No shields, no health padding. Just instant death. Ew.
Since every copy of the original SOCOM came with a headset, there was an understood rule about friendly fire: you kill your teammate by accident, you apologize. It was a simple, elegant, and instant rectification. No hard feelings, mate. In a generation of gaming where score whores’ only goal is to gratify their need for personal progression, however, you can’t expect that every time. Hardcore games are easy to come by, but sometimes difficult to bear.
Last night I jumped on Call of Duty: Black Ops with my best friend. Turns out he’d been playing without me and had nearly passed me in rank. Since it was obvious that he’d developed a knack for Black Ops, I let him be the party host and choose the game modes. Whaddya know - he picked Hardcore Team Deathmatch.
Okay, I said...I can run with this.
And so I stuck close by, providing cover fire when he needed to move over a large, open space. We cleared rooms together and pointed out sniper positions. It was a ton of fun, and I even forgot my distaste for what Modern Warfare 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 had partially soured. That is, until we split up...and after a while the inevitable happened.
A short yelp and a burst of gunfire was the only warning I got. I dropped like a rock, and all he could say was, “Holy crap, you scared me!”
In all honesty: I wish I had tagged him back. A bazooka to the spine, or something. But my SOCOM instincts kicked in and all was forgiven. After a fair bit of griping about the excessive camping and poor latency, we jumped back to the regular gameplay modes - but we intend to visit Hardcore again. And in the future, we’ll take better advantage of the headset. A more difficult, tactical mode is no good if you don’t play intelligently and communicate.
Trust me on that one.