I’ve had no reservations on my stance that Black Ops was a better game than Modern Warfare 3. I still give the crippled Infinity Ward credit for creating a solid entry in the venerable franchise, particularly in the single-player portion, but I can’t help but wonder if the loss of studio heads Vince Zampella and Jason West wasn’t too much for them. Treyarch has been stepping up their game considerably with each entry, and I feel they are poised to make the best Call of Duty game yet. Here are a few things we hope they bring back to the Call of duty franchise:
Zombies: This one is a given, but there are a few changes I would like to see made to the mode. While the basic premise of Zombies is a blast, it has always lacked a sense of progression. Holding off a horde of zombies while using points to buy and upgrade weapons is great, but in this day and age, it is hard to make a marquee mode without some sort of persistent progression. As is, every game you play in Zombies is a one-off, with only a basic leaderboard system tying them all together. With the multiplayer portion of Call of Duty already featuring an excellent progression system, it isn’t hard to imagine how one could be implemented in Zombies. It would have to be carefully done; maintaining the delicate balance of power is important, and you don’t want super heroes running around slaying zombies.
COD Points: The idea of using in-game points to purchase weapons and perks in the order you want was ingenious, and I never understood why it was removed in Modern Warfare 3. Why stick to same arbitrary order of weapons when you could bring player choice into the equation? I hope Black Ops 2 returns the ability to buy our own weapons, equipment and, particularly, perks. Perks are such a huge part of the CoD experience, and being shoehorned into perks that you don’t like isn’t fun for anybody. I’m of the opinion you should never take control out of the hands of the player if you can help it, and clearly Treyarch figured out a way to make it work in the Call of Duty framework.
Wager Matches: Speaking of COD points, few things were more fun in Black Ops than betting those points in the intense wager matches they offered. Not only did it add a level of excitement in wagering your own points against other players, but the different wager matches were some of the most fun and creative ever offered in a shooter. Whether it was the frantic tomahawk-throwing of Sticks & Stones or the heart-pounding race to the finish in Gun Game, the free-for-all wager matches were the standout mode of Black Ops, and it would be a shame for them not to make a return. Whether it’s the old favorites or some new ways to screw over your friends, we hope to be able to participate in these extreme matches.
Customizable Emblems: How much time did you spend tinkering with your emblem in Black Ops? The deep yet easy-to-use emblem editor is a ton of fun to mess around with, and finally nailing that design you had in your head really feels great, especially when you get to show it off in an impressive final killcam. Unlocking new shapes and designs was kind of a hassle, but when you finally got your Peter Griffin just right, it really felt good. It certainly adds a stronger connection to your player character than some pre-fab title that Infinity Ward found clever. We can hope that Treyarch will not only bring back this feature back, but enhance the options available.
The Dive: Of all the features removed between Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3, this is the one I understand the least. I realize that two different companies are making these titles, and they want to keep their own identities, but not implementing the dive just feels lazy. How hard could it be? I play a lot of Domination, and it became second nature for me to dive into the flags, and I got pretty good with the offensive applications of it. It made the transition from standing to prone as smooth as possible, but Modern Warfare 3 chose to remove it. It seems obvious that Black Ops 2 will bring it back, but it’s worth noting.