I bought Modern Warfare 2 on release day (although I didn't go to an opening like some people). I played the campaign for about five minutes, then the online until I realised I had to be up for college in 6 hours and finally went to bed. Without repeating what most other people think, it is amazing. The campaign has captivated me to the point that I made sure I completed it 100% and the online is everything I expected it to be with some extras, like being undercharged or getting the last potato at Sunday lunch. I loved this game, and was glad I didn't wait to get it. I still am, otherwise I'd be well and truly behind my friends online. Then Christmas rolled around, and I got a little game called Borderlands. I wasn't too fussed about it after playing it earlier that month, and left it idle for about a week while I continued to rank up on COD.
However, I came home from work on New Yearís day, still slightly hungover and a bit taken back that people actually came to the store despite the icy roads (I live in England and snow is a massive deal here, everything goes to shit), fired up the Xbox and it struck me. I didn't play Modern Warfare 2 for fun anymore. It was like having a second job that didn't pay, or some sort of addiction. I simply played to rank up, and it was a bit depressing, considering this was a game I truly enjoyed. I ignored my invites to my friendís game and ejected the disc. I put in Stories from Liberty City, which I had started, but then COD came out. As sad as this sounds, I felt like a new man. I stormed through the game, having so much fun as both Johnny Klebitz and Luis Lopez. And then it ended. Just like that.
I then played through Uncharted 2. I couldn't put it down. Its story mode was more captivating that anything Call of Duty could offer me. It was full of wit and charm, and reminded me of simpler times, before online play was something a game could fall back on. I found all of the treasures and completed the game on Crushing. I played the online a few times, but it seemed to lack a certain something the single player did. However, it too ended. And I filled that hole with Call of Duty. After an extended break from the game it became fun again. In Lobby banter with my friends and knowing that I had absolutely rinsed everyone on domination. However, once again it became stale.
Then, a game in its shiny sleeve, with its colourful and appealing cover art was sitting on my shelf almost calling out to me. I opened it up, downloaded my pre order bonus and I was away. Quite frankly Borderlands is the most satisfying title of last year (next to Batman of course) and I started to play it in 2010. Everything about it drew me in, being a big fan of games like Fallout 3 and Deus Ex. It was a breath of fresh air, when every game is now bland and generic; something I see happening to COD in the foreseeable future. After about 10 hours of play, before I'd even got halfway through the story mode, I took the plunge and purchased the DLC. Something I'd never done with any game before.
However, my enjoyment wasn't the only thing I'd lost to Modern Warfare 2. I lost my friends who used to play other games. A mate of mine had bought Borderlands when it came out, and was no way near the level I was at. I figured it'd be pretty good to play a bit of co-op and so I invited him to the game. I just got a message instead saying, "Play COD instead." Bearing in mind that he was a gamer of varied tastes and was more of a geek than I was this took me as quite a shock. Usually he'd be up for playing something that wasn't a shooter, and we used to play a lot of Street Fighter. I let it lie and just continued to sink hours into the game. When I went into college, all my mates were saying, "Why weren't you playing COD" and when I said I was playing something else, they looked at me like I was saying I'd killed someone. It was odd at best.
I appreciate where they're coming from in that COD is an amazing game, and I do play it again, but in small doses. However, it surprises me how addictive it actually is. Needless to say they've given up inviting me to game unless I'm actually playing it, and I've given up suggesting we play something else. Hopefully, they'll get bored by about August, or when they hit tenth prestige and start playing other games again.
Borderlands can only last so long though, and we all know what I'll be playing once it does end.