Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Call of Duty is Madden now!

Just once EA can your sports department take a hiatus, at least 2 years away from sports games, and come back and deliver something truly special. I buy Madden every year, I can't help it I want that new roster and the advancement in player ratings. What I don't want is a shoehorned augmentation that's considered a so called "innovation" to the gameplay. Most of these “innovations" in Madden last for about one or two yearly iterations and then are taken out for some other garbage tweak to the gameplay the following year. Remember the vision cone from Madden 06 (most have tried to forget it), yeah that lasted long. Most of the gameplay additions in each Madden are met with cynical skepticism, if not pure negativity until they are eventually taken out in the next year’s edition. In fact this years Madden promised a streamlined audible system, but hardcore Madden heads hated the new feature so much EA released a title update giving fans back the old system, that’s how you show conviction in a feature.

Madden is an "annualizable"(not a real word, but we are going with it nonetheless) video game franchise, I accept that fact! If the big wigs at EA see there yearly profit margins drop around the time when a new edition of Madden is supposed to release they would all collectively have aneurysms. That doesn't mean that Madden as an IP wouldn't benefit from a year or so off, hell the entire EA sports department should collectively do the same. I'm sure the dev teams working on these "squeezed lemon" games would appreciate a sabbatical, just to come up with some new ideas. I loathe the term "annualizable"(damn it spell check stay with me on this) it just seems like a touch and go term signifying churned out video game crap. I fear that more games are headed in this direction...well Its actually already upon us but with games that I actually care about, as apposed to a game were all I’m concerned with is a roster update!

Call of Duty is just like Madden at this point; actually it's been an annualized game for the passed 4 years. Let's just say it Call of Duty 4 was the best in the series, each subsequent COD since has just been a step back in game design and forward thinking. With COD 4 we had a balls to the walls intense singleplayer game with a simple story and characters that you actually cared for when you saw them get their brains blown out! The level where your actually in the center of a nuclear blast (sorry the actually name of the level escapes me) is one of the single best videos game moments ever, ever! Each mission was just a masterpiece, at least at the time. Now each COD, hell each FPS needs to have you involved in some kind of catastrophic event (where the character you play as dies or something) and has the same layout. 

STANDARD Call of Duty or -insert generic FPS hear- 

Guy 1:"Now your a Sniper in weeds!"

Guy 2:"Oooh! That sounds good what else"

Guy 1:"Uhm...oh, oh now your like a terrorist or something, but not really your still like the good guy or something I'm too awesome to think this through. Then the guy you are playing as dies!"

Guy 2 or 3(doesn't matter): "Dude my pants are completely full now, you have to stop."

Guy 1: "Oh I'm not finished, hike up those pantaloons! Man how about you have this gruff grizzled war vet with you the whole way through"


Guy 1: "He has a beard!"

Guy 2: "........."

Guy 2: "...when you die I'm gonna stand over your body and inhale your soul hopefully that will make me almost as brilliant as you"

I don’t need to emphasize how shitty and incoherent Call of Duty Black Ops singelplayer is. After COD 4 I stopped carrying about the singleplayer in each subsequent COD. Suffice it to say you’re the dude from Avatar and you’re in the 60’s (Although by the guns featured it could be anywhere from the 60 to 90’s damn near) with Ice Cube and a guy who desperately wanted to be as cool as Captain Price! You experience nonsensical flash back's through Jake Sully’s memory of prior events, none of which are particularly noteworthy or interesting enough to mention. Actually the best part of the singleplayer is when its over, well more like after the credits are finished. Mainly because you decimate zombies and get to play as Kennedy, Nixon, Castro, and uhm some guys with glasses, I’m 24 how the hell should I know who that guy is! That’s a problem though when the only addition to your single player that a person enjoys is after the credits roll!

Activision is a business I get that, they want money, everyone does that’s not a sin. What is an offense is adding currency to COD Black Ops multiplayer and calling it innovative or for that mind even a feature. That’s your now feature, money? Really so now I have to pay for the weapons that are already mine? It just said I unlocked an AK 47 why then do I have to pay; it's not even a matter of whether I have the money! It's just not a feature that adds any fun or excitement to the multiplayer experience. Take out the currency system in Black Ops and your left with the same multiplayer we were offered in 2007 with COD 4. Oh I unlocked a new gun, but I need "COD points," well I have like 100 thousand that should be enough. You see after the first 20 or so ranks in multiplayer you accumulate so much money that it just becomes an arbitrary feature, why do I need to pay for something that I just unlocked! "Hey you can customize your character this time around in Black Ops right?” you can create your own emblem to be displays on your playcard well in the game lobby! That’s not customization, especially since most peoples emblems consist mostly of penises ejaculating...I was gonna something here but I'll leave that last sentence on it's own.

COD 4 is the pinnacle of the Call of Duty franchise for sure, but I don't need another lack luster sequel like modern warfare 2 to try and remind me of it's greatness. COD needs to step out from its own shadow and try and generate something new. I'd say with Modern Warfare 3 (since it seems like that's what we are getting this November) SCRAP EVERYTHING! I don't just want new guns or perks, no more then I just want a new roster update from Madden. Look back at COD 4, but don't copy it, emulate it! COD 4 had a unique multiplayer and its not broken but I've played it long enough, I'm done with it! 

Give us 2 years Activision I don't care if you lose millions (obviously since it’s not my money), and you shouldn't either...I'm sure you've got the money to spare. Release a new COD in 2013 after the masses have been completely depraved of it they will flock to a new copy after such a long time, trust me you’ll make your money back! Many believe good things come to those who wait, and development time for a AAA title has never hurt the over all quality of a game (Alan Wake probably not withstanding.) What is left of Infinity Ward is working on MW 3 set to come out this year but that's not what I or the real COD fans want. We want creativity and that only comes when people stop and think and together come up with something truly great. It can be done it will just take someone with enough balls to say, "We are running Call of Duty into the ground!" If the right person says it, and others back him, then and only then will COD 4's brilliance be emulated again. Just take some time off!

OR you could just give me back the G36 Assault Rifle for Modern Warfare 3! BECAUSE I'M GOING TO BUY IT ANYWAY JUST LIKE MADDEN!

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