There always comes a point when you simply can’t make something better than you have before. You can reinvent the wheel from stone to wood to rubber and maybe along the way you will make slight changes to the design. However, when it comes to games…especially First Person Shooters… there are only so many iterations of a game you can make before it becomes either stale or simply a mockery of its former self.
Black Ops 2 seems destined to be the bitter end for Call of Duty games at this point. With massive sales still coming for COD games, there seems to be something about Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops 2 that is missing. That something is a feeling of freshness that can only be brought by a hiatus. If you consider the fact that Modern Warfare 3 essentially finished a trilogy, you would think that means it is going to be time for a change. Furthermore, if you consider the fact that Black Ops 2 is set in the future with drones and x-ray rifles, there isn’t much more ‘Modern’ Warfare can cover that hasn’t been covered or won’t be covered by BO2.
We mentioned in the title that it might spell the end of COD as we know it. That doesn’t mean that it will be discontinued (face it, that isn’t Activision’s M.O.) but it could mean something big is on the horizon for the series after BO2 is released.
If we cover what has been done in COD we can see that World War 2, Vietnam, Modern and now ‘near-Future’ will be covered by the end of 2012. With all of those ‘interesting’ wars covered, it might do them some good to get away from the same old ‘jump on a turret and shoot down waves of enemies’ formula that has been in every shoot’em up FPS game from Activision.
What needs to happen is development of a game series over multiple years. The real problem facing Call of Duty games is the fact that Activision wants a new one every year to drive profits. The problem is that this will end up leading to the same brutal end that Guitar Hero met only a couple years ago.
You can only reinvent the wheel so many times before people stop looking at it as ‘just a wheel’. Call of Duty needs a break in the worst way, and after Black Ops 2 comes out in November it would be a perfect time for them to announce that the next Call of Duty game will be coming out on launch day with the next generation of consoles rather than yet another version of the same game in 12 months.
E3 is supposed to ‘Unveil Innovation’, but right now it looks like it is simply ‘unveiling’ the same stuff we have seen over the last few years. First Person Shooters are becoming as common and overplayed as re-runs of Two and a Half Men and Call of Duty is turning into the Ashton Kutcher version. If they are about #winning, Activision will push their next major FPS onto the next generation of consoles, where they can impress people with some actual innovation.
Spec Ops: The Line is a game that is coming in under the radar. As far as being noob friendly, this could be one of the games that new gamers will want to jump into. Any time a developer pushes a new series, noobs should look at it as an opportunity to become skillful and improve with everyone else that is learning the game with you. While some people will have certain skills like reaction times and gaming reflexes, you will be able to learn the nuances and idiosyncrasies of Spec-Ops if you jump in off the bat.
Keep in mind, this game is a THIRD-Person Shooter in the demo and looks like it is trying to draw more attention from Ghost Recon than COD or Battlefield. If you consider the fact that this is also being published by 2K Games, it has a chance of gaining a foothold with some of the dedicated 2K Gamers.
The only trouble is, will the game be able to take the attention that Call of Duty will have in November and still be widely played online?
It will be an interesting situation as we take a quick look at what Spec-Ops has to offer –
The first day for E3 was an amazing one for Madden fans (more on that to come). However, the same cannot be said for NCAA Football fans.
It was announced that NCAA Football 13 will not have Real Time Physics like it’s pro counter-part. On top of that, you have bigger issues facing NCAA Football (the game and the actual real-life money hungry institution). There will also be no way to import draft classes between the two games. Granted, this ‘feature’ has been broken for years and with the new intensely improved rookie classes and draft for Madden… who really needs to import the same broken logic players?
If you consider the issues of an impending Playoff format and everything else with teams flip-flopping, this could be a lame duck year for NCAA Football 13. This is going to render NCAA Football into a bit of a dead-zone for gamers that aren’t die hard fans of the series. How much fun or longevity will there be for your Dynasty Mode if you aren’t able to institute the coming Playoff Format? What about the idea of 20-Team Super Conferences? Right now you are limited to 16 teams per conference.
It isn’t really a game killer, but EA really needs to step it up next season on the college football front if they hope to have sales even close to what they were for NCAA 11 and 12.
NCAA Football and Madden will have the same control scheme this year (for the first time ever in this generation of gaming consoles) but that is where the similarities seem to die. Much like NCAA 10, NCAA 13 is going to be a game that many people will skip because it won’t have the same advances that people were/are hoping for that will make the game more realistic in the actual guts of moving players around the field. Now with the news that NCAA Football doesn’t have the same Real Time Physics Engine that Madden 13 has… it could be a rough year for college football gaming fans.
Are you passing on NCAA Football this season? Post your comments below!
Throughout the next few days we will be bringing you the latest information from E3. There are many details expected by the gaming community and some rumors that might be validated or debunked.
Some of the rumors we hope to validate are –
Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance/Rising – A game that had many people talking about the joy of running around with a cyborg version of Raiden has the opportunity to get people excited again… until they finally cancel the project and make the gaming world cry. Metal Gear games are notorious for being tough to learn but usually worth the time it takes to master them. The problem is that it is now veering away from the storyline of Solid Snake and towards the character ‘Raiden’… he is highly preferred in Japan, but most American fans hated him in MGS2: Sons of Liberty.
Medal of Honor: Warfighter – Is most likely going to focus on the multiplayer aspect but they are doing this with the last development crew they used (Danger Close) rather than Battlefield’s DICE team. Chances are good that this game will either gain a little bit of fanfare or completely flop at E3. Don’t expect this game to be the big news, but the outcome of EA having another failed attempt at taking down Call of Duty might be the straw that breaks the camel’s back for EA having anything worth bragging about for this generation of consoles. Sales talk in the gaming industry and EA hasn’t been able to talk for a long time.
Half-Life 3 – In terms of games that have had an amazing quality and storyline, Half-Life is a series that continues to amaze everyone that jumps into the foray. Chances are good that this will once again be the best FPS out there but it will probably lose out in some circles because of the Call of Duty crowd.
Which games are you looking forward to seeing come out of E3? Chances are good that some games (Warfighter) will flop hard while some other games (Half-Life 3) will make people want to go out and pre-order immediately. Then you will have the previews for games like Metal Gear Solid: Revengeance that will make you want to hide in a cardboard box and wait for a game that will never be released while having people walk past you thinking “?”.