I’m a gamer, I have been for pretty much my entire life. People are always shocked to hear that I don’t like the Call Of Duty franchise, it’s one of the most popular video game franchises out there. “How can I call my self a gamer and not like COD? Is there something wrong with me?”
I realize that for the most part they are all pretty decent games, especially on paper, but the series really just isn’t my kind of shooter. Perhaps it’s just because I’ve played Halo for so long or maybe it’s just the simple fact that the COD franchise isn’t centered around my god and messiah, the Master Chief. In all seriousness I really do have my reasons, I recognize that a lot of people like the franchise and I understand why they do, COD just isn’t for me – Here’s why.
I grew up playing Halo, the Master Chief has been an essential part of my life for a very long time. Long story short COD just isn’t Halo. This really isn’t a well thought out reason but Halo’s multiplayer is the standard I hold all other first person shooters to. I’m not a Bungie fan boy even though right now I may come off as one. I realize that the Halo franchise has it’s short comings but I still compare every single first person shooter I play to the Halo series whether I want to or not.
There are a few more actual practical reasons why I pretty much hate COD. I like team based games, I know Halo isn’t the most team orientated game out there but I find when I jump into a game of COD, doesn’t really matter what one, everyone is focused on their kill to death ratio. My friends that are big COD fans, they’re constantly comparing their K/D ratios bragging about who’s is better and who has the bigger spread. This seems to happen in every game type in COD, even the team based ones. I find that in Halo, at least in the team based games, there is slightly more teamwork, especially in the objective based game types. I’m not saying this is the case all the time but for the most part this is what I’ve experienced.
Another big issue I have with COD is the fact that players can join mid game and make the teams unbalanced. It seems like a strange design choice and defeats the entire purpose of matchmaking. Matchmaking in COD would work much better if players couldn’t join half way through a game, the same system seen in countless other Xbox Live titles should have been used in COD franchise. To me this is one of COD’s biggest flaws, it just makes absolutely no sense to me, I know it speeds up the matchmaking process but at what cost? When Black Ops was first announced there was a rumor circulating around the Internet that this was going to be changed, unfortunately it turned out that it wasn’t true.
Another main issue I have with COD is its break neck pace. Although it’s remained relatively the same with each release COD’s pacing is still slightly faster then the Halo series. I realize both emphasize frantic explosion filled first person gameplay but I’ve always found COD to play much faster than Halo. There are a lot of reasons why COD is a decent game, the load out system and perks are a great idea, they add a level of depth to the franchise that is rarely seen in shooting games, the issues I’ve explained above just ruin the entire experience for me.
I’ve played each COD game extensively, especially the games that came out after the series took off in popularity, Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2, and I always seem to have a good time for awhile but lose interest rather quickly. I realize Halo is far from perfect, Bungie’s last epic, Halo: Reach, is as close to perfection as I’ve seen from a game for a very long time but even it has some serious experience ruining issues – armor lock abusers must be destroyed. Still, right now I own both Reach and Black Ops, if I’m looking to frag some fools I’ll always go turn to Bungie’s game over any iteration of COD franchise.
When it comes down to it I think it’s because I’ve played Halo games for so long, I know the ins and outs of the series, I know what weapon combinations work and what ones don’t and I know most of the levels off by heart.
It’s a familiar experience – One that I’m pretty good at too.
Editorial Note: I haven’t really taken both game’s single player campaigns into account in this editorial, I’m really only comparing multiplayer. I would like to say that every COD has had a stellar single player campaign. Bungie even copied a number of the better features in Reach’s campaign and for the most part I’ve actually enjoyed COD’s single player more than Halo’s