By StriderNo9 1 Comments
Call of Duty is as close to an eSport as you can get in the gaming community. A new season comes around every year, and for the most part, the rules stay the same, and everyone just tries to get better. People win, people lose, and according to what I hear, everyone has slept with everyone else’s mother; just like the NBA.
Currently, in Call of Duty: Black Ops, I have a respectable kill/death ratio of 1.33 and climbing. I’m not very good at a lot of games, but the ones I am good at; I can usually do well enough to brag. Like I’m doing now. I have one major gripe; most of my friends that play Black Ops do so on their Playstation 3s. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but I prefer the Xbox 360 controller because of the offset analog sticks and the better triggers. So while I can brag to them about my numbers all I want, it’s a narcissistic hassle to turn on my 360 and load up COD whenever they come over, just to show them how amazing I think I am. This is why I’m so excited about Call of Duty Elite.
Sports have ESPN, and now serious COD players have Elite. Sports and eSports come down to the same things – competition, strategy, and stats. From what I can see from the CODE beta, it has everything an eSports fan would want out of a service. I can compare myself against others, I can gauge my improvement over time, and among a host of other things I can look at specific maps and plan my attack accordingly. While this may not be brand new to everyone (Bungie.net says hi), this will be the first time a service like this goes mainstream in a way that only the Call of Duty brand can do.
What hasn’t been clear up until now, is what’s going to be free and what sits behind the paywall. Now we know the extensive stat tracking will be free, which for most gamers will be the enough, you also get clan support, and mobile device apps, among other things. For those that want a bit extra, Activision is promising for $50 a season (a year) they will get monthly downloadable content, including maps, “Pro” analysis & strategy, and Elite TV which will is described as “episodic entertainment” hosted by Will Arnett, and Jason Bateman.
Arguable the biggest draw here is still how deep the stat tracking rabbit hole goes. Virtually every bit of information you could want is there and easy to access. Want to know how long you’ve deprived your loved ones from your company? You can see here. Maybe you want to see how many faces you’ve shot off; they have that too. You can even go through recent matches and pinpoint where XxMadblunts69xX kept stabbing you in the face. Right now, the information on Call of Duty Elite has me really happy with the service. I believe other gamers that are serious about Call of Duty will be also.
Activision always has an uphill battle when it comes to perception of them and the Call of Duty franchise, but credit needs to be given when they’ve clearly earned it. Call of Duty Elite, if it works, can change the landscape of competitive gaming for years to come. It’s true that this was always the direction it was going, but when a game of this magnitude goes the extra mile to impress us, it’s our duty to answer the call (sorry about that).