Co-Optimus - Editorial - Battlefield Report: December 16, 2010

Call of Duty: Black Ops

  • Online Co-Op: 6 Players
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Battlefield Report: December 16, 2010
Editorial by

Battlefield Report: December 16, 2010

Fm: CPT David Hightower
Fm: SFC Chris Dowden
Rgd: PFC William Redbot

Sergeant, please allow me to compliment your employment of PFC William Redbot for the firearms and muzzle safety awareness lunch. His presentation was very valuable in helping to keep our platoons safe from friendly fire and casualties.

I look forward to PFC Redbot's participation in future safety programs. Please contact my office at your soonest convenience.

CPT David Hightower, Echo Company

My first encounter with a “hardcore”/”tactical” shooting game was SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs. Small squads; two hits and you’re down for the round. Sometimes a round would last up to fourteen minutes - you can imagine the negative stigma that a player death had on each and every round. But the series had to adjust its player death strategy in order to reach out to an untapped consumer base, and as it evolved it eventually lost what made it so attractive to players like me. “Respawn rooms” became a more common sight in the later SOCOM games, and in fact are now a multiplayer staple of the PSP versions.

Then came Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare with its Hardcore mode. Although both SOCOM and Call of Duty were hardly the first shooter games to feature gameplay with such harsh player penalties, gamers with a higher level of patience and concentration flocked to Modern Warfare’s Hardcore settings...myself included. Treyarch included even more Hardcore support in World at War, and it has now become a tradition for the series - even more so than for SOCOM, which in my opinion bred the console-centric Hardcore/tactical crowd.

Let me break it down for the non-shooter crowd: in Hardcore and similar rules sets, players take significantly more damage and “friendly fire” is enabled. As a trade-off, the on-screen HUD (Heads-Up Display) and crosshairs are removed. The idea is to place more focus on careful strategy and instincts, rather than pure reflexes. The main problem with adding these rules to a game that is overrun with trigger-spamming twitch gamers is that instead of crafting a game full of more serious and patient players, you now have a game full of trigger-spamming twitch players who have no concept of teamwork and will make whatever sacrifice they have to in order to boost their own score. If a random friendly grenade blows you be it. If the match is lost because the last team member decided not to give us his sniper perch in order to defuse the bomb...them’s the breaks. There are quick and easy kills to be harvested.

He didn't even see it coming. No, really - he didn't. Hardcore can be downright brutal.