12 September 2020

FWS Rant: Why Call of Duty and I had to Breakup!

The vast majority of us gamers have some experience with the Call of Duty franchise, due to its juggernaut status within the gaming community and even if you do not play a COD game, it has likely influenced the titles you are playing. However, there is a major issue about the most recent COD titles that have caused me to strike them off of my Christmas card list and delete them off of my Xbox One hard drive. First, some historical context with my relationship with the COD franchise. With the release of Saving Private Ryan, the video game industry stood up and took notice of WWII again and with the release of the original Medal of Honor, the floodgates were open. For me,  I started playing COD with the Xbox 2004 title "Finest Hour".
To be honest, it was a terrible game and it when came to World War II titles, it was one of the worst. I tried again with the PS2 only Call of Duty: Big Red One, and that was solid title that I enjoyed very much. Then it was COD: 3 and it was more of the same, solid, but a bit like fast food. I played through Brothers in Arms much more and that is one of the finest WW2 games of all time. Then came the Modern Warfare series and it flipped the entire gaming industry. While I liked the original Modern Warfare, it was the second game in the series that turned me on and I played it over and over...but, not on multiplayer. Due to money, I did not take a COD game online until Black Ops 2. I would buy all of the COD titles after Modern Warfare 2 and for me, the highpoint online was Black Ops 2. Many weekends, my friends and I would gather online and I would play for hours with some Jack & Coke in my hand. Amazing times. However, I did not play Black Ops 3 or 4. Ghost was a terrible title with some good ideas, but badly developed. much like Advanced Warfare. Then COD went fully out into outer space with COD: Infinite Warfare. There was much I liked about COD:IW and the campaign was deeply rewarding in some parts. I never took it online save for playing with bots.
Then came the rebooted Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in 2019 and I was ready. It crushed by hard drive of my Xbox One and hungered for more and more space, and the campaign was just okay. For everything I witnessed in the trailers, the assembled product with the single-player campaign was mostly uninspired, save for the house clearing mission, which was one of the finest levels in COD history. For me, 2010's Medal of Honor was a much better modern Special Operations warfare setting. However, the multiplayer was lit, either with bots or with people. The weapons seemed real, combat was brutal and savage, and the gunsmith was just mega. I loved it and even offline with bots, it was a challenge.
But, it seemed that every time I wanted to buy a quick round of offline with bots or online, the game needed an update of vast propositions. Like an abusive relationship, it hurt me and I came back. Then one day, it was too much. I had deleted every title off of my Xbox One and even added memory, and it was never enough for Modern Warfare, it always wanted more and more. The updates were longer and longer. This killed me and my enjoyment of the offline bot multiplayer was not enough at some point. The bullshit factor hit and I deleted the title off my hard drive and started playing DOOM and Outer Worlds. To be honest, I miss it sometimes and WILL NOT be getting COD: Black Ops: Cold War. I leave you with the words from Sylvia Plath's "Daddy" poem: "Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through."    


  1. One of the big advantages that Modern-Warfare era CoD had was that it had comparatively low requirements for an FPS - low disk space, could run on your nan's old laptop, and had remarkably solid online multiplayer.

    Why they've decided that rendering every pimple on Ronald Reagan's nose is more important than letting you play the game without a stack of external hard-drives and unlimited broadband is a mystery to me.

    Personally I've also found the increasing levels of weird jingoism in the campaigns to be a little off-putting, particularly when placed against the sort of corporate snivelling that saw them remove 2 seconds of film of the Tienanmen Square massacre from a trailer that told the viewer to "remember their history". All because they were scared that they'd lose sales in the Chinese market...

  2. I will only play the game if Ronald Reagan ends up being kidnapped by ninjas and Frank Woods ask if I'm a Bad enough dude to rescue the president.

  3. I remember when everybody, even my grandmother, were programming a WWII videogame. Crazy days... I am not a fan of the saga but it was a shame that "Call of Duty: Rome" was cancelled.

  4. I still like cod and are porbley going to play cold war but I see your side of coin by the way a cool sci fi thing i have been sleeping on is memory metal it can go back to its shape even when deformed by a ide

  5. To be honest, my experience with Call of Duty before Modern Warfare was limited to PS2 demo disks (anyone remember them?) and similar downloads. I was never really a multiplayer guy, initially because my internet wasn't up to par and eventually there was a limit to the amount of times I would stomach a per-peubesent boy t-bagging my corpse. I was more of a single player campaign guy, though then again I largely grew up in an age where online multiplayer was more of a PC thing than a console and even then the fastest internet speeds beyond dial up was DSL and such subscriptions for a computer that is at least a windows version behind in terms of performance, not to mention the Earthlinks and AOL's of the time, you learn to either like the campaign or wait for the inevitable friend or cousin to come over for split-screen multiplayer.

    Never really gotten my hands on any other Call of Duty beyond Modern Warfare until recently, more of a pre-owned game buyer myself, but I have gathered a collection myself, especially after I had to find myself a copy of modern warfare years after I sold it due to reaching the initial limits of my 60gig PS3. Most of my COD outings were largely 7th generation with my only real 8th gen COD being Infinite Warfare in anticipation of my eventual PS4 purchase. Even then, anything beyond Modern Warfare was limited to the first Black Ops Bundle and Ghost (I didn't know, it had been years since I heard anything about it when I got it second-hand).

    Still, I wasn't completely ignorant of some of the less than honorable practices Activision had done with their COD property which had stayed my hand in any serious purchases with the franchise, and the constant updates and memory hogging of the Remastered MW certainly convinced me of that position. I'm starting to see that the best value in terms of gameplay and money for the game series was in the 7th generation.

    Still, that hasn't stopped me from having the occasional brainfarts associated with COD; with one group I'd like to call Altered Shock which is basically alternate history and parallel versions for COD not unlike the Ace Combat series. Then again, I'm not sure if contemporary COD is even worthy of that series of brain farts.

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