First things first, I'm a terrible multiplayer. Which is not, necessarily, to say that I'm a terrible gamer. In fact, I can fire and frag my way through many an FPS on the highest difficulty setting and not count myself embarrassed by game's end. Nazis, zombies - name your target - and I'm willing and able to put a bullet through any of its pixilated appendages. That said, should you jump online some random evening - M-16 firmly in hand, grenades dangling dangerously from your belt - and notice your team's score overall dropping significantly, then it's probably a good bet that my gut-shot Gamertag is somewhere on your roster, forcefully taking every one of you sorry bastards down with me.
So it was with my typical suicide smile that I logged onto a multiplayer game of the upcoming, visually-stunning Call of Duty 4 and watched as my hopeful comrades - their names hovering gleefully in green above their soon-to-be-low-scoring heads - ran off into the bombed-out buildings of "Vacant," completely unaware of the unintentional traitor in their midst.
Being the sniper that I am (read: "frag-fearing, fraidy-cat"), I immediately executed my timeless strategy of awkwardly zigg-zagging around the map, randomly pressing buttons before someone can shoot me directly in the face - which they manage to do roundabout the time that I've gotten around to what I believe was the right or left bumper. Here, for those of you who may be interested, is a word-for-word transcription of my internal monologue upon respawning:
...of a bitch! Where did that guy COME from? Ok, at least I know that the right bumper throws grena -
Dammit! Who the hell just shot me? That wasn't fair, I just respa -
Jesus! Alright, I see my team. There's safety in numbers, but I'm gonna try this flanking thing instead and just make my way right around this cor -
Really? Again?...Alright, just breathe Head into this room. I don't think there's anybody in here, but I'm going to throw a grenade anyway - just, you know, for the hell of it Oh, cool, complicated physics. But, you know, in retrospect, that probably wasn't so smart because now they'll know where I'm hid -
Yeah, not smart. Save the grenades for when you actually see people Like THOSE guys!...Oh, damn, those are MY guys! Sorry!
Was that FragFest76 who just called me a "motherf*@ker" or was it that other guy? Cuz FragFest is totally on my team
I'm just gonna hang back here for awhile where nobody seems to be and try to get off a good sniper sh -
Okay, there's a sniper somewhere sniping at me trying to be a sniper. Sweet irony! I think he's somewhere over here WAIT, THERE HE -
Damn, that guy's fast I'll just...Whoa! That dude totally doesn't know I'm right behind him Switch to my handgun BAM BAM BAM BAM Wait, what's happening!? I keep shooting and he won't die He should be dead And now he's shooting at ME And now I'M dea -
The hell was that? I totally had that guy. This is bullsh -
ARGH!!! This is nuts, but at least I'm safe behind this wall If I can't get a kill, at least I can hide until this is all over In video games, nobody can shoot you through a -
Okay, they can shoot through walls in this game. Who the hell thought of THAT!?
And so it went for 15 excruciating minutes as I single-handedly lead my team to what may very well have been a negative-score defeat. And as I stepped back into the shadows - trying not to involve myself in the group's ongoing attempt to figure out my Gamertag's real-life identity - I came away certain of two things. First, that Call of Duty 4 is a gorgeous, smooth, action-packed, feature-rich kill-fest ready to rock your console this holiday season. And second, that I should never, ever play it online.
So should you ever see me in the lobby of a match - do yourself a favor and let the other team have me. It'll damn near ensure you a victory.
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