- "You will not survive."
- — Common in-game Veteran description
Veteran is the hardest difficulty that is in the Call of Duty series. The player will find enemies will take less damage and they will have much more health, with enemies having increased accuracy and deadly reaction time. Completing levels will often reward the player with achievements/trophies. A combination of extreme caution, knowledge of the level, heavy use of cover, quick-saving and being patient is key to completing levels on this difficulty.
Call of Duty is possibly the hardest game in the series to complete on Veteran difficulty, due to the lack of health regeneration (or health packs, for that matter) and large number of enemies that can kill the player with two shots (one if it's a tank or armed vehicle). The player needs to take some cover or victory is lost. United Offensive is just as difficult, if not harder due to the greater number of large-scale battles. On Call of Duty: Classic, there is no manual save, and the checkpoints are relatively spread out and won't activate if the player has less than 33% health. It is also a good idea to check each area thoroughly since the compass deliberately does not indicate red dots, and to avoid being surprised by a hidden enemy.
In Call of Duty 2, the campaign is slightly easier than the original Call of Duty since the player's health can regenerate and the compass indicates red dots for enemies, yet it is still a very hard game to beat. Although there are 27 missions in all, some of them are extremely short, but nonetheless extremely combat-intensive. Checkpoints are more frequent in throughout each mission and, unlike the original game, the player doesn't need to have at least 33% health to activate it since the health meter is taken out. Because the player still cannot throw grenades back at the enemies in this game, dying from grenades will be common, and it further causes the player to be flushed out of cover, exposing them to chaotic firefights.
Missions commonly thought to be the most difficult include "The Silo", "The Tiger", and "The Brigade Box," mostly because of their open-ended nature which usually causes the player to get ambushed and the enemies having the high ground. Like the other Call of Duty games in the series, there are infinitely spawning enemies which will continue to attack the player until a certain point has been reached or an objective has been completed. "The Tiger" is particularly difficult because of this system, especially when attempting to capture the HQ, because the game will not save until the player successfully clears out all of the Germans inside of it.
However, because there are a limited variety of automatic weapons in the game, the player will not take damage nearly as often and swiftly like in the Modern Warfare series. Therefore irritating, split-second deaths are much more rare. Still, caution is strongly advised as the enemies tend to be extremely aggressive (especially in close quarters combat) and will strafe to avoid being hit. The cross-hairs disappear completely when the player is in motion, so hip-firing on the move while playing on Veteran is not recommended unless the player is caught in a desperate situation. There aren't as many explosives and destructible objects in this game that will kill the player instantly, such as explosives and exploding vehicles. Bullet penetration is non-existent, so shots must be carefully placed in order to kill a partially exposed enemy. Also, enemies cannot kill the player in one melee hit (provided that the player is at full health)- it will actually require around three to four hits. Pistols can be very effective, as they kill enemies in one hit and make the player move much faster despite the lack of a sprint feature.
Although it is slightly easier and shorter than its predecessors (14 levels instead of the 27 in 1 and 2), the challenge is still not to be taken lightly. Like Call of Duty 2, health regenerates when in cover and the compass still recognizes enemy movements. The player now has the ability to throw back enemy grenades, even though the button sequence is a little complicated vis-a-vis the subsequent games.
The most challenging levels in the game are arguably Saint Lo (the first level in the game), Laison River, the Mace and Chambois (the final level), as enemies respawn relatively quickly. While the player has more smoke grenades and fragmentation grenades than Call of Duty 2, the player should expect many of the same challenges found in that game (i.e. no sprinting).
Checkpoints are relatively more spread out in comparison to Call of Duty 2; for instance, in Night Drop and Laison River, a checkpoint does not activate until the player disables all three flack cannons. As in previous games there's no time limit unless it consists of destroying a tank or other armored vehicles, but nonetheless the fast respawning in many areas encourages the player to hurry up.
The Veteran difficulty in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is much easier to beat than its World War II predecessors, possibly due to the fact that many levels are not all-out battles like the ones seen in the World War II Call of Duty games. However, it is still moderately difficult as enemies are prone to throwing several grenades at a time, and the chance of them running up in front of the player's team to shoot the player in the face is still quite high. Some specific levels are very difficult to beat in their own ways, "Safehouse" for example has numerous points in which the hostiles will fire at the player from numerous locations at a time. As in Call of Duty 2 and 3, enemies will keep infinitely respawning until the player moves forward, albeit at a slower rate, giving the player more time to maneuver before moving on. The new sprint ability makes this game easier and faster to complete in comparison to the previous three games, but the player should not abuse it as he/she cannot shoot, reload nor throw grenades while running. Stealth missions are also rather easy for the most part, as long as the player doesn't blow their cover. Completing a block of either one, two or three missions on Veteran awards the player an achievement worth 40 gamerscore and completing the entire game in Veteran difficulty will award 90 gamerscore.
The Veteran difficulty in Call of Duty: World at War is possibly one of the hardest in the series because of the enemy AI's tendency to throw several grenades at the player at one time and the respawning happens at a frighteningly fast pace, giving the player a smaller window of opportunity to move forward than other games. This will force the player to run away from the grenades, causing them to run away from cover and most likely run backwards or into the firefight. Grenades with the indicator barely showing will not instantly kill them but it will stun and weaken them. After each mission completed on veteran, 30 gamerscore will be awarded and 100 gamerscore if the game is completed on hardened or veteran difficulty.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's Veteran difficulty is still challenging, but it is considered one of the easiest games in the series as the enemies don't consistently throw grenades or respawn very quickly. The AI enemies have increased accuracy and they will rush the player. In addition to all of that, the player will have about 1/2 of their normal health, and gain about 1/4 of all the checkpoints available on the other difficulties (with the exception of "S.S.D.D." and "Museum".) Completing a block of either 1, 2, or 3 missions on Veteran award the player an achievement worth 25 gamerscore on the Xbox 360, or a silver trophy on the PS3. Completing all missions on Veteran (or Hardened) will give the player the "The Price of War" achievement/trophy for 90 Gamerscore on Xbox 360 and a gold trophy on the PS3.
In addition to Veteran being available to players in campaign, it is also available to players in Spec Ops. This is the hardest of all three available difficulties, but will award the player with 3 stars, if the mission is finished (and the other player is also on Veteran, if there is another player). Since stars are stackable in Spec Ops it is advised to try them all on Veteran at first to save time, although trying to complete the mission on Regular is advisable, as the player can then know the map. There are a total of four achievements that require the player to beat a certain number of missions on Veteran difficulty worth 160 gamerscore total on the Xbox 360, or one bronze trophy, two silver trophies, and one gold trophy on the PS3.
Call of Duty: Black Ops once again incorporates infinitely spawning enemies at some locations in the levels, although grenades are not as rampant. Some examples of infinite respawn of enemies that will only stop if one advances further into the mission are the missions Executive Order and S.O.G. However, it is a considerable challenge to complete even the first set of missions on Veteran, and there are even a couple of achievements not related to mission completion that require Veteran difficulty to be selected, such as Light Foot, which requires the player to escape the ship in "Project Nova" within 45 seconds. It is arguably harder than the Modern Warfare series due to the fact that checkpoints are more spread out than those games, yet not as much as in Call of Duty 3. Enemies tend to be much more accurate and more agile in this installment than in previous ones. Although they're not thrown as much as in the previous games (excluding Modern Warfare 2), grenades are still thrown casually by enemies, and are very dangerous as usual. Every 1, 2, or 3 missions will award 25 gamerscore and 100 gamerscore for completing the game on hardened or veteran difficulty.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, unlike games in the past, is relatively easy to beat. There are very few instances in where infinite enemy spawns exist in the campaign, and even when these are in place, they will be limited in output, or there will be a strong AI presence to assist (such as most of Goalpost or the last part of Iron Lady). Even in these situations where the player is faced with overwhelming odds, they are nearly always placed a distance away from enemy forces, giving them room to pick off hostiles before they can get too close. Grenades, unlike other installments in the series, are relatively rare, but they seem to be much more deadly and can kill or heavily injure the player even at the outskirt of the blast radius. Checkpoints are spread relatively close to each other, though it is still a difficult feat to achieve. Like most of its predecessors, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and further, blocks of 2 or 3 missions completed on Veteran will reward players with a trophy/achievement with gamerscore, and finishing the campaign on either Hardened or Veteran will again result in another trophy/achievement.
Like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 has a Special Ops mode. Being a choosable difficulty, different levels will result in different amounts of stars being rewarded (in relation to how hard the level is performed on). There are three trophies for grabs for achieving a certain number of stars in Special Ops, with one being based on obtaining a single star,another obtaining one star in every mission, and the final achieving all stars (three for each mission). To the contrary, Veteran is not available in Survival Mode, along with the other three main difficulties, being replaced with Easy, Medium, Hard and Insane.
In Call of Duty: Black Ops II, there is a slightly higher difficulty curb, and the past missions are easier than the future missions. Grenades are not thrown as often, checkpoints are used a lot and Strike Force missions don't have to be completed on veteran to unlock trophies/achievements. Contrary to popular belief, the player may complete the missions on Veteran via "Replay Mission" without the need to rewind or start a new story. However, in "Replay Mission", the player cannot set a save point and quit the game; each mission has to be completed in one consecutive playthrough. Unlike in previous installments, the player may customize their loadout, which makes Veteran arguably the easiest to complete in this game compared to others. Weapons such as Storm PSR, Death Machine or Assault Shield can greatly aid the player, as well as attachments/perks like Millimeter Scanner, Grenade Launcher, Extended Clip, Hardness, Longer Sprint, Access Kit or Fast Mag.
- In the developer console in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Veteran is named "Fu" (short for "fuck you") as opposed to other difficulties' "Easy", "Medium" and "Hard". This could also relate to the fact that Veteran is the most irritating and diffficult game difficulty to play.
- The Veteran difficulty in Call of Duty 3 is locked until the player meets the requirements (completing the campaign on a lower difficulty first).
- Veteran difficulty does not appear in the DS version of Black Ops.
- The player does not get any combat tips (such as being told to reload on the screen when the magazine is almost empty) on Veteran in certain games.
|Difficulty Levels in the Call of Duty Series|
|Recruit - Regular - Hardened - Veteran|