Last week, I bought the latest Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare II.
I don’t typically play Call of Duty, at least not recently. My online shooting games have primarily been Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefield 1 over the past several years. So, what brought me back to Call of Duty? A well-timed beta test and nostalgia.
In 2007, Activision released Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. For the first time, the Call of Duty series was going to bring the game out of World War II (which had grown stagnant after three games and multiple copycats) and into modern times. The game looked fantastic, which cutting edge graphics, gimmick missions, and chaos on the battlefield.
I was working at the movie theater that Jimmy and I managed, where I connected with a staff member who was equally as excited as I was for Call of Duty 4’s release. There was an early beta test for that game as well, and we played the heck out of it and that only furthered our excitement for the release. We both pre-ordered the game from GameStop and I remember sending him a message (over AIM if you’d beleive it) that GameStop was releasing the game a day early, so we both rushed over and snagged our copies.
This began my nightly playing of the Call of Duty franchise with my co-workers. For the next five years, I’d play Call of Duty with a variety of co-workers almost nightly. When you work at a movie theater, your night usually ends no earlier than 12:30 AM. Of course, at that time of night, everyone is still revved up and that meant we’d all go home, and then boot up our Playstation 3’s and try to relax. Sometimes we’d chat it up while playing, other times we played with our mics off, it really didn’t matter. We just had a good time laughing and talking smack.
Some Call of Duty games we liked more than others. Both Modern Warfare 2 and 3 were not favorites, so a lot of time we’d fall back on the game from the year prior. I believe our most played games would be Black Ops 1 and 2, which not only saw us play for longer, but also we had more people join in. It wasn’t unusual to have somewhere between four and seven people from work running around in team deathmatch nightly.
Like all good things in life, everything winds down. In 2013, Call of Duty Ghosts was released, which was a disappointing game. People had already moved on from the theater, including myself in late 2013. The nightly games slowed down and then eventually stopped occurring altogether. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed this nightly games until later in life, when I realized they were no more.
Over the past year, I’ve been thinking about Call of Duty. I’ve played a little over the years, such as when Modern Warfare was Remastered on PS4 and when Playstation + has given out free games, but nothing like I used to. I felt the urge to just get back into a decent twitch shooting game and I did a little research on what recent Call of Duty game was worth buying.
The prices of Call of Duty games were still quite high and I just couldn’t justify a $40-$50 price on a two year old game, so I decided to just forget about it. That was until I booted up my Playstation and saw that the new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 was offering a free multiplayer beta a few weeks ago. I decided to give it a go and I found myself really enjoying the competition. There’s something mindless and almost meditative about playing a game like that and it made me consider buying it when it was released on October 28th.
I struggled to justify the $70 price tag, but I bought the bullet as an early birthday present for myself. I have no one to play with, but that’s okay. I’ve been enjoying my little spurts of competition and fun.
Sometimes folks (including myself) give games like Call of Duty a hard time. They don’t evolve much or change, but maybe that’s a good thing. Part of what made the new Call of Duty so enjoyable for me is I didn’t have to learn a new game. Instead, it was very much like putting on a old, comfy sweatshirt. Its not unique, but its comfortable and cozy.
And the graphics are insane.