The Great SBMM War- Call of Duty Cold War Alpha Impressions

No way was I writing the full title of the game.

I forgot to mention this in my last post recapping the PS5 event, but Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War got a surprise announcement at the event. The Alpha build of the multiplayer, which the pros/content creators got to play on during the big MP reveal, would be free to play for all PS4 users. Knowing myself and the majority of the CoD fan base, we all hopped on and tested the crap out of the game.

Today, we gon talk about it.

Gameplay

I don’t know if I’m feeling lazy due to it being past my bed time (9 pm hits different lately) or because it’s Call of Duty (you know what you’re getting), but I’m not going to go too much in depth with the gameplay aspects of the game. It’s been the same for the past 13 years, and to be honest, it works so why change it? I also am going to save more in depth talk for when the beta is out because there will be more to test and experience.

This is a Treyarch game, and with that comes the typical format of them trying to build upon what the previous game set in stone. Last year’s Modern Warfare brought us the really well done Gunsmith allowing you to customize your gun to your wildest dreams. Cold War expands upon that by giving us in depth stats showing how certain attachments affect your guns which MW lacked. Cold War brings us back to the Wildcard system; that crazy system where you can run up the amount of perks you have or even add more attachments to your guns.

Also since it is a Treyarch, game expect the same format of broken SMGs (screw you AK74u), that “arcadey” feel, the RC-XD is making it’s return (the greatest streak ever) and good vibes.

The biggest change made come to the Scorestreak system (which is the better system). In this game, your streak doesn’t reset meaning you can earn them without fear. You also earn multipliers for going on longer gun streaks so this system is a hybrid of the Score/Killstreak systems. That being said, to prevent spam, there are cool downs on earning streaks. On top of that, the score for streaks have been increased monumentally with earning a Chopper Gunner racking a total of 6000 points.

Impressions

Graphically speaking, I think the game looked incredible. I’ve seen some complaints saying it’s a step back from MW, but I don’t see it. I think Miami is a better looking version of Piccadilly, Moscow was a beautiful winter wonderland, and Satellite was a giant gorgeous sand bowl. I’m honestly wondering how much better it’ll look next generation.

I enjoyed my time playing this. I didn’t like Miami because it plays too much like Piccadilly, but besides that, I found this to be really enjoyable. It almost felt like playing Black Ops 1 and Black Ops 4 if they had a baby. The changes to the streak system are confusing especially when you can earn them out of order. For example, if I run a Spy Plane, Napalm Strike and Chopper Gunner, I earned the first two multiple times before I even sniffed a Chopper Gunner. Very weird.

So I loaded up the Alpha that Friday after I got out of work. Invited the boys and I hit the stream (obligatory stream plug) with some gameplay. Clips were flowing, streamers were streaming, content was contenting. Life was good, everything was good.

Until…

The biggest CoD page on Twitter went in.

My whole timeline was on fire with people copying charlieINTEL’s tweet and tweeting it as their own. Scump (professional Call of Duty player the Chicago Huntsmen) even tweeted this video of him reverse boosting to get better lobbies.

I’m going to try and keep this short, but skill based matchmaking has been on a rampant rise for quite some time. Apex Legends pretty much has it, Fortnite did/does (?), games are including it more and more. The problem here is the fact that an alpha build off a game has it.

That’s wild.

I’ve never been one to jump on this bandwagon, but I do believe it’s real especially in Call of Duty. It’s complete bull if you ask me because the reasoning for it’s implementation is to make players better and encourage growth. It’s really about making money. If all the good players are beating on the noobs then the noobs are going to quit and not spend money on the game.

Not to sound like a boomer, but growing up we got wrecked. That’s how we got better. I’m not going to shout from the rooftops that it’s real, but follow this series of my last three matches of the Alpha. I won a game then got blown out the next game on Domination with nobody on my team going positive and/or capturing the flags. After that match, we blew out the team that blew us out because my teammates were better. That might not be a good example, but picture the higher skilled players who deal with team balancing problems like Marksman every match because they’re just that much better. It’s a freaking nightmare.

It’s obnoxious and has no place in any game. If they’re that concerned about player retention make a Ranked mode or a boot camp mode, but they won’t. It’s about money at the expense of the hardcore player base.

SBMM sucks. The end.


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