This evening has been a heady rush for me in signing up to Destructoid. I have spent the last three days, more or less, reading reviews for Call of Duty: Ghosts. I am reeling from recent news that Blockbuster (UK) have been put into administration which means they're stocking no new games; no Battlefield 4, no Call of Duty: Ghosts, and I can't even seem to find the new Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on the shelves.
I was hoping to replay the same plan I ran for Call of Duty: Ghosts as I did with the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: rent it, beat it on hardened or veteran for Xbox 360 achievement whoring, give it back and consider buying it when dirt cheap some twelve or twenty-four months later. But alas, those plans are defeated.
Personal details aside, I joined this site for two reasons: one is to blog and have a platform to post opinion on videogames (aside from forums where posts are eventually deleted), so that I don't feel like I'm writing on a production line that will eventually drop me into a cardboard box to be forgotten. The second reason I joined is because of Jim Sterling's rather excellent review of Call of Duty: Ghosts. It seemed to confirm aloud everything I have been thinking about the game, without having played it. Please, read it here: http://www.destructoid.com/review-call-of-duty-ghosts-264903.phtml
and read it again if you've already read it.
Finally, I thought to myself, someone who is willing to break rank with almost the rest of the gaming websites I peruse and criticise Call of Duty for what it is, and, more importantly, what it has and has not become. A reviewer who was willing to go below the 7/10 score or refuse to award it starry-eyed 8.8s, or even a percentage I don't think can be justified. Some reviews of Call of Duty: Ghosts, have almost apologetically stated "Is it right to criticise a game that will feed its audience the same thing because that's what they expect?"
Yes. Yes, it is! Because otherwise what are we all playing games for? Why bother buying new ones?!
I feel I should add a disclaimer at this point: I have adored Call of Duty. My first encounter was with #3 on the Xbox 360, and since then I have played World at War, the entire 'Modern Warfare' trilogy, and Black Ops. I did not choose to buy Black Ops II despite the rather good write up as that was the year I jumped ship, on my brother's advice, to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3. When I look back over all of these years of gaming, I do start to feel entitled and opinionated. When I see the numbers of sales series like Call of Duty garner, I feel they should bring the best and offer the best to consumers and gamers alike. It seems dangerous and nonsensical for publishers to allow a product to offer the same experience to their loyal followers year-on-year, because it then (surely!) endangers the next game in the series.
Call of Duty is due to launch in 2014 a little over a year into the life cycle of the Xbox One and Playstation 4. But will it be too late by that time if customers really are disillusioned by the sixth "modern" first person shooter from Activision? As with many things in this industry, only time will tell.