Ten glorious, bloody, surprising days. What have I learned in that time?
Ten Things in Ten Days
1. I was exactly Today Years Old when it occurred to me that Call of Duty actually has characters and a storyline. After at least five or six years of playing these games, Modern Warfare is the first time it really hit me that the campaign represents something other than a semi-challenging tutorial to get you used to the feel of each weapon before you do the multiplayer…which, let’s face it, is the meat and potatoes of your average Call of Duty game. I expect a compelling, well-rounded storyline from Call of Duty about as much as I do from a Fast and Furious movie.
2. Modern Warfare is trying very hard to make the campaign just as much meat and potatoes as the multiplayer package. They want you to know this shit is for keeps from the moment (problematic evil foreign insurgent from parts unknown) steps out of a van with a bomb strapped to his chest in a major metro area. Or a mass shooting in the middle of Downtown London.
3. I am so thrilled that the superpowers from Black Ops are gone. Modern Warfare focuses mainly on gunplay to level the playing field because the bionic special abilities from the previous series were starting to turning the multiplayer into a whodunit. Players were forever solving the mystery of who killed you and how implausible the kill was. I knew I was fed up when I was getting melted by an “operator” who could remotely raise the radiation levels in an area on the map. How do you even dodge that? Finally, in Modern Warfare I can get down to the brass tacks of good old fashioned shooting people in the face with shotguns.
4. In most Call of Duty games, when you die during the campaign, there’s usually a fade to black with some kind of psuedo warrior zen quote from various presidents or famous military figures. This isn’t too off putting except for the fact that THIS particular installment features a quote from Chris “American Sniper” Kyle. I don’t quite remember the exact quote, but the summary was that he felt no remorse about any of the plethora of murder he might have committed. This was Cliven Bundy levels of problematic, but then again, problematic seems like a starting point when what passes for the story is essentially GI Joe vs. Russia.
5. The character Colonel Price has the most confusing beard I’ve ever seen in any game ever and any movie since Trevor Jackson in Superfly.
6. The multiplayer maps are definitely bigger than usual. This absolutely encourages camping and I’ll be honest…I’m fine with it. It changes the tempo of the whole game from basic run and gun to something that makes you change your thinking. You can end up pinned down in a building because you can’t locate the sniper. So now you’re holding ground as people try to storm the building you’re trapped in until you run out of grenades or claymores. It’s…warfare.
7. The daily challenges for XP loot are actually pretty fun and they shake the game up a little bit. If you’re not hip to the varying assignments and weapons they make you use for them, you’ll be freaked out by people randomly running around the map blowing people away with rocket launchers and RPGs at point-blank range. It keeps a WTF factor going like PUBG or the infamous Prometheus Lens incident in Destiny 2. And it’s much more fun than buying a bunch of Mountain Dew and Doritos for XP…which I am almost certain will still be a thing.
8. The mods and customizations for weapons are impressive. I’m pretty sure I’m in the high 40 levels with my favorite assault rifle (F.R. 5.56) and I am STILL unlocking options for optics and muzzles and barrels.
9. There is zero subtlety to the footstep noises. Heaven help the poor souls with soundbars in their house. Since everyone can hear me coming a mile away, I’ve resolved myself to just take the Moon Knight way and embrace it. So, officially, I LIKE that they know I’m coming.
10. The footsteps coupled with the opening and closing of doors in various structures makes for some hilarious (and confounding for the victims) encounters. Yes, this is a part of the camping issue, but it also gives people that haven’t played every Call of Duty game for the past decade a chance to get into the game. I am all about inclusivity and thinking differently to win. So suck it up and check those corners.
All images courtesy of Playstation.com.