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I cannot be certain why, but there is something about Activision’s Call of Duty that makes it absolutely addicting. Perhaps it is the high quality matchmaking features that bring people back over and over? Is it the the different types of games within the matchmaking that make it fun? Let’s try to figure it out.

If you take a look at Major Nelson’s blog he weekly posts the top ten Xbox Live games for the week, along with XBLA games downloaded and Original Xbox games. The statistics he posts week after week have three very specific, very consistent games in the top three.

1.   Call of Duty: WaW
2.   Halo 3
3.   Call of Duty 4

Gears of War 2 and Left 4 Dead both made a run for a permanent place in the top three, but always fell short of the tried and true staple offerings from both Bungie and Activision.

The two Call of Duty’s and Halo 3 have traded places many times depending on who is offering Double XP or just came out with the most recent map. It is almost always goes without saying that a Call of Duty title is at the top.

Call of Duty: World at War is nothing more than Modern Combat with a World War  skin placed upon it. It is, for all intents and purposes, the exact same engine, same basic gameplay mechanics, and it is often the same people playing. If you have played World at War you’ve played Modern Combat and vice versa. There are some that would argue that one is better than the other, but that is not what we are here to do today.

Call of Duty’s system of challenges offers a unique set of goals to achieve within certain maps or gameplay modes that give you extra experience points for actually achieving. Those experience points go into a system that levels up your “character” unlocking new perks, weapons, and attachments. Are these elements what make this game worth coming back to over and over? Perhaps.

The maps are a mixed bag. In the pre-game lobby there are always particular maps that everyone loves to skip, but on the other hand there are maps that people absolutely love to play. Hardcore Headquarters on the Shipment map becomes a slaughter with some reaching up to 100 kills before the round is over. If you add in the Double XP factor…that is a lot of points. Perhaps it is these uniquely addicting combination of gameplay modes and maps that give this game its addicting feel.

A lot of my friends often play Call of Duty 4 together and we can have up to six people in party chat and partied up for many round of tagging and bagging the enemy. Through many painful deaths we have learned how to work as a cohesive unit. We talk to each other, learn from each other, and Hardcore Headquarters becomes our playground for domination. Perhaps this is why Call of Duty multiplayer is king.

Whenever Call of Duty 4 was in the multiplayer beta it was obvious that Infinity Ward had latched unto something really, really good. Treyarch followed suite by adapting many of their sister studios ways and Call of Duty 4 and World at War will reign supreme until Modern Combat 2 comes out some time next fall.

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