Kyle has returned from exile to have a moan about the Call of Duty franchise, while hoping that Sledgehammer Games’ Call of Duty: WWII turns out to be a beast of a game.
My return to Pure PlayStation is greeted with yet another issue that everyone (read: absolutely no one) wanted me to discuss. Followers, friends, and family know I haven’t really enjoyed a Call of Duty since Black Ops and haven’t praised one since the original Modern Warfare. There are many reasons why that I will soon discuss, but there is a constant nagging thought in my head that says Call of Duty: WWII will be different. No matter how much I bat it down with being burned in the past and having Battlefield 1 to enjoy, it persists. So you readers get to deal with the fallout waging in my head.
Full disclosure, I love the Battlefield series. The scale of some maps, the rush of being in a huge battle, and the sights and sounds to name a few reasons. However, some entries aren’t immune to criticism as I know all too well. Battlefield 3 had the unforgivable overpowered USAS problem at launch and Battlefield 4 released borderline broken with a plethora of server issues. So keep in mind that the following criticisms of Call of Duty are coming from a place of logic. I know the faults of the Battlefield franchise, but in my opinion CoD is so much worse.
I suppose my downward spiral with the popular shooter started with Modern Warfare 2 funny enough. After all, I only played three Call of Duty games after that sequel (Black Ops 1, 2, Advanced Warfare) and not for that long, mind you. It definitely started with one of the granddaddy of all overpowered tactics in shooters, the akimbo shotguns. This play style assured anyone a kill if another player was in their line of sights. Their range was ridiculous while their stopping power was something straight out of nightmares. It ruined nearly every online match and was the cause of many rage quit sessions.
However, the horror didn’t stop there. MW2 was ruin afoul by many hackers and glitchers. So much so that after a few months on the PlayStation 3, you couldn’t escape these exploiters. Not only did they ruin the game subjectively, but objectively as well. Then that was about the time I returned my copy to GameStop (didn’t quite hate them yet like I do today). Regrettably, I still didn’t learn my lesson from Activision’s then one year development cycle and purchased Black Ops the following year.
Now I won’t go in too hard on this entry because it was somewhat enjoyable. The story was actually interesting in a cold war setting and had a nice, albeit predictable, plot twist. Plus, the actual expansion on the nazi zombies was a huge positive for many people. Unfortunately, Black Ops lagged something fierce and had horrible hit detection (a trend that continued for a while). Not to mention that annoying ethernet connection error/notification. Yea, you remember that right? The picture that would come up and freeze you mid-online game saying your connection was “interrupted?” Dark, dark days that weren’t fixed in time and I ended up selling yet another Call of Duty.
I still didn’t learn my lesson though and ended up purchasing the sequel. Black Ops 2 was incredibly fun at first and even made a review of it for my YouTube channel saying I liked it. As expected, not too long after that the long running problems made an appearance again. i.e lagging, hit detection errors, etc. You best believe it was soon sold. A longer break from the franchise would then follow, but I eventually hopped on Advanced Warfare if nothing else because I didn’t have anything to play. Especially a full-on shooter. Yet again the online, technical problems persisted and the story was just boring. Sorry Kevin Spacey, I just couldn’t get past the third level with interest. Plus, I didn’t even mention that reused assets controversy. That’s another headache entirely.
Be grateful I was able to sum up my problems with Call of Duty in four paragraphs. Understand that was no small feat so you wouldn’t end up reading a research paper. But where does that leave me and WWII? Well, a mixed bag. I have no doubt that there will be consistent, online technical issues for a little while at least, but Sledgehammer Games appears to be trying their absolute best. Additionally, the return to World War 2 looks to be respectful and authentic and the plot actually looks intriguing. Trust me, the irony is not lost on the fact that ten years ago people were complaining there were too many WWII shooters.
Now I know I said I was done complaining about the titular franchise, but there is just one other thing. Ever since Modern Warfare changed the game, for better or worse, Activision has been pissing themselves in an effort to go bigger and bolder. That means further into the future, more sci-fi elements, hell let’s go to space! Naturally, this took away from boots on the ground experiences. Needless to say, that didn’t sit well with me from a personal standpoint. A return to non-borderline robotic humans flying around the air like monkeys is definitely a way to get back in my good graces. ‘Nough said.
Lastly, the introduction of Divisions and Headquarters to multiplayer was absolutely a method to acquire my attention. A social space in a war-torn shooter that had aspects of PlayStation Home and Destiny’s tower? Yea, you can go ahead and sign me right up. It might not be as big as I originally hoped, but being able to socialize and share achievements in a live setting with other people’s avatars just has an appeal to it. As long as there’s a way to block off the toxic ten-year olds who constantly yell they’re sleeping with my mum that is. “It’s a rated M game, what are you even doing here kid? Oh your mom bought it for you to keep your annoying ass busy so she can actually have a breather? Well that explains a lot.”
Short of EA and DICE making a pile of actual crap as their next Battlefield title and saying us gamers should be happy we get the opportunity to sniff it, Call of Duty isn’t going to really win me over. The one with the giant maps and excellent gameplay will always be my favorite. That doesn’t mean I won’t dabble in CoD from time to time if a good all-around title is created. You won’t hear many Battlefield fans admit this, but sometimes we want a close-knit shooter with an arcade like feel to it. Expansive maps and certain simulation aspects get tiring after a while. It would be nice to have both experiences, but Call of Duty needs to stop being a haven of problems. WWII might just break that trend for me. Here’s hoping I’ll find out in November.