Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 was a major success for Treyarch and Activision in 2015. In terms of sales it was the best-selling video game of the year, the seventh consecutive year a Call of Duty title took the crown in North America. The latest installment helped boost total life-to-date sales for the Call of Duty franchise to more than 250 million units and Activision are loving it.
However, the community seems a bit jaded. Black Ops 3 has a review score of 6/10 on Steam and a very low score of 4.6 on Metacritic. Numerous user reviews reference that while multiplayer has its moments, the campaign and setting fail to engage. Is it time for FPS' to move away from the future and ground themselves in the present or the past?
Black Ops 3, Advanced Warfare 2 & The Future of Call of Duty
Black Ops 3's campaign can be mind-numbing. Your enemies are often robotic beings, therefore they don't care about taking cover or tactics. They simply walk towards you and absorb bullets until they go down. One user on Metacritic likens it to whack-a-mole, and states that it's indicative of Activision's lack of innovative ideas.
The futuristic trend is something that is rampant in the first-person shooter genre. With the likes of Titanfall, Advanced Warfare, Crysis, Destiny and now Black Ops 3, it's hard to escape depictions of the future of human warfare. And upcoming installments are no different! I'm sure Advanced Warfare 2 is being planned, along with Titanfall 2 and who knows what else.
But am I the only one that wants this to end? I play a lot of shooters, including all those listed above. But wouldn't it be more rewarding to improve enemy AI and set us up in a more realistic environment?
My favorite installment in the Call Of Duty franchise is probably Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The game had an interesting (and not so convoluted) plot line, it had great multiplayer, well balanced mechanics, but above all, it had Spec Ops.
I know that Call of Duty makes more money and attracts a lot more people online, but the ability to sit on a couch with a mate and play through the various situations in Modern Warfare 2's Special Ops mode was thrilling. And it's why I've kept the game to this day while all others have been traded in over the years.
It's unlikely that this will be the focus for home consoles again, but at least the setting of Modern Warfare was grounded in a reality that was attainable. The futuristic setting of Black Ops 3 isn't interesting in terms of story and it certainly isn't interesting in terms of enemies. I'd vote for the next Call of Duty - which could actually be Advanced Warfare 2 - to take a step away from the future and give us something we can relate to. Am I alone?