Call Of Duty, a video game franchise that was created to rival Battlefield, yet quickly took over as the prominent war franchise in video games. It was praised for its uniqueness, for its depth, and its use of WWII to its full effect. Then, it became more about Modern Warfare, and then about futuristic warfare. Finally, recently, it became about Infinite Warfare. But in the process of these evolutions, did it lose what it was trying to be when it started?
To be fair, it’s undeniable that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare wasn’t a hit when it released last year, that’d be folly for me to say. However, there’s a difference between spectacle, and quality. Between putting on a show, and seeing a show you actually want to watch. Between playing a game, and enjoying what you’re playing.
I’m not the only one to notice this, as reviews for Infinite Warfare say that while the gameplay is very Call of Duty, the story is lacking, especially when you compare them to other shooter games we had in 2016. Such as Titanfall 2, Dues Ex: Mankind Divided, and even Battlefield 1.
The problem here, is that Call of Duty feels the need to go bigger and better with every title. When in fact, it was the simple things that made it special. Things like the first Call of Duty, where you were in a level, and started out without a gun, just ammo. Or, in Modern Warfare, where you lost one of your main characters, right after doing a rescue mission to save your fellow marines. That shocked everyone. But then, the teams thought “we can do that bigger and better!”, and suddenly, ALL the main characters seemed to be dying “tragic deaths”, even when we weren’t attached to them as much.
This goes double for gameplay. Though Call of Duty is still tight gameplay wise, it’s clear they’re running out of ideas on how to go “bigger and better”. I mean, do we really need exosuits? Zero Gravity fight scenes? Robot companions? No, we just need an enjoyable experience.
The real problem here is this, Call of Duty comes out pretty much every year now. Which means that less and less time is spent on both making the game, and making it enjoyable. This isn’t the old days where games can be cranked out in months, AAA titles like Call of Duty need time and refinement. Infinite Warfare is proof that just because something goes to great lengths and scopes to be awesome…doesn’t mean it works when a lot of what makes it that way…falls flat.