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The Homogenization of Call of Duty is Ruining It

It couldn't get any worse.... right?

By JirasuPublished 4 months ago 7 min read

Call of Duty has become quite the topic of conversation. Especially with the release of the newest game, MWIII, and the unfortunate PR disaster it has been. A game from a different studio that normally works on the series, and only having a year and a half for a game, doesn’t bode well for the game’s life. Granted, even though everyone is ragging on it, it’ll still end up probably doing decent. But the main problem a lot of people myself included have with the game series, is that these games are all becoming homogenized under one umbrella; a metaphorical tumor being Warzone. The games are all being made around Warzone instead of the other way around. Unfortunately, Warzone is too big for its own good, and it’s unlikely we will see any major changes to the formula. That is, unless daddy Microsoft steps in and changes things personally. Unlikely but only time will tell. In the meantime, let’s talk about why COD is suffering so much, post the 2019 do over of the modern warfare universe. So, if you like these videos that are different and not about Tarkov, be sure to subscribe for more in the future.

At their core, CODs gameplay is paramount to their success. If we look at the greats of the series: OG COD4 and MW2, Black Ops 1 and 2, these games were arcade shooters at their core. Games that rewarded you instantly, had very flashy and enticing moments through gameplay visuals and sound, and had a smooth and interesting progression system. Comparing that to specifically 2022 and now 2023, both games suffer from a lack of a cohesive and understandable progression system. 2022 tried to do something different by forcing you to use weapons to unlock other weapons and attachments, and while I do commend them for trying something different, it ultimately ended up not working and being more annoying than anything. If you want this specific red dot sight, you need to use this gun. And to get this gun, you need to hit level 32 on your account and then use that unlocked weapon until it hits level 16. While I understand it now, at the time when the game came out, it was confusing and felt, I guess the right word would be gross. Locking weapons behind weapons is one thing; it’s something else to unlock very specific attachments behind late game weapons. And now with 2023, items in the game are even locked behind daily and weekly objectives. And some of those can’t even be done until you get the right weapons and/or equipment. I know why this is the case; it’s to keep you playing. Grind, grind, grind. We want you on the game as long as humanly possible. Not only to just boost player retention, but the longer you are in the game, the more likely you are to spend money in the shop on skins. Which, again, just feels gross.

Ever since Cold War and the mixed reception of that game, there must’ve been an internal meeting where every game going forward was going to be made on the IW9 engine, which is what 2019 remake was made on. Treyarch and Sledgehammer had their own engines that were different. Which is why Cold War feels so alien compared to 2019, and Vanguard feels like 2019 with a WWII skin thrown on top of it. That’s when the switch was made. And what this has done, is largely make all the games using the IW9 engine feel so... similar. And I know we’ve said that for literal decades about how COD games feel the same. No, these literally feel the same. Because they are all using the same engine and mechanics with different coats of paint on them. This decision only further unifies the games and eternally links them together, regardless of what time period they might be trying to portray. With MWIII being a direct sequel, this game feels like a slightly faster MWII with some more weapons, original MWII maps (which we will talk about in the future), and slightly different mechanics. They all feel the same, despite there being efforts to try and make them play differently from one another. What also ends up happening is there becomes this distinct lack of personality for the games. And all of that is made up for by the wild and wacky skins you will inevitably see across the battlefield.

It doesn’t help also that the games are now just bundled under the tagline of Call of Duty instead of their own inividual games for whatever storefront you use. And as new games get released overtime with them all under the same roof, it gives them opportunities to shut down servers for older games that are no longer necessary in their eyes. Even though there might be people that still want to play the older games. Activision doesn’t want you to play the old games; they want you forever playing new ones. Which is why they have been sending out cease and desist letters to any groups making launchers for old games to keep them alive. Which is a dick move on their part. Even if they are within their legal rights to do so.

These games feel the same. No matter how much they change. 2019, 2022, and now MWIII all look and feel the same. Without the HUD on, if you showed reload animations for the same gun across the games, it would be hard to tell which one is which. And here lies another problem with homogenizing games; there is a severe lack of personality. We talked about this earlier, but when you look at the original COD4, MWII, and MWIII, each game is so different from another. Even though they are direct sequels to one another. New guns, characters, maps, mechanics, perks, camos; the entire gambit. Each game is uniquely its own. The goal was to iterate and one up the previous title. And now, it doesn’t feel like the goal is to make better, but to just make more. Now to be fair, I haven’t talked about the new MWIII’s gameplay, but to be honest, after watching a decent number of hours of gameplay, it looks... interesting. I wasn’t jiving with it during the beta. I ended just noticing how much was the same from 2022. But if the wasn’t fucking 70$, I would be partially inclined to actually buy it. But that price for what MWIII is offering... no chance. Sorry not sorry.

Call of Duty suffers from the idea of the ouroboros. A snake eating itself. These games eat themselves with each new release. It hasn’t been about making an interesting, fast paced arcade shooter with tons of replayability. Instead, it has become the lowest common denominator that will sell and keep people playing long enough to invest into either the battle pass, the store, or worst case, both. Homogenized games don’t work in the long term. And any future titles are going to be scrutinized to the highest degree possible. Especially after what has happened with this game. Which, if I might add, is not the developer's fault. The people who make the game, design the art, write the code; these people are savages for being able to make a game in under a year and a half. It’s the higher ups, directors and executives that ruin the chance of COD returning to its former glory. Hopefully there will be some internal changes coming to the studios as a whole to really rethink how they approach this series and what they can do to win people back and really have Call of Duty become a wonderful shooter game once more. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to watch this video. Let me know your thoughts down below in the comments about the current state of COD and be sure to subscribe for more videos about shitty companies ruining good game series’. I hope to see you in future ones.


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Scripts about the things I find interesting. Most are for videos on my YouTube channel.

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  • Patricgamer2 months ago

    Regardless, COD MW2 is a really great game. If anyone is looking for a good price for this game, I recommend this post:

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