I have been a fan of the Call of Duty series for around a decade; Call of Duty 2 holds a special place in my heart. Personally, that was the first console game that really struck a chord with me as a first person online multiplayer shooter, especially since I was never a huge Halo fan. I remember sitting in GameStop playing the demo on the XBox 360 thinking how could video games get much better than this? 10 years later COD is still the alpha first person shooter. Although, Dice is making serious moves to conquer that title with the Battlefield series and after playing the latest beta for Battlefield Hardline I am certain Call of Duty needs to change up the formula.
It’s time for Treyarch to take the series back to its roots. The trio of developers (Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games) for Call of Duty just seem to just add some more maps, some new guns, a new story setting, then package it and sell it for 60$, $120 if we’re counting downloadable content. Their mindset is clearly something like “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” and they know that every 10 year old will be waiting in line at midnight release for the next installment of the series no matter what. Simply put, commercial success prevents innovation.
A decade ago we saw countless World War II films, like my favorite ‘Saving Private Ryan’, that really put you in the mood to shoot some Nazis. As a result of the genre’s popularity, the video game market quickly became flooded with WWII shooters and gamers began to feel bored. The move toward Modern and Advanced Warfare seemed like a great idea 5 years ago, but I think fans of the older Call of Duty titles can agree it just doesn’t feel the same being shot by a middle school kid hopping around in his jet pack with his cloaking device activated. Imagine a Treyarch next generation World at War title! With today’s engine technology they could repeat the gritty and visceral experience that the first World at War gave us. I think it’s an obvious move that the series must make to keep its loyal “Day 1” fans. Rumors are circulating on Twitter of a May 4th reveal of the next Duty. Fans can only hope that it’s a return to the fundamental reasons we got into Call of Duty in the first place.