2007 - Ground breaking and catapulted the series to dizzy heights.
World at war
2008 - Same everything, just back to WWII.
modern warfare 2
2009 - Powerful killstreaks ruled the sky, but still possibly the best COD online to date.
2010 - New age, new story, new currency. Treyach produced something really special.
modern warfare 3
2011 - Developer problems plagued MW3, introduced some good new features but played too similar to MW2 and flopped.
black ops 2
2012 - The future setting works well and with a massive advertising campaign brings COD back to the forefront.
MW2 - M16a4
With a Holographic sight attached and running stopping power, it became a 2hit kill weapon at close to medium range and one burst kill at long range with accuracy to match.
waw - MP40
Against bolt and single fire rifles, using this just felt too good. With the twin mags, it left a river of bodies in your wake on objective based modes.
cod4 - AK47
Double tap was quicker at dealing the death than stopping power, so bandolier was a must and paired with a silencer. you where like a ghost.
black ops - skorpion
CQB annihilator, paired with extended mags it will burn thou ammo like it burns thou bodies. Scavenger is a must have perk.
answering the call
Firstly let me say, this is talking abut my love for the online multiplayer aspect of Call of Duty. The singleplayer of the games doesn’t quite hold up to the same as the online. It’s fairly simple, shot this, run there and repeat. MY love for the franchise and possibly like a lot of you out there is for the online. So let’s begin.
With the PS2 and XBOX made redundant by next generation consoles. I had a choice. The PS3, offered me the chance to play Ratchet and Clank and play blu-rays, which I didn't own. Or for less money play Halo3 (another franchise I adore). I opted for the XBOX360 and Halo3. The online wasn’t something I was fussed about. I had dealings with Command and Conquer: Generals and Tiberain Wars online. Both of which I got hooked and seriously told off by the wife, because my every waking and sleeping moment I had C&C on my mind. I couldn’t see how Master Chief and First person shooters (FPS) would make a good online. I was wrong, it was in fact awesome. What hooks me with online, is that every game is different. Play the same people on the same map. And the outcome will never be exactly the same. You learn your opponent’s tactics and you try to out think them and them with you, the game constantly changes as you play it. You just don’t get this kind on mental stimulation playing against the AI of a computer, stuck in its patterns and can only play to how it’s been programmed.
Playing with my friends or not, Halo3 was a blast. A friend at work suggested I should get Call of Duty4: Modern Warfare. Seeing at the time I got free rentals from an entertainment store, I did. The singleplayer blew me away and soon after was playing online with his group of mates. The difference between Halo and Call of Duty was massive. Helped by another obsession I have with modern small arms (guns), killing people with only 3 or 4 bullets added that sense of realism Halo lacked. Perks, killstreaks, and the game modes. It all works and worked perfectly, it was simple, fun and enjoyable. Having the smaller 6v6 players also meant tactics (ok limited) could be employed, we helped each other, commutated enemy positions and worked together. My biggest draw was the weapons on offer, Already having knowledge of modern day army things, using M16s, M4, Ak74u and including my beloved P90 in game didn’t help. I may not have been any good, but the constant levelling up, unlocking new toys, attachments and perks, meant the grind was totally worth it and soon I was playing every day.
I suggested the game too two close friends at work and they too jumped on the band wagon, however, they both had PS3s. They would come to work and discuss the fun they had the night before, while I was playing with unknown people. Safe to say I was jealous and worked Overtime to afford my own PS3. I made sure Call of Duty and Ratchet n Clank: Tools of Destruction where thrown in the bundle deal. Then the three of us get together most nights and blasted away, as we were all still new, once we had had enough of getting owned online. We opened up private games with just the three of us and sometimes a few extra mates. This helped us learn the tactics and how COD was played and we soon became adequate players. We each had our own style of play and learned from each other. It was great fun, Firing RPGs at each other and hearing my mate scream down the headset just cant be beaten. Occasionally we tried our hand at playing the ‘Team Tactical’ game mode, 3v3 on objective based modes. We did well, utilising the eavesdrop perk to great effect. One even had his girlfriend shouting targets and pointing at players on his TV. A slight unfair advantage I feel, but it was all good. But like all good things, it must come an end.
I twisted my ankle and was off work for a week, I sat in the chair and didn’t more the whole time playing COD4, (I was meant to be resting anyway) the wife wasn’t too impressed and soon she was called into school because my eldest had explained to her teacher how to hold a gun. She was 4 at the time. This didn’t sit well with her and I was banned from playing COD in front of the kids. Main issue she had was because of the FPS nature, you are looking thru the eyes of your character and the kids believed I was really there in this gaming world killing people. Which I could understand, reluctantly my amble playing time was seriously reduced.
But for her it was too late, I had already learnt how to bottle feed while playing. Came up with some killer create-a-class load-outs and managed to miss every person on a full game, with an airstrike on Shipment. (I still don’t understand how it is possible). COD4 had its problems yes, but at the time 99.9% of the game was perfect. Looking back now, yes there where some very annoying issues that have now been fixed and solved in recent titles. The Martyrdom perk was possibly one of my biggest annoyances, I would always go over and try to pick up the dead guys ammo. I guess it’s from various single payer games, where ammo can be difficult to come by. But that single frag grenade was my nemesis. The host leaving was a constant pain, playing really well just to have the guy quit and the game ends, was not cool. But something I feel the series has lost that was ever so dominate in COD4. The killstreaks, especially the 7 streak helicopter. It was difficult to come by, not only for me but It was rare to see one in games at all. Today getting 20 kill-streak is a common thing. But to get the helicopter was a big moment and often game changing. You would see people hiding in buildings from it and those that risked it in the open were quickly killed. Over powered some called it, I say no. It was an Attack helicopter for crying out loud. Able to destroy tanks with ease, for someone to reach 7killstreak was worth being rewarded with something powerful. The game was simple too, pick a gun and one of four attachments, side arm and 3 perks. No wildcards, no custom killstreaks and no tanks to overcome. Another thing looking back, everyone today is in a constant rush. Sprinting from left to right like headless chickens. COD4 was played slower pace enabled the tactics and teamwork the series has lost today. Of course we all remember the Stopping power and Juggernaut perks, overused isn’t quite the right word. I think every load-out included it, you had too. Running the UAV Jammer instead meant I lost the majority of my one-on-one gunfights. So requiring one less bullet to kill was vital, especially when dealing with Lag.
Roll on my first experiences with WWII online and Treyarc. World at War (WAW) felt like a COD4 rip-off, just placed in battle torn Europe with old guns. Its weird, WAW played like COD4. Exactly, yet it’s nothing like it. The perks are the same, just labelled differently. The killstreaks where the same 3, 5 and 7, did a similar job, but changed to match the time and setting. Big different for me was the lack of automatic rifles over these bolt action and single fire guns. I didn’t have the time and accuracy to ensure my single bullet connected, so I stuck with the sub-machine guns. All of my COD4 friends got WAW, we even found other people living where I live and we could easily have 5/6 people in our lobby/squad from my town. The core of us became Headquarter specialists, two lads would run in and have the skill to hold the HQ, I would sit back and defend outside the HQ. Acting like a barrier, any that got past me, where severely injured and where easy picking for the guys defending on the HQ. Once we were about to lose the HQ, and If I was still alive I’d either frag the HQ or just gun and run in wiping out as many as possible before they captured the HQ back or died. It worked and enabled us to get the 5 and 7 killstreaks with ease. The tanks where only fun when driving them, ranking up a 21 kill-streak was easy with them. We soon learnt how to dispatch Tanks quickly too, remote detonator. IF you would get close, it was gone. The key word being IF!
We played with the co-op a few times and it did little to keep us interested, same with the zombies. We just wanted to level up as quickly as
possible and prestige. COD4 was still played once the WAW had lost its new status and half way thru 2009 we found ourselves playing more of COD4 and soon WAW became a distant memory. I can’t speak for my friends, but for me, it was because WAW is not set in modern day era. I love today’s army’s toys and guns. My dad was in the RAF worked as an Armorer and Bomb Disposal that kind of thing sticks in your mind as you grow up. Seeing my dad polish and clean SA80’s, Of course I couldn’t hold any at the age of 8. But it’s had a lasting imprint on me.
As for the game, what can I say. Awesome, it had lost the realism COD4 had, but gained so much more. It played fast and furiously. The options on create-a-class, the customisable killstreaks, plenty call signs and icons to unlock, plus the amount of weapons to choose from. I was in heaven and never wanted to leave. I was determined to reach the max prestige on this Call of Duty and nothing was going to get in my way. I sent the kids to bed 2hours early, I would get a few games in before work I even played for 12hrs solid. I got home from my 12hr shift at 7pm and within 30minutes I was playing. My youngest wasn’t set in his sleep pattern yet and I “offered” to take him so the wife could get some shut eye. Before I realised it was half 7am and time to get the other kids ready for school. I downloaded apps on my phone, of maps, weapon stats. Constantly watching YouTube videos on the subject (xboxahoy weapon guides to mention one). The wife had never seen anything like it before. I was obsessed, well and truly lost in my own little world of killing people around the world.
Being a dad of three, the wife sat me down and explained something had to change. Every waking moment I was thinking about tactics and load outs. Of course I came to the conclusion my family was more important and scaled back a lot. I put aside my last day of work as COD night, I’d play and have a decent session while eating Haribo and drinking some vodka based liquid, like how a lot of people go to the pub on a Friday. I limited myself to playing when the wife was working evenings, It helped the situation between us and I was still able to play. She didn’t want me to give up something I obviously enjoyed, but it was getting unhealthy. I finally got to 10th prestige about a month before Black Ops1 was released and for those 4weeks I just cut it out for that period of time. A break as it where, I catched up on some of the games I’d missed or just ignored since starting my MW2 crusade,
Looking back now, I’m glad that chapter of my life is now over, MW2 is defiantly the most enjoyable to play of all the CODs to date, but not necessary the best. The game became a race to get your Harriers up followed by Chopper Gunner/AC130 and finally the Nuke. Ah, the Nuke, has a lot to explain. People never really became campers until MW2 as it became the only way to successfully finish a game. I did manage to get one and I’m ever so proud of it. Using the not so great FAL, I was shaking as my Chopper gunner finished requiring only another two kills. But I held fast and got my prise.
Hitting shelves in 2010, Tryach tried something new. Going away from their common WWII era and hitting the 70s and 80s hard. They really did create a marmite game. The addition of the COD points (the currency of the game); put a lot of fans off. They also wanted to correct a lot of things wrong with MW2, main being Quick Scoping and the endless supply of noob tubes. In fact they did such a good job, they possibly went too far. Not being able to quick scope myself it didn’t really affect me, but I’d been a victim enough I was glad to see the scope wobble when brought to aim. As the under slug grenades, the M203s are a vital tool in today’s army. Yes, the needed scaling back because they were over used to devastating effect. But in Black Ops they had no damage radius, meaning only a direct hit would only really kill.
But they also got a lot of things right; Wager Matches really opened up the currency aspect and brought a game mode the normal online couldn’t compete with. The risk of losing money or knowing that one more kill meant you doubled your buy-in, gave the game an edge. Even on the lowest buy in I was shaking as it looked like I would be top and treble my money. With the currency, they did away with needlessly grinding to unlock attachments for your guns. We all remember how to unlock extended mags in MW2, requiring 40FMJ kills, but to unlock FMJ required 200 odd kills. This bypassed all that and made everything available, providing you could afford it. As good as the game was, there was a massive factor that stopped it reaching its full potential. Lag has always plagued Call of Duty titles and always will as Activision refuses to use dedicated servers relying on one player being the host of the game. Black Ops was unplayable at times, some blamed the new game recording feature while others blamed that xbox users having preferential treatment. Leaving PS3 and PC fighting over the scrapes after Microsoft had used what they wanted. Either way, It effected the game enough that people soon left and went back to MW2.
Early 2011, I decided to change my internet supplier. Getting only 1mb at evenings and weekends wasn’t enough. But during the transfer time BT discovered a problem with the line and took 4weeks to sort it. When it came back, I was a quivering wreak, needing my COD fix. To the day, as soon as my internet returned the PlayStation Network was hacked and switched off. I went MAD and without thinking brought an XBOX360 and traded in Black Ops for my PS3 for a 360 version. I was a happy camper again. I caught up on various other 360 only titles I had missed and enjoyed the change of pace and scenery the xbox brought. I saw Call of Duty in a new light, the connection was so much better; it was like playing a brand new game. I levelled up in half the time it took me on the PS3 and I felt like a god while playing. What people say that COD is an xbox game is true. Alas when the PSN was back online, I never gave the 360 another look. The games on offer from Sony, for me, are better than xbox only titles. (Even my beloved Halo.)
But with my PS3 copy of Black Ops traded, and unable to find another copy cheap. I began catching up on games missed and discovered Bad Company2. I’m not going to brag about DiCE and the battlefield series while talking about COD, but it was a major factor regarding MW3. With loving the change of pace and style of Bad Comapny2. I was then eager to play BF3, BUT I also wanted to revisit my old and faithful friend. I pre-ordered both and was first in the queue to pick up MW3 at midnight. I got home and played for about 50minutes, by then I had had enough and went to bed. Yep, I had taken a week’s holiday to play MW3 solid and I couldn’t be bothered. Why, I still can’t figure it out. Possibly because of BF3 being so fresh to me and because I had burnt myself out playing COD with MW2. The game offered few new things like score streaks which I think was a great addiction, but it played and felt like MW2.5.
So for that year I played BF3, MW3 was finally traded with only a handful games played with fellow Squigglies and has not been missed since. The most enjoyable part of MW3 for me was, Survival. I have never been able to get into Zombies, but this just hit the right note for me. And that was that. The massive advertising campaign for Black ops2 did little to persuade me to per-order it. Instead I rented it from day1. Played the single played and tasted the online before it had to go back. I was impressed, but at the price of £40, it was too high to convince me to purchase it. I luckily got a copy cheap and still it took me a while to get back into it. I have now been bit, finally. The changes introduced like the’ pick 10’ for your load-out and bigger reward for objectives rather than kills help. I have never been a player able to get high streaks easily or get great Kill/death ratios. My play is far too inconsistent for that, I can be great in the first half of a game, but then something changes and by the end of the match I’m back to average on the scoreboard. What I am enjoying this time round is the Zombies. It seems the game has evolved from just pointlessly surviving as many rounds as possible, to a story lead experience. Although I am still no good, I’m eager to now learn what the heck is going on.
My love of Call of Duty has had its ups and downs. It will always have a place in my heart and although I not able to put the amount of hours into as I want, it still remains high on my list of games to play. COD4, shall never leave my collection. I still enjoy playing it; even earlier today writing this I had a blast for an hour or two. I can’t play for Jack now, but I still enjoy every minute. I wish I hadn’t traded MW2 now, It was sad to see it hacked so much a while back. I don’t dare work out how many hours I have wasted on the COD franchise since COD4, but nothing else stood a chance at the time. My COD friends may have gone onto other games, some still play it regularly. I shall never forget the good times we had. Shouting at each other down our headsets and laughing about it the following day at work, It made my day there enjoyable. But I’m older and wiser now to see what hold it had over then, and hope I never go down that path again. Other things I’ve learnt while playing online, especially with COD. Is that I am never the best player. I used to be a sore loser, now I admit when beaten and take it on the chin and play better next time. And just to enjoy playing the game wither it’s with friends or complete strangers with them all muted. And not to ignore my wife and kids when playing, she has turned off the router when I was engrossed and ignoring her. It’s just a game and never to be taken seriously. COD may be victim of its own success; it has become bland and similar to its previous titles. But if it ant broken don’t fix it and the stupid amount of people constantly playing it can’t be wrong.