A little backstory…
I was first introduced to Strats a while ago because I commented on Reddit about how the modern gaming industry (and in many ways the community as well) was really depressing these days. Everything seemed to be very immature and focused on players with short attention spans, and quality experiences were usually not the industry’s primary goal. Someone there recommended Strats to me and while it was an excellent community I think perhaps my depression got the better of me and I just couldn’t remain interested.
Well, I’m back! What changed?.. I played God of War and it made me believe single player games with engaging stories were not an endangered species. Ubisoft reported major loses after the terrible launch of Ghost Recon: Breakpoint, (a game which I had been looking forward to till they announced the looter-shooter nonsense) but the CEO announced they were restructuring their practice on development and trying to correct the wrongs they’ve made. And finally, I got around to playing the new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare…
I’m a combat veteran, so you know. I spent 9 years in the US Army Infantry and served in Afghanistan and Iraq, and I absolutely love realistic military shooters. I’m one of those people who believes “realism” can be adapted into gameplay that is actually fun, rather than just a simulator style game where the realism almost seems like a burden. It’s been a very long time since I came across a game which gave me the same kind of sensation I got in actual combat. I think the last time a game actually gave me flashbacks was Medal of Honor (2010) for the PS3 where some of the things that happened in the game I actually experienced firsthand.
Thanks to the new COD:MW those flashbacks have returned and I’m drenched in flop sweat worrying about Charlie in the trees and laying flat on my belly every time a car backfires outside. (Not really) The campaign was decent, but as with all COD campaigns it seems like a film directed by Michael Bay, although this one seemed a little less so. It’s the multiplayer and the Spec Ops missions where I’m having most of my fun.
I absolutely love how the game allows you to build different variants of the same weapon, rather than just adding reskinned versions of the same weapon into the game. (That’s something I’ve been saying a game should do for years) I love how the player actually reloads the weapon in a more efficient way when using the “Fast Hands” perk, rather than just speeding up the same animation. I really love the TTK in multiplayer and campaign, because I now no longer feel the need to dump half a magazine into someone. They die like I’d expect them to and my 30-round magazine isn’t completely useless.
Most of all, I love how they’ve basically ripped off Battlefield by taking their gameplay and making it better in most respects. Sure, I miss the destructible environments. But the weapons are better, the attachments are better and have more complex stat effects. They have the same large map designs with the capture points, the same squad makeup, the same squad respawn function, and they’ve added vehicles. So basically it’s Activision’s way of doing a Battlefield game while the actual Battlefield franchise is in limbo. Something I wish they had done a long time ago.
Most of all, the new Spec Ops mode has been kicking my ass. Part of that is due to the fact that most of the random players I’m matched up with don’t want to stick together and have no microphones. But also because the game mode is just punishing as hell! The regular Spec Ops mode gives the player’s team the initiative by letting you choose your kit and class, then expecting you to work together. (The one thing most online COD players don’t do) The so-called Classic Spec Ops mode throws you in the middle of a chaotic battle where you’re outnumbered and surrounded, and you have to move to safety with the weapons provided. It’s basically like the movie Black Hawk Down except this time everyone dies because they don’t stick together.
This level of realism and challenge has brought a little bit of hope back into this old gamer soldier, and I’m actually enjoying my current outlook on the gaming market for the first time in years. So that’s why I’m back. It’s been a long story, so I’m sorry for talking your ear off. But there you have it.
If you’re playing COD:MW and looking for someone who actually cares about teamwork and uses the microphone, let me know. Especially if you’re a veteran yourself and looking for someone who actually knows the phrases you use.
DotingMaple847 on XB1