Moving on. How I Broke up With Call of Duty. Thanks, Warzone.
My relationship with Call of Duty in 2020 is like that with a pretty girl you knew for a decade; having plenty of good memories and swore eternal friendship with on many occasions that suddenly, has gone very sour. Ever since that girl met more people, she turned into a self-absorbed, vapid wreck who now decided she hates you and wants to go deeper into her new crowd; who don't care for her as much as you do. Where am I going with this?
Well, I was a Call of Duty fan ever since its very first game in 2003, have replayed all the campaigns, and put countless hours into multiplayer. The franchise could do no wrong till now when the dev team decided to pander to those that never cared for CoD before while prostituting the franchises' legacy for money; doubling down on this new direction with focusing on the gimmicky, horrible BlackOut/Warzone/Battle Royale modes. Warzone is that ex-girlfriend's final argument. Final drunken rant on how she really, hates your guts, and hung out with you out of pity.
"Play Warzone, buy microtransactions, or get the hell out!"— Infinity Ward, 2020
Neglecting the multiplayer (the main mode that put CoD on the map) and leaving it a broken mess. CoD is the girl that got mixed with a bad crowd (those that never cared for the franchise and the questionable community managers that don't care for the game or the community; who'd rather post about Satanism and Football.) Whereas the self-obsessed part is them not only being toxic to the community but also, promoting the microtransactions; thinking that this is how CoD should be. A money-grabbing waste of space that piggybacks off the success of the latest disposable trend.
Everything is about Battle Royale now. All elements ripped-off from other games in said genre; all of which don't work in CoD. Also, strong-arming the players into this stupid game mode with higher progression rewards for the season pass. The spit in the face after the slap from that girl analogy above. Call of Duty could have been so much more but, the devs took the path of least resistance and chose to be a cash grab copycat of the mainstream battle royale games.
Waste of Time
Battle Royale games, in general, are a waste of time. Run around for 20+ minutes with nothing happening only to get killed by someone whom the RNG favored that round. Rinse. Repeat. Also, battle-royale is a mode where you can win by doing nothing. One can run to the center of the map, sit in a corner, and wait till he reaches the top spots. This is the new direction CoD wants to take; a game you can win by not actively playing. "Why focus on our core players when we can just pander to the streamer wannabes and their sellout idols; whom we paid to play our game?" asks Infinity Ward; thinking they know better than us. At least it feels like it.
I'd Rather have Lootboxes Back
Season passes are terrible. Essentially making a video game a full-time job; costing money in the process. Every 3rd award within said season pass is useless and embarrassing because, in a fast-paced shooter, I'm thinking of what spray to paint on the walls! Not! So, CoD is chasing the Fortnite crowd now with this nonsense. Call of Duty always did well financially without battle passes so there is no excuse for this kind of paywalling, especially when they manipulate us, original fans of the franchise by introducing iconic characters such as Captain Price and Ghost as a big part of the new season. However, my main reason for this breakup is still Warzone. This pathetic attempt to chase a throwaway trend that no one will remember in the future; all for a temporary boost.
What you see above is the legendary Captain Price used as bait to buy the latest battle pass. Ghost got this "honor" in season 2. Leading back to my ex-girlfriend analogy, this is her, after you had an explosive argument with her, promising to be better and saying her "I love you" out of obligation. At the time of writing this, Modern Warfare has weighed up to 200GB with the only additions being to the store and the Warzone mode. Makes you think that Infinity Ward actively hates the core audience and implies, "Play Warzone, buy microtransactions or get the hell out!" At this point, the devs have a money printer since battle royales don't require much work; spawn players on a large map, RNG loot spots and pretend that's the game.
No Going Back
Finally, I would gladly go back to the older Calls of Duty since I own them all on Steam but, they are unplayable. Cheaters and hacked lobbies, modded servers with stupid gimmicks, low player counts; should I go on? Apparently, a vanilla server, as it was back then, is too much to ask. One last thought, I hope the upcoming Black Ops Cold War bombs so badly that both teams, Infinity Ward and Treyarch, have no choice but to really put in the effort.
I didn't want to break up with CoD like that but, it got harder and harder with every week. The shotgun, camping, and knife spam didn't do it but the focus on a terribly boring game mode, the prostitution of iconic characters, and the pandering to the loathsome twitch streamer wannabe audience sure did it. Guess 2020 is the year my favorite franchises really changed. Battlefield was one and now, CoD is the other. Never again am I buying any new installments and investing in the destruction of a once-great series in the name of cheap revenue boosts.
© 2020 Jake Clawson