It’s obvious how many hours the development teams behind the Call of Duty titles spend reading blogs and forums, deciding what needs to be tweaked or enhanced to make the next game even better. They may be small changes -which is usually a common complaint the franchise keeps being called out on – but polishing up an already phenomenal engine is safer than adding a new part that may go haywire.
Any addition – either big or small – the series has implemented over time, was carefully thought out in order to fit with the overall dynamic and feel that the games are known for. Right now, every Call of Duty game released appeals to both the casual gamer who just bought a new system and the hardcore veteran who plays clan matches every night. So why change courses and needlessly add something for originality’s sake? This could potentially risk losing the stronghold in popularity the games already have during the process. When it comes down to it, it’s a business decision to keep these games relativity similar in design, making more money is the main goal. This is what Call of Duty haters fail to grasp.
Yet, the series has shown more originality in the last few years than it usually gets credit for. Who would have thought that a simple bonus zombie mode would have developed into the addictive craze it is now. Not only was the thought to add co-op survival with the undead innovative, it was downright unnecessary for the developers to include it in the first place. But taking chances like that paid off big time for the series, with another ingenious way of getting more people hooked into what Call of Duty had to offer besides a competitive online mode that sucks away hours of free time.
Look at the recently released Black Ops 2: you get your standard single player story, massive multiplayer content and an even bigger zombie campaign with various options and modes to play around with. That’s not only varied content for a so called “ordinary” shooter, but also a ton of bang for your buck. Even the survival mode in Modern Warfare 3, a separate feature that almost every shooter adds now to supposedly try and fit in with, was a full-fledged idea that was expertly made. That’s the general emphasis these games always try to drive home repeatedly; they do what they do phenomenally well and don’t make mistakes that other games –Medal of Honor for example – would make. You don’t expect Steven Spielberg to use dodgy CGI and you don’t expect Infinity Ward to allow a framerate to be less than silky smooth.
This article isn’t suggesting that the Call of Duty titles are the best video games of all time. In fact, there hasn’t been any specific details actually referring to the individual games at all. EA’s NHL games, all the Madden games, the Grand Theft Auto series, all these titles own their respective genres because they have repeatedly improved year after year, to the point where they stand high above their various competition.
Call of Duty is no exception to that statement, since it has slowly been refined into the juggernaut it rightfully is. It deserves to be a cash cow, it deserves to be a brand name, it deserves to come out yearly, and it deserves to be the king of shooters. All of this has already been demonstrated why. You can hate these games or you can love them for your own reasons, but there is no denying that the Call of Duty franchise deserves to be what and where it stands in our society today: a hugely successful video game franchise.