So the rumour mill is back in full swing and based on the following image and a promise by Activision that Call of Duty would be returning to it’s roots- it would appear that the latest title will be set in the second world war.
And you’d think (at least, if you know me well enough / at all) that I’d be over the moon by this – ecstatic to hear that the guys who took the formula and added a big ol’ heap of magic to set the franchise up for great things were back doing what they’ve always done best.
You’d be forgiven, but actually this time, it just feels like a cheap gimmick. It feels like they are being forced to get with the times, and as such my expectations are tremendously low.
EA really managed a stunner with Battlefield 1, on an important anniversary of the conflict, and introducing a relatively new setting to AAA FPS. It was as ground-breaking as it was stunning, and whilst you could argue that its fast pace and generous use of automatic and semi-automatic weaponry cheapen the experience of the First World War slightly, the game filled a gap in the market well and was a fresh perspective on what is essentially the same formula we’ve been used to for over a decade.
If Infinite warfare had been the WW2 reveal, then this would be a commendation of their creative prowess and awareness of the changing landscape, and whilst this Call of Duty is sure to have taken more than a year to make, it still misses the mark that independent developers have filled with a plethora of promising WW2 shooters.
We’re in a kind of twilight zone, where instead of indie developers making games behind current trends, to emulate the success of their AAA counterparts, we have Activision chasing the tails of developers such as New World Interactive, Bulkhead Interactive and Driven arts.
Perhaps the greatest chance now lies with CoD2-em-up Batallion 1944 who have the potential to really show Activision up by employing the tactics that made those early games so successful and enjoyable to play.
I hope I look back at this and say “I was wrong”, I really do yearn for the days of Grey Matter’s Call of Duty: United Offensive to return, but I fear that especially with the direction of the latest games, I’ll feel lost in CoD:WW2. And if I feel lost or let down, then I’ll be going to Day of Infamy – and if that happens, then perhaps its time Activision let the series die and work on something new for a change.
While we’re here, it’s also worth noting that Humble are having a Call of Duty sale, so If you want to relive the glory years, now’s your chance.