Black Ops 2 has been out a month and I still haven't played the campaign
It's been almost a month since the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Love it or hate it, the franchise is still really damn popular, and despite decreasing numbers in sales, it still sells better than most releases. I actually told myself that I wouldn't buy Black Ops II this year. I played the first Black Ops for a few months and traded it in. Modern Warfare 3 I spend a few weeks with before that started gathering dust. But so far, I've been pleasantly surprised with how much Black Ops II has entertained me. The catch? It's all been multiplayer.
That's right -- it's been a month and I haven't touched the single-player campaign. Zombies? Get the f**k out of here. It's been all Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, and Hardcore Team Deathmatch for me. You may be wondering why, and if you are, that's because you've apparently never played a Call of Duty campaign. Let me break it down for you: there's a couple of slow motion kills, at one point a dog or person will be on top of you and you'll break its/his neck, main characters die, there's a ton of explosions, some shock and awe moments, you'll lose your hearing after an explosion and a teammate will be yelling in your face, and there will be a couple of jumps that you don't quite make but manage to pull yourself up. I think I got that covered.
After that huge run-on sentence, you might feel a bit exasperated, which is how many people feel when it comes to the Call of Duty campaign experience. I have to wonder why Treyarch and Infinity Ward even bother with a campaign anymore. Sure, this year they introduced some new mechanics to it. I can't tell you if they're any good, though, because they ultimately don't matter. So you pass or fail a mission that changes the story a bit -- big deal. So you let me choose between escort mission or sniping mission -- whoopty doo! None of that fixes the problem with Call of Duty's campaign, which is that the gameplay is suited for multiplayer success, not single-player.
You can throw all of the M. Night Shyamalan twists you want at us, the campaign still comes down to the same environments, corridors, and just tons of enemies where you end up being Rambo, gunning down all of them. There's no thrill to it, because you can easily figure out what to expect from the AI. I guess you can say that about a lot of first-person shooters, but there's a few that get it right. Call of Duty comes down to one truth: no one buys it for the single-player experience.
That's why the only time I was even in the Campaign menu was when I started the game for the first time after buying it. I quickly changed that to start the game in the multiplayer menu -- probably the best feature of this year's game.
I think Activision should just stop trying to make a story and campaign altogether -- something that would most likely never happen. Think about it; all of the replay value is from the multiplayer modes because it offers progression, an awesome 'Pick 10' system for creating loadouts, spontaneity, and brings the wild card human element into play. I've seen players with loadouts I would've never dreamed of, killing me in ways that the writers of Saw jerk off to. Whereas Treyarch and Infinity Ward can create some truly agonizing areas in the campaign where you keep dying, when players do it, it is way more genuine. It's not cheap programming killing me; it's human ingenuity. Well, that and bouncing betties. F**k those things.
Imagine how much better the multiplayer could be if they completely did away with the campaign. Stop trying to make the campaign exciting with bad action movie storylines, controversial-yet-expected moments, and gimmick features. Instead, charge me $30 to $40 for the multiplayer, and I'll be that much more likely to buy every single map pack that you release. Give us the ability to customize the look of our character for both factions. Hell, introduce a cash shop to buy cool tats for my mercenary, or a goatee for my Navy SEAL's face. If I'm saving that $20 from a campaign mode that I'm not going to play, I'd most likely reinvest it. The status quo isn't working anymore for Call of Duty's campaign, but they have multiplayer down pat. Well, almost. I'd still like Hardcore Kill Confirmed.
tl;dr - Call of Duty should stop making a single-player campaign, instead just focusing on multiplayer, because it's been a month and I still haven't touched the campaign.