It was back in the 1980's that I spent any appreciable time playing computer games. Loved playing Digger, Pipe Dreams, Tetris, Scorched Earth and others with my boys on the IBM 386 and the Packard Bell. Today, the games that are available are quite amazing. When I visit the boys, I enjoy watching them play World of Warcraft and Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2. Quite a rich environment, and I am actually quite entertained watching them play. To some it may just look like mayhem, but there are some interesting strategies that go into being successful with these war games. Of course quick responses and being able to manage the controls is also a big factor.
On occasion, I would give the controls a try, with very dismal results. Just to many buttons. The control unit of the X-Box 360 has two joysticks, (one for each thumb), two triggers, (one for each index finger), two paddles also operated by the index fingers, four buttons operated by whatever digit is available, on the right hand, and a directional pad to be operated by the left hand. Talk about some multi-tasking.
Each of these controls have a specific function. Triggers for firing weapons or for zooming in on a target. Paddles for throwing grenades and flash bangs. Buttons for reloading, and for determining body position. Joy sticks for determining direction and speed of movement as well as determining the direction you are looking.
Now work all of these in tandem while trying to negotiate through the rich and massive maps, trying to achieve a specific goal, while at the same time, there are other players out there trying to send you to oblivion.
Not sure what has gotten into me to think I might be able to play these environments. But I have purchased an X-Box 360 and the Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 game, and have started what will be an obviously very slow process in trying to learn to play in this exciting new environment.
I have been playing for about a month without going live on-line. That means I am playing against the computer. So far I have finished the "Campaign" on the easiest setting. I would get stuck in some step preventing me from moving ahead any further, and a phone call to one of the boys would usually get me a hint as to what I needed to do, to get past the trouble spot. Working on the "Special Ops" and finished all of the Alpha level on the easiest level. Bravo gets much harder and I have finished only a couple of those.
So last weekend, I visit the boys and I take my 360 up to see about going on-line so that I can play against other real people out on the Internet. Very quickly, I have discovered that the computer was being very kind to me with the previous Campaign and Special Ops. I could take multiple hits, and would survive. Going live, against real people, I quickly discover that these kids are much quicker than me, and just one shot can send you to oblivion. I have performed at a very miserable level. Daniel is encouraging me, but the oldest boy, Justin says I run around like a chicken.
Like anything, whether it be playing any game or sport or driving a car, practice is the only way to improve. I will give this a go for a few months, and if I do not start seeing appreciable improvement in my skills, I will be putting the game system up for sale.
Just not sure if this "Old Dog" is up to learning this "New Trick"....
I will give you an update in a few months.