Keeping an ear to the ground and listening out for specific audio cues separates the casual players from the pros who use every element to their advantage. Call of Duty is one franchise that rewards these types of players – players who are able to juggle hand-eye coordination, communication, and strategy, with the ability to recognize game-specific cues. Something as simple as footsteps is enough information for some to be able to accurately locate their enemy.
One topic that has recently resurfaced, and continues to spark debate, is whether the bomb in Search and Destroy should have plant and defuse sound effects. Both sides of the debate argue fiercely for their position, with a lot of well thought-out points being made for and against the addition.
The release of Call of Duty: WWII is rapidly approaching, along with a whole new season of tournaments and events. Now is the perfect time to reignite the debate and talk about the pros and cons of adding audio cues to the bomb in Search and Destroy.
Call of Duty has always rewarded those players who have a keen ear and who are willing to learn the different sounds in the environment. When using a gaming headset like the Elite Pro, with its Tactical Audio Controller, players are able to precisely locate their enemies within the arena.
Some of the points players have raised against adding sound is that it would drastically alter the meta and strategies already in place in Call of Duty. Part of the appeal of having no sound associated with the bomb plants and defuses is that it creates intense moments where a player is able to sneak in and arm (or defuse) a bomb without the enemy knowing.
Adding audio cues would ultimately prevent these “sneaky” assaults, which removes a part of the excitement that comes with avoiding enemy contact. Having no audio also means that players need to rely on their own skills to cover the sites and communicate with their teammates. Instead of a sound giving away the fact an enemy is planting or defusing the bomb, players need to remember to check the bomb sites.
On the flip side of the argument lies those who want the bomb to have some audio cues. There are those who think the bomb should have audio cues only when it’s being armed, only when it’s being disarmed, and both. The prevailing idea behind this is that it adds another dimension of strategy to the mix, as well as risk-reward.
Players need to be aware that they will make noises when attempting to claim an objective, which in turn leads to difficult decision making. Should you clear out the area and ensure you’re alone or risk it for the chance at arming the bomb? Similarly, if you need to defuse a bomb, it will alert the enemy of your actions, so care is needed in deciding the appropriate time to act.
In terms of planting the bomb, audio cues could offer a whole new world of possibility. By pretending to arm the bomb, players could potentially force an enemy to peek or reveal their location if they react too hastily. Though it’s a small ploy, it often has a lasting effect on a round if a team member goes down too soon.
One of the most important reasons for adding audio to the bomb is to assist those players with disabilities. We’ve talked before about how audio can help disabled gamers compete, and so any change that might bring the players from the sidelines into the game should be considered a change for the better. If someone who normally wouldn’t play is now able to play, that’s good news.
Being the audiophiles we are, it should come as no surprise that adding audio to the bombs in Call of Duty: WWII is thought of as a good idea in our books. Not only would it mix up the strategy and create new ways to play and toy with your competition, but it would be inclusive and give other gamers a chance at competing.
Keep in mind that it takes a keen ear to listen out for those audio cues, especially above the din of the Call of Duty environments. Players will still need to bring their A-game to the competition in order to take advantage of any sound changes. But where do you sit on the debate, do you think the bomb should have audio cues or do you prefer the silent style?