I probably put more time into playing fetch with the dogs over the weekend than I did playing technology actually invented after the dawn of man. I feel a bit Amish, and I feel a bit guilty, I mean, we’re the dominant species on this planet, we’ve created numerous technological and scientific wonders and I’m throwing a tennis ball around? That’s like refusing keyhole surgery and using a sharpened stone instead.
I guess the positive is I can expend more detail on the gaming I managed to squeeze in, without worrying that I’ll bore everyone too much.
It wasn’t until mid way through Saturday afternoon that I even remembered COD4 was on a double XP weekend, so I dropped the game disk in and played a round. I got my double XP, my team won and I came out on top, all pretty standard stuff.
But here is where things went a little differently. Picking up COD4 after having not played for a while (I’d loaned my copy away), and becoming MVP on your first game back is usually a good moral boost, it’s a nice feeling to know you’ve still got it even without practice. But that’s not the feeling I received.
In fact, it solidified the fact that I had nothing to gain by playing COD4. I’m not claiming to be the worlds greatest player, but the challenge wasn’t really there. I understood the game, and everything I did was just routine.
One round was enough, I shut the game off and fired up Warhawk. I was hoping to have reached Chief Sergeant before the weekend started – I didn’t get there and I’m still about 550 points away, I blame that on not playing over the week and on the fact (and I’m still not even 100% on this) that points gained in pregames don’t actually count. Grr. But 550 points is still temptingly close and I’m keen to smash through those asap. For the uninitiated, I usually score around 50 – 80 points a game and a 50 point bonus is given to members of the winning team. Rounds do got for 30 minutes though, and you must remain in game the entire time to get your 50 winning point bonus, so I’m still a bit of work away hitting that next rank (and hopefully unlocking some cool shit to gear my dude out with).
So with my limited gaming time, I snuck in three or four rounds of Capture the Flag – this mode is fast becoming my favourite for a bunch of reasons. The things to remember in Warhawk are that it’s a team-based game, and that despite it’s arcady look and feel, it’s actually a very hardcore game with some very hardcore players. I didn’t fully appreciate either of those until I reached Sergeant rank – I guess automatching or my general ignorance blanketed me from the truth.
Because it is such a team-based game and the battles take place on such massive scales, anything you can contribute to the fight is appreciated. In a round of CTF I won’t capture the flag if there appears to be someone else on the team more capable. I’ll focus my effort in holding the base closest to our flag, and capturing the base closest to the enemy’s flag.
For me, Capture the Flag has very little to do with the titular flag. My enjoyment of the mode comes from the added value to capture points around the map. In a team death match, it’s as simple a matter as capture what bases you can – CTF adds some strategy into deciding where to focus your efforts. Personally, I’m going to focus my effort onto getting people I know playing this game – with communication and a knowledge of peoples skill sets, legendary success could be achieved.
So much is going on at any one time, even a successful team feels unoptimised. In a round of COD4, if you have a few players not pulling their weight you know about it – a team must work well to be victorious. In Warhawk it seems the barrier for victory is lower, a team can function less than desirable in areas and still succeed. It makes me tingle to think of a team that communicates and works efficiently across the board.