Is the Call of Duty Hype Train Losing Steam?
I say that with a somewhat saddening look on my face. Mainly because the next Call of Duty game may be the biggest improvement on the series since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. But why would a hype train as big as Call of Duty be slowing down? Here’s what I think:
If you’ve seen what I post here, most of it comes off as me being an FPS junkie. I’m not ashamed of it and I’m not ashamed that I love Call of Duty. Sure, CoD has had it’s rocky stretches, most notably the Treyarch games, but I generally like all the games in the series. The tight controls, great shooting, amazing spectacles, and the squad-based play. Oh yea, multiplayer is kind of a big deal, too.
With E3 2012 passing on, I can’t help but think that Treyarch’s new Call of Duty: Black Ops II didn’t make much of an impact on the expo. The single-player demo was shown at the tail end of the Microsoft press conference which may have been a problem.
The demo itself showcased a lot of new things to the franchise including a sniper rifle that could see through cover, drones, the future, jets, and even new lighting effects.
There was some more coverage on the game across various video game websites, including Spike TV’s coverage of a the Singapore Strike Force mission from the campaign. There was also a crazy panoramic trailer shown at the Black Ops II booth. Treyarch did an awesome job of showing their game; more was shown at E3 this year than previous years.
I think at this point, though, the only people really looking forward to this game are the fans of the franchise. Big games like Halo 4, Watch Dogs, and Star Wars 1313 stole the show.
Most FPS fans have a thing for Halo so I wonder how many of those fans are bailing on Call of Duty this year because of Halo. I will say that I’m getting both because I love both franchises, but what about the people that can only buy one type of game?
The sale will inevitably go to Halo 4. That game showed well, to say the least, at Microsoft’s press conference this year. Everything about that demo was reassuring because Master Chief wouldn’t just be fighting the covenant again. Same thing is happening with Black Ops II, you will be fighting a new enemy with new toys and you get a nice change in scenery.
Black Ops II picks up where the first game left off, mainly in the 70s and 80s. You’ll encounter your villain who later becomes a threat down the road, long way down. This new villain will be the one you’re fighting against when the story jumps ahead to the future in 2025.
What you do in the campaign will affect the story’s outcome through winning or losing Strike Force missions mainly. Those wins or losses will be recorded and can change the outcome of the new Cold War.
So as you can see in the video above, it’s a little hard to distinguish that as a Call of Duty game if you knew nothing about it. That statement in itself might be a great thing for the franchise.
A little change in scenery bundled with things like branching narratives, new weaponry, and game mechanics should be the change that the CoD franchise needs. It is in my opinion, but is it getting written off already as the same thing?
The game play in the the 2025 sections stand out more than anything else you’ll see; yes, even the horses we saw in the launch trailer. This is because it’s not far enough into the future that it is Sci-Fi, so it has to be at least plausible, right?
Without getting too much into military technology, it’s something that is rapidly advancing. The drones the military uses today are getting more advanced each year. An event that could turn those machines against us, a la Terminator style, could happen and that’s one of the story threads that Black Ops II uses.
Will all these changes really matter when the game ships? Will we see a new set of Call of Duty games coming out on next generation consoles? Regardless of how much hype there is now, it probably won’t matter come November being that the name will sell it alone.
The question of “Will it be breaking sales records again?” comes when you see that Halo 4 has a week head start on the FPS fans and its the continuation of the Master Chief story.
You almost wonder if all this change now is at the wrong time due to competition and burnt out gamers. I was burnt out on the series after MW3. Love that game but I didn’t know if I wanted to pay another $60 for more of it.
Post a comment below to let us know what you think! Thanks for reading and stay tuned to Velocity Gamer for news and editorials.