Thursday, 30 May 2013

How Call of Duty ends

This week I realised I don't care about Call of Duty.  What I caught of Modern Warfare 3 looked terrible and by the end of MW2 I did not want to know more about that story so I'd skipped it.  MW2 managed to hit peak crazy by the time it ended and there was nowhere the series could go that I wanted to join it.  But Black Ops was rather enjoyable, Mason and I had found out what the numbers mean, and eventually BlOps2 arrived on my doorstep to partake in.

It was during a section filled with unskippable cutscenes (at least they seemed to be unskippable, they had a pause menu rather than a skip option and I couldn't work out how to make them go away and get to the bit where you can actually play the game) which would eventually end with a grenade and a civilian getting married in a cutscene.  There was an area that is bugged (as in I could Google and find people describing the exact details of what was wrong and advice to restart the level to fix it rather than anything useful you can do because the checkpoint seems to encode the corruptions so going back will never unstuck you) and after a long time looking for an enemy to kill to trigger the next section and an NPC unlocking a door to a cellar, I decided the enemy probably fell out of the level or was outside of the invisible walls preventing my free movement so I would never be able to progress.

I tried getting back to the checkpoint a few times but every time played out the same way, whether I triggered the optional extra wave of enemies by climbing up to the sniper's nest or not.  So I restarted the entire level and watched the many cutscenes and 'played' a section where I found out I could just run around and not actually play the game, just sprint between the checkpoints with a 'rage' buff making this very quick (also making it even more obvious that the scripting was changing my selected weapon rather than the level contents having anything to do with what weapon I had equipped).  Then I got to the actual game bit with shooting.  I made my way to the assault the mansion section and the bug was there again.

"Walk forward you useless NPCs, you need to unlock something so I can continue playing!"

I restarted again and walked away to make a cup of tea while the game played a cutscene to itself.

This time I managed to not encounter the bug and so got into the cellar to kill some more bad guys before triggering the final cutscene where we saw the grenade go flying from a different perspective than the flashback cutscene that had come just before the level started.  But I didn't care.  I didn't care for the story.  I didn't hear the numbers.  I didn't even want to hear the numbers, to find out what they wanted to tell me.

There is a difference between doing something you want to do and doing something so it is done.  I wasn't playing BlOps2 because I wanted to do it.  I was playing because I wanted to have played it.  And at that point I realised I didn't even care to have played it.  Who knows how many more hours I would have thrown away if I hadn't repeatedly walked into that bug and taken a step back to work think about what I was actually doing.

I'm done.

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