Call of Duty Elite has started rolling out beta invites to more and more people and I was lucky enough to snag one last week and play around with it. I’m sure you’ve seen the videos I’ve posted here and read enough about it to have some idea of what it is, but for those that haven’t here’s a quick overview. Basically Call of Duty Elite is what Bungie has been doing with Halo for years now. It’s a website that displays all sorts of stats, tips, strategies, maps, etc. You can track and group up with friends and other players as well as compete in contests for virtual badges as well as real-world prizes. It’s basically a big community based around the Call of Duty games. So far everything that is available to us in the beta is part of the “free” service that everyone will have access to. I know there were rumors that you wouldn’t get access to some of these stats and things if you didn’t pay, but that’s wrong. As far as I understand if you have a paid account you will receive all of the map packs for MW3 as well as exclusive video content that will be available in the future. So all of the videos and things you’ve seen online right now are all totally free to those of you that sign up. So with that cleared up, let’s talk about what exactly this thing gives you.
The stats section is kind of cool, but I don’t feel like it gives you enough stats. It’s been awhile since I’ve checked out Bungie’s version for Halo, but I remember there being a ridiculous amount of stats and such that you could look at so compared to that, I feel like “Elite” falls a little flat. I’m not talking so much about stats for each gun and such (although that would be cool), but more so the stats for each match. I wish I could see the number of defends, kills, assists, captures, deaths, kills with each weapon, etc for each match instead of the basic amount of stats that they give you right now. I don’t know if maybe the logic wasn’t built into Black Ops in time or what, but there seem to be a lot of stats lacking as far as recent matches go.
The Connect tab is kind of lacking as well. I like the idea of “groups”, but there’s no way to search for different groups or advertise your group or really do anything other than compare certain stats with the group. I see the “Clan” section is coming soon so I hope there is more going on in that section when it’s made available because right now the groups are lacking.
Compete is probably my favorite part of “elite”, but I can’t help thinking that it’s nearly impossible to monitor everyone out there for cheating, especially when there are real world prizes involved. What’s to stop someone from partying up with 6-12 people and working together to get the most defends, or the most flag captures over and over again? I understand that they claim they are monitoring people for cheating, etc, but how? How can they possibly monitor that many people? The way I look at it is that I’ll never be able to win one of the real world prizes because there are just some people that have way too much time on their hands, but I am a badge whore so I’ll continue to build up as many pointless badges as I can. I honestly think a better way to do it would be for “x” amount of (whatever that competition’s objective is) you get an entry into a drawing, then winners are chosen at random based on those people and the real world prizes are given away that way. While there will still be cheaters and such it would still give the people with lesser time at least a shot at winning the real prize and it would still reward those that play for 24 hours straight with a greater chance of winning since they’d have more entries into the “drawing”. And on top of it, the person with the most “points” would get a special “Champion” badge of some sort on their profile to indicate that they indeed won the whole thing. I don’t know, I really like the idea of the competitions, I’ve actually found it forces me to play different game modes as well as play the game differently which is a nice change of pace, but I feel like it favors the people with the most time rather than the most skill. I look forward to continuing to play in these, but I really hope they re-think the whole thing.
Improve doesn’t really interest me, but it is kind of cool. You get overhead shots of all the maps as well as the locations for certain objectives in different game modes, information on the guns and things of that nature. I think this is where some of the exclusive paid content is going to go in terms of hints and secret spots, or maybe better vantage points in certain game modes, etc, but for now it’s just small map images and gun information, nothing useful to me at all.
I think Elite is a cool idea, but I think it needs some work. As far as the pay option goes, if it’s at least equal to the price of all the map packs that Infinity Ward plans on releasing, I’ll pay for it, but if it doesn’t cover the costs of those I will definitely not be paying for it. I don’t need exclusive Call of Duty videos or whatever that will no doubt be ripped to the internet seconds after they appear on Elite anyways. So if you’re in the beta now for Elite, what do you think so far? Will you pay for the exclusive content when it’s released or are you kind of ‘meh’ about the whole thing? Let us know in the comments, I’m really curious to see how everyone else is viewing this thing….