A long time ago, 8 years to put a number on it, I was confident in being one of the best players at any First Person Shooter game in my circle of friends. Modern Warfare 2 had confirmed my beliefs, and playing with the group I had online I was always near the upper tiers of the leaderboards if not the top player.
Years passed, and the time I spent on Call of Duty and Battlefield became a fraction of what it used to be. I’d still have the occasional moment, an odd game here or there where I reminded myself of the 46 killstreak legend I was. That was in a team deathmatch, for those of you who aren’t familiar, it’s the first team to 75 kills, and I got 46 in one life, a feat on par with the ’66 world cup winning team.
My lack of playtime has led to me growing inconsistent and at times woefully bad at this type of game. Last year I began play Rainbow Six Siege. It’s a great game, the kind of game I thought might reignite my love for the genre, and playing with mates who are very good at it I thought I’d be able to get back to being a great player.
However, it didn’t happen on Siege. As my squad mates will testify, I’m borderline useless at the game. I use the same guns, and the same eyes I used years ago on Modern Warfare 2 but nothing seems to work. I figured it was just the dearth of meaningful practice over the last few years that had caused my 3pic Skillz to wane.
Then last week everything changed, and I realised that it was not me, I had not lost my skills, it was Siege.
Last week Modern Warfare 2 was brought to Xbox One in all its former glory, and I dutifully redownloaded it and booted it up. Dropping into the Spec ops levels (a great feature that’s not in the new call of duty) and the campaign (also not in the new edition) it felt like the first drive in an old car that hadn’t run for years.
Cobwebs cleared, I headed into the multiplayer. First game, first life, the level known as “High-rise”. Without even thinking, I ran to the corner of the desk in front of the spawn location, and fire a few bullets straight through the gap in the wall at the rival teams spawn and got a hit marker. No kills yet, but that muscle memory was there. I moved my character to the corner of the wall outside and let off a noob tube (grenade launcher) down the right hand corridor of the map. It hit, and my first kill of my rebirth into call of duty was already here.
Now the rest of this game I got battered, but over the next few, I started to feel in control and confident again. A couple of hours later, I got 27 kills and 4 deaths, a brilliant feeling, but one that pushed me towards writing this rather pointless story.
The next night, I returned to Siege with my mate, and like clockwork, got absolutely destroyed with regularity. We won the match (cheers for carrying me Andy) but my contribution was just one measly kill. I’ve been playing the controversial Battlefront 2 lately as well, and faring equally poorly. Yet without doubt every time I return to Modern Warfare 2, I’m back to being video game Rambo.
The conclusion can only be one thing, it’s not me, it’s you, modern First person shooter. You’re all the problem.