There’s an annoying cross section of CoD fanatics who incessantly drone on about Hardcore Mode being the ultimate Call of Duty experience. If you’re even tangentially familiar with the franchise, you’ve undoubtedly run across a few of these assholes. For them, Hardcore Mode is “the mode for people with skill” and “not for pantywaist dickbags.” And even though these are well-reasoned and thoughtful arguments, they don’t change the fact that Hardcore Mode is only played by talentless morons.
Now, before you start flooding the comments section with the standard stream of self-important Internet hissy fits, lets all take a little time to discuss this like gentlemen. Or, at the very least, let me make my case and then you can make up clever, genital-based nicknames for me in the comments.
See, Hardcore Mode fundamentally alters the Call of Duty experience. It rearranges the gameplay on an atomic level, and not in a positive way. By shaving 30% off of the player’s health, you’re effectively increasing the firepower of every gun well past its precarious balance point. In essence, every single gun, save a select few, deals the same amount of damage per bullet, which sort of defeats the purpose of having a so many choices.
Last summer I got the chance to sit down with Mark Rubin, the Executive Producer on Modern Warfare 3, at Call of Duty: XP. Obviously, MW3 hadn’t hit the market yet and they were working out a few of the bugs, but one of the things that Rubin was most proud of was the balanced gunplay. Infinity Ward spent hundreds of hours tweaking and testing each gun to make sure that none of them offered any type of major advantage. Hardcore Mode disregards all of this intricate complexity and replaces it with a sledgehammer.
Also, have you ever noticed that everyone who plays Hardcore Mode is forced to equip blind eye? It’s a necessity when everyone in the game is constantly hiding. This means that Recon, Sleight of Hand, Extreme Conditioning, and Scavenger are rendered entirely useless. Not to mention motion sensors and jammers.
As far as I can tell, Hardcore Players simply hate options.
During our interview, Rubin also explained that explosives had been toned down in favor of a fast-paced, gun-centric style of play that was a refinement of the MW2 thought process. They wanted to focus the gameplay on the gun battles rather than grenade attachments and claymores. These upgrades are incredibly effective in the standard mode, but I guess Hardcore players are unable to get kills in a standard gun fight.
So, just to recap, lets examine the type of player who enjoys hardcore mode:
- Incapable of going on the offensive.
- Relies on grenade attachments and hidden explosives.
- Can’t survive a gunfight that lasts more than a few shots.
- Doesn’t know how to customize their weaponry past equipping Blind Eye and adding a silencer.
- Typically spends the entire game hiding.
Yup. Sounds like all of the talented players prefer Hardcore Mode.
Actually, I might argue that a love of Hardcore Mode means that you actively dislike Call of Duty, because it circumvents the game’s central thesis: fast-paced gun battles.
Can you name a game that’s swarming with deliberate, methodical gameplay? I can: Battlefield 3. You should probably check it out; it might be your new favorite game.
Now, before you accuse me of not understanding Hardcore Mode’s superiority and tossing around phrases like “free country” and “give me your address” let me say this: I have no problem with sneaky, tactics based-games, but CoD isn’t one of those games. I enjoyed Splinter Cell as much as the next guy, but I don’t play Call of Duty to relive all of my favorite sneaky Splinter Cell moments in an FPS setting. Plus, shaving 30% off of player health doesn’t turn a fast-paced, gun-centric game into a tactical shooter.
One time I used a spoon to eat a steak, but that doesn’t mean it was the right tool for the job.