As we get closer to the Labor Day holiday thoughts invariably turn to Halloween, Thanksgiving, and of course the annual tradition that gathers everyone into a frenzy. That of course would be the release of the latest Call of Duty game. While I may be a bit sarcastic here I don’t think I would be understating the fact that since the release of Modern Warfare and the subsequent whirlwind it created, three subsequent Call of Duty games have dominated sales as well as the media’s attention in what is become a fall tradition.
It’s no secret that the game being released right in time for Hanukkah and Christmas certainly powers sales but like it or love it, it’s hard to deny the impact that Call of Duty has had upon the gaming market.
There have been numerous people complaining about issues in the last game and how they wish the franchise would die. Some have cited how lame Modern Warfare 3 is going to be despite playing a single second of the game. Despite this venom, record sales are guaranteed and once again Call of Duty will likely be the top selling game for the year.
While some people like to cite the lack of creativity and state the games have been nothing more than a recycling of the previous games with new maps and skins, with ongoing multiplayer issues. They say the game sells mainly to stupid people who do not know any better and that the brand name is what sells not the content.
I for one find the games to be very enjoyable and very pleasant diversion. Occasional multiplayer issues aside, I love to get through the solo play portion in about two weeks, and then throw my full efforts into leveling to the max on the multi-play. It is still a nice achievement to rank your way to the top as hours of hard work go into it.
The interesting thing about the game is that in many ways it has become a tradition that is very hard to ignore. When people bash the new game I suggest that people wait until they play the final release of the game because basing an opinion only on a few videos and comments made by other people is not enough to fully give the game a proper evaluation. I have seen the game in action at E3 and I was very impressed with what I saw. It was darker and grittier than previous games in the series and will incorporate a few new wrinkles. That being said I will reserve my final review until I played the final game as that is the proper thing to do as I know a slick demo and cut screens is not the same as investing time and money in a finished product.
So getting back to traditions the release of the new Call of Duty game is to me a lot like the holidays. Like it or loathe it you can’t avoid it and if you give it a chance you just might succumb to its charms after all.
The core audience knows what to expect, you do not have to reinvent the wheel every time out just simply provide us an enjoyable and stable gameplay experience. Promptly addressing any issues with a patch is also essential as laggy multi-play is not going to cut it especially when you have a new subscription service that people are going to pay hard earned money for.
The interesting thing people seem to forget is that this is America and many free nations all over the world. If for whatever reason you have a bona fide hatred of the Call of Duty franchise you’re under no obligation to play the game much less by the game. However, you should at least be fair enough not to go spreading poison about the game if you haven’t taken the time to at least experience the game firsthand.
I remember when the first Modern Warfare was released. Killing time before a family holiday gathering had initially seemed like a chore. Waiting for items to finish baking but unable to go anywhere, and not enjoying the options on television, I turned to team death match and found the hours simply vanished.
So what am I looking forward to with Modern Warfare 3? A pleasant single player experience with some decent excitement and an action, and several months of multi-play fun that’ll help pass any free hours between Thanksgiving and New Year, as well as some of the slow times early in the year when people in gaming companies like are still recovering from holiday rush.
Like family gatherings, food, gifts, and an array of holiday specials on TV, Call of Duty for me at least, is a very welcome tradition that I look forward to experiencing for years to come.