It's that time of the year again. Another Call of Duty has hit the shelves! Hooray! It's the one game every year that is an automatic reserve for me. As soon as February or March comes around I am already looking for information concerning the next Call of Duty game. The years 2014 and 2015 are especially in my interest, first because this year was Sledgehammer Games's first year as the lead developer. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.  Let me tell you, if you have been taking a break from Call of Duty because of any previous title or have doubted the franchise's validity after the turn of the decade I highly recommend you give the game a try. The people at Sledgehammer Games did a fantastic job at giving Call of Duty's plunge into "war in the future" a breath of fresh air into its corroding bones. Basically, it takes the best of all the more recent Call of Duty games and packs it into one. AW has revamped Black Ops II's "pick" system and added muscle and skin to Ghost's skeletal character customization. Call of Duty's name-brand Perks system have become plausible via the use of the Exo. In other words, now, the suit is what is making your character run faster, reload faster, and aim faster... Sorry. This was not intended to be a review. I digress.

The year of 2015 intrigues me because no one is really sure what Treyarch is going to do. Will they be making Black Ops 3 or will they return to their tried and true historic aspect? You know. The whole reason the franchise is entitled Call of Duty. The call to service that could not be ignored during the world's most desperate times on the shores of Normandy and Germany as well as the controversial fronts of Vietnam. Personally, I hope they go back to the World War II era. We haven't seen Call of Duty go neither historic since Black Ops in 2010, nor World War II since World at War in 2008 which was a spectacular entry campaign-wise and multiplayer-wise. Not to mention, the then-brand new Nazi Zombies mode. Seeing something World War II related from Treyarch on the new generation of consoles would certainly be a sight to see.

Please excuse my rabbit trail...

ANYWAY, back to the topic at hand. As you saw through that whole tangent I certainly am a Call of Duty fan. Notice how I not even once called out people who dislike the franchise or broke the use of legible English. I believe there are decent and intelligible people with wide varieties of video game tastes such as myself out there that love to play Call of Duty. There's nothing wrong with enjoying Call of Duty. What concerns me is that there are people out there who believe that all who play Call of Duty either are in their late twenties who live in their parent's basements, are little kids, don't have a mind of their own, camp in corners all the time, troll, and are always yelling and swearing at the top of their lungs at people they don't even know.

Although there are people like this that do exist they do not represent all who play the game, hence, my belief that there are two different Call of Duty communities that exist. I could divide it between those who play all of what Call of Duty has to offer and those who just play multiplayer, but I will not. That's a bit too easy to pick at. Instead, I am going to break it down in a multiplayer-only focused analysis.

Those who play Core mode and those who play Hardcore mode.

When I was younger Hardcore mode terrified me. The lack of HUD, the constant silence during a match, and getting killed instantly was all but enjoyable and bearable for me. I dabbled a little in Black Ops II then started playing it more during my short career in Ghosts (and I mean SHORT). It was not until Advanced Warfare I realized how much better the game was in Hardcore-land. Ironically, all the aspects of it that terrified me before are all the reasons I love it, prefer it, and now play it exclusively.

When I first played Hardcore mode I felt so...naked.

The lack of a mini-map allows the player keep his eyes fixated on the battlefield without the distractions. The mini-map and UAV become a true strategical advantage over the other team as they still lack a mini-map. Knowing where your enemy is then hunting them down and eliminating them has never felt so good.

Next, we have much more fragile lives. The average hardcore soldier can absorb three rounds of bullets from a lower powered weapon. Headshots with any gun is an instant kill as well as a well placed shot to the torso. Higher-powered weapons can kill i two or one shot, specifically a shotgun round or the high-powered RM1 pistol. This aspect of Hardcore mode allows the guns in the game to reflect their stats realistically. These realistic stats reward those with the faster reflexes as well as those who shoot first. Basically, if you shoot first 99% of the time you will get the kill without your enemy getting a chance to do some fluke maneuver and get that lucky headshot on you.

The speed involved in Advanced Warfare is uncanny. So much so that there is no ricochet penalty for accidentally killing your own teammate in Hardcore mode. Reflexes tell us to shoot when someone randomly drops in front of us via an Exo jump or comes speeding around the corner. Trust me. killing your own teammate is much more commonplace than in past Call of Duty titles.

Finally, we have the people who play Hardcore mode. You know, the guys that make up the Hardcore community. Not once have I heard the voice of a chill squeak from a microphone. Neither have I heard someone curse someone out over a match, nor yell like a mad man. Just last night after each match I played people were actually saying "good game" to one another rather than attempting wring out each others necks through their microphones. Even players who did terribly conducted themselves as a human being should; respectfully. The Hardcore community is home to my now when I traverse the Call of Duty servers for these reasons. While things like slight lag that acts in favor of the other players from time to time this is more of a game issue rather than a community issue. Something like lag is frustrating (especially when that is truly what happened despite people blaming it all the time).

Granted, even Hardcore mode has its small handful of people who ruin the experience, but overall Hardcore is the place to go if you want to get away from what seems to be the stereotype of Call of Duty players that is Core mode. My guess as to why Hardcore mode seems to be more mature would be its implication that it is much harder to participate in hence why casual players and, frankly, the annoying players stay away. I

In conclusion, I do not mean to bash you if you are one that participates in Core mode. If you are one who composes yourself as a decent human being in the midst of those who simply are not, then good on you. What do you think? Do you think the Call of Duty Community stereotype stands for the whole or only a certain half?