There May Be Trouble Ahead…

I completed Call of Duty: Black Ops’ campaign the other day. It took me two days, on and off. I did it on normal, and I’m currently mentally preparing myself for Veteran mode. I say mentally preparing, I actually mean resigning myself to the fact that for the next week or so, when in the vicinity of my Xbox 360 I’m going to be angry, swearing a lot and generally not a nice person to be around.

Step 1: Normal. Step 2: Veteran. Step 3: Attempt to find all of the intel and get bored.

So yeah, I’m going to be doing something that will frustrate me to no end. Some people are supernaturally good at videogames and maybe they can breeze through the hardest difficulty settings with blindfolds on and the controller upside down. I am not one of those people. Normal difficulty, or maybe sometimes hardened setting usually holds the right amount of challenge for me. The amount of times I get killed in Veteran will probably reach the hundreds by the time I reach the end and most of those deaths will be down to one stupid bit. That’s usually how it goes. I mean, it’s never plain sailing but for the majority of the game I can hold my own and then I get to one section where I die once, twice, and before I know it I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve restarted but I’m getting sick of hearing the same dialogue over and over, and I wish that they would stop barking orders at me to pick up that Stinger and could one of the other soldiers please do it instead? I mean, why are you shouting at me to do it? Private Nobody right there is standing next to the damned thing and won’t have to dodge a hail of bullets to reach it.

Yes, there’s always that bit in a Call of Duty game. That level in Call of Duty 4 when you have to plonk down the injured guy behind a Ferris wheel and shoot a seemingly endless stream of enemies before picking him back up and making a run for it took me 3 days to do. I remember that I was close to tears. I insisted that it just wasn’t possible. I got very close to doing it on the second day and spent too much time faffing and my helicopter flew off without me. I developed sort of a weird facial twitch after that so nobody talked to me again for the rest of the night.

This level will unleash a world of hurt on your ass.

So why do I do it? Sometimes, in those dark, dark moments I wonder myself. But the upside to the evil Ferris wheel level is that I did complete it. I remember clearly the moment that I started running for the helicopter. My heartbeat actually quickened and I heard a small astonished voice in my head saying, “I think I’m going to do it…”. I didn’t lose focus, because the last time I did that my helicopter flew off and I honestly don’t think it would have been safe for my health if that happened again. Bullets were flying around my head and I was heading at a snail’s pace for my goal. And I reached it. I think I might have hugged my TV and maybe everybody in the world after I boarded that chopper.

So in answer to my own question, playing on the hardest difficulty setting does give me a sense of accomplishment. It’s nice to know that I can do it. Although, I can tell that there are a few bits to come in Black Ops that are really going to test my sanity.







14 responses to “There May Be Trouble Ahead…”

  1. Mark P avatar

    I can totally relate to the bit with the ferris wheel. Took me an absolute age, and in the end I just camped in a corner and let Price’s injured teammate do all the work.

    Can’t say there’s too many bits like that in Black Ops though. I can only remember three occasions on Veteran when where there was a distinct lack of checkpoints.

    In fairness, I have beaten all of the Call of Duty games I’ve played on Veteran – except World at War. That is an evil, evil, EVIL game.

  2. Celeste avatar

    Why anyone plays FPS game like CoD as a single-player campaign I will never understand. I have only just gotten into multiplayer shooters but dayum they are fun. I tried playing Black Ops’ campaign but it just bored me to tears. For me, the fun is in playing against real people in any game mode that I choose. Fun. :] respect to you for trying it on veteran though. My ass would be whipped harder than a black Christian witch’s.

  3. Hugh Jass avatar
    Hugh Jass

    Celeste – I take the opposite viewpoint! For me the campaign is the only reason I buy a game.

    I love to be drawn into that story and world for a few brief hours. I don’t get the appeal in running around a map just shooting random strangers or more likely getting shot by them!

    I have never played multi-player online portion of shooters and never will. No interest at all. I’d get bored with that side of it after one attempt I suspect. It’s bad enough getting tanked at FIFA online!

  4. Tony avatar

    I’m somewhere in between Celeste and Hugh Jass (oo-er) in that I love a good campaign but will also happily sink a number of hours into the online mode. It’s a lot more fun when you play online with people that you know, though, and Ready Up provides plenty of opportunities for that.

    As for Joanne’s original comments – you’ll never catch me playing on the hardest mode. I have a motto – if it ain’t fun, I ain’t playin’ it.

    So no super-duper hard modes for me, unless it’s actually fun. Which COD isn’t, at its hardest.

  5. Laura avatar

    I used to absolutely love completing games on the hardest difficulty setting quite simply for the reasons you just mentioned. The relief and pride at getting to a strived for checkpoint after 10, 20, 30 tries is one of the things I have most enjoyed about gaming over the years. But lately I’m not all that interested. I haven’t started Blops on Vet and I can’t be bothered with Reach on Leg. I just don’t feel like putting the time or effort in any more… I’m definitely getting old.

    Good luck to you on your mission, soldier.

  6. optimus pints avatar
    optimus pints

    Im gonna be honest. After completing veteran mode i spent most of my time trying not to be eaten by a grau….You want a game with a sense of accomplishment id say Metal Slug series, try completing a level with 6 survivors intact. Even on easy that game is hard….or do what i did and think screw saving the survivors. Infinite lives awaaaaay!

  7. Joanne avatar

    🙂 I only got into the multiplayer aspect of games after Modern Warfare 2, I must admit. It used to be all about the campaign before then, I do enjoy the Ready Up nights, when I’m in I do try and get in on them.

    I do completely understand the no fun thing, though, some people feel the reward is worth the effort and some people think ‘why bother?’. I alternate between both feelings constantly.

  8. Neonin avatar

    I haven’t played Black Ops yet, only just got myself a copy of MW2. Still, having completed that on Regular I know there’s a few bits, like you mention in Black Ops, that if I try it on Veteran I’m going to get my ass handed to me repeatedly.

    I play these things for the campaign because, to be brutally honest, I simply don’t have the inclination or time to sink into multiplayer to be anything other than someone else’s target. Being the duck in Duck Hunt is no fun!

  9. billsy avatar

    The only CoD game I struggled with was WaW, It took about a week of on/off play to complete it on Veteran. I think my heart was close to rupturing as the constant nade spamming was impossible to get past at certain points. I will only Usually play veteran / super evil mode on games that I really enjoy and am good at as I know would fail miserably at a game like Res Evil.

  10. Laura avatar

    MW2 on Vet was far too easy. I was disappointed. I wanted to struggle and battle my way through it like in CoD4 but it wasn’t very difficult at all.

  11. Barry avatar

    I think the developers have listened to the many complaints about the ridiculous difficulty of the previous games and toned them down somewhat. MW2 on veteran is a leisurely stroll and from what I’ve heard Black Ops is very much the same.

    I’ve started the Black Ops vet campaign but that was because my 50mb internet (Virgin Mediocre) has gone down again. Otherwise I’d be playing more Black Ops Multiplayer Search and Destroy, my favourite objective based gametype 🙂

  12. Philly avatar

    Ferris was piss if you knew you could just set up some explosives, camp in a corner and just wait for the chopper. lul

    As for BLOPS, why even bother with normal? Just stick in straight onto Vet and get stuck in as (IMO) COD just doesn’t present a challenge below that difficulty. Oh and get the intel on that play through just for added awesome points.

  13. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I play all games on Normal and then go for the harder difficulties on the next playthrough. The ferris wheel annoyed me because I had made it into the helicopter at one stage and got shot and killed; took forever to do it again. Usually I can only handle one veteran level at a time because they are just so hard (or cruelly unfair like the constant grenades of World At War) but with both Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops I could play through a number of levels at a time.

    Good luck with the veteran playthrough Joanne, if you’re completed previous veteran CODs you will be able to do this one.

  14. kms_md avatar

    Have fun at the end of the tunnels section. Narrow corridor, endless enemy respawn, and grenade spamming have made for multiple hours of frustration for me.

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