Infinity Ward vs. Treyarch: Round 2: MW2 vs. Black Ops

LET’S GET READY TO RUMBLEEEEEEE!!!! Excuse me. I had to. This is Infinity Ward vs. Treyarch Round 2. The next two games to battle are Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops. At the end of this post there is a poll for you to choose which game is better. When all Rounds are finished, the total amount of votes for Treyarch games and Infinity Ward games will be totaled and compared. Whoever has more votes at the end of all of the Rounds is obviously the victor. My vote counts as one vote just as everyone else’s does.


The three things we will be comparing with these two game are campaign, multiplayer, and innovations.

Let’s start with Modern Warfare 2. This game is the most loved and most hated Call of Duty game that has been created. There is no doubt about that. It contains Call of Duty’s highest highs and lowest lows. Let’s start with the campaign. The campaign features a variety of locations, most of which are bright and very visually appearing. Throughout the campaign, there are a ton of cinematic moments and visually stunning locations.

Badass characters are back, expanding the Call of Duty universe with some new characters as well as bringing back some familiar ones. The story actually attempts to take twists and turns, which spices up the story for sure. There is a controversial mission as well, which involves you massacring innocent people at an airport. Infinity Ward handled this scene maturely, however. It describes before you even begin the game that there is a mission with disturbing content. If you choose to skip it, it will not restrict you from getting any kind of experience or achievements. I think that Infinity Ward made a responsible decision by giving that warning very clearly.

Over all, the campaign, though extremely short, was extremely fun and visually appealing. After long thought, I have come to a conclusion as to how to describe the multiplayer. See, the game is so broken. The killstreaks are overpowered, spawn trapping is a common occurance, and explosives are too powerful for the game to be fair. But Modern Warfare 2 is so fun that I find it hard to care. Here’s the deal. The game has flaws. Lots of them. Infinity Ward did a poor job with repairing glitches, nerfing guns, and maintaining the game. It took them months at a time to fix the game. Even until this day, Danger Close, One Man Army, Commando, and many other perks, guns, and killstreaks are overpowered. Still, this game’s multiplayer is too fun. It is basically a guilty pleasure. Sniping is a blast, creating tank classes is always fun, and building killstreaks to a Pavelow is the best feeling. The maps are all chaotic, but they are, in my opinion, the best of the Call of Duty series.

The LIVE gameplay felt very sandboxy and disproportionate. It didn’t seem like a multiplayer experience from the top-dog shooter. Instead, it felt more like a modded PC game. I greatly enjoyed and still enjoy MW2’s multiplayer. Even though Infinity Ward did not do a great job with balancing it, people still manage to enjoy the multiplayer, even though there are times where raging is imminent. Somehow, I am alright with that, because the maps are great, the weapons all feel smooth, and everything is powerful, so kills and killstreaks are frequent.

The innovation that MW2 made to the Call of Duty series is Spec Ops. In this mode, a variety of stealth, action, elimination, and co-op challenges are presented. A great variety of missions are available to be played, and they are all short and sweet. They vary in difficulty, but they are all manageable. Playing Spec Ops with a friend is a blast as well. They are basically fun little mini-missions that call for more killing on your part.

And now for Black Ops. This game took place in the Cold War era. The campaign was set up in a simple yet creative way. A man named Mason is being interrogated about numbers. As he tries to recall these numbers, he is asked questions. His memories and answers to the interrogator’s questions are what we play. We play his flashbacks. The campaign, to me, was complete overkill. Action is plentiful in shooters, I understand, but there was explosion after explosion, and you start to wonder when you can have a second to breath. See, Modern Warfare 2 had many cinematic moments. They felt like well timed climaxes in the story. In Black Ops, however, there are relentless explosions, people yelling at you the whole time, and constant screen shaking.

But this campaign does excel in terms of the storytelling. There is a twist at the end of the campaign that calls for a second playthrough. Also, there seemed to be a real story. You often captured, things don’t always go well, and there are some very cool missions thrown in the mix, some featuring some famous historical figures.

I feel like this game focused more on story than on gameplay. So the story was great, but the constant action became overwhelming at times.

Now for the multiplayer. It was very well balanced and contained some very well structured maps. Some guns were absolutely incredible, and Nuketown was an absolute blast. I had some really fun times in Black Ops multiplayer. But there was a problem: The COD points system. I greatly admire Treyarch’s boldness, as they added something completely new to the game, but it did not work. I would play the objective, get a lot of kills, go on a nice killstreak tear, and still not get rewarded well. The COD point system was flawed, and that is what ultimately deducted from the Black Ops experience. Another issue with the points is that it limits your experimental ability. Without COD points, you can select guns to see which one best suits you. Unfortunately, these points cause you to restrict your choices and limit your expansion. You end up purchasing a select few guns, making the same guns showing up over and over very common.

Plus, it contained far too many snowy maps. The gloomy, cold atmosphere grew boring after a while. Over all, the multiplayer was great, and I will not discount it, because it was very balanced and well maintained. But the COD point system did not reward me when I felt that I deserved to be rewarded, and so the multiplayer did not come out as polished as it could have been.

Lastly, the innovations of Black Ops. There are two main ones: Wager Matches and Zombies. Wager Matches had you wager COD points before the match started. You were essentially betting on game modes that revolved around fast reflexes and, occasionally, luck. Remember Sticks and Stones?

Wager Matches added a competitive element to the game, and were all very diverse, which allowed for some great experiences. The gambling aspect actually worked. Wager Matches is the only thing that implemented COD points well. Wager Matches are an innovation because they will be returning in Black Ops 2, and MW3 replicated the idea. (Not well, however)

And Zombies. We already established that it is an innovation. How can it be an innovation again? Well, Treyarch stepped it up a notch. The maps were more grand, the ideas were bigger, and there were some great additions to Zombies lore and gameplay. The map Five is a great representation of the creativity of Treyarch. They took four historical figures and had them be the main protagonists of the map.

When you put JFK, his secretary of defense, Fidel Castro, and Richard Nixon together to kick zombie ass, you know that there is some real creativity floating around Treyarch. They stepped up Zombies, and I still enjoy playing it.

So, we have talked. MW2 had a cinematic, gorgeous-looking campaign. Black Ops’ campaign, though strong in the story-telling department, lacked in depth. There were too many explosions and too much action than was needed. Blowing things up does not make a great campaign. MW2 had the better campaign.

As for the multiplayer, MW2 was terribly maintained and very unbalanced. Black Ops, however, was very fair and very well maintained. Still, Modern Warfare 2 contained more fun to be had, and it is, in my eyes, the game that had the better multiplayer.

As for the innovations, Treyarch takes the cake. The Zombies universe was expanded upon greatly, and Wager Matches were a great addition that worked. Though Spec Ops is very fun, how long can you repeat missions for? Zombies and Wager Matches are both unpredictable, with a limitless amount of outcomes and possibilities.

But now it’s your turn to vote. Who won this round?

My vote goes to Modern Warfare 2. It contained an thrilling campaign, engaging multiplayer, and absorbing Spec Ops. The maps were great, and it is a very fun installment to the Call of Duty franchise. Despite its obvious flaws and balancing issues, it still manages to be a very entertaining game.

Soon, we will begin Round 3. Be sure to cast your vote on the better game. Once all of the polling is done, I will combine the votes of all games and allocate them to their developers. The developer with the most votes wins. Thanks for reading!



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