Shooting things! Shooty McShooty Fire Boom Bang Ratatata RUN RUN RUN Stabby Slicey Death! Guns! MORE GUNS! Grenades! Gravelly voices! Shouting! MORE SHOUTING! Cars! Helicopters! CARS EXPLODING! HELICOPTERS EXPLODING! MORE DEATH! WHARRGARBL!! *starts foaming at the mouth*
Sorry about that. I get riled up sometimes when I play Call of Duty. The endless buckets of testosterone getting splashed on those who play have a bit of a deleterious effect on me.
You might think this means I don’t like Call of Duty, but you’d be wrong. The Call of Duty series is my favorite first-person shooter series of the current generation. Of course, that’s a little like saying I have a favorite hemorrhoid. With the exceptions of Bioshock and the recent Far Cry 3, I haven’t been impressed by any single-player campaigns in any first-person shooters this generation. And before I get hate mail, I don’t count Fallout 3 and New Vegas as shooters because they were RPG’s first, shooters second.
But of course, the multiplayer excuses Call of Duty as far as millions of fanboys are concerned, and I’m inclined to agree with them. Call of Duty developers Treyarch and, to a lesser extent, Infinity Ward, seem to be the only first-person shooter devs that realize that a lot of players enjoy hanging out with their friends in person and play shooters with them. Of course, whether online or off, the multiplayer’s not perfect, either.
So I thought I’d work out a list of things I want to see in the next Call of Duty. I hope I don’t anger too many fanboys and fangirls with it, but if you disagree, you’re more than welcome to make up your own list – it’s a free internet.
5. MORE BOTS
I’m not alone on this one, though I might as well be. Mentioning on the internet that you want bots in a video game is basically asking every online-multiplayer-loving idiot out there to call you a wuss. I get told things like “just play online and stop complaining, you pansy-ass loser.” I’m sorry, what was that? I couldn’t hear you, I had my entire head in your mother’s vagina.
Here’s the thing – an internet connection can be a finicky bastard. Sometimes it just drops for no apparent reason. Sometimes your roommate is streaming his Netflix. Sometimes you just don’t want to stop downloading your hardcore asian porn.
Or sometimes you’ve got three other people at your house who all want to play. And you can’t take that many people online. In any of these cases, bots make it possible for you to still play and have fun. And Black Ops 2 was fantastic in this regard. Bots are available in all standard game modes. Now just one more step – make them available for the ‘party’ modes as well. And maybe have a leveling system for offline play, like Modern Warfare 2 had (though they forgot the bots on that one) – it’s not necessary, we’ll be playing Black Ops 2 splitscreen without it until something better comes along. But it would be nice.
4. NEW MECHANICS
It’s all gotten a little tired over the years. The EA sports games Madden, NHL, and NBA, all release basically the same game year after year, but even they change their formula more than Call of Duty does.
As far as multiplayer goes, there really isn’t a lot they CAN do to shake things up. They already have many, many exciting ways to kill people, slow them down, hobble them, know where they are, etc. And it’s still as fun as ever. Aside from automatically smiting people who are being jackasses, I don’t know how they could improve it. But the single-player side of the equation could definitely use some refreshing changes.
I get the sense that at least Treyarch knows this, as they tried to add that tower-defense/RTS malarkey to Black Ops 2’s campaign. Note the word “tried”. It doesn’t really work, but that doesn’t mean Treyarch shouldn’t be applauded for trying. I just want them to try something else. Puzzles? Exploration? Mystery, perhaps?