For the first time since November 2010, I’m excited to play a Call of Duty title again.
Treyarch’s Cold War romp through the jungles of South Vietnam, Laos, Cuba and Hong Kong holds many fond memories for me, the game – 2010’s Call of Duty: Black Ops.
Following its release to largely critical acclaim on November 9th, 2010, Call of Duty: Black Ops showcased a vintage period in franchise history before the pendulum swung dramatically forward into futuristic Titanfall-like wall running shooters and a barrage of hi-tech gadgets the brave soldiers who fought throughout World War II could only wish to have at their disposal.
For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed Sledgehammer and Infinity Ward’s co-developed Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 which followed Black Ops in 2011, but from a personal standpoint, Call of Duty: Black Ops felt like a true Call of Duty experience in every single aspect, an experience I plunged hundreds of hours into.
Not only did Black Ops deliver a boots to the ground single player campaign with one of the best examples of compelling storytelling since Infinity Ward’s 2007 classic Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and prior to Black Ops, 2009’s Modern Warfare 2; it also delivered massively with its multiplayer elements including thrilling, engaging maps and a wonderful cooperative zombie mode for players to sink their teeth into.
24 hours after its release, Treyarch’s circa 1960’s shooter had exceeded sales of 5 million units combined in North America and the United Kingdom; it was evidently clear back then, Call of Duty: Black Ops was a highly sought after game, a shooter that ultimately lived up to its billing post-launch.
With boots firmly on the ground and not a single wall running enemy or online player in sight, Black Ops was a first-person shooter with true grit and style. Its story, taking place during the Cold War, had players take on the role of CIA Operative Alex Mason who remains tied to a chair for the most part as the protagonist attempts to recall specific memories from combat in order to locate a numbers station.
With other characters playable throughout including Ed Harris’s character Jason Hudson, a colleague of Mason, Call of Duty: Black Ops conveyed an engrossing single player campaign, one fitting of the franchises great name, while additionally offering players a thoroughly competitive and exciting set of multiplayer modes and maps including the classic Nuketown map to conquer. Black Ops was the complete package, the 5 individual DLC packs that followed its release only further cemented that statement.
In the 6 or so years that have passed since its introduction, a handful of entries have attempted to keep the franchise rooted firmly in modern-day including Modern Warfare 3, however, slowly but surely those futuristic elements began to creep into its core gameplay and storytelling as Call of Duty expanded into the future with the much-loved franchise eventually leaving the settings of World War II and the Cold War behind to venture into space, for far too long.
The future sucks!…wait, I kid. Who am I to say that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3 or Infinite Warfare were horrible games? or to spout off how neither title offered anything but sheer disappointment. I’m sure for many the futuristic setting felt like a significantly bold move for a brand name synonymous with historical settings, but it just wasn’t for me at all. My excitement for the franchise had wavered. Cue, Call of Duty: WWII, a game that looks every bit a back to the roots title, once more rekindling my appreciation for what the franchise once represented.
A change was inevitable, right? The moment Activision published that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare reveal trailer it was doomed to fail, very few things in life were more certain. In fact, it fared so horribly that it quickly became one of the most hated game trailers of 2016, if not the most hated. Fans were frustrated and done with futuristic escapades or space settings, they wanted a return to the franchise they’d come to love so much, and they voted, with endless negative votes.
To be fair, Infinite Warfare enjoyed great success, topping charts across the globe following its release, including the No.1 crown at Christmas in the UK last year. But, in spite of that reception and Modern Warfare Remastered aside, yes, it had to happen. Activision and Sledgehammer were not going to make that mistake again. Following the lead of Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 1 which enjoyed major success using The Great War as its setting, both publisher and developer returned Call of Duty to its iconic boots to the ground roots.
A 2-minute glance at what a spectacularly gritty future holds proves the difference a year can make. From 3.5 million thumbs down to 500k upvotes, Call of Duty: WWII shows incredible promise and will likely go on to eclipse the worldwide views of Infinite Warfare. In just one day Call of Duty: WWII mustered 6.5 million views; fans wanted this game, and now they’ll be drip fed gunfire and World War II until November 3rd.
With a story portraying all the drama of WWII along with real and eye-catching authenticity, the way EA DICE prevailed so incredibly well with Battlefield 1 in October of 2016, not to forget a multiplayer aspect that will see players fight across multiple iconic and historic locations and a Nazi zombie cooperative mode; it’s safe to say the mood has drastically changed for fans of the franchise, a year made one hell of a difference.
Everything about Call of Duty: WWII oozes quality, class; a true Call of Duty experience. It’s the type of game fans of not only Call of Duty but shooters in general, crave dearly, myself being one of those fans.
For the first time since Call of Duty: Black Ops, I’m excited to play a Call of Duty game again.
The opinions in this featured editorial are that of the author and do not represent PressA2Join as a company.