Realism with benefits.
-A headshot doesn't HAVE to kill in one hit, but it should never take more than two headshots for primary weapons, or three from pistols on long range
-Realistic weapon handling --> skill requirement to shoot and hit enemies
-When snipers one hit kill, no weapon should four hit kill on short range unless it fires at 1200 RPM. (1HK: 200 RPM 2 HK: 550 RPM 3 HK: 800 RPM 4 HK 1100 RPM
Some unrealistic things in Ghosts:
-Running mechanics without Marathon
True. But for every unrealistic aspect, there is a realistic counterpart. For example:
--A guided predator missile (MW3)
--An artillery strike (WaW)
--A grenade with cooking and all
--A bouncing bettie
--Reloading after emptying a clip (think about the would-be unrealism in an unlimited clip)
--Good map skills sometimes the same as real military tactics such as flanking your enemy (this is perhaps one the most real and rewarding things in CoD)
--smoke grenades (not used often but its utility is the same as it's in reality)
on and on and on.
The point of the comparison is that just because CoD, as a video game, must have unrealistic things, it doesn't mean realism is not also a part of the game. Unrealistic things must be part of the game for the game to work, but so too does realistic ones.
Sure it's a video game and has obvious video games qualities, but if you don't want to play a realistic FPS then there's Halo.
This is a good point. So long as CoD's environment is created to reflect real life places, it ought to somewhat reflect what would happen in those places if an armed scrimmage occurred. If, like Halo, where you're in a futuristic setting, then, yeh, lets have some crazy fantastic guns and aspects that defy physics.
I think it really depends on the series.
As far as Call of Duty is concerned, there needs to be a basis in reality. Call of Duty was created as a series with Campaigns based on real life conflicts and with an emphasis placed on honoring the soldiers who fought in those conflicts. While the stories were contrived, they were based on real-life events.
As such, Call of Duty has long been a "Military Arcade FPS". Based in Military Reality with Arcade physics, meaning that movements, explosions and such are exaggerated for dramatic and visual effect. Characters can jump higher than normal, can hit the ground faster than normal, can run ridiculous distances carrying huge loadouts, and can run ridiculously fast carrying heavy weaponry. In Core Modes, players can take a lot of damage and recover without medical attention or health packs. Explosions which in reality would have a large blast radius and dangerous shrapnel can be survived without lasting damage... and so on.
The way I look at it is, a game like this needs to be be based in reality but allow for some Arcade Exaggeration in order to become more fun and balanced. Go too far one way or the other and the game just stops being fun.