Call of Duty isn’t an actual MMORPG, but it might as well be one. I mean, the series was always popular, but it wasn’t until the inclusion of experience points and a leveling structure — traditional RPG elements — that the franchise became the world’s premiere multiplayer experience. And, let’s face it, while there is no persistent world, there is a massive number of people playing the game at once. It fits the bill, even if I’m stretching the terminology just a little bit.
Just about a year ago, Modern Warfare 2 had a terrible, powerful hold on me. I was still playing World of Warcraft, but this was a way for me (and a few of my fellow officers) to blow off some steam after a bad raid night. In fact, I’d be checking my watch feverishly between every wipe or secretly hoping we wouldn’t have enough people on that night to actually do anything. For all of the game’s inherent problems — lack of dedicated servers, bugs, glitches, hacks, and general imbalance — it was a much-needed, twitchy, fast-paced alternative to the overthinking and babysitting required of a 25-man raid. The game eventually wore on me, though, and I switched to Battlefield: Bad Company 2 when that came out, but even that soured over time.
I swore to myself that I wouldn’t fall for the next Call of Duty game. Not only was the series’ second-string developer, Treyarch, having another go at it, but I just didn’t think I could put myself through the torture again. I kept myself in the dark, ignoring the game and its impending hype. Well, until a couple days ago, I read some well-informed impressions, and became hooked on the idea of playing all over again. Much of the multiplayer cheese had been addressed, Treyarch was bringing back their popular Zombie co-op mode from World at War, and to be honest, I kind of dug the Cold War theme.
So here I am again, trying to get my bearings and dealing with the launch day lag. As well as getting my ass kicked. I’ve got, oh, six hours to kill before my girlfriend comes home and so, I invite you to watch, chat about or (if you have the game) even join me for another Lore Hound LivePlay. All you have to do is click on the little window embedded below. It’ll be more exciting this time. I promise.