This is a micro review of the Call of Duty Game that I have downloaded on Playstation 4 last Friday and played through the long weekend.
The gameplay is First Person Shooter, i.e. means you shoot from the perspective of the one carrying a gun and this game genre has been around for the longest time. If you still remember Wolfenstein 3D then you are as old as me that’s why I am pragmatic uncle gamer (PUG) mah! I have gone on to Duke Nuk’em, Medal of Honor, Battlefield and of course, Call of Duty.
Call of Duty is owned by Activision but the game itself is developed by Infinity Ward. This is not the first outing I have with CoD. As someone who is into all things World War II at one time, being part of the Normandy landing, Battle of the Bulge, Storming of Okinawa and the defence of Stalingrad in virtual games allows you at least feel that you are part of history and experience how hard it is to overcome strategic obstacles.
CoD: Modern Warfare (MW) is a bit different from the previous CoD:WWII outing. Instead of all-out war between countries, the premise of MW is to deal with modern warfare with terrorism and also the war in the Middle East, Syria came foremost into our minds. There is mention of toxic gas poisoning that instantly reminds me of Syrian President Assad and justifies the rebellion in Syria. The context just gives you a bit of perspective on current world events.
The story weaves in and out of various locales, from Piccadilly Circus in London to Middle East townships and that gives a player plenty to think about in terms of assault approaches. One location looked eerily like Osama Bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan because I watched 2 movies on that subject matter and they follow the details right down to taking the computer hard drives away. Yes, there are women and children in the compound just like the real thing…and yes, you have to decide if you want to pull the trigger or not.
For someone like a PUG who has gone through Fighting in Built-Up Areas (FIBUA) in the army, fighting in tight spaces always gives you an adrenalin rush just that we do not have so many grenades to throw. The story mode, however, is pretty short – just shy of 5 hours – if you are good and I sat through the game in one sitting between lunch and dinner.
With so many details in the gaming arena, it is almost always easy to camouflage yourself if you are really into camping with a sniper rifle. However, you can only get a shot or two out before someone knows your sniper position because your darn scope reflects light. So the game really pushes you to think on the run virtually.
If they leave the game to the story and the multi-player mode, it will make it a boring game quickly. The highlight of this game is really the weapons systems, most notably the gun systems. You not only get to control the various modern weapons from drones to guided missiles, my favourite part of the game is to deck different weapons like my M4A1 assault rifle, the favourite weapon for the American special forces, with tons of options in terms of optical sights, under-barrel accessories including flash suppressors, silencers, grips, M204 grenade launcher and butts.
The number of options available will just make John Wick and Neo super happy.
Imagine playing through all the multi-player games and improving all the guns in the arsenal. To some, they will stick with one gun throughout the game, but the challenge is to maximise all the guns in the arsenal and see how the guns improve. Like cameras, there is no one loadout that is perfect. You really have to try them all on to see what fits.
My only complaint with the game is really the co-op mode. For the story to be complete, you have to finish all the co-op mode’s scene. I would think Infinity Ward is trying to get the player to get his or her clan to buy the game and finish the co-op as it is easier to play with people you know rather than random strangers that go off and fight as though it is team deathmatch. I can never finish the co-op tried as I might to heal the teammates and be part of the team. It is just too darn hard.
Game Score: 4/5. CoD:MW IV
Keyboard/Mouse vs Console Controllers
One thing to note though is that the multi-player mode supports both PC and Console in a single game. That means XBox, PS4 and PC gamers can be put together in a match and the first reaction is about how we control the game and what constitutes cheating.
I get it. It is because of FPS games I first got the HORI Keyboard/Mouse controllers for my PS3 and 4 because it is more intuitive than the controller. I am not sure if the VR controllers are included or not but I guess that would be the fastest in terms of reaction and speed.
After a piece about this same issue on Vice, my thoughts are exactly like how we use cameras for various scenarios as that certain games are designed more for a certain type of controllers. Kudos to those who are great with using controllers for FPS games that for the life of me cannot accomplish. I did try but it is really painful as my wrist and fingers just couldn’t get the precision down pat.
So it is heartening to see that I get matched up with PC keyboard and mouse players in some games so the games are fairer in MW but the console gamers won’t feel the same way I guess.
But hear me out on the alternative reading of this issue. If someone who has the dexterity to use the controller over someone who doesn’t (say someone who has disabilities as the worst-case scenario), would the one who has no problems, able to immobilise themselves some way to even out the odds? I guess not.
That is also the reason why I buy the keyboard/mouse controllers because I will be a dead lame duck in all the encounters in CoD or other FPS shooters on console. I also link back to my thinking that if a camera does not meet the needs for a particular activity, one has to use a camera that can. If the FPS genre needs a keyboard/mouse controller, I would buy it because it fits the purpose better.
Some would say, just buy PC so one can fight fairly but quite honestly I do not have the budget to keep buying graphics card upgrades every other year too. So should I make a noise that my graphics is not as good and demand others to play on lower settings mode so they cannot pick me up easily in the game?
My solution? The developers have to find a way to match those whose consoles have keyboard/mouse together in a match and that could include PC gamers too. That expands the number of players and servers that I can connect to which is a good thing ultimately.
And secondly, controllers do have a leg up from the developers as they provide software-driven solutions to make it easier to play with the controllers that keyboard/mouse users won’t have access to.
The direction that Activision/Infinity Ward is going now is to mix mesh all the players together, then all the more I feel console gamers, or at least those that plays FOS games on console, should buy a keyboard/mouse combo so they are on a level playing field with the rest of the world.
In the end, I will still say, the tool doesn’t maketh the photographer/gamer/soldier/tradesman. It is to get the right tool for the right job and then know how to use the tool properly.
About Wilson Wong
Founder of the 10000+ members Singapore Photography Interest Network photography group, avid gadget lover and budget wanderluster. He also writes for Techgoondu.com a tech website for the non-techies about the latest trends in personal tech. His wish is to help people get the right stuff and enjoy life without cutting off limbs to do so.