OK, it seems there are different opinions on the value of Prestige Mode in Call of Duty 4.
Some folks embrace it, others just whine and call it dumb. The latter folks coincidently are either overly concerned with their stats or often times are the folks less skilled.
So basically it’s like this:
In most other First Person Shooters with online play you have a couple modes:
1) You have nothing or limited weapons. You run around the map and pick them up. Doom/Quake or Unreal tournament style. This is Old School mode in Call of Duty 4.
2) You have all the weapons and abilities that you’re ever going to have when you start the game (from an online perspective). You play, and it gets old.
Call of Duty is different in that you have to earn new weapons, and ‘Perks’ or add on. When you start you’re at Rank 1. You have available to you 3 simple weapons classes with limited weapons.
For example you have an M16 available, and it has the grenade launcher attached. No special sights. Just the standard Iron sights.
As you score points, generally by killing the enemy, you increase your rank. As you score kills with each weapon you unlock add-on for them including a red dot laser sight, to silencers, grips or even ACOG scopes.
Each weapon has milestones to unlock each of it’s add-on. Typically; 25 kills for red-dot sight, then 75 kills for a silencer, then 150 kills for the ACOG Scope. Of course there are different add-on for different weapons. An ACOG scope wouldn’t be useful on a shotgun.
In addition to weapons upgrades you score points by completing some in game challenges. They can be as simple as ‘Vandalism – Blow up x number of cars’ to killing each member of the other team at least once, etc.
As you progress you unlock more challenges.
So here’s the rub, or the fun depending on how you want to look at it.
You work your way from level 1 to level 55. By the time you get to level 55 you should have all of the perks and weapons available. Doesn’t mean you’ve upgraded each and every one though. I have yet to max out a sniper rifle, I’m just not patient enough to sit in the bushes and snipe people all day.
Each of levels brings with it an icon, from a simple Sargent strip up to 55 which is a 5 Star General.
When you get to essentially level 56 you have a choice. That is move into ‘Prestige mode’.
If you take the leap, you basically give everything back and start again from Level 1. The difference is your in game icon is now a Prestige icon for all 55 levels.
There are 10 levels to prestige:
I’m currently a Level 4 working my way up to the gold cross. (each of them is modeled after a high ranking medal of honor in one of the armies represented in the game as explained here)
There’s one more twist… For each of the weapon classes; Assault, Sub Machine Guns, Light Machine Guns, Shot Guns and Sniper Rifles…
If you complete all of the weapons challenges for each class you’re rewarded with a gold version of one of the guns. For the assault class it’s a Gold AK-47.
This in itself kinds of says your bad-ass, because completing these means you’ve scored a really high number of head-shots with each weapon. Some folks work very hard to achieve this, yet when they kick over into prestige they lose those weapons. The gold version doesn’t have any other attributes other than it’s gold.
I liken them to Chad Johnsons Gold Grill he wears when he plays. It’s all about ‘bling’ and nothing else. While it means you’ve accomplishes something, it isn’t all that.
Because it’s painful at first you’ll find a pretty large number of folks who will end up stopping at one level and staying ’55 for life’.
I think that’s kind of weak.
Make no mistake to get to the gold cross it takes a lot of work and more importantly a lot of time.
But that’s what drives the game and keeps it interesting. If you couldn’t dump and start over, the game would get routine rather quickly.
I don’t plan on stopping until I’ve gotten the gold cross.