Since Modern Warfare’s release back in 2007, the Call of Duty franchise has been dominating the FPS market and destroying previous sale record with each new release. Currently, Black Ops is dominating the online-shooter experience; everyone is playing it, including me. I am honestly getting tired of it though.

When Modern Warfare 2 dropped in 2009, the online multiplayer was a mess. Lag issues were abundant, glitch exploitation and cheating happened in nearly every match, and problems with the party system made it impossible to play with friends. It felt like Infantry Ward released a beta and charged full price, but I was okay with it because patches were in the works that would fix everything, or so we all thought. The updates were delayed…a few times, and when they did finally come out a number of issues remained. Black Ops isn’t much different, and though Treyarch has been doing a better job with fixing issues as they come along, cheating and lag switching is still a major issue. I still play though, despite all the issues, because I like getting killstreaks (like dogs and chopper gunner), I like killing that one annoying camper, and I like getting that crazy k/d from time to time. The game is genuinely fun to play, I won’t lie about that, but I’m ready for something better to come along.

This is where EA Games comes in. In late 2009 the EA’s CEO said in an interview that the publisher had plans to take the lead over Activision’s powerhouse series; it was a simple plan: make a better game and eventually gamers will cross the fence. It’s been more than a year since then and EA has put out several titles to contend with Call of Duty including, Medal of Honor, Battlefield: BC2 (among other BF titles), and most recently Crysis 2. It has been an uphill battle though, and despite strong sales (especially with the Battlefield series), they are nowhere near record-breaking figures.

Battlefield: Bad Company 2 actually recieved a metascore slighty higher than Black Ops
Black Ops players online outnumber Reach 6 to 1

What I hope to see in the near future is EA realizing that their plan is flawed. To dethrone Call of Duty, EA won’t have to make a better game, they’ll have to make a groundbreaking game AND market the hell out of it, and even then it’s a long shot. The problem is brand loyalty. In 2006, I and pretty much every other console gamer was playing Halo because that was the “standard” shooter at the time and that’s what everyone was playing, and then COD 4 came out. It introduced killstreaks, custom loadouts, and a leveling system; it was groundbreaking, and more important it was fun. Over time, Call of Duty brought down Halo, and EA will have to bring even more to table if they want on top.

Personally, I’m still looking for something better, and with the release of Battlefield 3 this fall, maybe I’ll find it. It will need to do and be everything described above in order to contend with Modern Warfare 3 though, which is also slated for release this fall.

The Author

Colter Palen

Colter Palen

Behold! The callused conceptions of a conceded mind whose depths have been caressed and convexed into contours unknown. It is I, the confused young coot with a carefully concocted conspiracy to take this corroded circle to the black chasms of my consciousness. There is no need to cower though, for I have contrived this coup to be an occurrence without cringing or crying. It will be a cause for celebration, an occasion and a careless campaign. So come and chart close behind your carnivorous corporal down this chilling crypt and consider not what you construe as inconsequential. Before crossing though, my comrades and cohorts, before we chance this correspondence, let me introduce myself, and I must confess that it is considerably copacetic to meet you. My name is Colter.

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10 Comments

  1. April 1, 2011 at 10:51 am — Reply

    Ever since I saw the trailer for Modern Warfare I have been a fan. World at War, Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops, all have hooked me. I love them. But, I do like the Battlefield games as well. I feel that the COD games will burn themselves out. With COD you get a better single player story, and in the occasion of World at War, you could burn out Japanese spider holes with the aid of a friend over Xbox Live. With Infinity Ward being gutted, and existing in name only, I don’t know how well MW3 will turn out.

    One thing that the COD franchise can’t stand up to is BF’s multiplayer. With dedicated servers, and hardly any lag, or cheating(i’ve only experianced a little lag, but no cheating) you have bigger maps, and it’s much more satisfying. Wether you are taking on waves of enemies in the Onslaught mode, or using the Apache to defend the Harbor on Port Valdez rush, it’s all good. But while you pay $10-$15 for four so-so, to crappy maps, and a Nazi Zombies map that’s nowhere as good as Der Reise, you can buy Bad Company: Vietnam and rock out to CCR’s Fortunate Son while rockets wail on NVA fortifications.

    The BF games I’ve played encourage team work, you don’t have to be a great killer, but you can go around reviving your allies giving them heath, repairing vehicles, or giving ammo to them. COD is for those with the lone wolf mentality.

  2. Mike Keller
    April 1, 2011 at 11:16 am — Reply

    I echo your frustration with the cheating in MW2, Colter. I ‘reported’ dozens of cheaters using the steam player stat feature, but I never felt like they went anywhere. It stunk that there were no dedicated servers that cheaters could be banned from. Still, I was psyched enough for Black Ops that I bought a new computer to run it. It’s been OK, and I like some of the new features like flame thrower, and decoy grenades. Still I have noticed people who without flintching come around the corner, sight up with a scope and kill you so fast either they have RedBull running in their veins or they gotta be using an aimbot. I thought the single player feature was not as interesting as in MW2.
    Still, IMHO if they really want to keep me happy they ought to keep chunking out MAPS, and make more of the vertical space of them available for use. Also it bugs me that when the game starts in MW and MW2 that you can snipe all the way across the map and kill people as they spawn – is that really what people do in places like Kabul?
    Nice review, BTW.

  3. OS Perry
    April 1, 2011 at 12:57 pm — Reply

    I’ve played tons of call of duty titles the past few years…

    This site:
    http://360voice.gamerdna.com

    creates a pseudo blog, “created” by your xbox 360 info, and it logs what games you play, over time.

    My majority of games are all Call of Duty… as you can see in my “blog”
    http://360voice.gamerdna.com/blog.asp?tag=os%20perry

    I’m getting a bit tired of Black Ops, and I’m eagerly awaiting new DLC. They could have me permanently hooked on COD games… just release 3 or 4 maps every 6-8 weeks for $10.

    I hopped over to Homefront for a while but the unpolished game/lag/servers frustrated me to the point I was driven back to COD Black Ops. I ordered Crysis 2, but it is still in the mail, and hasn’t arrived. I’ve heard good things about its single and multiplayer. But I’ll still go back to COD.

    Battlefield Bad Co 1&2, is the closest game to have a crack at pulling me away for any time, from the COD series.

    I loved Ghost Recon series, but Ubisoft has been so long in bringing a new GR to market. Ghost Recon Island Thunder is still my favorite. Rainbow Vegas 1 and 2 were good…
    But as of late, the past 2 or 3 years… COD spins in my Xbox 360 most of the time.

    The cheating sucks and is all to obvious sometimes. One good reason to have a good friends list, and play in private matches.

    Cheating/hacking is CODs biggest weakness.

    But like I said 3-4 maps, every 6-8 weeks, and COD would have me hooked like a crack fiend.

    Oh by the way Battlefield 3 looks so sweet… wish the new version of Xbox was coming out sooner.

    • Mike Keller
      April 2, 2011 at 11:55 am — Reply

      Yeah! Maps, maps, maps!

  4. Mauther
    April 1, 2011 at 2:38 pm — Reply

    The next game to challenge COD:BO is probably Battlefield 3, but for me it seems too similiar to COD for me. If your pinning your hopes on a game that really changes from the standard FPS out today, I’m pinning my hopes on BRINK, the new shooter from Bethesda/Valve. There’s a couple tweeks from COD involving the classes, XP and objectives but the big selling point is the movement system. Its kind of Assassins Creed with bullets.

    • OS Perry
      April 1, 2011 at 3:26 pm — Reply

      @Mauther

      Brink… the latest game I pre-ordered. I don’t think it will do COD numbers, but it is definitely original in a lot of aspects. I’m looking forward to Brink too. I’m hoping good things come from Brink.

  5. Alvarlux
    April 1, 2011 at 3:05 pm — Reply

    This has me sold.

    BF’s multiplayer has always been better – if they can beat COD at single player I don’t know why people wouldn’t switch…

    I also have some reservations about Infinity Ward post drama – we’ll see what Activision was able to scrape together.

  6. April 2, 2011 at 8:10 am — Reply

    Very true, Colter. I’m a casual single player of both Call of Duty and Battlefield. I recently called my friend up to tell how awesome “Bad Company 2” was, and he told me he wasn’t sure if he wanted to “switch franchises.” For one reason or another, brand loyalty runs extremely high with CoD. But on the plus side, I’ve heard even the most die-hard CoD fans repeatedly complain about the franchise as of late.

  7. Generik
    April 14, 2011 at 1:40 pm — Reply

    I was a Battlefield fan long before a COD fan starting with BF2. MW won me over on the Xbox and the original BFBC barely registered in my Xbox. I played the hell out of MW online going through 2 levels of Prestige. W@W was a bit of a miss for me, mainly due to the older weapons available. I think Treyarch did a great job in supporting that game and the zombie modes was a nice touch, but it just didn’t grab me personally. Then MW2 came out and I was hooked all over again. Playing tons of it online until the cheating and hacking destroyed the game. BFBC2 came out and finally I knew I had found the shooter I was looking for. Single player was almost on par with the COD franchise and the online was definitely superior. Huge maps, destruction, vehicles, and a slower pacing which I personally think forms a more tense game. Meaningful classes to encourage players to work together using different classes instead of just trying to run up a kill streak with no care of what’s going on with the team. I got COD: BO for Christmas and beat the single player the day I put the game in the Xbox. I played it 1 time online. Hated it. Not knowing the maps at all didn’t help, and getting in something like 6 weeks late really hurt.. but it felt like spawning in the middle of a race track. No sense peering around a corner, just run and gun and hope you don’t get knifed or sniped. My impression was if you tried to play it slow and careful, you would just die from behind. I went back to BFBC:Vietnam which is probably the best $15 you could spend on a shooter.

    Now I have to think EA has truly served notice to the shooter world that BF is back and can compete. Sales weren’t as high as COD, but they weren’t a slouch either. I think BF3 is going to be the game to topple the COD franchise. From everything I’ve read, the engine the game uses is much more advanced than what was even in BFBC2. So better graphics, much better physics, more realistic lighting added to what many will agree is a better multiplayer shooter platform should push BF3 over the top.

    In the end, I don’t think COD will go quietly into the night, but I do think Activision is bleeding it dry by pushing yearly versions out. BF2 is still a well played game on PC with a robust mod community and the game come out in 2004 if I remember right. Graphically still looks great. There is no reason a company couldn’t create a great shooter and then enhance it with updates similar to what DICE did with the Vietnam expansion for BFBC2. Add a good chunk of content, some new maps, etc all for a reasonable price and let the community thrive. Yearly updates just promotes half populated lobbies in the old games. Who here wouldn’t want to jump into some COD4 right now with a full lobby?

  8. Damascus
    May 11, 2011 at 1:42 am — Reply

    I just wish that Counter Strike was still a popular enough game that a bunch of people still played. You could create your own maps and put them up for people to play, which lead to tons of available maps, some of which sucked and usually were weeded out simply because nobody wanted to play on them and a few that were great. I spent way too many hours online playing Counter Strike for free and loving every minute of it.

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