**Please note that this is a 1st impression look and not a full on review!!**
Let me be one of the first people to say that I am not ‘great’ at CoD multiplayer. I am not one of those guys who has the time or patience to grind out 29 hrs a day 10 days a week and 35 days a month into playing CoD multiplayer, but God bless the ones that do. If you are one of those guys who are great twitch shooters and who will have prestiged by the end of the weekend and unlocked all that there is to unlock, congrats are in order and you can skip this right now.
For the rest of you guys out there that are so-so in CoD multiplayer, listen up, Squads mode is for you.
If you are one of those guys who:
– hates playing with others online especially when those others are obnoxious cursing brats
– wants to play for maybe an hour or 2
– usually gun fodder and lucky to get 3 kills in a single human multiplayer match
– just abhors the whole grinding experience of Call of Duty
Squads is for you.
For the past few years, the Call of Duty franchise has slowly but surely building in modes that allows the game to be accessible to those who don’t want feel like they have to grind the game to open everything up or worse yet get left behind by their peers who do have the time to play and grind it out.
There is a bit of grinding to do however but you can do it at your own pace. The idea is simply this, you start off with yourself and 5 AI bots and play in some of the different modes available in the game MP style. Depending on the mode, the game can match you up with others within your same skill level so that way you at least feel that you have a chance to make a difference and stay competitive. What I did notice and like the most is that opposed to last year’s game, the AI here is a bit more realistic this time around. There are bots that will camp, go Rambo into a situation or are just methodical but all in all it’s just realistic enough to feel as if you are playing with humans without the added drama of an 8 year old screaming obscenities into your ear…or your friends making you look bad.
The grind comes in where the longer you play the more coins you earn to open up new AI bots for your team and as you open them up, they all have different loadouts and stats are kept for your team. Then as you open enough of them you also need to earn coins to open up more weapons, perks, uniforms and so forth. The idea is simply the more you play Squads the more stuff that you get but it’s a little lower pressured that straight multiplayer gaming.
Another incentive to play this mode is that if your friends are playing this mode, you can pit your squad against their squad and they don’t even have to be on to do so. The cool part about this is when you initially set up your squad, you can set up a ‘home HQ’ of sorts when if someone challenges your squad, they will play on your turf which you can customize with the particular maps, play time, and rounds to play and then if you or your friends are offline, when you log back in and check your squad report, you will be able to see how well they fared if they played while you were offline and you can still level up from that.
There is so much more I could say about it but I would leave it up to you as a player to find out the ins and outs of how this mode works best for you.
There are a few cons to this however. One is that occasionally, I have noticed some of the AI Bots getting stuck in place and unable to move. It’s not gamebreaking but just odd that I saw that happen and really it may have been 3 times in the hours that I played last night.
Another thing that I noticed and not just in Squads but in multiplayer play period, is that some of the maps are overly large and while sometimes travelling in one direction looking for targets a firefight will break out in the opposite direction and by the time you reach it, it’s all over.
Another thing I didn’t like is when you are going through your friend list to find players, it would be cool if there was a way to sort out who has registered or not registered the game to play. Shockingly most of my friends didn’t get CoD yet or have not played Squads mode so I couldn’t play their teams and there is no way to sort this.
That’s pretty much it but just in my opinion as a guy who doesn’t play CoD as much and some of the gamehawks, I have seen play, Squads hits that sweet spot for those who really don’t want to dive full fledged into multiplayer with others and just want to get in and get out from just a few minutes to an hour or 2.
Lastly, even if you are really ‘anti-social’, if you don’t want to play Squads, you still have the ability to play multiplayer modes where you can completely customize everything from the maps you play to the weapons loadouts and AI levels and still have a blast without ever playing against another person.
This year’s Call of Duty is one of the best at giving an experience that you can play with on your own terms.
Squad mode – 4 out of 5 stars.