Should Call of Duty Call it a Day?

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Call of Duty, the ongoing franchise from Activision with Infinity Ward and Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games joining the mix in the near future. We all buy it, and most of the time we play it all year round until the next one comes out (which is something that we have become accustomed to). Though with some CODs, we just don’t play it because of how bad it is.

These CODs have come about at different times for different people; for me it was Black Ops. Black Ops, in my opinion, was an atrocious game. The single player on it was pretty good, but the multiplayer was simply terrible. It seemed like they started on the campaign and thought, “Yeah, we’ve got enough time,” and then it got to like 2 months before the release date and then they thought, “Shit, who’s been working on the multiplayer?” It was simply terrible; in my opinion, of course.

Then Modern Warfare 3 came out and that was probably my second favorite Call of Duty since Modern Warfare 2; MW2 is my favorite, followed by Ghosts and MW3. MW3 had a great mix of single player and multiplayer, and the additional content, ‘Spec Ops,’ which was elaborated from MW2; both of these I loved. Though, the Spec Ops on both of the games could never amount to anything because of Treyarch’s Zombies. Infinity Ward tried their best but they just couldn’t match how awesome the Zombies mode actually was. Anyway, back to the point, MW3 couldn’t, and didn’t, get anywhere near the success and fame of MW2 but in my opinion it did surpass Black Ops in almost every single way.

Then came along Black Ops 2 which was a complete disaster. The campaign on it was worse thanBlack Ops and MW3, and the online – although better than Black Ops‘ – was still pretty damn bad. Though the Zombies on it was very good, it seemed like they concentrated more on that and the single player rather than the online portion; this seems to be a recurring theme throughout Treyarch’s games.

Then we get to Ghosts which, as mentioned before, is my second favorite COD game of all time. The single player on it, despite the shortness of it, was amazing and I can’t wait for their sequel, which may be in about 3 years due to Sledgehammer coming into the equation of making games. Ghosts has a sort of equality between the two modes of single player and multiplayer which makes the game so much better than it’s predecessor.

This could be because of their shortened version of their special add on. This time Infinity Ward decided to add in something called ‘Extinction,’ which could basically be called ‘Aliens,’ but then it would be all too obvious that they copied Zombies. Although Zombies never truly ends as you combat wave after wave, in Extinction there is an ending and, like the campaign, it is entirely too short. Alongside the length, you only receive one map which gets far too repetitive and people get too good at it, making it far too easy. You have to buy the new maps via the DLC releases which just adds more cost onto the £50 (if you got it cheaper than that well done) that you already spent on the game; something nobody wants to do.

So, after all the disappointments since MW2, should Call of Duty be put off? Should it be put in the cellar and left to rot? Of course they won’t because they make far too much money. However, unless Sledgehammer puts their own mark on the series then I’m afraid we are stuck with a dead-end game that will soon run out of wars to do and may soon run out of ideas for future wars or disputes. The entire Call of Duty series is based on some sort of engagement and so far they’ve pretty much used every one. They could go back further, but their fan base enjoys the advancement in weaponry so they could never go too far back. Though with this being said, does it mean they can only go further forward?

If they went further forward, would the games even be that good? Surely the weaponry would be far too advanced and it would make everybody too easy to kill. So, with these problems arising and their sales falling, should they continue? Ghosts sold 19% less units than it’s predecessor Black Ops 2 which must point to the conclusion that people are finding them far too repetitive, clumsy and all around annoying.

However, there could be a way forward for them. You look at Titanfall (which is made by ex-workers of Infinity Ward, fired by Activision) and they don’t have a single player, just a multiplayer. Facts and figures suggest that most people only buy these FPS games because of the online modes that accompany the game. There was a statistic stating something like 5% of people completed the Ghostscampaign, while only 35%-40% of consumers even started the campaign itself. This is self-evident in proving the point that nobody seems to care for the single player campaign, they only care about the online because it’s where they have the most fun. It’s quite simple really, people play the multiplayer because of the hours upon hours of endless entertainment. Quite simply, with games like Titanfall going down this route, could it mean the end of COD? Will the almighty Call of Duty fall at the feet of Titanfall,as it has to the feet of the clearly superior Battlefield series?

Now Battlefield is in the same position as COD in many ways, but in many ways it is also superior toCOD. While my personal preference will always be Call of Duty, that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the beauty of the game that is Battlefield. The graphics on this game are truly magnificent and the online you receive is amazing with the features put in place. The online on Battlefield overpowers CODs online and Battlefield 4 makes COD: Ghosts look like a PS2 game; the things you can do on it are simply stunning. The campaign side of Battlefield is probably on par with a few of COD’s campaigns, namely MW2, MW3, Black Ops 2 and Ghosts, but the gameplay is still incredible on it. In simple terms,Battlefield is better than COD all round, aside from COD having the Zombies mode which would probably sway quite a lot of people.

So with this being said, should Call of Duty just call it a day? If Sledgehammer proves to be as worthless as Treyarch at making a COD game then surely, with the percentage of units being sold decreasing each year, they should just stop? Though despite the obvious facts around them they probably won’t. They’ll continue to gauge the money out of our pockets because we love it. Most of us love to spend our time of COD because it’s a game a lot of people grew up around on the Xbox and/or PS. They continue to make their money, and we gather mild entertainment; simple as that.

Though, in my opinion, I think they should wait a couple of years, work on an amazing game and then release it just to see how good it may be. They should follow Assassins Creed‘s old example and release a game every couple of years. Yes, it wouldn’t make them as much money, but imagine the games they could bring out then; imagine if they took away the single player and solely focused on the online. Just imagine how amazing their games would be.

So my advice to Sledgehammer, Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Activision would be to leave the single player to games that solely depend on a single player to survive (Thief, pretty much Tomb Raider as well [that online was pretty bad]) and focus on the online. Otherwise I fear their product will be dead within the next couple of years.

I’d love to hear anybody’s views on the ongoing COD series, if you want to just post a comment below!

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