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Published on May 8th, 2014 | by gareth


Call of Duty, Two Sides of the Same Argument

I have taken some time to reflect upon the announcement, images, and trailers, from the next Call of Duty game, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as I wanted to let it all sink in.

I am a big fan of the series but I have noted that in recent games there were some things to be unhappy over, ranging from storylines to multiplay issues.   I have not been one to blast the series as being the same thing time and again as to me, the series has an established formula and there is no reason from a business standpoint for Activision to deviate from what has worked to date.

They have tweaked the graphics, added new gameplay modes, and have made changes both subtle and not so subtle to the game.


When the latest game was announced, I saw a flood of comments from people saying I am not going to buy it day one; it’s more of the same, RIP, Call of Duty and other derogatory statements. Thankfully there were also plenty of people posting encouraging things about the game and what it will represent for the future of the series.

I decided that both sides have valid points and concerns, yet in many ways the detractors are not always fair.  For example, they complain that the games are basically the same thing with each release. The game is an action warfare game that uses the same engine, albeit modified with their recent releases. From a gameplay and mechanics standpoint, there is not a lot they can do without making drastic changes. You can make the art, graphics, physics, and such better but you will still be left with a game involving soldiers in a first person combat perspective.

Detractors said Advanced Warfare looked like Crysis, and others compared the cover art to the recent movie “Elysium”.  They say that the exo-skeleton is not going to change things up that much. I find this odd based on early gameplay footage.

CoD AW_Advanced World

So I ask, what changes will be enough for the critics?  A new engine, gameplay mode, physics model, and online mode? Should they make the series a third person based game or make it online only?

You can see the problem. If you make too many changes then you run the risk of alienating your core group who has made the series one of record selling proportions.

Make subtle changes and people complain it is the same thing each time and complain about everything. People like to tout how Call of Duty: Ghosts did not sell as well as expected, but fail to mention that is was the best selling game for the Playstation 4 and Xbox One and that the game had the tricky position of launching right before the release of two new consoles, one of which remained very difficult to obtain for months which no doubt effected peoples buying options and decisions for the game.

CoD AW_Advanced Soldier

I think that there are just those who take pleasure in kicking Call of Duty as they see it as the big boy on the block and they think that trying to bring it down will someone make things better in their lives. Others have very legitimate concerns. I am still very frustrated with the online mode and how hackers and play balance issues have made the game at times highly frustrating to play.

My advice to the detractors would be simple. Take a wait and see attitude until the final game is out. Sure it is fun for some to fan the flames and troll, but for others like myself, I will wait until I see the game at E3 and wait until I play the final version of the game before I make my decision.

CoD AW_Advanced Arsenal

The detractors seem to forget that nobody is forcing them to buy the game. If they do not like what they see, they are under no obligation to buy it. But for my two cents, if you have not played it, perhaps you should not consider yourself qualified to say it is the same thing once again.

Some people can never be satisfied or happy. I am fortunate that I am encouraged about what I have seen and look forward to seeing more and playing the final build.


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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