Wednesday 11 June 2014


Well, the announcement at E3, that Activision are bringing out a new Call Of Duty title on the 4th November has not gone down well.
Call Of Duty's Facebook pages are awash with nay sayers. For many it is the end of the line of a game that seems to be spiralling forever downwards.

In fact the Call Of Duty loyalists want a return to the old days when the video game series concentrated on action during World War 2. While others want a Modern Warfare 2 re-make. All of which is met by wild rebukes from those who think otherwise.

In my own mind Call Of Duty World War Two games could only be compared to the Medal Of Honour series that my sons played. We are all pretty certain that Medal Of Honour came first but that is all a little immaterial right now. Nowadays, it seems, they both travel the same road.

I did not play any Modern Warfare games until the release of MW3 - so a bit slow off the mark there. On it's own it didn't make much sense until the fact that '3' registered. So....Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare kicked off the story arc that begins with Cold War tensions between the US and Russia. Hovering in the background is a baddie named 'Marakov' who is stirring things up a bit. He really comes into his own in Modern Warfare 2 with, probably, the most controversial scene ever with the shooting up of an airport. This would be matched in the third instalment of a family outing to London ending with the detonation of a 'dirty' bomb.

What makes the Modern Warfare trilogy so good is that there is a continuing story arc that is as compelling to play as it is to watch (if it were a movie) or read if they were books. But the trilogy is done and it is complete.

This trilogy was perhaps the best set of games that I have played.

The second trilogy that came along began with Call Of Duty: World At War followed by Black Ops and Black Ops 2. World At War opens with action with the American forces in the Pacific and the Russians on the Eastern Front. And via the Black Ops stories continues into the Cold War and Vietnam. The difference here is that the storylines are confused and, yes, disappointment by some gamers is understandable.

Last November saw the release of Call Of Duty: Ghosts.  The storyline is plain and simple. The war is over (think MW3) - one of the myths is the story of the fifteen survivors of an 'Alamo' like stand rose from the ruins looking like ghosts. Now someone is taking them out and that someone is aiding and abetting a Federation of South and Central American countries to attack a weakened United States.  Storywise this is a return to what made the Modern Warfare series a success - and those who signed out of the game when the credits came up they would have missed the bit that says that there has to be a sequel.
Also, to hark back to the Modern Warfare saga a character from number 2 was called 'Ghost' and the mask crops up from time to time - so, a connection is well and truly made.

So with a little background to this we come to the next story arc (opener?) with Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare.  The trailer shows the chapter titled 'Induction'. The action takes place in Seoul, South Korea in 2054 with lots of future technology. While many say Titanfall/Halo clone - from what little I know this is a story that echoes the rise of the private security firms - mercenaries that fight for the highest bidder. The idea sounds pretty good and feasible from what we already know about these companies.
This game comes from Sledgehammer developer who was working on this idea some years back but put it on hold to develop Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. This alone is one good reason for me to give the game a chance.

On the other hand maybe it is time to drop the 'Call Of Duty' tag.  Ghosts could stand on it's own two feet and, I expect, Advanced Warfare will as well.

If any of these games has a flaw then it is down to the player to do everything while the three team mates hide behind walls claiming to have your character's back.  This compared to Battlefield and Gears Of War when all four members of the team are in action from the kick off - and while you, the hero, still has to down the enemies with specialised weapons you feel confident that they do have your back. This is, as I said, lacking in Call Of Duty games - it needs fixing.

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