The Best Call Of Duty Campaign Moments That Black Ops 4 Won't Have

by Derek Swinhart on Jun 28, 2018 at 03:30 PM

Let’s just admit it: Call of Duty campaigns are dumb. They are explosion fueled treks across the world under the guise of a military thriller. Despite their stupidity, I love them. The games are melodramatic, tense, well-paced, and a blast to rip through in an afternoon. You drive, fly, stab, strangle, punch, and generally murder your way through every culture and people you can shake a stick at. You probably even take that stick and shake it so hard somebody dies. The drama is always at its peak, and men are always screaming. At one point, you even pull a knife out of your own chest and throw it in someone’s eye (you couldn’t pay me to make this up). When you kill really good, all your bros slap you on the back or say cool stuff like “tango down” and “confirmed kill” to let you know what a good job you are doing at being a soldier-man. Plus, your codename is always some dumb thing like “Shampoo” or “Toilet Bowl Cleaner.” This is what Call of Duty is best at, letting you go H.A.M. in a place you couldn’t otherwise afford to visit.

We found out recently that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 does not have a campaign, a first for the series. So, let us look back while the warmth of nostalgia keeps our ice-cold hearts from totally freezing and see the best of what past Call of Duty campaigns have to offer.

Crew Expendable
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

You knew, sitting in that helicopter and watching Captain Price stick that cigar underneath his sumptuous, bristly, perfectly symmetrical mustache while lighting that sucker up, that you were in love. While you wish he would take you up in his strong arms, you settle for being part of his elite squad. Your team of talented and handsome soldier men are planning on stealing some nuclear codes from the enemy aboard a cargo ship in the middle of nowhere. Once you sneak aboard, you check your corners like a good boy and hope for a pat on the back from Captain Price. All the while, that weirdo Jason Statham-soundalike Gaz makes sure to remind you all that he keeps a shotgun for close encounters, because he definitely isn’t a psychopath. You get the chance to introduce all the sleepy bad guys to your knife, but the helicopter you rode in on decides to unload on a bunch of the enemies with a minigun, immediately undoing all your hard work. The stuff hits the fan, and you escape from the boat, stumbling around like a drunk with vertigo. In one last action-hero move, you dive impossibly far into the helicopter after running up an 85-degree angle that is slick with ocean water and rain. Just when you think you are done for, the eminently handsome Captain Price fulfills your wishes by catching you in his strong hands and whispers “I’ve got you.” At least I think he does. I blacked out when he touched me.

Helicopter Crashes: Zero, baby!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

This mission is all about defending Burgertown, because nothing gets you more emotionally invested than defending American corporate consumerism. In fact, the singular obsession that your enemy has with attacking the restaurants around the area is downright disturbing – it’s like they have a disdain for convenience. These burger-haters have to be put to rest, and it is up to you and your squad of rangers, who happened to be randomly driving through the suburbs in a Humvee, to do it. When you and your gun bros aren’t booking it back and forth between the local fast-food joints like a couple of college kids after a weekend bender, you are defending the surrounding area from the Burgertown rooftop. Rushing between the buildings gives the mission a less linear feel, and the varied objectives make it genuinely tense, like micromanaging too many unruly children. To top it all off, you get to shoot down a helicopter! And you aren’t even inside of it!

Helicopter Crashes: One too few.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

A guy named Soap (not making this up) who you used to play as leads you (now a different guy, named Roach) up a mountain to an enemy camp. It starts with some satisfying quick-time-based climbing and rolls right into a tense stealth segment. Cliffhanger is one of the best showcases of how much variety can be stuffed into a single mission. Once you’ve stealth-murdered them all with a knife – which really is a borderline obsession of yours at this point – you make your way to escape on some snowmobiles. You rip through the woods like two kids who just got the keys to their dad’s convertible and straight send it off a jump that really should obliterate your privates when you land.  Thankfully, you stick the landing with your bits intact, and you and Soap can now share a congratulatory beer, toasting to idiots with dumb names and worse haircuts.

Helicopter Crashes: Probably one somewhere. You for sure blow up a bunch of planes real good.

Call of Duty

In this mission, you don’t have a weapon! What is a Call of Duty mission without a rifle? Turns out, something genuinely intense and epic. Stalingrad starts with you and your fellow soldiers being denied those tasty rifles you crave so much. One of you gets the bullets, the other the rifle. When one man falls, the other picks up his weapon and gets to fighting. The Soviet Union really wasn’t a fan of desertion and makes that clear pretty quickly when your superiors mow down a bunch of your friends for disobeying orders. After that, you are lucky enough to get to storm the shore with your fists! You do carry a rifle clip, and an enterprising soldier could maybe kill a Nazi by throwing one at them, but you aren’t an enterprising soldier. You are Codman. You soldier on (ha!), and follow someone much smarter to safety. It is all spectacle, as you never even fire a gun and it really is just about staring at some other soldier’s back as you follow him. Back then standards were lower, and you could just rip scenes from war movies shot for shot and place them in your game. But hey, Enemy at The Gates was a popular movie and Jude Law is handsome, so Stalingrad ended up being gold.

Helicopter Crashes: There were no helicopters in World War II, you idiot.

Shock and Awe
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

I don’t think anyone hates helicopters as much as Infinity Ward does, and this mission proves my point. You start in one, under the pretense that they are a fun way to quickly move around and rain death on your enemies.  Turns out, they just wanted to pull the rug out from under you, because while you save someone who crashed their helicopter by picking them up in yours, you get nuked and also crash! At the time, it was an insane turn of events for CoD, and was a rare example of a player character getting killed so early on. Eventually the series made it predictable, but it blew everyone away originally (pun intended).

Helicopter Crashes: All of them.

All Ghillied Up
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

In this iconic mission, you get to sneak through Chernobyl as Captain Price when he is only a lieutenant, following the command of his Captain, MacMillan. You. Are. Price. Just let that sink in for a minute. While you can’t look down at your undoubtedly perfect figure (in Modern Warfare you are a pair of disembodied arms), you are definitely allowed to use your imagination. Once you come to after dealing with the realization that you are Price, you follow MacMillan, stealthing through the tall grass, sniping enemies, and generally sneaking your way through the nuclear-encrusted countryside. The mission has a pants-soiling tension to it, especially when you are slowly crawling past a platoon of soldiers and tanks through an open field. Moments like that pepper All Ghillied Up, and being the wonderful and handsome Captain Price in his more formative years is only icing on the cake.

Helicopter Crashes: I was too busy being Price to notice.

Wasn't that fun? For more serious and relevant Call of Duty coverage, check out Dan Tack's multiplayer preview and Javy Gwaltney's amazing feature about soldiers using video games to cope with deployment. 

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