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Published on February 11th, 2014 | by gareth


How Sledgehammer Can Restore The Call of Duty Franchise To Greatness

While I am a fan of the Call of Duty series, I must admit to some concerns and disappointments over the multiplay elements of Ghosts which to me have been the most unsatisfactory of the series,

I do not share the franchise fatigue that many complain about but I will admit that the story mode of Black Ops 2 and the previously mentioned Multiplay of Ghosts did not meet my expectations and that the issues with Ghosts has caused me to seriously curtail the amount of time I usually play online.

As the world awaits the official announcement of the next game in the series which some believe will be Black Ops 3, the recent rumor that Sledgehammer games is working on their own game is interesting news.

Are Sledgehammer launching a new franchise or taking over the bulk of the work for Infinity Ward? Will there be three developers all working on COD games? Perhaps Sledgehammer is hard at work on a new game with a whole new gaming engine and dynamic and in doing so, Infinity Ward and Treyarch will continue with annual releases until the new offering is ready.

The truth may be any of the above or none of the above, but speculation is rife that something is up and there are changes ahead for the franchise.

I would love to see a new and dynamic game for the series. The space based elements of Ghost were a step in the right direction for me and I would love to see a new game based in space. What Modern Warfare did for the franchise by moving on from the World War II setting could be accomplished with a futuristic setting.

Zero G combat, energy weapons, physics based combat, and a lack of oxygen could all bring a brand new wrinkle to the game. Ghosts teased us with space and under water missions and I would love to see what a truly new next generation engine can bring to reality.

Naturally a new coat of paint and a solid solo campaign will not be enough as multiplay has always been the calling card of the franchise and in many ways, this is where the biggest changes need to be made in my opinion.

With that in mind, here is what I would suggest.

End camping season.

So many people take advantage of the larger maps in the game to camp out and take out people from a hidden location.

The same people are the first to complain when a user has to resort to a grenade

or a launcher to try to even the score yet they destroy the enjoyment of the

game with what many see as a cowardly tactic.


Why not introduce a feature where a player can only stay stationary for 30-60

seconds at a time before they have to move a certain distance. This restriction

would be lifted when an aircraft is attacking but would otherwise require

players to be more mobile in their gameplay.


Increase the player levels.

The maps in the game are gigantic and when you only have 10 people in a game you can walk around a lot

looking for someone to fight. This makes you a prime target for campers and

really brings down the experience when you have to spend huge chunks of the game

looking for enemies.


Improve the graphical textures.

I know the game has increased graphics from previous games and that you can adjust your settings but

even with a high-end video card some of the maps do not look very modern as do

some of the character models. I know this is more stylistic than gameplay

related but it is an issue for me at times and other gamers I have spoken



Once and for all, crack down on the hackers and cheats and ban


This is paid lip service all the time but year after year, game

after game, multiplay is being ruined by the legions of people with their hacks,

bots, and exploits.


Ghosts seems to have more than the usual amounts and it has

reached annoying and epic levels for me and other gamers. Nothing will make me

want to leave a game and not return more than a gameplay experience that is not

fair and friendly. I have seen countless players fire through walls, emerge from

outside the map, take numerous hits and grenades and keep coming even when their

fellow players are dropping around them. It is time that this is fixed once and

for all.

Many people say to me that it will never be fixed on PC as they care more

about the console marketplace and as such they will get the attention and fixes

over the PC users. I say what is done for one should be done for all.


Cross platform gaming.

I know it is a huge undertaking but with the arrival of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 the time is right to look to

allow users from all formats to play against one another. Imagine the Clan Wars

between owners of various consoles as they slug it out.</P>

While I used to take it as part of the game experience, the online trolls have really gotten out of hand. The racial slurs, personal attacks, and venom have become far to frequent in Ghosts and Activision must see that this is not an ideal consumer experience and that if it continues it will only continue to drive consumers away.

The issues with Battlefield 4 have given the COD franchise a pass in many ways as the issues of Ghosts were not as glaring when compared to the issues that have hampered Battlefield 4. In some ways this has been a bad thing as Activision has not had the incentive to deal with many of the issues that remain within the franchise.

Sales is the ultimate test for many companies and Ghosts has done very well in the sales department. It will be interesting to see if the Sledgehammer rumors are true, what a new and hopefully fresh approach will bring to the franchise.

About the Author

Syndicated movie & game critic, writer, author and frequent radio guest. His work has appeared in over 60 publications worldwide and he is the creator of the rising entertainment site and publication “Skewed and Reviewed”. He has three books of film, game reviews and interviews published and is a well-received and in demand speaker on the convention circuit. Gareth has appeared in movies and is a regular guest on a top-rated Seattle morning show. He has also appeared briefly in films such as “Prefountaine”, “Postal”. “Far Cry”. and others. Gareth is also an in-demand speaker at several conventions and has conducted popular panels for over two decades.

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