Let’s face it, despite its gigantic sales successes and millions of players perusing the online community every day, the Call of Duty franchise is still suffering from a huge list of schoolboy errors and flaws that make it unplayable at times and frustrating at others. With the release of, what is rumored to be, Black Ops 2 arriving this November, the question that will leave many people’s lips until then, is ‘Will Black Ops 2 be any better?’. That I am unsure of, as I’m not telepathic, but how would I improve things if I were put in charge of the game? Read on.
Increased character customization/gun customization
These things were already somewhat of a prominent feature in Black Ops but made a little bit of a departure in Modern Warfare 3, unsurprising given Infinity Ward’s strange dislike for including decent features first implemented by Treyarch. Guns could be customized with a dozen different, unique, camos and your character’s look was decided from which perk you had enabled, such as a ghillie suit if you were using the Ghost perk or a set of body armor for flak jacket. These things aren’t that big of a help when you’re in the battlefield and being shot full of lead but they offer a degree of independence that is otherwise inaccessible when everybody looks the same.
My suggestion would be to include more gun camos, perhaps even ones that become unlockable after you reach a certain prestige level. Also, the emblem editor should definitely make a comeback. This was one of the things I was really hoping MW3 would include instead of a pre-set collection of emblems but they didn’t. Granted, it means I will end up seeing endless numbers of penis pictures and men involved in lurid sex acts with animals, but such is the flaw of creativity.
In terms of character customization, I’d like to see your character’s look decided upon each perk you have equipped. Maybe your upper-torso would be decided by your first perk, your lower-torso decided by the second and vice versa. Again, it means that each soldiers has more of a chance of looking different from the rest, even more so if the face paint feature returns.
More Interactive Maps
The maps on Call of Duty are, by default, pretty stagnant; The scenery does not move, only the players that weave in between it. Black Ops aimed to try and make the maps more ‘interactive’, such as the opening doors on Radiation, the launching missile on Launch, the speeding train on WMD and vice versa. As in the opening doors on Radiation, these interactive abilities can prove to be a useful tactic in game types such as Domination, making them less of a worthless feature and more of something that can turn the tables on your enemies. It would be nice, in Black Ops 2, to see more of these and perhaps on a bigger scale. For example, there could be a night map with lit, indoor areas powered by a generator outside, that the other team could disable, leaving anybody without a flash-light attachment in near darkness, also at a tactical disadvantage. The generator could also be repaired.
Nevertheless, I definitely would like to see more interactivity on the maps from Black Ops. Even if it’s just like in Black Ops 1. The critical response to this feature wasn’t bad at all so I don’t doubt Treyarch will want to include it again.
Campaign Co-op/Zombies Return
Why wasn’t this in Black Ops? Treyarch had campaign co-op in World at War and I was expecting it again, but they didn’t deliver. Yes, Zombies in fine and all but sometimes I’d love nothing more than to play the single-player story with three others. I’d like to be able to do that once again. The campaign in Black Ops didn’t impress me at all but I don’t doubt that I would have got more mileage from it if I’d have been able to go through it with others.
Also, I have no doubt at all that Zombies will be making a return. C’mon now, Treyarch even released a map pack full of zombie maps only in the last game, so there’s even a degree of profit to be made from it. I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of zombies as it really doesn’t do much for me, but its existence is definitely justified. Treyarch can sometimes be very creative when it comes to designing new zombie maps so more of the same would probably be in order.
An idea of mine is perhaps to have three difficulty levels for each zombie map: recruit, regular and hardened. Maybe these could be voted on in the matchmaking lobby by the participants there. There would also be a veteran difficulty available that would really set apart the men from the boys. Also, would it be too much to ask for wider variation of zombies? Besides walking ones and crawling ones, there’s not really a lot of others. Perhaps zombies that crawl on the walls and ceiling? Just a thought.
New, and Improved, Theater Mode.
The theater mode introduced with Black Ops was fantastic; a worthwhile and useful feature. They brought it back with Modern Warfare 3 but with awkward controls and the strange emission of the ability to view other players’ view in first-person. I’d like to see a return to normality, but with added features. For example, make campaign/zombie matches playable in theater (although that could be tricky with the length some matches can get to). Possibly a sort of cross-collaboration, with players in the same theater lobby putting their own clips into the ‘pool’ which could then be spliced together into one video. I never used theater mode with other players that much in Black Ops so I don’t know how practical an idea such as this would/wouldn’t be, but it’s an idea.
Regardless, if the theater mode is more akin to the Black Ops version than MW3, I’ll be happy and quite content. There could also be fixed camera points located across the map that you can quickly jump to at the press of a button, getting good views of certain portions of the arena.
Complete Removal of Quick-Scoping
Yes, I said it, for all of those petulant, whining folk out there who would get their handkerchiefs out and cry if quick-scoping was made impossible. Likely the same folk who complained when Treyarch initially made it almost impossible at the start of Black Ops’ life, before relenting and giving it back to them. It’s a perfectly legitimate tactic, in that it doesn’t require the use of a glitch or a hack to succeed, but I consider it a flaw, possibly an exploit, that should not exist.
Firstly, sniper rifles are long-range weapons by default. They’re designed to be slow, bulky weapons that are simply great at picking off targets from a distance and useless at close-range. They are not designed to be able to raise to the scope within half a second and be able to kill a target two metres away, trumping whatever automatic weapon they’re using to fire upon you. I’ve seen people running around maps, picking off targets like they were cardboard cut-outs without breaking a sweat and I don’t care what anyone else says, this is wrong. I know Call of Duty isn’t exactly famous for its realism but this should not be possible, as far as I’m concerned.
Of course, you can’t ‘remove’ quick-scoping per se, as it’s not an exploit of the nature you’d imagine it to be, but you can make it difficult to the point of impossibility like Treyarch initially did with Black Ops, whereby the scope took an extra second or so to become steady in the centre when you raised it to sight. These people will cry about it, of course, and they’ll likely make angry YouTube clips and proclaim that they’ll never buy a CoD game again, but they’ll soon get over it. The ones that don’t aren’t probably worth keeping in the community, anyway.
The Prestige Shop Return
Modern Warfare 3 did a lot of things wrong but it also did some right. The prestige shop is one of those things. Instead of merely getting a new emblem and a new custom class slot when you prestige, you got a token to use in the prestige shop. You could buy yourself new custom class slots, instant access to weapons, an hour of double XP and vice versa. The system actually works well and it’s hard to see why something of its kind wasn’t included at an earlier point.
To improve it, Treyarch could include new options, such as exclusive gun camos, character customization options, maybe even guns or exclusive access to different game-types. There’s a lot of possibility there and Treyarch could easily expand on what’s currently present.
Yes! Wager matches were a brilliantly fun, and well executed, part of the Black Ops multiplayer and I would love to see them return. Keep all of the original options and include more on top. Of course, the return of wager matches would likely mean a return of the CoD points system, which isn’t entirely bad but it depends on your personal preferences. Although, I don’t think it would be impossible to have them the same but instead of gambling for CoD points, you’d be gambling for XP amounts. That being said, I’d be surprised if Treyarch didn’t bring it back.
Regardless, wager matches have to return. They don’t need to, they HAVE to. Instead of thinking about your class set-ups and your perks and whatnot, wager matches gave you a gun and simply told you to get on with it and have fun in the process. Your ranks didn’t matter, your killstreaks were irrelevant and all that mattered was your skill with that very same gun. They were a welcome break from the regular multiplayer and their return, with more options available of course, would be highly loved.
Balanced Perk System
Is it easy to achieve a truly balanced perk system? Maybe, maybe not, but I’d like to see it anyway. What do I mean? For a start, NO MORE SECOND CHANCE! I’d get rid of ghost as well but it’s mainly second chance that has to go. MW3 promised its complete obliteration but it still snook its way back in in the form of a death streak. I move to annihilate the pesky rodent completely and forevermore. I don’t want my sought-after kill to suddenly lie down on the floor and pop me with a pistol when I’ve just shot him to Neverland and back. I want him to lie down and for his heart to cease beating.
There are numerous other ways to make the perk system more balanced and I generally think that Treyarch does a decent-ish job of countering their perks with an opposing force, but there are still combinations that can be somewhat dominant in a match. Getting in to discussing how to perfectly balance the system would take all day so I’ll leave it to you to decide how you’d do it.
So, that’s the list that I have conjured up for now. Undoubtedly, I could continue writing this all day if I was to write down everything I’d like to see in Black Ops 2, but this will do. I’m sure that anybody reading this would probably agree or disagree with several of my suggestions and I’d love to hear yours in the comment box! If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that Call of Duty is a flawed creation and there is always something that can be done to improve it.
To conclude this post, I will re-iterate a point that I feel strongly about: NO MORE SECOND CHANCE!