I assume youíve heard of this new fangled Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
game just recently announced. Woo! A new COD
game! I had no idea they were going to release one this year! But how far Advanced
can this softw-are
be from its own series?†
Thereís a lot of hate for the Multiplayer First Person Shooter, but somehow, time and time again it is the greatest selling thing since sliced bread. Itís a very interesting paradox. Iím sure most of the people who read this, or any game journalism/blogs/news is in a similar stance to myself; fatigue. Donít get me wrong, I love the series for many reasons and I donít want to come across as the person who unconditionally dislikes something because itís popular. So this piece will look at the positives, from my perspective, of the annual money sponge that COD
The first time I was introduced to the non-fishing simulator, I sat down on the couch at my friendís house, watched him play Modern Warfare
and witnessed its glory. Using killstreaks, structured multiplayer with customizable classes made up of guns, perks, sidearms, grenades, secondary grenades. The coveted skins for weapons, tied with how many headshots made and challenges you cleared was brilliant. Everything that Infinity Ward had put in was magical, creating an addictive environment, where everyone was pissed off at being killed, but the drive to flaunt that Gold Desert Eagle was far too overwhelming to give up. More than anything, the game itself felt perfectly tight. You can feel the power in your characterís palms wielding a M1014 Semi-Automatic Shotgun, you can hear the crunching speed of a bullet exploding a skull from M40A3 Bolt Action Sniper, as well as the maniacal laugh of the person who successfully quick-scoped you. That multiplayer world was so bustling with life and Iím sure it still is today.
The single player campaign, though secondary, was an astounding supporting feature. I wrestled for the controller with my friend to shoot the bullet that blows off Imran Zakhaevís arm. That loud boom, followed by shocking dismemberment can only be described as epic.
I didnít have a console at the time I my friend did, and my PC was not going to run anything better than Chipís Challenge
, but I HAD to buy something that could run the sequel to Modern Warfare
. I barely ever used my desk calendar. Pretty well the only thing written in it was November 8[sup]th[/sup] 2011. I flicked to that page so many times anticipating its release, drawing on the date, making day by day countdowns to COD: MW2
. How many times had I said "Cod mwahtwo" in my head? Building on the terrific structure of its predecessor, MW2
provided more customization, more awesome maps, and more of the tight controls everyone became familiar with. Players could grab the traditional AK-47 and rack up some points, finish the copious amounts of challenges, find hidden corners or glitches in maps, or for the truly pro players, you could bounce throwing knives off walls in a 1v1 on the tiny map Rust. I was never amazingly great at the game, but I spent enough time with it to finish the campaign and prestige twice. This was one of the first games which everyone owned, where we could jump into a full lobby of pals hunting down angry ten year olds that were significantly better than us. Great times.
The exciting world Activision had created had me tranced. The idea that a second company would take the reins for the next iteration was only more enthralling to me. A different company? But how?! Black Ops
didnít hold my attention in the multiplayer nearly as much as the previous, but I was not phased in the slightest, because here is where Zombies became a huge portion of attention for my brain. Originally I had brushed off the thought of another thing using zombies: ďYeah, yeah seen it all before. BoringĒ. I gave it a crack anyway because at this point a Call of Duty could do no wrong in my books. I had seen a little bit of the zany Nazi Zombies in World at War, but I had no idea there was more to it than gunning down meat sack after rotting meat sack. Hidden behind the wave based side game was an intricate storyline, told by untraditional means. Through voice logs, songs and one off liners from the characters, my friends and I began to uncover something huge. I liken its narrative to Assassinís Creed
. The story runs parallel to actual events from history, and puts its own crazy zombie twist on them. The explosion of the Tunguska Event was actually and alien meteorite falling from the sky which Nazi scientists used to create teleporters, time machines, mystical weapons and human augmentations. Brilliant! I think the reason for which Zombies was so successful in my mind, was the formula stayed similar to the multiplayer of satisfying multiple audiences at once. For the general populace shoosting Nazis is a classic braindead pastime (in video games that is), and the gameplay is tight enough for this to carry the game alone. But for the Ďprosí, zombie murdering is second to hunting down Easter Eggs, unlocking songs and advancing their knowledge in the convoluted lore. I remember the first big Easter Egg my friend and I completed on the map Call of the Dead. It had us running up and down the map, flicking switches, finding bottles, killing a zombie with a special weapon, escorting a human into a tunnel of light, killing the human before he reaches the top of the tunnel and picking up a golden rod, at the same time as holding off the endless hordes. We looked into each others eyes, mouths gaping and had no idea what to say. Weíd done it. Weíd finished a series completely rudimentary tasks to receive a digital item which means nothing to us in the real world, and it felt phenomenal.
The feelings I have felt throughout this series have been amazing, and very difficult to emulate with other experiences. The problem (which Iím sure everyone is painfully aware of now) is that at the tenth main release in the series, Activision havenít added much to the formula. ďIf itís not broke, donít fix itĒ is a thing, but that doesnít really apply for a company which is pushing ďThis newer thing is better than the older thing! BUY BUY BUYĒ. Iíve loved the pants off this series, the only problem being; underneath those pants is no clean agenda, only a hollow shell of genitals on a Ken doll trying to tell us over and over that itís the greatest penis in the world.