A buddy of mine sent me this Modern Warfare post-mortem yesterday and suddenly I feel 13 years old again, filled with resentment and venom after being forced to turn the TV off at 9pm, only to later realize how good I had it upon returning from a sleep over from a house with a no-junk food policy.
I don't even know where to start. Actually, yes I do, and it's with this quote: "I have confirmed, after 8 attempts, that these operations are the most insanely difficult, infuriating thing I've ever encountered in a Call of Duty game." Don't even get me started, random youtube guy.
It seems to me like the development of this game (as well as the most recent Ghost Recon) was an exercise in cherry picking various mechanics from other financially successful games and bolting them onto their own monster. I have a strong suspicion they literally went down a selection of the most successful games from 2017 onwards and used it like a shopping list. The most immediate one I noticed, albeit not from a AAA, being the increased volume of foot steps. I wonder where they got that from? The problem that's endemic to this design philosophy is that these disparate, stolen mechanics were never meant to be mashed together in the same game. Your relatively – and I use that word intentionally – more realistic sound design compared to past titles is COMPLETELY undermined by a perk system that lets you #360noscope or throw a fucking stun grenade at a claymore to disable it. It's trying to be all things to everyone. That's great that your "in-depth" weapon modding system has been so well received; pity it's undermined by lazy map design with no opportunity to explore the nuance of range and it's relationship to your bullet. No creative wants to see their art compared to other art and it's not my intention to shit on Infinity Ward; by all accounts their game is massive and in the capitalistic climate of game development that that's the only litmus for success that matters.
I'm so grateful that there's room in that landscape for niche games like Tarkov to exist and CoD – hell, ALL FPS players – don't know what they're missing out on and I hope they get the opportunity to find out one day for BSG's sake. As far as I'm concerned one BSG is worth a hundred Infinity Wards and one of the great gaming injustices of our time is that they're not recognized as such. Yet. Cheers to Battlestate for showing the industry what a small team of highly intelligent developers can produce with beastly work ethic, a passion that matches that of the player base, and an understanding of the type of game they want to make. All without the need to compromise on originality or quality. Long live the hardcore!