Things start to happen around this time of year. Birds start chirping. Trees start singing. And new games get announced. Activision was a little bit ahead of schedule this year with their reveal of the next installation in the Call of Duty franchise. I would expect we’d have to wait for the fangasm that is E3 to pass or at least mid summertime to find out what the next game would be but this time we got a treat.
Activision let Sledgehammer take the helm on this one to follow up Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty Ghosts entry. This time around it seems that the developers will be taking their beloved franchise a little more seriously. To wit, the story itself will be relevant to modern times in that it will feature themes and ideologies that are currently spoken of but rarely featured in contemporary media. Also this will mark the first time that the franchise will use the voice as well as likeness of an A-list actor, namely, Kevin Spacey. Spacey will play the role of Jonathan Irons, the owner of a Private Military Corporation named Atlas that has declared war on the US. Expect nothing less than great performances the other character actors will bring to the game. It’s a refreshing look for an FPS to actual feature something relevant rather than a story crafted by a 13 year old fanboy who thought it sounded cool.
Players can probably expect a modest change in gameplay even with the next-gen treatment the game will receive which makes sense. The developers don’t want to alienate the already seated fanbase that have grown used to the look and feel of a Call of Duty game. Gameplay also looks to be a little bit more on the cinematic side which can only mean a flurry of quicktime and scripted events. Even still, from the trailer alone the game looks absolutely beautiful which will lead to an enjoyable experience for players whether they are new to the franchise or diehard fans.
It’ll be a good feeling to realize how seriously committed to this new direction Activision is. They’re giving players something to talk about not only in their daily lives but also to start discussions about the roles of politics in warfare with the changing world. It’ll be enjoyable for those that were growing tired of the stagnated gameplay in which the player with the quickest trigger speed was successful and mindlessly shooting your way through a straight line of hundreds of NPC fodder units was an afternoon well played. It had become self parody and can be and should be played on mute. Hopefully this will be the beginning of bringing players back to what the game was originally intended for and that’s to tell a story. Activision will be proud of a product able to compete with…hm…I can’t really think of any other games right now…Halo 5? Destiny? Whatever Crysis game EA is cooking up? Oh well. We’ll get to those when they come up.
Be that said, I do have a few questions. Where does Treyarch fit into this? Are we going to see a Black Ops III? Or is this going to be as close to one as we get? It looks like this is the start of a new series altogether so I guess we can expect Ghosts 2 (Ghosts’s?) to be popping up next year then.
Now if we can just get them to stop destroying the Golden Gate Bridge…