It’s been a long time since I truly enjoyed a Call of Duty title. To this day, Modern Warfare is still one of my favorite games of all time, and easily top 3 shooters. While I dip into the franchise every year at some point or another, I have come to accept what Call of Duty is and is not. Over the top cinematics and huge set pieces are synonymous with the name, but gone are the days that I find myself dying to get one more round on multiplayer before bed. While I don’t necessarily die for the chance to play the latest title every year the way I once did, I still appreciate the space that it fills for a large group of people. I know many that don’t consider themselves “gamers”, however, put a controller in their hand for a round of Zombie mode and they love it. Call of Duty is quickly becoming one of the most accessible franchises in existence next to Candy Crush and Minecraft, but this is not a bad thing. While I understand the frustration people tend to express when they see the franchise removing itself from what made the brand unique a decade ago, I can’t wrap my head around the hate the game seems to get every year without fail.
Now before you accuse me of expressing the same hatred, let me clarify: I love Call of Duty for what it is. To this day, I don’t know of any shooter that feels more natural controlling and precise when shooting than one of these games. Don’t get me wrong- I love Battlefield and Overwatch, but from the second you say “GO” in the campaign of any Call of Duty title, you have come to expect a certain level of polish that you can only demand from the folks at Activision. As for the multiplayer, between world tournaments and professional players flooding streaming sites, they have dominated this area for a while now (with the exception of League of Legends of course). They have proven when you have the framework for something great, just rinse, recycle, and repeat will still move units. Regardless of what the latest Metacritic user score says, this franchise sells millions of units every year, and refuses to slow down.
Lately I have been approached the question on multiple occasions: Will you play COD: Infinite Warfare? While the cynic in me will want to respond “no, not this year”, the truth is that I know at one point or another I will find myself making the rounds. With Activision keeping the Modern Warfare Remaster hostage on packaged copies with Infinite Warfare I will have to give it a look (I know the odds of them releasing it separately down the line are painfully obvious, but who has got the time to wait for that? Seriously?). It’s going to be a very busy fall, between titles such as No Man’s Sky and Final Fantasy XV, I will have no shortage of places to spend my time. However, just as I correlate Christmas with a viewing of Home Alone, fall has also found the same comparison with the latest Call of Duty title. I think this is true for vast majority of players that say they won’t play Infinite Warfare, most of the time you don’t plan on playing it- until launch day you see the news filled with it, all your friends are playing it, and you can’t even buy a Dorrito’s bag without having it thrown in your face. You will play it.
Whether we want to sit here and reminisce on the Call of Duty of old, or look at the direction they are taking now, the franchise has become a staple for gaming culture. For Activision it has become a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Change the formula, you’re criticized for messing with what made the franchise great. Keep to the same path, and people say that it’s just a re-skin and people are upset anyways. I challenge you to look at this in a different way. I understand that the timeless activity of COD hate has become a tradition in the gaming community, but is it really surprising anymore when the launch trailer hits for that years installment?
What are your thoughts for this years iteration? If you aren’t going to play it, what would you like to see Activision do with the franchise that would bring you back into the fold? Let me know in the comments below.