I played a lot of Call of Duty over the past weekend. Plenty of Black Ops 4 as Activision gave me a press key to the Private Beta, but also Black Ops 3 after it was available as a free PS Plus title and has just been sat in my library ever since. I’ve been somewhat apathetic towards the franchise for years now, but a free game is a free game and I had a headset to test out.
As Black Ops 3’s campaign’s explosions and hokey dialogue gave me a migraine, I decided to try out multiplayer. I started off as the equivalent of a tadpole, someone without any of the good weapons, perks, or attachments for weapons. It’s rather mad that you have to grind to unlock a grip or quickdraw in such a competitive game, putting any new players at a distinct disadvantage.
I quickly discovered that to be the case when I went through my first ten or so games with a K/D I don’t really want to talk about or ever publicly acknowledge. Let’s just say that I could feel the looks of shame from my teammates as I ended up at the bottom of the leaderboards over and over again. Slowly but surely, as my unlocks began to take shape, things started to look up.
And then a deluge of nonsense came my way. There’s an incredibly dense approach to levelling up in Black Ops 3, including new weapons, perks, scorestreaks, operators, crates, and much more that I can’t even begin to remember. It’s a good way of keeping players invested in the long run, evidenced by how little I had to wait before finding a match, but it’s convoluted for new players.
While I was never threatening to be the best overall player, I did grow accustomed to the game’s maps and how things operate in Black Ops 3. I’ll even go so far as admitting that I — lean in close now —had fun. Even though I was up against players who had probably been with the franchise for years, possible even a decade, I held my own and even managed to land a podium place.
But the first ten matches or so were like repeatedly throwing myself into a meat grinder. This is down to two things: 1) how long Black Ops 3 and Call of Duty has been around for and 2) how unrepentantly the franchise seeks to serve just its long-time fans. I would respawn, flail around with my severely underpowered gun, die, and then go again.
With some more experience and unlocks under my belt, I can imagine myself dipping in and out of Black Ops 3 on occasion. However, if I wasn’t so pig-headed and stubborn, I might have just forgotten about it altogether, as I’m sure other newcomers have in the past.
So, that brings me to my question: what’s the least friendly game for newcomers? Any you’ve played with unreal learning curves or with a community and meta set in stone? Let’s talk.