Seventh Generation Reflection: Call Of Duty
Known for its annual releases and action-filled shooter gameplay, the Call of Duty series has easily been the best-selling series of this console generation. I’m going to take you back through time to look at Call of Duty one more time.
Following the success of the original title, Infinity Ward developed Call of Duty 2 on the Xbox 360 in 2005 as a launch title for the Xbox 360. The game kept the same infantry style warfare found in the original, while adding several small changes such as a grenade indicator, and regenerating health, a staple of the series. This title was also the first to feature multiplayer, with several modes such as Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Headquarters. It received amazing scores of 8’s and 9’s out of 10.
Call of Duty 3 was released in 2006 for Sony PlayStation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii. It was the first Call of Duty title developed by Treyarch. It took place after the Normandy breakout of World War II and featured an American, British/French, Polish, and Canadian campaign. The multiplayer was also revised for consoles with servers allowing up to 24 people on each team, and many more multiplayer modes. Call of Duty 3 was well received with 7’s and 8’s out of 10.
Infinity Ward returned with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007. This game had a campaign based around a fictional story in present-day and is the beginning of the World War 3 arc of Call of Duty. It’s also the first Call of Duty to receive a mature rating. The multiplayer also, for the first time, included a leveling up and custom class system. With its new engine, new multiplayer, and new story, Call of Duty 4 received 9’s and 10’s, and several awards for Game of the Year.
Call of Duty: World at War was released in 2008, developed by Treyarch. This game focused on the Pacific/Eastern front of World War II. The game for the first time included a co-op campaign, as well as the zombies co-op game mode. World at War received 8’s and 9’s out of 10.
This brings us to 2009’s Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 for PS3 and Xbox 360. Infinity Ward really took the cake in the sequel to its modern-day shooter. It featured a new engine with more dynamic AI and better texture streaming. It introduced a co-op game mode called “Spec Ops” where two players worked together to complete a short mission. It also added customizable killstreaks, “pro” perks, and more weapons to the multiplayer. Praised for its over-the-top action and thrilling campaign, Modern Warfare 2 received 8’s to 10’s and several awards. It is currently the second best-selling video game of all time.
Call of Duty: Black Ops in 2010 once again changed the setting for Call of Duty by placing it in the Cold War and basing it on a CIA operative who’s tracking down the men who brain-washed him. The class system in multiplayer was changed by an added currency system and tons of customizable options in attachments and costume design. Zombies was also brought back and struck huge with the fanbase in this installment. Black Ops received 8’s and 9’s out of 10.
Infinity Ward finished its World War 3 saga with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 in 2011. While the campaign received no special improvement, the game’s multiplayer aspect saw some huge changes. The co-op “Spec Ops” mode now included a mode called Survival where players are dropped onto a multiplayer map and forced to survive against waves of AI enemies. Also, the class system was changed once again in MW3 with three different “pointstreak” branches, and one that’s based on the assignment of perks based on “points” given to the player when they complete any meaningful action in a match. MW3 received 8’s and 9’s out of 10.
Black Ops 2 in 2012 took its campaign to 10 years in the future, where a drug lord is waging war on the U.S. and Black Ops protagonist Alex Mason’s son must fight to stop him. This game changed up both sides of the game with a branching storyline and multiple endings in the single-player, as well as a new “block” based system of class customization in multiplayer that allowed for true complete customization. Zombies was also improved on the multiplayer engine, allowing for many more game types such as “Grief” and “Turned”. Black Ops 2 received 8’s and 9’s out of 10.
As one of the most frequently updated and best-selling series of this generation, Call of Duty is sure to make a mark on the launch of next generation with its new game Call of Duty: Ghosts set to release in November along with the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
What did you think of the last generation of Call of Duty? Leave a comment!
Image Credit: Infinity Ward