The announcement of the Retro Video Game System, a cartridge-based console, is the latest case study in the debate of whether gaming should continue evolving beyond its roots.
Will Call of Duty Survive Next Generation?
The massive Call of Duty series of games came into its own this generation. The game that changed the scene for online games and modern war games was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and great fanfare, critical and commercial success followed. It was then granted a year-on-year release which spawned numerous sequels in various time zones alongside the continuation of the Modern Warfare series, leading to tens of millions of sales and billions of dollars in the bank. With the looming release of Microsoft and Sony’s newest generation of consoles, Activision is sure to release this year’s iteration. But how can Call of Duty survive the coming shift?
The next generation of consoles always bring new and exciting ideas along with them. There are new IPs and revolutions coming no doubt and the excitement of these moves leaves some players unable to think of how they lived without them for so long. When I purchased a PlayStation 3 and played Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune, it blew my mind how far game have come. While some games will always have a sentimental place in our hearts, seeing improvements in gaming is always exciting. When I saw the PlayStation 4 announcement with Killzone: Shadowfall showing beautiful graphics and intense moments (up until it descended into a mindless shoot-off) my jaw dropped. It dropped yet again when I watched the Battlefield 4 reveal. These games are improving and showing off this fact. From what we have heard about Call of Duty, they are not going to do something similar.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is the rumored name of the next game for next generation consoles. The game is supposedly moving away from the overused Modern Warfare brand (thank god!). According to a video who cites sources in the know, the game will be set in the future. See the video below:
An interesting piece of information came from the video. According to it, Ghost will use the same weapons seen in the Modern Warfare series. On top of this, I wonder whether the game can actually progress past its current gameplay. The use of continual sets plays to progress the paper thin story along with the fast paced, frantic shooting of the online have come to a point from which there is no step forward. Call of Duty must innovate.
There seems to be a lack of real innovation in the franchise, though. Over time, Treyarch have proven themselves as the more willing of the two core developers to innovate the franchise. Zombies mode, COD points, wager matches, dynamic sections of the map and a focus on more balanced perks are just a few of the many things that Treyarch have added or tweaked to make Call of Duty more enjoyable for all. Infinity Ward meanwhile seems to have sat on their backsides and watched from afar, picking up on a few of these ideas and vaguely changing them to look like they have added them. Guess who’s game will be starting the franchise on next generation? Infinity Ward. Yes, they created the series, but they have not been at the same standard for a number of years, having to be helped with Modern Warfare 3 by other developers.
Lastly, this is a much talked about topic but it needs to be addressed. Graphics. Activision have been trumpeting their new engine for next generation, but chances are, this is years away before we see a Call of Duty game utilizing it. When confronted with criticisms about the same engine being used over and over, Activision, Treyarch and Infinity Ward would always defend the engine, saying it is so flexible it can be updated and tweaked for just about anything. If the newest game does not use Activision’s frankly mind-blowing engine, I seriously do not expect anything other than a slight upgrade to the existing engine, unfortunately. If I am right, the game will suffer from the aggressive strategies that Sony and EA are taking with their respective first person shooters.
What do you think? Will next generation make or break the Call of Duty franchise? Comment below.