- SPONSORED -
I fucking despise the Call of Duty (CoD) series. Or, rather, I despise what it has become: a symbol of everything wrong with the triple-A gaming industry. For your consideration, I offer a clickbait-style list of why this mind-bogglingly popular series needs to jump off a cliff, or at least take a break for a few years:
1. The core shooting gameplay is, for the most part, unrewarding and does not require as much skill or strategy compared to most other shooters. You just “run and gun” until you reach the end of the level, or when the match ends in multiplayer. Compare that to a round of Counter-Strike, or even Overwatch, and the difference is night and day.
2. All the single-player campaigns from Modern Warfare onwards are “corridor shooters,” offering almost no choice on how you can get from point to point. I like to explore a little when trying out a campaign, and CoD simply won’t let you do that. Single-player campaigns should be more than a series of set pieces linked by a generic action movie story.
3. The series is the definitive “annual franchise” — every November, without fail, there’s a new CoD game. Most of the time they won’t even bother with any sort of innovation, and each game feels far too like its predecessor. The one time the series was truly innovative was with CoD 4: Modern Warfare, which pretty much defined the seventh generation of console gaming.
4. When they tried again with Advanced Warfare in 2013, they just took the wall-running and jump-pack mechanics from Titanfall — a much superior game which deserves more love. Modern Warfare’s innovations and success led to a massive wave of clones, none of which are interesting in any way. The sole exception is Spec Ops: The Line, a vicious satire of these “modern military shooters” that calls them and the player out for participating in the glorification of war.
5. Despite the series starting out as a PC exclusive, it is clear that the series only has console players in mind. The most recent games use a hybrid system, where if the servers have too much traffic it reverts to peer-to-peer connectivity, making lag more likely. Even with servers there isn’t a server browser; you’ll just be connected to the nearest one. PC gamers don’t like it when concessions like this are made, and I don’t blame them.
6. Whenever I hear the term “CoD fan” a specific image pops in my head: an obnoxious, meat-headed dudebro who is obsessed with the gym, disrespects women, and only plays CoD because he just doesn’t know any better. Maybe I’m wrong, but this image only serves to make other gamers look bad.
7. Because the series is Activision’s cash cow, they will try and squeeze every drop out of their fanbase. Multiplayer DLC map-packs have been part of CoD for years, even though they typically split the community into haves and have-nots. Every new game has pre-order bonuses and special editions up the wazoo, meaning you need a spreadsheet to figure out which version you want. Recent games have even introduced microtransactions, a very scummy practice considering they are full-priced games.
8. And finally, there’s the bullshit with Modern Warfare Remastered. Not only did Activision hold this game for ransom, only being available to those who purchase a special edition of Infinite Warfare, they are selling the same map-packs as the original version for a higher price and have included microtransactions. This is for a remaster of a nearly ten-year old game! Does Activision hate its customers?