Good Old Reviews
Call of Duty - Civil Warfare And Other Shooters We Need

Marshall Lemon | 21 Nov 2015 12:00
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Video games often fall into the habit of remaking the same experience for each release. Call of Duty was once rooted entirely in World War II combat, and showed little sign of becoming anything more. Then Call of Duty IV: Modern Warfare showed up in what was almost a revolutionary act, tackling murky geopolitics and nuclear weapons. But of course, MW brought the entire FPS genre along for the ride. Today, there are so many modern shooters that it's hard to tell them apart, and we're left forgetting how risky the genre used to be.

Call of Duty isn't alone when it comes to repetition, but it's truly amazing how little the series has changed in recent years. Call of Duty should be proof that franchises can move in experimental new directions and still become smash hits. With a yearly release schedule, I'd say it should be encouraged! But what does Activision have to show for a half-decade following Modern Warfare 3? Four near-future shooters (two specifically addressing human augmentation), all of which failed to revolutionize the industry. Only the Black Ops games sold comparably to Modern Warfare, and that's arguably because of Treyarch's beloved Zombies mode - more proof that uniqueness is what makes you successful.

To be clear, Activision doesn't need to stop making Call of Duty games, it just needs to be open to new ideas. Take Far Cry, a series that started with remote modern settings, but keeps finding creative spins on the material. That's what brought us Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon and the Far Cry 4 Yeti DLC. Now Far Cry: Primal is headed to the Stone Age, where no mechanical weapons exist and sabretooth tigers roam the Earth.

Call of Duty doesn't need to go that far back, no matter how much I'd love to see mammoth-based multiplayer matches. But the series can absolutely afford to visit historical war zones that video games have rarely addressed. All you need is a unique setting, interesting weapons, and a dramatically-powerful war story where soldiers fight against all odds. If Activision can do that, perhaps one day Call of Duty will be about:

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