The lights are on
Veteran Member - Level 11
I don't know if you're one of those gamers who salivates
over every new morsel of Call of Duty news or if you're one of those who
despises the mere mention of the game and would be content if the game crashed
and burned and never produced another title again. There are a lot of us
somewhere in the middle. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you might find
yourself on, I think you can still look at what the developers and producers
are shooting for and at least make some observations whether you like the game
or not. Personally, I think the recent trailer and press coverage is exciting
and is spot on.
I think Sledgehammer Games is doing exactly what they need
to do to grow and sustain the series, and as much as I think Activision has
fallen on their sword with some of their business decisions over the years, I
think they are doing what they need to do to in order to continue moving past
the stigma of the Infinity Ward debacle.
That's a whole lot of "I thinks" in that paragraph. It
should go without saying since this is a personal blog that all of the thoughts
and ideas presented are just my opinions, but I want to stress that...they are
just my personal opinions. Don't worry...you can have your own. And I'd be more
than happy to read them - so feel free to share them.
I've broken down my thoughts on why I think this title and
the marketing push behind it has been brilliant thus far.
The Name Game
The Call of Duty series has been around a long time...since
the early 2000s (Fall of 2003). In that time it has witnessed nearly a dozen
releases (more if you count expansions and DLC) and has covered different
periods of conflict. Many of the people I associate with (and even my own
personal favorite) pick Modern Warfare as their favorite in the series. Modern
Warfare was sort of this rebirth of the series, but has also gone on to
establish its own legacy. Modern Warfare is a common household name (assuming
your house has a gamer in it). I think one of the benefits of the name Modern
Warfare is it told gamers exactly what they were getting into, whereas Black
Ops, World at War and even Ghosts doesn't relay that same awareness of the setting.
But with a name like Advanced Warfare, it's pretty clear where we are going
with this game. Could Advanced Warfare be the next iconic game in the series?
Dare I say yes.
There seems to be a lot of focus on using the near future
(and a slightly advanced) setting for a number of games. Titanfall is a perfect
example of this. Sure, it's science fiction and exists in a pseudo-realistic
setting... it plays a lot like a regular shooter, but also relies on advanced
technology and weapons. You could make the argument Evolve does too. So, the
days of shooters focusing on older periods of time and conflicts seem far less
popular right now (the Viet Nam and World War II era games). And even the
current period of time has kind of flat lined. If slightly futuristic is what
gamers are interested in, then it is only natural for the next Call of Duty
game to take this route. This seems to be the setting for some other up and
coming big names like Watch Dogs and the Division - both of which are slightly
futuristic and occurring in the relatively near future.
But...BUT...what is even more clever about the name - and this
is coming from a big fan of the Ghost Recon games - the name Advanced Warfare
is at least remotely similar to Advanced Warfighter, as in Ghost Recon Advanced
Warfighter. Whether this was intentional or not, who can say...but there are a
number of similarities between the two, besides just the names...so it appeals
to me (and others) for this reason too.
The Evolution of
Can you believe there was a time when war consisted of two
nations lining their soldiers up on the battlefield and just opening fire on
each other? At the end of the day, whoever suffered heavier losses typically
lost the battle - but in this method of warfare, don't both sides really lose?
History was always my favorite subject in school and I was
always fascinated with Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox.
Francis Marion (c.
1732 - February 27, 1795) was a military officer who served in the American
Revolutionary War. Acting with Continental Army and South Carolina militia
commissions, he was a persistent adversary of the British in their occupation
of South Carolina in 1780 and 1781, even after the Continental Army was driven
out of the state in the Battle of Camden. Due to his irregular methods of
warfare, he is considered one of the fathers of modern guerrilla warfare, and
is credited in the lineage of the United States Army Rangers. He was known as
the Swamp Fox.
I heard a number of people talking about Call of Duty:
Advanced Warfare because it employs private security and unconventional warfare.
Some were questioning this because of the negativity associated with
organizations like Blackwater. News flash - private security firms have been
engaging in combat and fighting wars for a long time now...and will continue to
be used more in the future. You can read the news and see the theories a number
of private security firms are involved in the Ukraine crisis. The days of
fighting battles with huge armies facing off on the battlefield are a thing of
the past. They are expensive and not very popular. Asymmetrical Warfare is
being used (and has been being used) for quite some time, and I think the game
taking this approach is extremely realistic and relevant. Not to mention all of
the high tech weaponry that exists in real life (and in the game). Everything
from armed drones to smart weapon technology. Did you know the US Navy is
working on a rail gun? Did you know my Atlas Titan is outfitted with a rail
gun? Personally, I think this approach was a brilliant strategy by the team
working on this game.
Lending to the discussion about asymmetrical or
unconventional warfare above, the game also seems to tackle some rather edgy
geopolitical issues that are sensitive in nature.
Geopolitics is the
study of the effects of geography (both human and physical) on international
politics and international relations. Geopolitics is a method of foreign policy
analysis which seeks to understand, explain, and predict international
political behavior primarily in terms of geographical variables. Typical
geographical variables are the physical location, size, climate, topography,
demography, natural resources, and technological advances of the state being
evaluated. Traditionally, the term has applied primarily to the impact of
geography on politics, but its usage has evolved over the past century to
encompass wider connotations. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
The Call of Duty series is known for tackling sensitive
subjects and trespassing on the fine line of what is and isn't acceptable. Most
of us are familiar with the controversy surrounding the "No Russian" mission or
the "Davis Family Vacation" mission. While it didn't get near the negative
publicity as some of the other examples, I thought some of the content in Black
Ops was extremely violent and jarring. Not to the point I would condemn them
for it - I actually applaud them for illustrating the brutality of war.
So, watching the trailer for Advanced Warfare, it does seem
like they are going to proceed with showing us the dark side of combat. And not
just combat, but the reasons leading up to the use of combat. The game seems to
hint at a theme surrounding the idea of nation building and democracy -
personal freedom and civil liberty...and how all of this can be manipulated by
the right people working for the right organization. At least that is the feel
I got from it. I can't help but notice a correlation between the game and some
of the real world military conflicts occurring around the world.
The Power of Speech
Besides a menacing outfit and the ability to choke you with
his mind, one of the reasons Darth Vader is so intimidating is his deep and
commanding voice. As the story goes,
Jones is also
well-known as the voice of Darth Vader in the original Star Wars trilogy. Darth
Vader was portrayed in costume by David Prowse in the original trilogy, with
Jones dubbing Vader's dialogue in postproduction due to Prowse's strong West
Country accent being unsuitable for the role. At his own request, Jones was
originally uncredited for the release of the first two films, though he would
later be credited for them in the 1997 re-release. As he explained in 2008,
When Linda Blair did
the girl in The Exorcist, they hired Mercedes McCambridge to do the voice of
the devil coming out of her. And there was controversy as to whether Mercedes
should get credit. I was one who thought no, she was just special effects. So
when it came to Darth Vader, I said, no I'm just special effects. But it became
so identified that by the third one, I thought, OK I've been denying it, I've
been saying it sounds like the uncola nut guy Holder. Geoffrey Holder! ... But
for the third one, I said OK, I'll let them put my name on it. (SOURCE: Wikipedia)
A powerful speech spoken by the right voice can make all the
difference. Whether it's Mel Gibson in Braveheart, Jack Nicholson in A Few Good
Men or Viggo Mortenson in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.
Sons of Gondor! Of
Rohan! My brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart
of me! A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our
friends and break all bonds of fellowship. But it is not this day. An hour of
wolves and shattered shields when the age of Men comes crashing down! But it is
not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth,
I bid you stand! Men of the West!
Kevin Spacey's role in the game and the little speech he
gives in the trailer is powerful. It's certainly not the first time we've heard
a big name in a Call of Duty game. I loved hearing Kieffer Sutherland (Jack
Bauer returned tonight, woo hoo) in one of the previous games. If done
properly, Kevin Spacey has the power and the talent to really influence the
game and make it a memorable experience. I'm excited to learn more about his
While Call of Duty is often mocked for its annual releases,
the truth is the series usually hits its targeted release date. We often scoff
when a game fails to launch on time, but the games that do we often dismiss
because we get so used to them coming out all of the time. The game will be
here this fall, almost as if...right on schedule.
Some will be happy. Some will not.
But as far as I'm concerned, I'm ready to experience the future of warfare.