Feb 16, 2011 9
Select Difficulty > Veteran > You will not survive
Yeah, you guys know the drill. A new Call of Duty game comes out, I somehow end up with my hands on it, I play it on it’s hardest difficulty right off the bat for no reason at all, and I end up writing about how much I hate it. This saga all started because my friend and I trudged though Call of Duty 4 on Veteran. Like a sadist I’m always up for a challenge and look where it’s taken me.
Right off the bat Black Ops makes grave mistakes that mark the campaign a worse experience then Modern Warfare 2. After reflecting on MW2 for the past year that game, minus it’s mindless storyline, was actually in parts fun to play even on Veteran. Black Ops is a completely a mixed bag. Some missions and scenarios are brilliant where others are complete bullshit. For example, the Vorkuta mission (minus the dumb conclusion and getaway) is fantastic. How the objectives are unveiled felt like a fun rip on the series and I always love a good prison break.
I can 100% confirm re-spawning enemies make their grand reappearance in multiple sections in Pitch Black Operations. Without question the worst part of COD4 are the areas where, for example, you shoot some asshole in the window and a second later another asshole would take his place in the window. Truly horrid.
The worst part of Black Ops is the mission S.O.G. For the designers I’m sure in their diabolical ways planned “this is the mission the layman is going to be broken trying to get the veteran achievements. “After not having to look up game play suggestion videos for MW2 I had to for one checkpoint in the above level. Watch the video then come back. You kill the guys they keep coming back. Listen to the poor guy in the video. He makes it look easy but he even admits how many times he had to die to get this part right. You try to rush forward you are cut down immediately. Your AI guys (as they are for the entirety of the game) are completely worthless and not a good way to judge your safety. On Veteran it’s complete luck to pass this section.
Gripes, bitching, moaning, whatever.
Along your quest for military supremacy your AI companions have this great ability to either always take the best cover spots or seriously push you out of cover. On Veteran a good strat is hugging a wall and doing a pop in/out of cover. Some dick level designer always wants to put Woods or Hudson exactly where you want to be to blast the fools they refuse to. Multiple times I was just cussing at them for being asses for taking my spot putting me in danger of game over.
On the mission “Rebirth” there is a part where you will man a tank. This is not an easy part and your tank on Veteran cannot take many hits. Also, the player is not controlling the movement of the tank so progression is scripted and you only move the gun. The game hit a checkpoint right in the middle of a firefight not in a safe area. On respawn the shots were impossible I couldn’t kill the guys behind me and in front of me at the same time thus having to restart the entire level. I’ve never had a game with an automatic checkpoint system EVER screw me over like this.
On the final mission of the game “Redemption” I ran into another well documented glitch that required another level restart. After going though half the level downing three helicopters and running the gauntlet of memorizing the location of countless instantly lethal men the last thing I would have ever thought happened. A scripting error. If anything Call of Duty does right is scripting events. During my decent in the boat apparently I’m suppose to be accompanied with an AI guy and apparently he didn’t come with me thus not allowing the trigger of the next event. Seriously how in the world did this issue get past 12 minutes of credits?
Something that I didn’t even bother with on MW2 was the multiplayer component. With Black Ops since my friends recently have been playing online I’ve played enough to reach level 29. This is the reason to come to Call of Duty and I can see why people like it for reasons I’m not going to get into here. The community is huge at one point there were over a million people online. The same night a tenth of that was playing Halo Reach. In the battle of Halo vs COD really I believe it’s a personal preference. Halo feels like anybody can come in and have a good or a bad match where COD feels it caters to the good and constantly rewards them for being good. For those bad players the hook is to make them strive to be good to have what what the already good players have. As poor as those sentences read really it was the best way I could put it. For myself Halo has been my preferred game of choice for competitive multiplayer since Counter Strike practically for online statistics and rocket race alone and Black Ops won’t change that. Black Ops did change that I’m no longer afraid of playing COD online other then the next game better not have the RC-XD killstreak. I swear I hate that stupid remote controlled car so much.
So, after all that where are we? For my small fanbase after reading my maniacal rants on Call of Duty one would ask ‘why in the hell does he keep doing this to himself? Now that I’m 1up over anybody I know on “Veteran Completions” that slightly dampens but doesn’t extinguish the need to keep beating these. Part of me also still feels like the challenge is fun. The whole “I did it and nobody else did” is always a goal to strive for. On top of everything I still have lingering thoughts trying to comprehend how these games are the most popular in an industry where there are tons of better alternatives for content.
I cannot condone (recommend?) the campaign on Veteran difficulty. My gift of stubbornness was the sole reason I was able to trudge though this game. After finishing the game I went back and did some achievement hunting on an easier difficulty and I can see where mortals can find their fun. As always being behind the barrel is done well and Treyarch appeared to try to make the storyline interesting even though I didn’t pay attention to any of it. Honestly don’t listen to me I’m just a jaded old man who’s lost his way. If one needs a balanced four star review read Giant Bomb’s it’s great and all of it true. This post could go on forever.
Note: I forgot to mention they finally (!!) removed those patronizing quotes when you die. My stomach and lasting sanity wouldn’t handle seeing “Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction” – President John F Kennedy every twenty seconds after walking Mason into a death trap.