Call of Duty is still the number one console game to play. That being said, it has been on the back end of many negative opinions across the world. With recent and upcoming games looking to challenge its thrown, it’s obvious that something has to change for the series to continue its growth or even make it sustainable. Disgruntled gamers everywhere have voiced their opinion about the faltering series, but what can be done to resurrect universal praise?
1. Either scrap the campaign or make it better
Call of Duty did not make it to the number one game out there by offering a spectacular single player experience. In fact, recent campaigns have been pretty terrible and I can only think of one or two in the entire series that would even class as acceptable by todays standards (2 and 4). Their audience doesn’t care about the single player so it’s a choice of making huge improvements or removing it completely. I’m leaning towards the removal of the campaign to make room for changes in the multiplayer. The series has shown it can’t consistently produce a decent single player experience and even when they did it didn’t affect sales. Scrapping the campaign would be a bold move but implementing a completely new multiplayer system is what most players want. With less focus on the campaign it would free up time and resources to give us a kick ass multiplayer experience once again.
2. A fair playing field
Call of Duty is an extremely simple game and part of its appeal is undoubtedly its pick up and play nature. That being said, anyone who is relatively capable can dominate public games and become a ‘pub stomper’. This is not enjoyable for anyone. It’s not enjoyable to those killing with ease and speeding through matches, neither it is enjoyable to those on the receiving end of a beating. There needs to be some kind of skill based system matching players with equal skill. They tried to do something about the lack of balance in games in Black Ops 2, not only was this ineffective but I honestly couldn’t tell the difference. I’m taking more along the lines of a system based on the Halo 2/3 levelling system, where losing a game actually mattered. It’s certainly populated enough to implement such a change and it would get my attention again. Xbox Live once championed their ‘Trueskill’ system and part of the success of Halo early on was because of its ability to match players based on their level of expertise. It may encourage cheating, but the whole progression based ranking is system is terrible and something must give.
3. Playable vehicles
This is where it needs to learn a few things from its rivals. Look at Battlefield and the scale of the maps, it’s made itself bigger and better each time whilst CoD refuses to budge. This is a war game and I expect to see tanks, helicopters, turrets and people carriers but there is nothing to be seen. You could argue that you can get vehicles by earning killstreaks but this alone isn’t good enough. The focus needs to shift from foot combat and they need to integrate playable vehicles in some form. I wouldn’t even mind if they stuck a tank in the middle of the map and it was fair game to everyone, it would add an extra dynamic to the game that would be much needed.
4. Cancel Party chat across all game types
I actually think this should happen in all games but they could make a bold move and bring back the social element to gaming. If they implement ranked game types it could just be used in those and then have a separate social games playlist for those who want to talk with their friends who are not in the game. Party chat may be seen as an essential to some but it ruins the whole multiplayer experience. Talking to random people, sharing tactics, calling out where the enemy is and having a good old rage is what online games so great. FPS games are said to require a great deal of team work so why have a game where nobody talks?
5. Stop releasing yearly installments
Pretty obvious one if you ask the majority of people. Instead of rushing a game out every year then why not just update the current one? There is very little difference between the actual combat and physics from game to game. You could even say that it’s just the theme and locations that change. The maps change based on the single player experience that the new Call of Duty offers. As I stated in my first point, no one gives a hoot about the campaign so there’s very little value in these yearly installments we are used to. Instead of charging us X amount of money for DLC, I would rather pay that money on updates and making the game last a bit longer. It’s got to a point where you feel like you have to buy the new game because all your friends are buying it. After a year the game then becomes dead and offers no re-sale value and you’ve wasted money on DLC you’ll never use again.
6. A new engine is needed
Call of Duty has been running on the same engine for too long. Fans have been expecting an upgrade yearly for the past 3 or 4 years and still nothing has changed. Infinity Ward even had the audacity to label the old IW engine as a new engine even though it was yet again, just a tweaked version of the old dog. That old dog needs putting down and a new engine needs to be built from the ground up. Compare this to the CryEngine for example (which continues to be improved upon and new releases are often) and you can understand why fans are disgruntled. Compare Call of Duty 4 to Call of Duty Ghosts and you can see the lack of progression and the overall laziness shown by both Infinity Ward and Treyarch.
7. Bigger maps with more players
This is war, no war is settled with 8 players on either side in a tiny village/landscape. I want to be able fight players on a much larger scale, this is 2014 not 2007 and it’s not acceptable for a game of this nature to continue in the way it wants to. 32 vs 32 with vehicles whilst keeping the fast paced gameplay is not out the question, it’s just the developers can’t be assed trying anything different. I’m not saying that the Battlefield template should be copied but a middle ground needs to be found.
8. Scrap joining mid-game
Again, this goes hand in hand with a ranking system that punishes you for losing. The reason most people quit out in the middle of the game is because there is absolutely no penalty for leaving your team mates fight it out on there own. If a game actually meant something and losing meant you lost something of value then quitting wouldn’t happen. Match up teams accordingly and create closer games and the majority will stay.
9. Increase the amount of damage needed to kill
A major gripe with hardcore players is the fact that if you see someone first then 90% of the time you will get the kill. There should be more emphasis on headshots too and the damage amount should bea much bigger percentage than what we see right now. A headshot should be worth at least 3 times what a body shot is worth, but at the moment you can aim anywhere as long as you shoot first and get the kill. Whilst this is obviously put in place to help out beginner players, it also shortens the skill gap and turns the game in to mindless running about chancing your luck and connection. If the damage needed to kill an opponent was made twice as much then it’s realistic you could shoot last and still get the kill by being the more skillful player.
10. Stop the back and forth between Infinity Ward and Treyarch
Bring the forces together to take their time and release a game every two years at the most that seriously offers something different and amazing to the fans. I guess the two are trying to out do each other each year with both failing as recent games have been terrible. Stop the greed, stop the laziness and do your job and give us a good game. By ‘good game’ I do not mean the same game in a different scenery, your audience has become tired of your bullshit.
This is a big list and I don’t feel any of the changes will actually happen. It will be the same next year and will still be bought by schoolboys and fools. I predict a steady decline in sales if this happens.