Well, multiplayer cannot be saved in my opinion, but campaign sure can.
First, the small things. Whoever is doing their music needs a swift slap up their face and kicked to the street, he isn't doing his job right. Get a new guy. I don't care where, but have him show some demos, and if they're up to -blam!- Marty-O-Donnel par, then welcome aboard.
Next, new gun designs. We're in the future now, right? Well stop making already existing guns look futuristic, and instead, just actually make some new concepts for weapons. Think outside the box. Not a Neo-M16, but a Gravity Gun. (Not saying rip off the GG, but, you know) This also applies to grenades.
Ok but now let's focus on the real bad boys. All the tropes that come with a COD campaign need to get their dick crunched by a steel toed boot. Let's start with um... erm.. health. Health needs a complete redo. No more get shot, hide behind cover, suck your thumb, regenerate health, rinse and repeat. Bother that nonsense. Instead, bring in the doom style health system. That's right, start with the big 100, or maybe have like 10 bars of health, or have, whatever, have a health system that [b]does not regenerate[/b], but requires [b]first aid kits[/b] to gather health back. You could even go as far as to also take the Doom armor system or some variation of. Pick up a helmet off a dead soldier, 25+ armor, idk.
Now we're getting good, but we aren't finished turning these unsalted peanuts into a lobster dinner just yet. Next up is redoing the horrid level design. By god, the insurmountable amount of linear paths boggles my mind. Levels need to get creative and involve multiple paths. Not only such, but even should have light puzzle elements. Not necessarily making you solve a puzzle to get by, but maybe, say, exploding a crane that will drop whatever it's holding onto a group of enemies. I know it sort of does this already, but not enough of it. And hell, why not make puzzles that should be solved to get through? They could also be light, like having to shoot an exploding barrel that will set a rope on fire that burns down the door to let you through. But the bottom line is that there needs to be more than one -blam!- path.
Now, this goes hand in hand with the before. I cannot say this enough, and if anything gets through, it's this. STOP. THE. MOTHER. -blam!-. COMMANDS. When there's spotlights shining through, we do NOT need our partner to shout at the top of his longs to avoid the spot lights. We do NOT need our partner to tell us to get down when there is a -blam!- tank driving near us. We do NOT need our partner to tell us to stay quiet when we are HIDING FROM THE ENEMIES ALREADY AS HAS BEEN DECLARED AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MISSION. Teammates need to keep their goddamned mouths shut. They can speak for characterization, or say things like RELOADING, but I swear to god if they even go as far as to [b]suggest[/b] I take out the guy on the roof, balls are getting tapped. With a brick. A really dirty one.
Ah, see, we've dissected the pig and we're ripping out it's organs, BUT, we're replacing them with better, stronger, robotic parts. We HAVE the technology. Let's not stop yet. A big issue comes down to enemies. They aren't varied worth a -blam!-. You've got the military guys with red berets, and the military guy with green berets, and sometimes, once on a lucky moon, you get a military guy with blue berets. The all stand there retardedly and shoot, occasionally ducking, sometimes jacking their partner, but overall, just being human. So why don't we make an effort to make the enemies varied? I'm not talking about introducing freaking aliens or mutants or something, but why not different, unique strands of the military? Ok, say we have our standard army dude with a gun of his choice. Now, let's throw assassins into the mix, similar to the black ops of Half Life. They can be sneaky and use the knife primarily. Now let's throw Juggernauts into the mix. They've been there before, for, uh, um, one mission? Have them as regular as a Hunter in Halo. Let's think even more outside the box. Have special marines that only use pistols but they build up barricades for themselves. They'd be fast too, so it'd be a bit of trouble to take 'em out. And hell, while we're at it, let's throw kamikaze guys regularly. Shoot 'em and detonate 'em before they explode on Y-U-O. I misspelled that. The point is, the possibilities for variation are endless. Variation is NOT different beret types. While we're on that, make sure to give each of these varied enemies color and outfit differences. We don't want all these cool and different enemies to still have the same hair style, do we?
I almost wouldn't mention vehicles because after playing Black Ops 2, I am pleasantly surprised that vehicles had a lot of action in the campaign. By god was it fun as hell to drive that car through the highway, or more importantly, lead a horse on a desperate struggle. But I mention this because the vehicle sections are [b]forced sections[/b]. I don't like that and neither should you. It should almost always (I'm excluding escape scenes and other actual plot specific parts) be optional to go on foot or hop on the APC. Makes for re playability to have it set up this way, and more importantly, gives the player a lot more control.
Not even close to being done. That's a lie, we are close. But not done. Characters and the story need a scientifically approved amount: -blam!-ON of improvement. Black Ops 2 had me laughing so hard because there were so many goddamned betrayals it just got silly. You got to the point where everybody you would meet would betray you at some point. It's ridiculous and makes the player not want to care about anyone, and that's bad for character development. There should be more personal dialogue that extends the characteristics of one. I'm not saying in the middle of a firefight we should have Mason tell us he snuggles with Hello Kitty dolls every Thursday, but by god, I want to be able to tell a character is terrified, or amused, or has conflicting feelings, or just, SOMETHING. I mention story beside my existing argument for characters because I literally have no idea what could be done to fix it. There's little you can do, and I sort of appreciate the story of Black Ops 1 a teensy bit. At this point, the best I can do is shrug.
Cutscenes. Cutscenes, cutscenes, cutscenes. I'm so goddamned sick of cutscenes. When it gets to the point where you take 20 steps and have a cutscene, then take another 20 steps forward and have another cutscene, and then take ANOTHER 20 STEPS FORWARD AND HAVE A CUTSCENE, it gets aggravating. Yes, when I plunge into the water, I don't need an automatic swim for me, just give me controller options to swim. Yes, when an explosion happens, I don't need to have to fall down and do the jazz hands maneuver for the fifth time. Yes, when a vehicle is falling, I don't need my controller to be taken away from me because I can very well use the A button just very -blam!- fine. It's just repulsive how much the game assumes you can't do on your own and initiates a beautifully rendered cutscene of you staring at a dude's mustache. Forget the game and just make a goddamn movie if this is how it has to be done.
Oh lordy Lucifer I've typed over 7000 words. There's just so much more that can be done to the Campaign that could make it playable, creative, and... Dare I say it... [I]enjoyable.[/I] Consider and think about what I've just thrown up onto my keyboard, and let me know you're agreeable or conflicting thoughts.
[Edited on 01.05.2013 7:15 PM PST]