Thursday, May 17, 2012

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Getting Better All the Time

This game came out last November. Since then, I have logged 336 hours in multiplayer combat. That's 336 hours of bliss. Talk about entertainment value...I paid $59.99 for the game...which means that all this goodness is costing me but 18¢ per hour! The sheer joy of this game is due in large part to the love and innovation that Activision, the publisher, keeps pumping into this game.

Call of Duty: MW3 is actually a huge number of different games within a game. Probably the most popular is straight-up Team Deathmatch. Two teams, six players to a side, square off to see who can get the most kills. This is my least favorite game. The lobbies here are populated by 12 year old castratos with lightning quick reflexes.This is no place for a geezer gamer to hang out. They should change the name of the game to "Be quick or be dead....and when you're dead...I will make fun of you in my best prepubescent, boy soprano voice".

When the game first came out, I spent all of my time playing "Domination". Here again there are two teams, six players to a side, but strategy plays the biggest part of the game. There are three flags on each map. Whichever team holds the most flags for the most time wins. Killing the opposition helps, but only to the degree that it helps you hold a flag. Coordinating with your team members is the only way you are going to consistently win. This game is a lot of fun. And while I still can't outshoot most 12 year olds, I am, at times, able to outthink them.

After I tired of Domination, I moved on to "Kill Confirmed". This was a new game type introduced with this generation of the game. We play the "hard core" version of the game, which means that all damage is cumulative and just one or two bullets will kill you...kind of like the real world. Same deal...two teams...six players to a team. The object is to kill people on the other team, but the "kill" does not count unless you collect their dog tag. But you can't just kill and run in to grab the dog tag, because smart players hunt in packs and the pack will take you down if you run in. So again, another game with a lot of strategy and team coordination required if you want to win. Great fun.

But then we moved on to what is now my favorite game, "Search and Destroy". We play the "hard core" version as well. Again...two teams...six players to a side. On each map, there are two bombs. If you are on offense, you have to grab a laptop, take it to the bomb, arm the bomb and then defend the bomb until it blows up. If you are on defense, you do everything in your power to keep the other team from arming the bomb. If they do, you can defuse it to win the round. This game is all about strategy...kind of like chess with an assault rifle and hand grenades. To make it more interesting, you only have one life in each round. If you die, you are are a spectator until the next round begins. Because the game rewards strategy over reflexes, there is a complete absence of 12 year olds in the game. It's only older, mature gamers playing that comprehend the concept of patience. First team to win four rounds wins. This game is a fascinating, adrenaline-pumping rush...and incredibly frustrating if you screw up and die early in the round.

Yesterday, Activision introduced four new maps with a whole new game type called "Face Off". The maps are really small to promote a lot of very intense firefights. In my favorite version there are two teams, but only two people on each team. The action is beyond frenetic and the only way you can consistently win is by careful coordination with your teammate. It is also helpful to have a really good teammate who was a Sergeant in the United States Army, with tours in Afghanistan and Iraq under his belt (thank you Tim Blackstone, aka BlackHawkDragon). If you are looking for a game that perilously elevates your heart rate and makes you sweat like you are wearing a rubber suit and down parka in a sauna, you'll love "Face Off".

I've been playing Call of Duty games since 2003. The amount of creativity and innovation that the game has shown through the years is nothing short of remarkable. In it's latest iteration, we are getting new maps and/or game types each month... an amazing, technological achievement. It's no wonder that it is the most popular game of all time. As of February 9, 2012, there were 40 million active players across all of the Call of Duty titles. 40 million! That makes for a huge number of castratos...which is precisely why Microsoft created "private chat". With the push of a button, millions upon millions of castratos fall silent. Which allows this geezer gamer and my friends to simply just enjoy the game.

No comments:

Post a Comment