I read this
today. It was a shitty blog. It's bad enough the thing is barely readable, but the most annoying thing is that it echoes a sentiment I constantly read online: Modern Warfare
has ruined games and is the prime example of the lack of innovation that plagues the industry. It's been a popular opinion since MW2
launched two years ago, and I can't wrap my head around it. I'm sorry CoD
haters but allow me the explain why that's bullshit.
Firstly, when did it become Modern Warfare
's responsibility to reinvent the FPS genre with each release in the series? When MW2
was released gamers were already complaining
about how uninspired the series had become. And now, on the cusp of the third game's release, even indie developers
are hopping on the bandwagon. What surprises me about this is that gamers seem to forget why the franchise is so popular in the first place. Infinity Ward's shooter is constantly brought up in the debate about the lack of innovation in the gaming industry, but they fail to realize Modern Warfare
is top dog because
of its innovations, especially on consoles. Try to think back to pre-Modern Warfare
days. What was the FPS market like? WW2 shooter X was what we had over and over again. Even though Infinity Ward's series was at the top of the heap, they decided enough was enough and went for a modern setting. They even had to fight Activision
tooth and nail to get it done. What resulted was one of the best things to happen to modern shooters. Thanks to CoD 4
, we were finally lifted out of the dark ages of the stale WWII setting. That wasn't all Infinity Ward brought to the table; we also got an exciting, action-packed campaign with a lot of twists and turns. Even better was an addictive online multiplayer component that offered an even deeper experience than the singleplayer. I don't know if it was the first game to feature this because I never cared for online gaming before MW
, but it's RPG like progression system was a fun, rewarding experience. The more kills you got, challenges you completed, and matches you finished the more XP and customization options you obtained. It offered gamers a reason to keep playing beyond just shooting guys in the face. The game also added perks and a variety of multiplayer modes to keep things interesting. We gained all this, yet gamers were already crying about the lack of innovation by the series' second installment. What? How often is Infinity Ward supposed to revolutionize a genre? Modern Warfare 2
offered new maps, a ton of new weapons, new game modes, new perks and killstreaks, and more customization options for your weapons. Somehow this gets written off as minor tweaks and I just don't get it.
What's even worse is the hypocrisy of certain gamers. Don't we gamers regularly beg for, or even expect, sequels to our favorite games? Look at what Capcom is going through right now. The company has suffered a lot of fan backlash for trying too many new things
and not giving fans sequels
to old games. You know what? I wouldn't say any of them are flatout wrong to feel that way. If you like something you want more of it. There's nothing wrong with that. Sure, you don't have to be a dick about it, but screwing with the formula pisses gamers off. Infinity Ward knows this and isn't doing anything wrong by giving gamers what they obviously want.
Probably the most boneheaded
criticism I've read is that the franchise's influence is ruining gaming. Every since Cal of Duty 4
became a huge hit, other studios have ditched the WWII setting in favor of a modern approach. That's a good thing. Some have taken it a step further and have decided to ape Infinity Ward's style all together. This has resulted in a lot of "me too"
shooters that either want CoD
's spot or just want to ride its coattails to success. The problem with blaming CoD
is that it isn't the game's fault! If people are ripping off Call of Duty
you blame the developers of these knock offs not the game being ripped off. So what we have her is a situation where gamers are simultaneously criticizing MW
titles for a lack of innovation and blaming Infinity Ward for having its style co-opted by the rest of the industry. How can something that's just the same old crap be a trend setter? It can't.
This series' influence isn't all bad either. Games evolve over time because of inspiration from different games. It the reason combos exist in games today, action games have RPG elements and the over-the-shoulder perspective is a staple of the third person shooter genre. I like to think the industry is better for it. Also, we don't curse the games that dare to be a little different for inspiring the gameplay of others. That's ludicrous.
With that said I understand people's frustration with the series as a whole. Activision has turned Call of Duty
into an annual franchise and fans are worried that won't give developers the time they need to grow. I share the same fears especially after the legal fallout last year. However, Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare series is its own thing and shouldn't be held accountable for a spinoff series its publisher ordered. Not only that, but the games are
different. The Treyarch and IW games have a similar feel and run on the same engine, but any CoD
player can tell the difference between the gameplay of the main series and its spawn. Even though Treyarch's games always feels a step behind the main one, the last two installments have been great shooters in their own right. World at War
gave us Nazi Zombies and some of the best multiplayer maps to grace the series. Last year's Black Ops
tried to make up for MW2
's shortcomings and delivered the best narrative to hit any game in the franchise. It's hard to get too mad when these games continue to be better than much of the competition.
It's ok to to be a little angry, disappointed or worried about the state of the Call of Duty
brand and the FPS genre as a whole. I just believe gamers should make sure that anger isn't misdirected. When I read complaints about the impending release of MW3
from people who haven't played the game yet, I can't help but call bullshit. If you're sick of the franchise since Activision forces the release of annual installments or because studios that want to emulate it, fair enough. Just don't tell me it sucks because it's not innovative enough when Battlefield 3
isn't doing much more that what it's already accomplished in the past. Well, there is dinosaurs.