A Strange Drug: The Call of Duty Series

Anyone who knows me could tell you about my disdain towards Call of Duty. I am a huge fan of the original 2 PC titles but couldn’t get into the rest. I did beat 3, though that was more so because it was the only Wii FPS(other than Red Steel) at the time and I actually like the genre with controls like that. Excited for CoD to be back in original hands and a fresh time period I gave 4 a chance. I beat the campaign but nothing really stuck. The campaign was heralded as stunning with large set pieces and killing off the player. CoD2 had tons of that but it was I overlooked as it never came to consoles. The multiplayer never sat well with me either. I loved mixing RPG with FPS. Prior to this, I had sunk hundreds of hours into the Warcraft3 mod for Counter-Strike and CS:Source but something about the gunplay just seemed off. Controlled firing bursts had no place in this game. Fully unloading a clip barely had any effect on recoil or accuracy and that is still prevalent in Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2(worse so in the latter). Though there are numerous amounts of weapons, most feel and act the same. After CoD4 I lost hope in the franchise. I never played another one. The yearly iteration allowed the franchise to become stale. Much like the Madden series, each game was a rehash with minor changes that weren’t really worth the asking price. I play Modern Warfare 2 during a Steam Free Weekend but didn’t care much for it. I played for a little over 5 hours straight and didn’t touch it the remainder of the weekend.

About a year ago, I think I may have lost some important blood cells because I came to find myself, one day, addicted to Modern Warfare 3. My Dad had just purchased MW3 for Xbox 360 and I was casually watching him play when he handed the controller to me because he had to do something. I don’t remember what it was but he had to go AFK and put me in control instead. I played a map or two and still didn’t see what the commotion was about. It was still pretty much the same formula from MW1 with a slew of new guns, perks, and maps. Overall, an expensive expansion pack. For those too young to know, an expansion pack was like DLC but with a lot more content for a much better price and it was all on disk. You got a ton of new maps, a few new guns, and even an extra campaign that took more than a few hours to beat. Additionally, you could sell the expansion pack as well. Getting back on topic, the next time I was at my Dad’s I wanted to play some more MW3. I couldn’t figure out why but I had become addicted to it. After a couple of weeks I got out of it and I didn’t miss it. I tried a game here and there after Map Pack 3 dropped but I just wasn’t getting the same feeling like when it first came out.

All of this is leading up to this weekend. Steam is doing a free weekend for Black Ops II and, as usual, I downloaded it just to see how it is. I’ve already dropped 8 hours into it over 4 sessions and have even invited buddies to play with me. Amazon had a Steam Key on sale for it and, for some unknown reason, I bought it. I can’t stop playing Black Ops 2. I can see all of its flaws, they haven’t changed at all. Most of the guns feel the same, certain classes of weapons are dominant(happens to be hip fired SMG as of right now), and each match is over just as it feels like it’s getting started. But I keep playing one more match. There is something to be said here about the instant, constant gratification that happens every 10 mins. Whether it is that long range shot, the double kill, or the random ax toss that actually hit the game is constantly telling you how awesome you are and people eat that up. Then, after every match, it lists all of the actions you performed, most by luck but some by skill, and you level up and see all of the cool new toys you unlocked. And there are a million actions that it will reward you for, even if you aren’t that great. Combat skills aren’t up to snuff, keep a rocket launcher in your backpack and take down enemy UAV. Don’t like aiming, pack an automatic shotgun(unlocked from the get go) and camp a narrow hallway. Got an itchy trigger finger, take one of the 100 round LMGs with deadly accuracy never let go of the trigger. Regardless, I’ve only dropped 8 hours and I’ve already prestiged my primary weapon(MK48, the basic LMG) and I’m halfway to prestiging my character. I can’t justify spending more on Map Packs than I did the game though so I will most likely not get the Season Pass. To be honest, I hope my love hate relationship with this turns into a hate by the time maps start rolling out anyways. I’ve tried to stray from online games so I can catch up on my backlog and this is majorly impeding on that.

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