Today was the day! The big day! A momentous day in the history of gaming except for that day last year and then the one before that and, oh, well, you get the picture. Today was the release of the new Call of Duty game, Call of Duty: Ghosts. Interestingly enough, things felt a bit “off” in the leadup to Call of Duty: Ghosts. I remember last year you couldn’t move without someone talking about Call of Duty: Black Ops II. It was everywhere, it was unavoidable and was seen as a really huge deal.
When I woke up today I expected to see mainstream media reports on Call of Duty mania, hear about kids getting beaten up in malls across the country to get their hands on a copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts first. I expected viral videos of fat dudes in camo pants holding toy guns waiting for their limited edition copy of the game and for there to already be outrage. Instead, nothing. In fact, even the usual glowing reviews that Call of Duty games receive isn’t there.
It’s fair to say that Call of Duty has always been a “seven” that masquerades as a “ten,” but Activision’s marketing machine has pushed those games like the second coming of Christ for so long that it seems like everyone is afraid to rock the boat when it comes to the Call of Duty franchise. Year after year, each version of Call of Duty was given an oddly high score from all of the major websites, only for the next few months to be filled with jokes as to how mediocre the game really was.
As of right now Call of Duty: Ghosts is sitting around with a 74 and 75 on Metacritic for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 respectively, which to Activision and Infinity Ward might actually seem like the end of the world. Call of Duty was infallible for so many years, yet here we sit with people finally coming out and saying, “hey, this is just derivative drivel that is kind of fun to play but has no actual merit.” Sure, IGN is still going to give it an 8.8, but you probably aren’t going there for many opinions these days anyway.
I think that the time is finally right for the gaming community to want something fresh and new. I mean, we are just weeks away from new consoles coming out and everyone seems to be buzzing about what the future may bring. Analysts have been predicting that Call of Duty would continue slipping in sales and popularity as the years went on, but it looks like things might be a perfect storm right now for Call of Duty to get lost in the wake of Grand Theft Auto V and shiny new consoles.
What’s interesting is that the main “competition” for Call of Duty is Battlefield and it is hard to argue that Battlefield 4 probably isn’t as good as it could have been, but has still gotten a bit more critical acclaim and seems to be trending higher all over the internet.
I just want to see new things in games and I think that you do as well. So vote with your money this fall.