Call of Duty has been everywhere since October 29, 2003, and has given me some of my fondest gaming memories, as well as some of the worst.
At the beginning of its long journey, they could do no wrong. After different incarnations and sequels though, I think it's time for a dramatic overhaul or a towel to throw in. I wasn't the most excited for Black Ops III, but decided to give it a chance. After a few hours of wall running, double jumping and ridiculous special abilities I was underwhelmed and rather annoyed. I couldn't help but be reminded of another incredibly popular franchise, Halo (Which I personally don't care for, if you like it, to each their own). I want to take you through a short history of the Call of Duty franchise and the "rise and fall," so to speak.
Call of Duty Releases (2003)
Call of Duty was one of the early first-person shooters to feature iron sights in game play; by pressing the corresponding key the player aims down the actual sights on the gun for increased accuracy. Additions like this added to Call of Duty's success and helped keep it ahead of it's competition. With a World War II backdrop and exciting group combat it became a huge success. With two more great sequels before the acclaimed Modern Warfare, Call of Duty was only headed up.
Which led up to...
Modern Warfare: Multiplayer Frenzy
As opposed to earlier games in the Call of Duty series, Modern Warfare featured modern equipment and new features, mostly exclusive to the online multiplayer part of the game, like "killstreaks"; killing a number of enemies without the player dying in between kills allows access to different assets including airstrikes and helicopter support.
Everyone and their brother was online, yelling at and shooting complete strangers. This was a phenomenal breakthrough for the series, and gaming in general. Gamers called out for a new and refreshing game and they delivered! It was new and added enough variety for players to spend millions of hours playing. This was a definite high point for the series. I remember spending an entire summer with my buddy in high school playing solely to get that golden AK47!
Things were still going well for Call of Duty, and they quickly wanted to follow up this success, heading back to World War II for World at War. With moderate success they went back to what captured the multiplayer magic and made Modern Warfare II just two years after Modern Warfare was released. MW2 attained great critical praise and even crossed a billion dollars in retail in just over two months! Then, just a year later came the greatest Call of Duty game made. Yes, you know what it is: Call of Duty: Black Ops!
Call of Duty: Nuketown!
Black Ops was the highest pinnacle of Call of Duty. Earning over 1.22 billion dollars over its lifetime (2nd highest in the franchise) and 650 million within 5 days of release, it introduced wager matches, cod points, tomahawks and some of the greatest maps ever made; Firing range, Nuketown, Jungle and Summit! Another new feature was the Playercard, which tracked in-depth stats like kill to death ratio (KD) to how many times a player used a certain kill streak.
Let's not forget diving! We could run and slide to protection or get a sweet kill cam at the end of a match. Now there is still a large community playing constantly. Dig up your disc now and log in!
A slew of sub par games that were way over-hyped and disappointing.
- Modern Warfare III
- Black Ops II
And finally we get to why I will (probably) never give Call of Duty another chance again.
Advanced Warfare / Black Ops III
Exo-suits, thrusters, ridiculous abilities and wall running? We all wanted originality and new material for Call of Duty, but they dropped the ball with these titles. Not only did we have to suffer through sub par games, but then they got players' hopes up with these titles. Instead of handling it like they did Call of Duty 4, they instead made a futuristic, Halo crap game. There, I said it. Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III are dull, dumb, and not fun at all. It is a chaotic play style that you would find in a fantasy, robotic shoot-em-up or something. Trying to accomplish anything while players are 20 feet in the air or running on the side of a building is ridiculous. This completely destroys what Call of Duty built their franchise around; team oriented, stable on the ground combat. Now instead of players being able to crouch around corners or duck behind a barrier it is instead completely useless and is at the very best a run and gun, reckless crap fest.
With their track record as of late, and the awful multiplayer mode that is Black Ops III, it is highly unlikely I will be purchasing any Call of Duty in the future. They need to take a step back, and get back to their roots. The only thing I've heard that gives me any hope is the remastered edition of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, re-releasing for Playstation 4, Xbox One, and Windows. (Releasing November November 4th, 2016, or October 5th for the campaign on PS4.) I will be turning my gaze toward's No Man's Sky and Madden 17. Are you a fan of Call of Duty's new direction or will you set your sights on something new?