Black Ops: My Second Midnight Launch Ever? Help Me Decide!

Tonight should be interesting; I’m still not sure what I’m going to do. For the non-initiated among us, Call of Duty’s next iteration Black Ops releases at the stroke of midnight in Gamestop’s across the country. I’ve been eagerly awaiting this game for at least three months and now that it’s here I’m really considering breaking my “no midnight release” rule. It’s so hard to wait knowing that I could get it – in what I consider – today! This is game excitement at its worst.

Modern Warfare 2 was my first true step into competitive online shooters and I absolutely fell in love. Like everyone, I was bad at first, but got better after a while. What started as frustration turned into real competitiveness. In fairness, the incredibly flip flop nature of the game makes for some very frustrating experiences as well. Some matches are just an exercise in futility; you have players that have hit 70 (gone prestige) ten times and are insanely fast. It’s also easy to get steamrolled when one team has even a single player who breaks the twenties in kill count. Still, I’ve put upwards of 300 hours into the game, killed about 7000 people, and got up to a respectable 1:1.2 kill-death ratio.

As the game has grown and approaches its first birthday, however, that frustration factor has gone way up and MW2 has lost a lot of its initial shine. People min-max here, just like they do in MMOs, and the best weapon/perk combinations, attachments, and even terrain glitches have been found and exploited dramatically. The other factor adding to the difficulty is how grenade launchers have become the defacto standard for any kind of assault rifle. It’s pretty much a given that the majority of the game’s sound will be explosions these days. As fun as it can be to blow people up, it’s still pretty skillless and pretty cheap gameplay.

Black Ops, however, is really looking to breathe fresh air into what’s becoming a somewhat long in the tooth franchise. It’s pulling itself from its WWII and Modern Era roots instead taking on Vietnam. There will be new weapons and maps and, of course, another 6ish hour campaign. But, let’s be honest here, I probably won’t touch the single player campaign for a couple months anyways.

It’s also set to bring a few exciting new game types and new elements. I’m a Team Deathmatch guy, but I’m really looking forward to Gun Game. Basically, every time you kill someone you move up to a new weapon. The person who kills someone with all 20 tiers is the winner. For some reason it reminds me a lot of Goldeneye 64, probably because you could pick up a wide variety of weapons by running around the map.

The new elements are based around a money system where you buy new weapons and customization unlocks. Wager Matches should be interesting but I kind of feel like letting players buy the best weapons will cut down playtime. If you only buy the guns you’re really interested in, instead of leveling up for them, you wind up getting what you want and burning out sooner. Maybe I’m wrong. I hope so.

Either way, I’m really looking forward to playing the game. I’m a little cash strapped (darn schools and their extended pay periods), so I’m trading in Just Cause 2, the God of War Collection, and Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep towards it, three great games that I played for maybe an hour each and planned to get back to (but never did). I’m disappointed that I’m trading-in but I’m getting upwards of $50 in credit for a game I know I’ll play more than all of them combined, so I guess it’s alright.

To the question though: should I midnight release it? I didn’t get MW2 on launch day, so I don’t know if I should expect the servers to be unstable or not. My main gripe is that I’ll wind up sleeping late and thereby lose potential playing time if I do. Then again, well, it’s a big game, I’m a gamer, and I’m ready to roll. What do you guys think? If you don’t think I should, I’d love to know why.

[polldaddy poll=4055098]


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