Harkening Back to the Calls of Duty

I succumbed to the Modern Warfare 2 craze after making the fatal mistake of playing the last free weekend that had come by. Now, I almost never play multiplayer. Usually the hacks and the no-life amazing players drive me to drink and hate everything about it in my stupor. MW2 has managed to lull that down though with the skill match system they have employed, but it's not exactly what you'd call fair - just fair-er. You'll still find 5 level 70 players against noobs too often, but your second or third random matchup is generally better.

This brought me back to the good old CoD days...

A Ladder-Clan leader and good friend of mine regularly tried to indoctrinate me into the fold. In clan practice I could do ok, but against another clan I got my ass handed to me enough to simply make it not fun to play. I'd play on and off with them for fun, but nothing on the books. My foray into the MW2 universe made me want to go back for nostalgia reasons as well as see if I'd gotten any better in those inaugural Calls of Duty.

Ok, confession time; No I never owned the originals. I played the single player and used various hacks and utilities to get a multiplayer game going. I just couldn't afford it at the time, no BS - Welfare is just not an extra cash income situation. So I made the best out of it and, shortly after, gave up on CoD.

A short while ago the 10th Anniversary Edition of Medal of Honor came out giving me the chance to buy the games I (mostly) didn't own but had played to completion. This in turn brought me back to Call of Duty and the fact that I (mostly) owned that series as well. I've been slowly trying to purchase the games of my yesteryear that I had pirated in some half-assed attempt at redemption. Both for my peace of mind and for the health of the PC industry. The original Call of Duty series, as in the Warchest Edition as it is called, was always on my radar but low enough to spend my $30 elsewhere or wait for a deal. My purchase and playing of MW2 bumped that up suddenly to have to get, period.

You may wonder how CoD fairs in this day and age and the answer is: pretty damn good! Yes, the graphics are sparse, blocky and lack lighting and texture effects in two out of three cases but what still impresses is the gameplay. The action is fast, tense and, for the time, innovative. You can easily see where MW2's spectacular set pieces and action sequences got their start. It almost feels like a mobile or Wii port in this day and age, maintaining the feel you love with the graphics that are available to the platform.

You may also be surprised at the fact that there is still not only multiplayer servers available, but people actually playing on them as well. I went hours in team deathmatch with some skilled but friendly players that not only didn't use cheats, but preferred a more vanilla experience. Such a refreshing change from the racial/sexually explicit voice chats that you can't mute fast enough.

It was a blast and I suggest to anyone owning the originals to check it out for a few hours of relaxed intensity.
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