I posted this on the PS3 board and I'm posting here, too, because I'm interested to see what people say:
After finding myself somehow on the board for a game I don't own that's on a system I don't own, defending CoD, it made me wonder why I play the games still.
I know it's not for the single player, although I have gone through all of them on veteran, whether it was Xbox 360 or PS3. The single player is filled with over-the-top scripted events, and over-abundance of unnecessary slow-motion scenes and a below average story (Specifically lately; WWII I believe is the greatest story in mankind's history [no, I don't believe it was made up], so it's hard to go wrong, story-wise earlier in the series). Basically, what I would normally look for in a single player game (Story, atmosphere, engaging characters, character depth and back story) are completely absent.
Over the years, the control scheme that FPS have adopted as default is taken for granted but really it has been butchered by many other developers. Call of Duty does it right, plain and simple. The controls in Call of Duty are like second nature and they are lightning quick responsive; they don't feel too floaty or too stiff. There is an "ease of access" element to the Call of Duty series and I think it begins with the controls.
It goes without saying that Call of Duty is bought by millions upon millions of players for the sole purpose of going online and shooting other people, be they friend or random. What keeps people coming back for more, why is CoD so addictive? I return to the "ease of access" I mentioned in the paragraph before: everything about multiplayer is designed around giving the broadest set of people an engaging experience that is easy to jump right into and feel like you're doing well. Whether you are a newb or you have been playing shooters since Wolfenstein, there is something that is going to appeal to you. The weapons (with the exception of a few each game) are simple, easy to use (or easy to figure out); the maps compliment each weapon and weapon type and simultaneously compliment every kind of player: There are sniper perches, there are plenty of corners to camp, close quarters areas for shotgunners and SMG users and there are mid-range sections for LMG and Assault Rifles.
On top of that, each successive title has seen an advancement in customization options for loadouts allowing for all players to create their own classes to fit their exact play-style. Multiple weapon types with multiple weapons in each category, accessories for each weapons, plenty of lethal and non-lethal equipment, perks and scorestreaks, and dozens of game modes. The level system, currency system (Currency or unlock tokens) keep a sense of progression that appeals to pretty much all gamers (Come on, how many of you haven't played other games and said "Well, I just need to gain one more level to unlock X skill" or something similar and then spent another 3 or 4 hours playing, saying the same thing every half hour). It's actually pretty ingeniously designed, balanced and implemented.
So, even with all the things Call of Duty does well, the most out spoken people on the internet are detractors... but detractors who actually still play the game, in spite of their apparent hate for the game and series. X weapon is over-powered, Y attachment is for n00bs, Z equipment takes no skill to use. The lag is the reason I lose and the reason you do well. No one has ever died due to a lapse in concentration, a bad decision on their own part or just because someone is a better player; no, it's always ****ing bull****, it's always cheap, someone is always camping.
So..... why do you play? I'm actually looking for legit responses in this thread but I'm not holding my breath in expectation of finding them --- R.I.P. Dad, you are my hero and I will always love you 4/18/1948 - 10/22/2011