Every Friday, audiovisual club staff members kick off our weekly open thread for discussion of game plans and recent gaming glories, but of course the real action is in the comments, where we invite you to answer our eternal question: What are you playing this weekend?
Discuss Call of Duty from a critical point of view can be complicated. The series is so big and so popular that every new game is going to sell 100 million copies no matter what anyone says about it, so there’s not much fun for a writer or reader saying “the graphics are good, the gameplay is good, so the game is good.” This presents an opportunity to dig in and address what games are saying, which is almost universally rude: the military with unchecked power is actually good. War crimes are okay if they are perpetrated against people who are bad guys. Guns are cool. Guns guns guns guns guns. (I definitely have do that tooover my many years of trying to find something to say on Call of Duty on this site.)
But getting bogged down in the implicit approval of a whole bunch of ooh-rah military macho shit means missing out on what the game is actually trying to do, which i think is worth talking about for the new Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 2– not because I think it’s secretly brilliant, but because I think big chunks of this game are a mess. They’re an interesting mess, though, and they’re more about the developers’ inordinate ambition (or perhaps an unwarranted level of trust in the players) than some kind of dubious willingness to portray war crimes.
During Modern Warfare IIcampaign, I kept thinking, as I often do, about titan fall 2. Recurrence Apex Legends forebear is the best first person shooter ever made, and one of the reasons for that is an awesome single-player campaign where each level plays with a new mechanic that takes what you’ve learned in previous levels and twists or twists it. develops (which, in this case, is also the structure of perfect video game kirby superstar). IBD tries something similar, and each time it does, it’s absolutely convincing.
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For example, this series has pretty much always had small levels of upheaval, where you’re suddenly a gunner in a tank going through what’s actually a shooting range or whatever, rather than a guy on foot. At one level, IBD sets up something like this by tasking your character to provide cover fire for a friendly convoy aboard a helicopter. You assume that’s how the level will play out, but after a few minutes your helicopter is hit and you’re thrown out the open door, hanging upside down on a rope. It’s great, and it plays with expectations in a clever way that also serves as a little showcase for the kind of tricks developers can pull off.
Then the level continues for another six hours (if you have as much trouble as I do), and it’s excruciating. You quickly detach from the helicopter and it switches to a new gadget: you have to jump from car to car in the convoy. while shoot bad guys cars while try not to die while prevent your car from exploding while dodge land mines while maintain a constant speed so the bad guys you’re chasing don’t escape.
Almost every level that does something cool is like this. A raid on an oil rig during a storm is all about cool rain effects and stealthy mercenaries, but then you move on to a big, storm-tossed freighter that’s a triumph of modern video game technology and a infuriating scenery where containers sliding across the deck will kill you immediately if they hit you. The smart way to win is to ignore the amazing level design and just sprint to the finish, which is a waste of the whole trick.
It gets to a point where you’re desperate for some traditional insane COD action, sitting behind a blanket, going out to kill the bad guys while they do the same, but there is surprisingly little war in this great war game. Instead, it’s a lot of Hitman– horrifically punishing stealth missions and open stealth levels where you are inexplicably 100 times more fragile than you are in any other level.
But these levels look so interesting on paper. You collect random items and turn them into weapons. You have to hide and outsmart the bad guys. Entire games are built on setups like this, and here COD it’s just throwing it away as another thing to do between shooting guys and shooting other guys… which is probably the problem. The developers push the game to do things it didn’t really introduce you to, like stealth missions, or the game asks players to do things it didn’t really teach them to do…like stealth missions.
So is a big swing that doesn’t work a more compelling experience than doing the same thing every two years? I think so, but at the same time, if each Call of Duty was a hopeless experiment that tried really hard and failed most of the time, I would be as fed up as I was of games in the series that didn’t try enough new things. But at the same time, standard multiplayer is as good as it ever is. Hardcore fans will complain about small incremental changes, but who cares. They are fine. You shoot the other guys and it makes a satisfying noise if you catch them before they catch you, and if you have enough guys, crazy bullshit flashes on the screen telling you you did a good job . As much as we might wish otherwise, that’s all a video game has to do sometimes.
#Call #Duty #Modern #Warfare #Takes #Lot #Big #Swings