You’ll Never Guess What’s In RPS’ CoD Coverage

Oversimplifications.

Things the genre has but only this franchise gets criticized for.

Reverse xenophobia.

Hoplophobia.

Franchise ignorance.

Genre ignorance.

Platform ignorance.

Individual release ignorance.

Misunderstandings of marketing schedules.

Double-standards for advertising.

Okay, I guess that is enough. It isn’t that Call of Duty isn’t worthy of critique or even lampooning, it has plenty of issues, its mechanics are far from perfect, its community leaves much to be desired, and it can be samey. But what of this separates it from similar games which get treated much more considerately? Dog puns and fish AI jokes? This is akin to reviewing Full Throttle on the basis of five o’clock shadow rather than the story. Ghosts has a rather different perk system, it has a strike package system, it has contextual leaning and smoother object traversal to keep the player flowing in a fight rather than going through clunky state changes. It has been stated the PC version is receiving higher quality assets than any of the console releases. Your character classes persist as AI while you are offline, earning XP which reduces the grind of the game. The single player abandons all safely established characters from the franchise, and yet none of this ever gets brought up. Instead people point and laugh at the action game having explosions and showing the most cinematic events in the trailer.

Yes, Call of Duty is a goliath. That does not make Battlefield the scrappy underdog, nor does it make Titanfall the artistic indie darling. If a franchise’s success is an excuse for not seriously considering it, then that alone is a discouragement of creative designers for engaging mainstream genres. Beyond that, it is in ignorance of the changes between each release which are substantial to those who actually play the game long enough to learn their way around a map.

You want to bash on Call of Duty, hit up the hipfire accuracy model, or the error prone netcode that 6 years later still has players dying around corners and seeing entirely different sequences of events. Perhaps you could talk about the franchise’s penchant for making America at best the inept fool who spreads destruction and is easily tricked. Or you could knock it for having an Eminem song in a trailer, ignoring the franchise’s history with the rapper, or that said relationship was formed while the creators of Titanfall were on the franchise, bringing us gems such as deathstreaks, Commando lunge, and Danger Close-One Man Army. But that would involve looking into the subject to perhaps understand something about why it is so successful, instead of just assuming that it is the lowered standards of today’s youth driving it 100%, with no consideration for the fact that a snappy 60hz Quake powered shooter with meta-level rewards and a relatable setting just feels good.