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Hello bloggers and gamers of Game Informer! Amongst many, many different writing projects, I came up with the real problems I have with Call of Duty. Those of you that know me on this site know that I am not a fan of Call of Duty at all, but I have plenty of reasons why I don't like the series any more. I'm going to go through the most important reason.
Those of you that know me also know that I am a fan of Battlefield, but this analysis does not include Battlefield at all. This is a look at the history of the series and incorporates the challenge to all first-person shooters. This is still based on my opinion, and I don't mind you sharing yours at all. But, as always, be respectful. Introduction down; here we go.
The Challenge to all First-person Shooters
The driving force in all of gaming history has been innovation. Even now, the biggest names in gaming are getting ready for this year's E3, which will usher in the next generation of video games. Video games strive on change. Things can always get bigger and better. Genres strive on this, too.
The problem, however, with first-person shooters is that there's not a whole lot you can change. I hope we can all agree that gameplay is the most important thing in every video game, but in first-person shooters, the base gameplay is always the same. You look out of the eyes of your character and shoot a gun. Even unique games like Bulletstorm still had the same foundations for a first-person shooter.
In most cases, though, this isn't a problem at all. In most cases, it's a good thing. You want the same foundation for a genre in every game of that genre. If you didn't, then the game would be part of a different genre. The problem is that the foundation can't be changed dramatically and can get repetitive. Whereas role-playing games, fighting games, etc. can be changed dramatically while still keeping the same foundation for that genre, there's not much you can change with first-person shooters. Look at Dark Souls and the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. They are very different games in the same genre. This keeps the genre new and fresh.
My main problem with all first-person shooters is that there's not a whole lot you can change in the most important part of every video game, the gameplay. You can change characters, situations, stories, and even add things like destructible environments, but the most important part is still largely the same. It soon gets repetitive to me.
Now that I've broken down my problem with all first-person shooters, I'm going to look at Call of Duty by itself.
I always make the joke that as much as I hate to say it, Call of Duty changed gaming. This all started with Modern Warfare. Modern Warfare brought online capabilities to consoles unlike anything ever seen. A simple, easily accessible, user-friendly multiplayer system changed the gaming industry and even set the stage for future multiplayer games. Mix that with a fun campaign, and you've got a formula for something huge. I'm not going to keep the credit away from Modern Warfare in that the game was a huge success. There's a reason thousands are still playing the game today.
The main foundation, however, hadn't changed at all. You were still looking out the eyes of your character and shooting a gun. This wasn't a problem right now.
Next comes World at War. It didn't bring a lot of change except for the popular Nazi Zombies. It still implemented the successful formula of Modern Warfare and was a huge success. Repetitiveness wasn't an issue...yet.
But this is where the huge amount of changes end and where I started to notice the huge problem that Infinity Ward and Activision were going to face.
Not Much You Can Do
Modern Warfare 2 comes, and it's not much different. Then Black Ops comes with some hopes for change but not much change. Modern Warfare 3 comes with a little tweaking to the multiplayer, and then we see Black Ops 2.
Black Ops 2 offered some hope. It was going to take place in the future, with limitless possibilities as to the technology that can be used and how that could go into both multiplayer and single-player. But even it comes without much change.
What I'm getting at is that while you can change the characters, stories, and the set-piece moments, the most vital part of the series stays the same. Eventually, all you can do is change everything less important and hope that the most important aspect isn't looked at for how repetitive it is.
This isn't happening because Activision and Infinity Ward don't care. It's happening because their options to what should be changed aren't there. It's not changing and getting better because it can't change and get better. The foundations of Wolfenstein 3D are exactly the same as the foundations of Black Ops 2.
All of this is to say that I see no point in getting the newest Call of Duty every year when last year's Call of Duty was the same at its core. This isn't an obstacle exclusive to Call of Duty, though. I believe that Battlefield will run into the same problem down the road. Call of Duty is just so huge, well-known, and long-running that it happened to run into this first.
Maybe Call of Duty: Ghosts will bring a significant change. Maybe I'll even get into the franchise again. But for that to happen, a significant change needs to be made at the core of the genre, the gameplay. Changing graphics, multiplayer, and stories won't last. That is my main problem with Call of Duty.
Please comment on my work, leave your opinions, and comment on whatever else. If you noticed any spelling or grammar mistakes, comment on them, and I will change them. And as always, thanks for reading.