I am the first one to admit that the Call of Duty series hasn’t exactly been fresh for over 5 years now. In fact, I actively state this opinion at most opportunities. As someone who has admittedly always favored the Battlefield series, Call of Duty couldn’t be less appealing to me.
The thing is, I liked Call of Duty 4. I think most people did. But I’m going to use the already over saturated opinion that the games to follow were all mediocre in comparison. World at War seemed a step back for the series for me, and MW2 and MW3 were really re-skins of Call of Duty 4.
But for some strange reason, I couldn’t get enough of Call of Duty: Black Ops.
It maintained the things I hate about the series, ranging from the shallow multiplayer to the predictable single player, all the while keeping the frustrating abundance of pre-teens blazing dubstep and swearing into their microphones. The graphics again improved maybe one percent from the previous games, the colors were bland and boring; yet I loved it.
Most of this is probably due to the fact that the Cold War is something that I loved studying when I had to. Anything that deals with this time period is likely to have my interest, and is probably the reason I loved X-Men: First Class so much too. Any historian or teacher would probably scoff at Black Ops’ take on the era, but the point of the game isn’t to be historically accurate, unlike Genji: Days of the Blade, with its well-documented crab fights.
It was just supposed to be mindless, fast-paced fun. And that’s exactly what I got from it. The campaign was exactly what you’d expect from a Call of Duty title, but I didn’t care. It was short, but it was satisfying. The multiplayer was frustrating as ever, at least for me it was. But I enjoyed it. Zombies mode has had some of the most memorable online moments for me, and with a capable team, is the best part of the game. The game felt fulfilling to me in all regards, which is really something seeing as I had the lowest expectations possible going into it. And fuck I loved Nuketown!
For these reasons, Black Ops remains the only Call of Duty game I have bought since COD4. I have rented each of the others, played them a decent amount, and found them all disappointing. Among my friends, I am known as the biased COD hater, and get labelled a ‘Battlefield fanboy’ fairly regularly, even though Battlefield 3 was one of my biggest gaming disappointments of 2011. They have unanimous praise for every entry in the COD series, and when we have couch multiplayer sessions, they still wonder why I can at times dominate them in Black Ops, but be completely thrashed by them in the MW series.
And upon hearing that Black Ops II is set during a future Cold War with China, I am excited. This time, I will be going into a Call of Duty game with good expectations for the first time ever. Likely, this is what will let me down, but they must be doing something right if I have interest. Near-future disaster games also interest me, which is why I looked forward to Homefront so much. Black Ops II, don't be another Homefront!
You may be wondering what the point of this blog is. I have wondering the same thing during its writing, but it really acts as an admittance to liking a game from a series I dislike. Its my first blog, so if I fucked up somewhere, tell me so I don't fuck up again!