No gaming franchise encapsulates this feeling of raw carnage and persistent killing, all in the name of military warfare, like Call of Duty. Here’s why...
If you’ve ever picked up a gun in a video game, you know how it feels, right? You’ll never kill a man in real life, but you’ve killed more virtual enemies than you can count on fingers (And toes. Of your entire family.) It’s not just about mindless shooting, no. It’s not just about trying to showcase how war is all glory and guts. It’s about providing gamers with a heady mix of both. Senseless killing, death, and destruction have been a recurring theme in video games, for ages. But, as of now, no one does it better than the Call of Duty series. Except teaching children that the solution to every problem is to shoot everyone involved, the Call of Duty series has, whether you like it or not, changed the First Person Shooter genre forever.
Senseless killing, death, and destruction have been a recurring theme in video games, for ages. But, as of now, no one does it better than the Call of Duty series. Except teaching children that the solution to every problem is to shoot everyone involved, the Call of Duty series has, whether you like it or not, changed the First Person Shooter genre forever.
The first Call of Duty was released in 2003. Developed by Infinity Ward, and published by Activision, it was a massive success. Centered around WWII, it was one of the few games that did justice to the concept of war, and came with a decent multiplayer mode. Even though we, at Skoar, are hardcore Counter Strike players, we can appreciate the variety of new mechanics the game brought to the FPS scene. It was a new, and refreshing take on the FPS world. The decent storyline also set it apart from some of the most competitive FPSs around, at that time, like CS 1.6, or Condition Zero, which came out a year after the first Call of Duty.
Owing to the massive success of the first game, it was followed by the second installment in the series, Call of Duty 2, in 2005. CoD 2 was released for Microsoft Windows, Xbox 360, and Mac OS X. Quickly succeeded, the following year, by Call of Duty 3. Call of Duty 3 was the first of the series, which wasn’t released on PC. It was released on the PS2, PS3, Xbox, Xbox 360, and the Nintendo Wii. Needless to say, it didn’t do as well as the previous CoDs. PC Master Race? PC Master Race.
Call of Duty, till CoD: Black Ops 2, is built on a heavily modified Quake III arena engine. Talk about flogging the same horse. Over and over again. Even after it’s dead.
The Modern Warfare era
After the relatively underwhelming success of CoD 2 and 3, the developers decided to follow a more modern story arc, leading to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Call of Duty 4 was the first of the series to be set in modern day. (Also, one of the few bearable game in the series, including the first three titles and World at War, which was a fair attempt to reboot the WWII story arc.) Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was, in our opinion, one of the better Call of Duty games to ever grace the pantheon of gaming.
The rise and fall of Call of Duty’s empire
In an industry where older titles are forgotten in the blink of an eye when newer titles hit the market, CoD has managed to provide gamers with their annual fix of killing and bloodshed, with at least one game released every year, since 2005. Although, just because they could keep up with the demand of the titles, it didn’t mean that the same dedication was seen in the quality of the content. To meet the demand, the franchise has stuck to sub standard releases, many times even patching the game a day or two after the release, because of the alarming number of bugs in the game.
The quality of the games, after Call of Duty: World at War has been very inconsistent. With recycled storylines, and repetitive gameplay mechanics, and very linear progression, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 was a good game, with a bearable storyline, and some amazing missions, it didn’t feature any new gameplay tweaks, and looked like an upscaled version of its predecessor.
Call of Duty: Black Ops was released in 2010, with a story centered around the Cold War, which was slightly more successful than the Modern Warfare arc, but it still received some flak about repetitive and arcadey gameplay.
Although it was officially the sequel to World at War, it retained neither the brutality, nor the gruesome graphics of its prequel. Obviously, fans were less than amused.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 was again just a slightly polished remake of Modern warfare 2, with the same repetitive gameplay, same guns, and even the same maps. The upscaled graphics, and a tweaked storyline being the only upgrade the game received. One could see a recurring trend with the MW series. (Remember the thing about flogging the same horse? Applies here, as well.) Even though MW3 wasn’t solely developed by Infinity Ward, as they were also assisted by Sledgehammer games, they still somehow managed to stick to the same trend, and pump out three almost identical games, back to back. One would think Activision would learn something, but well, there’s always the odd ones.
A ray of hope
Clearly, Treyarch was doing something right, because Black ops II, released in 2012 received a lot of positive feedback, from critics and gamers alike. That was the kind of title that gave gamers some hope about the future titles of the franchise. It was the tiny ray of sunshine that Call of Duty players were waiting for a long time.
Needless to say, it was short lived, considering Infinity Ward came up with another title. This time, partnering with Neversoft, and Raven. It featured a different story arc, and tweaked gameplay (Finally, Infinity ward. Took them two bad games to figure that out.) The multiplayer mechanics were tweaked, with a few new features being added to the progression, and the core gameplay.
Call of Duty: Ghosts, running on a brand new engine, was the first CoD title to be released for the PS4 and the Xbox One. Released in 2014, it was the best looking CoD title released, till then. Even with all these tweaks, the game failed to please, and it went down as another one of Infinity ward’s sub par attempts at making a decent Call of Duty title.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was released in 2015. Developed by Sledgehammer, it was one of the most unique CoD games till date. Set in the future, it came with a lot of gameplay tweaks. Set in the future, it came with a lot of gameplay tweaks. Many new features, and multiplayer mechanics were added, making it a whole new game. Gone were the days when one couldn’t tell one Call of Duty game from the other. With new gadgets to play with, and an entirely new array of weapons to select from , it was definitely a pleasantly refreshing experience. Complete with jetpacks, and exo suits, it opened up many new avenues of spreading death, destruction and chaos, as 12 year olds call you racist names. Yes, they let you fly around, and get absolutely insane kills, frustrating your opponents to no end. Although, as it is, with every Call of Duty game, most gamers felt it was too arcade-y and forgiving. Even though multiplayer modes were brutal, with people killing you left, right and center, gamers thought it was almost too easy. How? We have no
Although, as it is, with every Call of Duty game, most gamers felt it was too arcade-y and forgiving. Even though multiplayer modes were brutal, with people killing you left, right and center, gamers thought it was almost too easy. How? We have no clue, because we gave up trying to play a multiplayer match, after three times of getting brutally maimed and murdered by roughly 12 different people. Most of them probably being salty 12 year olds, playing in their mother’s basements, calling us racist names. Thank god for the mute button.
This year’s Call of Duty release, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare promises gameplay which isn’t only limited to our beloved earth, but spills onto space, too. They finally decided that Earth ran out of Russians, or middle eastern ganglords/terrorists/shifty CIA spies to kill, and shifted their focus to space.
Although, the idea of spreading mass chaos and death in the vast expanse of space isn’t a repellant one, it’s been done many times. Again, being developed by Infinity Ward, and Raven, it has chances of tanking really badly, or actually being a half decent game. If we were to bet our money, we’d hold our bets, because we really have no idea what to expect. The developers managed to think of an idea which is unique to the Call of Duty series.
Although, realism isn’t one of Call of Duty’s stronger suites, it does a pretty good job of being vaguely credible. With Advanced Warfare, they managed to convey the futurism of the concept, but they also made it credible enough, to not be classified as a Fantasy/Sci-Fi shooter, like Halo. If they manage to hold onto that little spark of brilliance that they’ve finally discovered, they might even make a half decent game, which doesn’t remind gamers of every other game in the franchise before it. Even though the idea of space warfare isn’t exactly very original, (Flogging a different horse, this time.) there’s a lot that can be possibly done, to make it a game which would finally please both critics and gamers.
Call of Duty goes handheld
Even though those were all the major titles in the series, there were many little spin off titles, for the PSP, the PS Vita, the NDS, the WiiU and even iOS and Android with games like Call of Duty: Roads to Victory, Black Ops DS, and Strike Team.
After multiple mistakes (in the form of Modern Warfare 3 and Ghosts), Infinity Ward has one more chance to prove itself. To restore the franchise back to its former glory, after two massive fails. We like to think of Infinity Ward as that senile grandfather that’s been around for ages, and people just don’t want to get rid of. Even though they’ve long outlived their usefulness, they still stick around, helping out with the random title, here and there, doing more bad than good. If they could have one more master stroke, they might be able to restore every gamer’s faith in them.
After everything’s said and done, we all know that no matter how badly critics slam the game, fans of the franchise will still line up outside shops, and buy the game like a hungry hoard of sharks being fed. Every copy of the game will be snapped up, and it will probably sell more than a million copies in the first day. Sales would spike even more, during the holiday season, with kind, loving grandma buying every one of her blood lusted, racist grandchildren a copy for Christmas, and every other public holiday imaginable, when giving gifts is considered to be the norm.
Call of Duty is a game most gamers love to hate. Anyone who plays Call of Duty is christened a “filthy casual”, by the gaming community at large. Although, yes, it may not be as serious as some other competitive first person shooters out there, but it’s definitely managed to carve out a niche for itself. Many people play Call of Duty, and enjoy it much more than its other, apparently more serious counterparts.
Call of Duty isn’t flawless, but it is a pretty good game. It advertises fast paced action, ridiculous kill streaks, and inhuman player characters, with multiple, outlandish perks, that would have no place in any of its more serious counterparts, and delivers exactly that.Finally, CoD is like any other game. Doing what it does best, catering to an audience enthralled by its casual charms. We just hope it returns to its glory years soon, so we can get back to creating great memories with it!
Finally, CoD is like any other game. Doing what it does best, catering to an audience enthralled by its casual charms. We just hope it returns to its glory years soon, so we can get back to creating great memories with it!
|COD: HITS AND MISSES|
|Call of Duty is an iconic series. Spreading over a decade of massive releases, it has it’s own shares of things it did right, and things it did which were not so popular with the community, at large.|
|Multiplayer: Call of Duty is famed for having one of the best multiplayer modes. It is good, but not Battlefield levels of good.||Repetitive gameplay: It gets boring, after a while. Sad, but true.|
|Characters: Some characters like, Capt. Price, from the Modern Warfare series, with his memorable quotes. For example: “History is written by
Or the crazy guy from Black Ops II, Raul Menendez, who chops a whole bunch of people up, because they kidnapped his sister. The guy’s a maniac, and it was a treat for the more blood lusted fans of the franchise.
|Sub par stories: The single player modes of most of the games are really not that great. They don’t exactly deserve multiple playthroughs.|
|Some single player missions: Even though the Modern Warfare series isn’t really the best, some of it’s missions are really iconic, like the “Second Sun” in MWII, in which the bad guys blow up Washington DC, and the blast is so strong it also TAKES OUT THE FRIGGIN INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION! HOW COOL IS THAT?||Lazy developers: Developers like Infinity Ward are the reason why a series like Call of Duty has become redundant, and every game has a recycled feel, to it.
Floaty, and arcade-y gameplay: This is a more controversial thing, because a lot of people disagree to see this as a flaw with the series. We, at Skoar, are ourselves divided on this. It is entertaining, but it doesn’t deliver the satisfaction that some of it’s less arcade-y counterparts do.
|Regular releases: The Call of Duty series does a very good job with annual releases, even though the same cannot be said about the quality of the games.|
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