Next year, the Call of Duty series will turn nearly 20 years old. Since 2003, the series, one way or another, regularly released new projects. Every year we were waiting for either a new game or a major addon, the size of an entire game. How far has the series gone over the years and what has it become now?
My first Acquaintance
I got my first PC just around the time the first game in the series came out. In 2002, I went to first grade, and, either in the fall of that year or in the spring of 2003, my father bought a PC for home. My first games were Medal of Honor Allied Assault and the first Mafia. As for Call of Duty, it’s a little more difficult. First, I got my hands on the Igromania magazine (like it was Igromania), and with it came a CD with various kinds of demos. And yes, my first acquaintance with the Call of Duty series was the demo of the first part. If my memory serves me, there was only one mission available, which, of course, I went through 20 times. And only then, after about six months, I buy the first part in the store.
The very first part of the series made a strong impression on me. I compared it with the same Medal of Honor, and the presence of a company for the USSR in Call of Duty greatly elevated it in my (and not only mine) eyes. The first parts have always had relatively good story companies. Although they were often just sets of missions, they were assembled into a coherent picture, showing us the story of a particular character.
Later, 2007’s Modern Warfare and its sequel brought Call of Duty’s storyline, if not to perfection, then at least to a very impressive level. I think these two parts can be considered the peak of the series in terms of a single part. All subsequent games for the most part were either nondescript or failed, although sometimes there were relatively good ones. Then Call of Duty completely and completely went into multiplayer, and the single-player remained just for show. From single-player to multiplayer.
Of course, multiplayer has always been a part of Call of Duty, from the very first part. However, at that time, the Internet in our country (I will not talk about the USA and Europe) was, to put it mildly, not very well developed. There were certainly people who even then played Call of Duty online. However, everyone I knew who played them at that time spoke exclusively about the single-player elements of the games. However, as time went on, the Internet took over the world, and now, Call of Duty is primarily multiplayer. In one of the parts (like it was Black Ops 4), in principle, there was no single player. And for me, as a lover of single projects, all this is extremely unpleasant.
In principle, multiplayer, in itself, is a great thing. Millions of players log into Call of Duty to relieve stress and have fun. But it’s full of its nuances. In recent years, the games in the series have simply stagnated. Releasing a new part every year, Activision Blizzard simply forgot about development. By changing only the setting and a few small elements, the developers are selling us the same game over and over again. Gamers, oddly enough, buy it every time. In these games, even though they are paid, each time there are more and more different methods of monetization and manipulation. There were even rumors (and maybe not only rumors) that Activision Blizzard openly patented various systems, the purpose of which is to directly influence the players. The more you donate, the easier it is for you to meet opponents. Worse here, probably, only FIFA.
Free Parts of Call of Duty
But as I said above, the multiplayer itself is not a bad thing. However, I think (you may not agree with me) that releasing a new game every time with minimal changes and hammering it with donations is the vilest idea. If you want to make a high-quality multiplayer project, as for me, you have two ways: either you make one paid game with almost no monetization, or the project must be free with more or less voluminous (but adequate) monetization. Call of Duty, of course, has two free projects. They both came out extremely entertaining and interesting.
The first was the mobile version, the Call of Duty Mobile project. There is everything here – from the usual network game to the royal battle. You can play both from your smartphones and run the game on a PC. You can connect both a gamepad and a keyboard mouse. Game sessions are light, solid, and balanced. Donat is mostly cosmetic and optional. The second such project, of course, was Warzone. Now it is not as popular as it was a couple of years ago and has several problems, but potentially it is a great project. There are also a lot of different modes and events. Warzone 2 was recently announced and should avoid most of its predecessor’s problems. Let’s see what comes out of it. Outcome
The Call of Duty series has become a hostage to itself. There are practically no good single-player campaigns here (Black Ops Cold War is probably the only exception in recent years), and multiplayer is frankly stagnating. In general, I do not understand why every year to buy new parts of the series for the sake of multiplayer alone if there are good free projects in the same franchise. Moreover, free projects have one interesting advantage – they have been developed for several years.
Unfortunately, one should not expect interesting single companies. And I doubt that the next Modern Warfare will somehow change the situation. And why not, because every new part in any case brings a huge income to Activision Blizzard, which means I do not understand something.