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My Thoughts on Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War

For 15 years, Call of Duty has been part of my gaming realm, as the second FPS game I played, and the only franchise that I stuck with even through their darkest times. Admittedly, I fell off with the franchise after the nightmare that was Call of Duty Ghosts, and I refused to support them in their catastrophic futuristic games, which were Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3, and the critically panned Infinite Warfare and Black Ops 4. With Call of Duty WW2 being the only boots on the ground game of the four, and having reviews more mixed than a bag of trail mix, Modern Warfare 2019 had to deliver in a major way after four mediocre games. Luckily it did, and now it’s one of the most popular CoD games since Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops.

And speaking of Black Ops.

On the 19th of August, we were treated with the teaser trailer for the game titled “Know Your History”, which had the actual interview of Yuri Bezmenov, who was an actual defector of the Cold War to fuel the trailer, which he explains the process of Active Measures. I won’t talk too much about the trailer however, due to the political nature of the trailer relating to Communism, Active Measures, and the fact that I generally don’t like talking about politics. If you’d like to watch this video to understand why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m1kfCGjOaSw

One week later, on the 26th of August, the official trailer was released, and boy have my bones been tickled to be intrigued. If anyone wants to see this trailer, here’s the link to that: https://youtu.be/aTS9n_m7TW0 

It’s pretty obvious that this game is on a collision course to a mass amount of controversy given the nature of the teaser trailer alone, but also because of the nature of what’s going on in the world today, as to what Yuri Bezmenov talked about in the trailer. And CoD going down the route of controversy, is a very familiar one, given how Modern Warfare 2019 gained quite a fair bit of it, for it hitting close to home with the nature of the campaign being very uncomfortable in many different ways, and having a few infamous missions, like “Piccadilly” “Clean House” “Highway of Death” and more notoriously “Hometown”.

It’s only a matter of time until we know what Black Ops: Cold War will be capable of, especially in the multiplayer aspect as next Wednesday, the 9th of September, we will get a multiplayer reveal. And since the game comes out on the 13th of November (which is ironically bad luck day) and given that the most important Election Day happens over a week prior, this game could probably end up being the most controversial Call of Duty game since Modern Warfare 2 had the widely infamous and notorious “No Russian” mission.

As the Doomsday Clock slowly winds for the release of this next Call of Duty game, a ticking time bomb of controversy is ready to explode on Friday the 13th. The 7 minutes to midnight with Black Ops: Cold War, is going to be a very long 7 minutes.

Five Things Battlefield 6 Should Do Better than Battlefield 5

I’m walking in some very murky waters talking about this game since it was the centerfold of controversy in 2018 for the reasons I will explain later on. 

Readers discretion is advised.

 Battlefield has been a well-known franchise for quite some time now as it was pretty much the main competitor to Call of Duty for the entirety of the 2010’s since the release of Battlefield 3. It was the beginning of a franchise war that has been raging on, with the absolute peak reaching the release of Battlefield 1, and the absolute dog turd that was Infinite Warfare, and unfortunately, it reached a massive decline in 2018 for obvious reasons. Look at the games both franchises released in October and November. Black Ops 4, a game I refused to play, as I was just sick and tired of futuristic garbage, and the lack of a campaign just made me say “I’m done” and I just waited on BF5, and Jesus Christ was I disappointed.

Battlefield 5 has probably the worst reputation in franchise history for a myriad of reasons, most notoriously, the people behind the game insulting the fans for the direction they decided to go with this World War 2 title, which I will explain later on, just wait a bit, and now the developers pulling the plug on the game in June after a painfully long decline since launch, that saw a boost of players in January, only for DICE EA to absolutely butcher the game about a month and a half later, and they never recovered. This game was an absolute nightmare, and since they pretty much confirmed that Battlefield 6 will be ready for release in the fall of 2021, let’s talk about the 5 things that BF6 needs to do better than BF5.

#5: Don’t mess with TTK

If you have no clue what I’m talking about, basically TTK stands for Time To Kill, and it’s an essential gameplay system and gunplay engine in any shooter game. Well, except Fortnite where it STILL uses RNG and probably has the worst gunplay in any shooter. The TTK in BF5 was not so good at the beginning of the game, but by the time the Pacific Theatre DLC was released, the game was actually a whole lot of fun. But unfortunately, for whatever reason, DICE EA decided to nerf literally everything, and made the TTK a whole lot slower, and made a lot of guns completely useless and made the game a whole lot less playable. TTK engines are very delicate as the balance is essential when engines like these are in play. But when you mess with them, then it’s a lot to fix, and everyone hates it when something takes a long time to fix, or doesn’t get fixed at all. BF6 should have a solid TTK system that is well balanced and solid enough once the game launches so it can be a fun and enjoyable game from the start.

#4: Release a full campaign mode, or don’t release one at all

While I’ll absolutely lampoon Black Ops 4 for being the true black sheep of the CoD franchise because CoD Ghosts actually tried to be a good game, and for being nothing more than a cash grab of a game by selling a game for just its name value and nothing else while also a similarly broken Multiplayer mode that had next to no support, the thing that kinda annoyed me the most about BO4, was the fact of no campaign and is set during a very irregular time period within the now tainted Black Ops franchise. And while BF5 did have a campaign, it’s gonna be cut short due to it being basically canceled because it was a live service game. This is something they shouldn’t have done at all, and whoever thought it’d be a good idea to have the campaign progress through updates didn’t think this far as to the what-if of “what if this game gets canceled?” and unfortunately it did. Battlefield is probably the only franchise I wouldn’t mind if they didn’t have a campaign because their multiplayer has always been the core of their games, so it’s either make a campaign that is full and good or just do what Black Ops 4 did and not make one… except Black Ops 4 canceled their campaign because “single-player campaigns aren’t worth it.” At least Battlefield tried.

#3: Don’t insult the fans

This is the part where it gets very, very murky as I mentioned at the beginning.

So if anyone remembers, when BF5 had their reveal event, the people, for the most part, were unpleased with the lack of authenticity of the game, given it’s a game based in World War 2. Some people were feeling more unpleasant that there was a woman on the cover, which I think is a stretch to be upset about it, but it was a gripe that some people did have. A gripe I did have was that the woman that was in the game (or basically the reveal trailer), had a prosthetic arm, which immediately made me and a lot of fans of the game go “shouldn’t she be at home with a purple heart and maybe a medal of honor rather than being on the frontlines with a whole arm missing? It seems unrealistic.” But, it was pretty much confirmed by then CEO Patrick Söderlund that he put some of his modern-day political beliefs in the game, while also saying, “We stand up for the cause because I think those people who don’t understand it, well, you have two choices: either accept it or don’t buy the game. I’m fine with either or.” That’s not a good way to market the game in any way shape or form. And that pretty much annoyed the fans even more that they double-downed on their beliefs. While I don’t mind the portrayal of women in a World War 2 game as there are ways that you can portray a woman in the frontlines of WW2, the way it was handled, was really bad. They portrayed women pretty good in BF1 in the campaign and even in multiplayer with the option of being a female character who was part of the female sniping regiment in the Russian Army when you played Operations on one of the Russian based Operations. But the way they did it with BF5 was pretty much the polar opposite of that and amplifying the beliefs by very high levels. DICE EA would triple down on this by having a second event talking more about the game, and they insulted the fans who were displeased about the game, and that made the fans even more annoyed with the dev team. Patrick Söderlund would then leave the company in August, which caused the production of the game to be delayed from a September release to a November release because they wanted to dial back the issues that caused this massive controversy.

I know politics isn’t a good thing to talk about since it’s very divisive, and the modern landscape of things is about an insult away from causing a riot on the internet since no one can go outside. Unless they want to get sick. But the problem is, you really can’t talk about BF5 without bringing up the primary cause to the issue that began a lot of the issues behind it, which was shoving their views down people’s throats, which no one, developer, CEO or any average person should ever do. The way they did it in BF1 was the right way to do it, and they should’ve probably kept doing it that way. Even in BF4, Hannah, one of the main characters, is a woman, and the way they portrayed her was good. I’m not sure where they went wrong in portraying women in Battlefield games especially the era they decided to do this game, but it wasn’t a good way in doing so, because it showed their true intentions, and also showed a side of them that made fans like me refusing to purchase the game. And it was all because they insulted the fans because what they thought was right, and what we as fans thought were wrong, and personally, that’s not how a game should be marketed. While yes, they wanted to try something different, and yes, this was the game they’ve always wanted to make, it backfired hard when there were a lot of logistical holes as to why they made it the way they did, and fans weren’t happy. As time went on, the devs have listened to the people as best as they could since the entire incident, and that’s a good thing, but because the damage was there, and the damage control was next to non-existent, it hurt the overall game to the point where it gives not only the game a bad reputation but the companies involved in the game a bad reputation.

For all people to remember: if you ever start a company, band, business, or literally anything you want to do that’ll garner mainstream or internet attraction: DON’T, INSULT, THE FANS.

#2: Release the completed game, not a live service game full of bugs on release

I’m honestly getting tired of the live service games being released, like Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and unfortunately Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2019 because the primary issue of these live service games, is that there will be bugs from launch until the game stops getting support. I love Modern Warfare 2019, but I also hate it because it’s a live service game and there will be bugs in the game, and even the gunplay would suck sometimes, but at least they found a TTK engine that works and didn’t rearrange it to the point where the game is unplayable and causes more bugs in the process… oh, wait. 

CoD did have an update earlier and while it included a new weapon, it also destroyed the matchmaking system and also messed up the servers of the game. This is what happens when it’s a live service game, bugs are gonna keep popping up, and it’s a matter of a year for the bugs to go away. I’ve never been a fan of most of the modern multiplayer games because it always felt like I was paying for half of a game rather than the full game, and while live service games do reduce that by adding in free DLC via updates, it comes with the massive con of it’ll come riddled with bugs. I feel like I need an exterminator talking about this. 

In my personal opinion, I’d rather have the literal full, raw, unapologetic game right at launch with all the maps, all the guns, and all the everything. I’m fine if the game has microtransactions as long as it doesn’t affect the game in any way to make their extra chunk of money, but please, I’d like a game where I can just have everything in one go, instead of having to wait months in advance for something new. Although I’ll admit right now, the only good thing about it is that it gives the game longevity. Kinda makes my whole argument kinda invalid now that I think about it.

And don’t bring back loot boxes ever again.

#1: Find the balance between fun and entertaining with authenticity and realism

“There is no balance!” Thanos screamed to the heavens before he got snapped into oblivion by Iron Man, which I still haven’t seen either of the movies yet, but that’s all I know of what happened in Endgame, Battlefield’s main selling points were the entertainment in the game, the fun you have playing it, with how authentic it is, and how real can it be. BF5 only checked two of these boxes: entertaining, and realism. Yeah, this balance is worse than the gun balance in Battlefield games. BF5 had a bit of a major identity crisis to the point where it was just another Battlefield game, like Battlefield Hardline, or as I like to call it: Battlefield Cops & Robbers. And while the game did get better with time, and also had their own battle royal mode, one mistake drove the game to irrelevancy. And with Modern Warfare 2019 sweeping the entire nation and the whole world, as well as Warzone, being the biggest thing since sliced bread while being twice as good as PUBG and 1000 times better than Fortnite will ever be, Call of Duty once again pretty much checked all the boxes that BF5 couldn’t check. I’ve been playing MW 2019 religiously since launch and I haven’t had this much fun or haven’t been as entertained by a game since BF4 and BF1, while the modern-day authenticity makes sense, and their realism is most definitely there given it’s based in the much more modern-day. BF5, on the other hand, has struggled since launch to capture the attention of the gaming community, because, in #3, they insulted the gaming community and ignored the game to the point that even if it did financially well, it was a marketing and commercial failure and they have admitted it. BF6 pretty much needs to check all the boxes when it gets released so that way, it can grab that attention and keep players hooked to the game as I have with MW, and when you have fans hooked to a game, then that’s when you know you’ve succeeded.

Final thoughts

Battlefield 5 will, unfortunately, be forever remembered as the game that was over-politicized and heavily panned to the point that the developers knew they messed up, only for them to mess up to the point where the game shot itself in the foot from the bombardment of hate being aimed towards their way. I can’t understand how they went from the ultimate high that was BF1 where they literally had the world in their hands, only to make a mistake so bad, the walls literally caved into the point that now, the game is in a bunker, after another mistake, the game hid up in a bunker and hoped for the best, only for the devs to say that the game had its trusted Luger from BF1 and decided to fire up for an early cancellation in June. The irony that the announcement happened in late April and it makes my joke make more sense if you think long and hard about it.

BF5 is now the undisputed black sheep of Battlefield, and now, all hands are on deck for the development of BF6, as even Star Wars Battlefront 2 has been confirmed that its support will now end, although with a satisfying conclusion. With the fact that now Battlefront 2 will be closing its doors and BF5 decided to wave the white flag after an endless barrage of mistakes from the devs and the former CEO (and it’s about damn time that it wasn’t the French to wave the white flag), all eyes will now be on Battlefield 6. A good game ends, and a bad one crumbles, and I really hope that BF6 blows the water with BF5, but because the game was… a nightmare, my expectations will have to be cautiously low until the first trailer is released. Also if the game goes to a modern direction again, can we have one game where the damn main enemies and antagonists aren’t the Russians or China for a change? I’m getting bored of the Russians and China being the enemy in every single modern-day shooter. If Battlefield can go to 2142 and have a plot thinner than my thinning hair, then I’d like Battlefield Steampunk for a change in a dystopian world where the main antagonist sits in his/her throne inside the Big Ben clock tower in England with their massive army of British steampunk soldiers, which would be interesting as hell to see what a Steampunk version of the S.A.S. would look like, and it’s down to America to topple this evil empire in the UK to restore order within the country. I just came up with an idea that would actually be very interesting, as the only steampunk games I can think of is the BioShock Trilogy and Deus Ex Mankind Divided. And maybe Wolfenstein.

Basically, this is Battlefield’s last chance, and it’s time for them to go all-in with their next game and they need to surprise the hell out of us with whatever it may be that they will release next year, and only time will tell what DICE EA will do next.