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Well, now time for that soapbox….wait a sec, let me hammer this nail in…*bangbangbang**…..ok, good enough. WARNING: In the end, this is a rant and should not be conceived as any other group’s thoughts. I will try to be constructive as possible and only expect the same from anyone else.
I thought this appropriate after hearing the release numbers for the latest game in the series (Black Ops). Hearing that it had the biggest release day, beating Modern Warfare 2, and also had the most money spent on it for development, I expected…..more.
Ever since the release of Call of Duty 2, the PC has only ever been served a lowly port of the game. However, it didn’t start lowly at first. If you are old enough to remember vCoD and UO, then I tip my hat to you. I speak of the first Call of Duty and the first expansion pack United Offensive.
Ahh the good ol days. The days when a gun had recoil, maps spanned large distances, melee took 2-3 hits to kill someone, and grenades were not nuclear (do a lot of damage from far away). Its always interesting to go back and play an old game. You can find yourself in a completely different time and world of gameplay. Without going on this rant early, I want to point out one thing about the early games. They had a wide skill gap. A skill gap is determined by both sides given the exact same weapon and who is going to come out the victor most. I will use COD1 as my skill gap comparison for the later games. Next is Call of Duty 2, the first big sequel IW would come out with and the first big COD console game.
My literal first words when I first started playing Call of Duty 2 was “Wow, this map is small” (playing on matmata). Sadly, it didn’t get much better. The next thing was the gun recoil lessened and a Hold your breathe button turned a couple heads and “ORly?”. However, Even this console port had a decent amount of features (including allowing you to change the DX level, a feature that allowed one to play the game on even the oldest PC gaming machines). With mod tools, we were able to create our own maps, and mod out the “ported” features that were console specific (holding your breathe for the sniper rifle was only ever created for the console). The storm was only a slight drizzle, but quite manageable.
When the news of Call of Duty 3 broke, people started looking up. However, things went south quickly after hearing immediately afterward that is was a console only game. Since Treyarch was the developer though, many hearts were not broken to hear that the game did not live up to the COD name. I like to think of this as a look at things to come still.
Next was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Since the PC community was still playing Call of Duty 2, it was a long wait for a new game and a good look forward to a refresh of the series. However, what was delivered was yet worse. I did not think maps could get smaller after Call of Duty 2 but I was proven wrong. I did not think the gun recoil could get any lower than Call of Duty 2, I was proven wrong (and if you disagree, look up the scorpion + silencer glitch). This latest installment also brought along the gametype that I believe to be the biggest abomination to FPS….hardcore. Summary of my feelings on that, encourages TOO MUCH camping. Why not just ignore hardcore servers, well, if 90% of servers did not have hardcore turned on, I would (and 7% of the normal servers are full or empty). Although they mention they listen to the community (which is how they came up with hardcore), apparently they don’t listen to many.
Time for a little story that you won’t see in many places. Punkbuster was not stopping many hackers. The main competition modders of the PC community knew this and worked to improve upon this. To let you know the credit of these modding gods, they are able to break through punkbuster in 10 minutes flat. Anyway, they submitted their product to IW and get the usual “We will get back to you”. In a couple weeks, it was announced that they will again use Punkbuster. I bet you feel better about now about playing PC games online.
Back on track, With the inclusion of so much on Modern Warfare, it was a good variety. Mod tools can again fix small maps and turn off perks if need be. The patches even came a bit more with this one. Sadly, the PC community manager for IW left after this installment, and the storm was only beginning.
Many were not too cheery to hear Treyarch was going to be developing the next Call of Duty game. With the not so stellar release of COD3, standards were low. However, they took a page from World of Warcraft clones, if you can’t beat it, copy it. The first thing I noticed about Call of Duty: World at War, the game was quite similar to Modern Warfare, just with many new skins. It was a bit better with the inclusion of a new zombie mode and guns not being so powerful. Even the maps were growing larger again. However, the game had MANY MANY bugs. The patches themselves total in over 3GB worth of files (spread across 5 separate files).
Infinity Ward was up again and they needed to out do themselves after Call of Duty 4. However, what they would deliver would turn out would have the worst PR for a game that anyone has seen. As a bonus, Call of Duty: I have seen better days (Part 2) will have dedicated servers and keyboard/mouse support. Stay tuned…