The FPS has come a long way since the 90’s, with Wolfenstein kickstarting the genre back in 1992. The developers, id Software, following it up a year later with the ever so successful DOOM. These games were revolutionary at the time, but in the current year of 2017, the game market is now saturated with AAA first person shooters. Easily the most famous of the bunch is Call of Duty.

“The game is based mainly around shooting and is viewed from the first person perspective, and someone should really come up with a name for that.” — Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw

Call of Duty hit the spotlight back in 2003 and was a success due to a couple of reasons, mainly its World War II setting and its version of the Quake Engine that was used in many games in the early 2000’s. Call of Duty went on to be the most successful FPS franchise with 13 main series releases under its belt.

However, Call of Duty isn’t the beloved franchise as it once was back in the day. Nowadays it gets a lot of flak from the gaming community for it’s over the top future setting. Recently, this future setting has proved unpopular in comparison to earlier, more realistic titles, and has driven many fans away from the series.

Infinite Warfare received a tremendous backlash from gamers when the first reveal trailer dropped back in May 2016. As it stands right now, the video has 37 million views and a ratio of 573,000 likes to 3.5 million dislikes. This makes it one of the most disliked videos on YouTube. Whether those dislikes come from genuine fans of the series that were disgruntled or the internet hate machine is debatable. But as it is, it seems that the developers behind Call of Duty have listened to their audience.

Activision’s new upcoming game is Call of Duty: WWII. Despite being leaked months ago, the official reveal came today, with an announcement of a live stream to showcase the gameplay.  Four main series games have been set during World War 2, and all have been praised highly by players and critics. Will the latest game bring loyal fans back to the franchise in the same vein as Battlefield 1?

As mentioned previously, the future setting of the latest main series games hasn’t proved popular with the gaming community. Some criticise the pace of the movement system. The games also get heat for being ‘complex and unfair’, as the odds can be displaced in a firefight due to a number of mechanics like jetpacks and special abilities.

Conversely, in boots-on-the-ground combat, everyone has the same advantages and there are no cheap shots to be had.  It’s clear it works too. Advanced Warfare lost its player base in a matter of months, whereas there are people still fervently playing World at War.

The future setting isn’t exactly the problem. It’s only a problem if it’s executed poorly. Modern Warfare and Black Ops 2 were excellent games that used their settings well. Their campaigns were inspired, and the Black Ops series’ far-reaching narrative threads made it compelling. However, this isn’t always the case.

Call of Duty: Ghosts takes place in the year 2023 and was received poorly by fans and critics for its bland gameplay, overly tedious multiplayer maps and an underwhelming campaign. Both use roughly the same timeframe but are completely different titles. Since then, we’ve had Advanced Warfare and Infinite Warfare, two lukewarm future-set games that have a low player-base, proving that the series need to reinvent and look to its past for inspiration.

It seems like the developers have been listening to their fans and critics with World War Two, and hopefully, when the game is fully revealed on the 26th of April it’ll be a step in the right direction for the franchise.

Call of Duty: WWII will be revealed via livestream on the 26th April 2017.

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Marc Crook
20 • Manchester, United Kingdom • Film and Media Student at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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