Rants

Hey Infinity Ward, What’s Happened To Veteran?


It would be no exaggeration to say the difficulty of Veteran, and how much of a challenge completing the campaign on said difficulty is, has become synonymous with the Call of Duty series.

Whilst anyone can attempt and complete the game on Veteran with enough persistence, it is never-the-less quite an accomplishment to end the campaign on such a climatic note.

Instead of taking hours, missions can sometimes take days, often with your body getting acquainted with the floor more so than your gun. Indeed, it is not a challenge to be taken by those with little time, or by those with little patience.

Which is why, with Modern Warfare 2, many people skipped Veteran altogether and dived right in on either Normal or Hardened. For me, neither of those were an option. I was genuinely anticipating the challenge.

And so I began battling my way through suburbia and snowy terrain expecting many of the tear-my-hair-out moments I endured with Call of Duty 4. With each passing level, though, I was still waiting for that challenge to hit.

As I progressed with a steady pace throughout the campaign, I reached the half way milestone and was disappointed I had done so with relative ease.

If you think back to past Call of Duty games, I’m sure there will be certain moments in each of the 6 instalments that you remember advancing with sheer determination (I have only played 2,3,4, and 6). For example, in Call of Duty 4 the first mission which proved to be a real bastard was Charlie Don’t Surf, where you are in what appears to be a TV studio with Al-Asad’s speech being broadcast. Such levels set the pace for what those playing Veteran want—a real challenge.

Why, then, was this absent from the latest Modern Warfare?

You could argue that Infinity Award, as a byproduct of Modern Warfare’s mainstream success, is trying to make the game more accessible to players of all expertise and age groups. Despite being rated an 18, kids of 14 and 15 were in line with me at the midnight launch. Well, not with. I prefer men to be at least 10 years older.

Perhaps it’s as a result of the success of Achievements, and those who are Gamerscore gobblers have aired their discontent at the uneasiness of unlocking these Achievements. I don’t know. I just know that I—and others who enjoy the difficulty of playing on Veteran—was disappointed.

The one challenge I faced with Modern Warfare 2 was fleeing from Makarov’s safehouse. As you sprint towards the LZ, you have a fleet of enemies chasing you from behind, some equipped with rocket launchers, others firing guns or lobbing grenades. You also have to face enemies ahead of you as well. Oh, and did I mention they are also equipped with rocket launchers?!

I must have attempted this part of the level 50-odd times before giving up and restarting. I figured if I hung back before fleeing the house and picked the enemies off, I might not have to deal with the backlog of enemies chasing after me. It worked and I did it first time.

I’m by no means a Call of Duty expert. I’m certainly not skilled with games of this pace (if you want to see something more along my lines and where I can give others a run for their money, it’s the slow-paced Rainbow Six series), but I do love and expect a challenge with Call of Duty no less. I am disappointed Infinity Ward didn’t give me that, and even though I’ve tallied up a total of 19 hours in the campaign (most of that was accountable due to my search for intel), I still feel let down by the overall Veteran experience.

Infinity Ward, I’m sure you’re big fans of my blog (/sarcasm), so do us a favour and refrain from dumbing Veteran down. There are some of us out there who genuinely enjoy the challenge it offers. And for those who don’t, there’s always good ol’ Normal.


Heyo, I'm Ashley. I like video games, photography, and my dog, Indie.

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