No doubt one of the most anticipated first person shooters of this year has to be Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the first title in the modern-era Call of Duty offshoot was by many considered Game of the Year and a later release “Game of the Year Edition” for all right and reason verified that. Modern Warfare featured a campaign that was jaw-dropping and epic, and it’s multiplayer was so addicting that it pushed the Halo 3 juggernaut out of the number 1 spot on Xbox Live’s activity charts.
Nobody can deny the success of the first game, however it had its flaws just like any other title and there are a lot of things still left unchecked that Modern Warfare 2 can modify. This is where I come in and explain what should be changed to avoid similar flaws. More after the jump.
As a prologue to this editorial, anybody who follows my normal writing and blogs will know that I tend to do a few of these “Here’s what should be done to improve _____ game”. So before I continue on let me explain why I fancy making such suggestions; first, a lot of the things I suggest are well thought out and usually carry reflections of similar feelings I’ve seen throughout the gaming community. I try to not make rash statements without at least finding foundation in what I think. Secondly, I tend like my ideas a lot and swear to God that the Dreamcast would have gone down as the most successful console in history had Sega listened to me!
Now while a lot of people might gawk at the idea of modifying things citing “if it aint broke don’t fix it” I think I speak for a lot of people when I say that I don’t want Modern Warfare 2 to simply feel like an expansion pack for the original game. I don’t think anybody wants to see the fanbase become split and protest the game by complaining about it being a little too similar to the original, similar to what happened with fans when they saw how very similar Resident Evil 5 was to Resident Evil 4. Modern Warfare 2 should trump the original in every way and make the game feel essentially obsolete, not feel more like Modern Warfare v1.5. In order to prevent this from happening a few things really need to be changed in order to keep the experience fresh and new for gamers when it comes to this highly anticipated sequel.
As arguably the most annoying thing in COD4, the martyrdom perk needs some major tweaking in order to prevent people from complaining any further about it. You’ll note how I said tweaked, not removed like others would like. Martyrdom was still the best go-to perk for eliminating those pesky campers who sat around a tight corner spraying at anything in site (you know those people, those people who can aim in one spot and think they have “skill”). Overall there are two things about this perk that could be very easily modified to make it balanced.
1. The first thing would be to increase the fuse of the martyrdom grenade, make it last a second or two longer so any enemy who’s not in a prone position can easily get away from the grenade. In short, make the fuse last so long that if the martyrdom grenade kills you then you’re simply an idiot for standing there that long.
2. The martyrdom grenade should count as one of the two grenades a player normally carries with them, this way if a player runs out of grenades they won’t magically get a third grenade upon death. This would also help tone down at least a small fraction of the grenade spamming commonly complained about in COD4 and World at War.
Choose the gun you want… for a price
Possibly the one true frustrating thing, at least for me, in Modern Warfare was the grind required to get some of the guns I enjoyed. I had to wait way too long to get my precious Barrett .50 Cal and friends also had to wait various amounts of time in order to get their favorite gun of choice. This also, in my opinion, hampered the game play a little bit as the game nearly forced you to use guns you didn’t want to use in order to speed up the leveling process. A little flexibility in regards to weapon unlocking wouldn’t hurt at all and would allow players to play the game their own way a lot faster.
A good weapon unlock system that could be used for Modern Warfare 2 could be a kind of level-up-and-purchase system. For example; if you rank up once in a match you are then given 1 point that you can use towards unlocking a weapon. Each gun at this point would then be given a price tag (ex: Barret .50 Cal = 7 Points) and early or weaker weapons would be cheaper then your high quality power weapons you’d get in the 50+ level range.
So while you can in theory get the super awesome gun you like the most in the game early on, you’d have to level up a certain amount of times to get it meaning you’d have to muscle through a few levels with a weaker gun a little longer then you would normally in order to attain a much grander prize. Meanwhile weapon add-on’s like scopes, bayonets, and other such items would retain the same system as in previous games meaning you’d have to use the gun to get the perks of it.
How about you not be the Juggernaut, bitch?
Juggernaut inherently was a broken perk to begin with in COD4 because a player needed to have two perks to negate a juggernaut with balanced effectiveness. First you obviously needed Stopping Power in order to lessen the ammo required to take him down. Secondly, you needed to have Sonic Boom in order to make grenades effective against a juggernaut as well.
A player basically had to have an entire class dedicated to just taking out a juggernaut, and if you’re a sniper who uses something other then Stopping Power (ie: Overkill) then you’re essentially useless against one even with a .50 cal sniper rifle. Juggernaut needs to be modified into a less noticeable health gain, simple as that. Just lessen the amount of extra health a juggernaut gets so that players don’t need to unload entire clips at them to score a kill, and so that point blank shotgun blasts or other powerful impacts like high end sniper rifles or RPG’s take him down with little effort.
Make indicators more noticeable
This is a very short and too the point fix. Make the grenade indicators and other points-of-interest stand out like a sore thumb on the heads up display. During moments of high intensity combat were there is dirt and debris flying all around you the standard white indicator tends to get obscured by everything going on around you, not to mention a brightly lit environment naturally obscures said indicator. Just simply do something to make points-of-interest stand out more, like put a bright flashing neon sign that says “EAT AT JOES” over them.
Make last stand a surprise tactic
Last Stand on it’s own is still a pretty effective perk, however its usefulness is negated by the game removing the element of surprise from it. In the campaign’s finale, you go into Last Stand mode and catch the bad guy by surprise to win the day. In multiplayer however the perk doesn’t carry the same element of surprise.
When a gamer finds an enemy they traditionally don’t stop shooting until they see the kill confirmation pop up on their screen, a +10 in the case of Modern Warfare, and thus they’ll keep unloading their clip onto a baddie even as they go into Last Stand mode. This, as you can obviously see, takes away the main purpose of Last Stand.
A very easy simple fix would be to give the attacker his points simply for dropping the enemy, putting him into Last Stand, and not for the kill itself. This way if the player see’s the confirmed “kill” on their screen they’ll more then likely try to move on not knowing that their prey is in fact loading his pistol for his final salvo, providing the attacker with one hell of a “WTF” moment a few seconds later.
This fix would dual benefit the game; Last Stand would have that surprise factor again, and players who send a person into Last Stand mode wouldn’t get their kill stolen by another person who takes out the player a half second later after all the dirty work is done. All in all, the main attacker gets his points and the Last Stander gets his chance at revenge.
This is a given, everybody hated the grenade spamming in Call of Duty 4. Every game on Shipment would start with the initial couple second sprint followed by the obligatory blind grenade throw over a few obstacles to score a cheap kill. In fact, pretty much every game started out with a blind grenade throw for a cheap kill.
he grenades themselves in the game aren’t the problem, the problem is that everyone always has grenades and if they have them then they’re going to use them. Need a good way to lessen the grenade spamming? How about grenades become a perk? I like the idea of needing to sacrifice extra ammo or claymores in order to become Sir Spams A Lot. The grenade spamming from the last few Call of Duty games has, in my eyes, shown us that grenades should be a privilege and not a right.
Give me something for prestige
Prestige mode, both in Modern Warfare and World at War, really functioned as nothing short of an internet-penis designed to flaunt how much free time you have and nothing more. Besides some gloating, there’s really no reason to use this mode unless you are just that bored. Why not give some kind of option for the player when it comes to prestige? If a player is basically going to reduce himself back down to a grunt again, why not let him keep one of his guns or something? My suggestion for spicing up Prestige Mode is to make it a 3-choice option.
Choice 1: You reduce yourself back to complete nothingness; no guns, no perks, no achievements. An option identical to what the current Prestige Mode is.
Choice 2: You get to keep all of your unlocked weapons but lose everything else, including peripheral weapon items. The downside to this is that your player achievements are not cleared out upon doing this prestige, meaning you don’t get any of those nice 500 or 1000 point bonuses along your way back to the top nor will you get any bonuses when you meet the criteria required for regaining a weapon peripheral.
Choice 3: You get to keep one gun, peripheral items and all, and everything else is reduced to its original starting point. The downside being is that all of the achievements linked to that one gun are kept, meaning you won’t get any benefit from using that one gun. Along with that, keeping this one gun after your prestige would result in that gun being swapped out for another gun of that class. Meaning if you decided to keep your M4 Carbine, the M16 would take the place of the M4 in the tree of un-lockable weapons.
There’s only other complaint about Prestige Mode in its current format is that if I want to show the game to a few of my friends I can’t exactly show them much that is really cool if I’ve recently done Prestige Mode. A temporary “Anti Prestige” option would be nice, in that it reverts you back to your previous level 55/65 state with everything you previously had unlocked back at your disposal. The drawback option for this would be that you couldn’t earn any level up points or anything in this mode, meaning anything you would do while in this reverted state would not effect your current Prestige Mode.
Needs more nazi zombies
Nazi Zombie mode simply needs to be in Modern Warfare 2. It was almost without question the coolest thing to come out of World At War and remains one of the more popular multiplayer options in the entire franchise. If this mode doesn’t return in Modern Warfare 2 I will be beyond disappointed. Obviously the survival mode doesn’t necessarily need to be Nazi Zombies again, but at the same time why not just keep it Nazi Zombies? Sure, Modern Warfare 2 is set in the modern times, World War 2 was certainly a good while ago, and Nazi’s sure wouldn’t fit in – but zombies didn’t exactly fit in World At War either did they?
Keep them Nazi Zombies and don’t even bother trying to make them Terrorist Zombies or anything like that, simply because modernizing the zombie mode might tick off a few people (and seriously, everybody hates Nazis). Keep some of the goodies like the random weapon crate and the soda bottles that give you perks, and perhaps just modify it a little so the player can customize their guns a little more as if it were the standard multiplayer mode.
There you have it, these tweeks along with a few of the other already announced new features are all that should be needed to make Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 the most awesome first person shooter multiplayer experience to date. Not much was wrong with the original Call of Duty 4, however a continued strive for perfection will result in something memorable for long after this console generation is over.