proud of every single title and emblem I got, proud of showing them off in servers, and when someone killed me that had a title that I didn’t recognize, I would Google it and figure out how to make it my own. I would never get close to finishing all of them, but that monumental feeling I got when I completed all of the titles on a given page was like finishing a marathon race. It still had some issues however, such as not being able to view what titles and emblems were linked to what challenges. Not to mention when you did prestige all of the challenges got reset, meaning you might forget which ones you’ve completed. Sure you could redo them again to get more XP, but you don’t get titles twice.

The era of gaming known as the brown color palette

The era of gaming known as the brown color palette

Black Ops came around and gave us the emblem editor, which in itself was amazing; now your own artistic talent could be shown all over, and you could even put these on your gun. But while they added something they took away my favorite aspects: gone were earning the titles, attachments and camos, everything was simply bought. I no longer felt like I was earning anything, it completely took away any sense of accomplishment that I had. Black Ops was one of my least played Call of Duty games for this reason; there was absolutely nothing to drive me, I never felt motivated to try new things, to stretch beyond my favorite gun and try a different one despite it having worse stats (ex. any sub machine gun other than the AK47su). When Modern Warfare 3 came around, we had the system from MW2 again, but I was wondering why they didn’t take Treyarch’s idea of an emblem editor and combine it with their earn-able titles. Black Ops 2 changed all of that.

Still included: Challenges where you had to kill yourself

Still included: Challenges where you had to kill yourself

 Black Ops 2 has made me into a completetionist. I have to use different guns, I have to use all of the equipment, I have to run around with no perks and no attachments if it means being one step closer to gold camo and a couple new titles. Presteiging no longer resets challenges, so you can pick up right where you left off, essentially giving you more time to complete the more time consuming ones. Other pointless challenges, such as the aforementioned jump-from-high-up-so-you-die challenge has been removed. I simply can’t praise the system enough, and it’s why I always come back. Every kill is going towards another challenge, another title to unlock. Sure, the gameplay has some issues, though I have never run into a game that didn’t have some gameplay issues that irked me, like Battlefield 2′s Karkand 64 player infantry only nade spam servers. However, if the game gives me something to constantly strive for then I had no issue playing it. It’s thrilling to get a step closer to the new title, or to show off your design abilities to the world in the emblem editor. There is simply no other game series out there that has a similar system that rewards you like Call of Duty does, and that’s why I simply can’t hate it. I don’t know if I will pick up Modern Warfare 4 (Ghost), but if it has a system either similar or improved on Black Ops 2, I may just be putting down my money towards it.

A perfect balance

A perfect balance

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