Extra Credits looks at employing scale (i.e. more enemies) and tone to break up gameplay and maintain a player's interest level. Extra Credits' example of a game that got this right was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare—who knew that Call of Duty could be the game to actually teach us something?
Tag: Modern Warfare
Call of Duty has arguably been the biggest and most successful IP that this console generation has seen. Yearly releases have set sales records and the first-person shooter genre reached heights never before seen. Activision has had a great run, and the publisher has become dependent on the success of Call of Duty to carry it to success.
Kotaku's Luke Plunkett recently wrote an opinion piece entitled Why It's Stupid to Hate Call of Duty So Damn Much. Intrigued by the headline (and always a sucker for a well-considered opinion piece to counter the never-ending stream of gaming "list-icles" out there) I decided to see why people were stupid to hate on what is essentially the biggest game franchise in the world at this moment.
War sucks. I've fortunately never had to deal with it myself, but that appears to be the general consensus. Lots of people get killed/injured, resources are wasted, and infrastructure is destroyed. It's an all-around bad deal for most everyone involved. Over the years there have been several films that have portrayed this perspective successfully, but no games. Why?
As promised, I'm continuing to record responses from game bloggers and critics as they come in.
I've already posted my take on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2's now-(in)famous "No Russian" chapter. I was not content to simply post my own thoughts on the matter, however. Given the uproar and truly interesting commentary that has sprung up around the game sequence, I wanted to survey a few of my fellow bloggers regarding their own opinions and experiences. I received a handful of responses to my request for commentary: Some authors had played the sequence in question, some had not. Some felt quite strongly in the positive, others in the negative. Some responses were longer pieces, others were short remarks or pointed me towards an existing blog post.
As first-person shooter campaigns go, it's definitely in the 95th percentile of enjoyable shooting galleries. But it's also a campaign that worries me. While playing through the brief solo mode (roughly five hours), I couldn't help but be reminded of the stereotypical Bay film: Things blow up, uber-macho soldiers shout, the player performs wild stunts (like jumping into a helicopter for the umpteenth time), and loud orchestral music plays. It doesn't seem to matter that the plot is poorly paced, makes very little sense, and no characters are developed. If I'm a typical M-rated gamer, all I'm supposed to care about is that I shot people and stuff blew up real purty.
In my review of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, I disagree with my peers that the game is not a compelling example for games as art, rather it's perfect for a sports argument. Take 36-year-old David Dague of Chicago. When interviewed by The Associated Press, he said the game's launch is like the start of football season for a sports fan, and the comparison couldn't be more fitting. But there's another, more obvious landmark the game reaches in the form of its controversial level, "No Russian."
Above and Beyond the Call of at least One Duty
HIGH Covering a human player with AC-130 armory.
LOW A hole-ridden plot that ends in obvious sequel bait.
WTF Tactical nuke?!
The Brainy Gamer blog featured a terrific post today directed at Infinity Ward's questionable "FAGS" advertising campaign, in which Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels decries grenade spam. It's covert advertising for Modern Warfare 2, of course, although the acronym with which said message is provided is obviously the source of the most worry.