#CallOfDuty Is Back!

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Call of Duty is back.
Now that we have that
out of the way, let’s get
down to the next big
question on everyone’s
mind: now what?

Activision has some real
issues on its hands.
While the company has
been dominating the
first-person-shooter
space for years, the Call
of Duty franchise’s
popularity has waned
slightly. CoD:

Advanced
Warfare will likely fix
that, but it’s a major
departure from the
games that came before
it and what every well
might come after it.

See, the trouble at
Activision is that it has
three development
studios developing Call
of Duty games.

Advanced Warfare came
from Sledgehammer,
but Infinity Ward and
Treyarch are also
developing titles in the
franchise. That means
we won’t see another
Sledgehammer title
until Infinity Ward and
Treyarch get their next
titles out in the next
two years, leaving us
with an entirely
different experience
next year.

The trouble, however, is
that Infinity Ward and
Treyarch have gone
stale. The gameplay
they offer leaves much
to be desired and
there’s no innovation in
their features. They
have remained content
to be consistent. And as
recent issues in the Call
of Duty franchise show,
being consistent is not
necessarily a good
thing.

What Advanced Warfare
does extremely well is
break out from the idea
of consistency and take
chances. There’s a
double-jump feature I
love and the ability to
use your exoskeleton for
all kinds of cool
maneuvers, including
quickly dash out of the
way of bullets, is
something that, I think,
deserves to have a
place in all future first-
person shooters.

Beyond that, Advanced
Warfare delivered the
best-looking Call of
Duty experience and,
although it was a little
on the corny side, the
story wasn’t half-bad. I,
like many other Call of
Duty gamers, have
become immersed in
the “future” warfare
presented in the latest
franchise installment.

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But while I was playing
through the franchise, I
couldn’t help but
wonder how Infinity
Ward and Treyarch
could keep the same
game mechanics in
their titles. And in the
process, I don’t know
how those companies
could deliver something
meaningful without
them.

In other words, I don’t
know how Activision’s
decision to have three
development houses
create installments in
the franchise won’t
mean that with one
step forward with
Sledgehammer, the
company will
experience two steps
back with Infinity Ward
and Treyarch .

To be fair, I haven’t
seen what the other
two development
houses have in store
and there’s a possibility
that they might deliver
something
groundbreaking.

But given recent
history, given the eras
in which those
companies typically
play, and given the fact
that their titles are
already in development
for their upcoming
launches, I don’t know
how quickly the positive
things that were built
into Advanced Warfare
can be ported to the
future titles and still
make sense.

By promising a Call of
Duty game every year,
Activision has painted
itself into a corner.
When things were going
well and all of the
development companies
were in sync, it didn’t
matter. But
Sledgehammer has just
blasted through a wall
put up by Infinity Ward
and Treyarch , and I
don’t think Activision
can fix it.

For the next year, I and
millions like me will
enjoy playing Advanced
Warfare. But I can’t
help but fear that the
next two years will be
letdowns until we
finally get our hands on
Advanced Warfare 2 in
2017.

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