You ever see a concept for a game that could be really cool, then you realize what developer or series the game is in and realize that it’s going to be a steaming pile of shit? Yeah, that’s this game. Anyone who has been paying attention knows that the Call of Duty franchise has been getting progressively-worse over time. Ever since Modern Warfare 2, the games have just been getting more and more like shit. The set-pieces are always bigger, the tech and weapons are getting more and more ridiculous. It’s has become a parody of itself. But the franchise will keep limping on until Infinity Ward and Activision go belly-up. Which I honestly wish would happen, because then maybe the big AAA companies would realize that making unique products should come first. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s look at the trailer for this latest entry into the hyper-action, Bayhem franchise.
First things first – fuck this trailer for using a shitty cover of an Elton John song. You haven’t earned the right to touch anything from him, much less make your own shitty version of it.
Okay, so we got space ships coming down and blowing shit up all over the place in one of those cliche security-cam footage sorts of montages. Alright. So this in the future. Got that. Then we hear through cliched news-clip style that this is some unprecedented attack from some kind of human force that isn’t on Earth. Where are they? Is this like Gundam, where it is some colonial empire? That could be kind of cool. Is it some kind of Mars colonial force? That could also be cool. Are we in the middle of a war for independence? And we’re fighting against them? Not gonna lie, there’s a lot of potential here for a cool game. But then you see the CoD logo and you realize the truth – this is likely going to suck. Why?
First, because the Call of Duty franchise hasn’t told anything approaching a smart story since Modern Warefare 2. And even that wasn’t perfect. It was still pretty Bayhem, but in a way that worked because of the genuine tension and the use of quiet-time. Man, remember when there were quite moments in CoD games? Haven’t had that for ages! A FPS game about being on the side of keeping an extra-planetary colonial force fighting for independence subjugated to the reigning government(s) of this world could be cool. I honestly want to play a game like that. That sounds pretty fucking awesome. Especially if we could get some character growth along the way. Hell, a game like that would open itself up for sequels. Like seeing the war as it goes along. Maybe the mechanics wouldn’t change too much, but you’d get to see this story evolve. Have it be kind of bittersweet. Maybe you get to make some choices about if you stay on the side of the Earth forces or go and fight for the Colonials. Who wouldn’t want to see a game like that?!
But then you remember – this is CoD. This is a yearly-franchise pumping monster that has to make sure they get a new game out every year. And they can’t be too interesting or unique. They have to follow their formula to a fault. Instead of being really interesting, we get the same cookie-cutter experience. I honestly want a game about a war for independence between two unfathomably-powerful militaries. Maybe have some quiet moments where we get to truly understand how horrific this war could truly be, when the weapons of mass destruction can be used on a scale of wiping out whole continents, like with asteroid or colony drops or something. Again, looking at series like the original Gundam.
Oh, and to make matters worse, we get to see that Infinity Ward and Activision are giving their audience the finger. Do you want a remastered version of Modern Warfare?! You bet your ass you do! How do you get it?! By paying an extra ten dollars to buy CoD: IN SPACE! For real, you can’t get the game separately. You have to buy this other game and pay more money to get a game that CoD fans actually want. Talk about a kick to the balls.
I guess it all comes down to what I think about this game, though. Let’s leave the stupidity of this move with Modern Warfare to the rest of nerd culture at large. Like the rest of the more recent CoD games, this one looks like another cookie-cutter game that has a premise that could be the most unique one yet. But will all eventually just devolve into nothing approaching unique. Though, the irony isn’t lost on me that CoD: IN SPACE has space battles, while the new Battlefront didn’t. Suck on that, fans of the franchise! Oh, and the next one won’t either. EA means for that to be their new yearly-franchise. AAA gaming has kind of devolved into shit, hasn’t it?
5 out of 10