Published on November 7th, 2013 | by Chris Scott4
Three for Thursday: Where Should Call of Duty Be Set Next?
Call of Duty: Ghosts is in stores now and the general consensus is that it is more Call of Duty, with less new bells and whistles than past iterations. For die-hard fans, that probably isn’t a bad thing; for the rest of us though, it sounds like Call of Duty needs a makeover. Fortunately the series has gone through this before, and the results were genre changing. With this in mind, there is no reason that history cannot repeat itself. But where does the series go from here? How does Infinity Ward and Treyarch shake things up again?
The easiest way to change things is to set the series in a different setting, modern and near-future settings have been mined to death over the last five years and we could use something new to spice things up. Three distinct and different settings have come to my mind, each of which could set the stage for a new shift in the direction of the genre, while keeping the core Call of Duty feeling that fans have come to know and love.
The least drastic of these settings is to go into the future: not the near future of Black Ops either but rather a far flung future where we have colonized space. Call of Duty has always been a smart corridor shooter. What better way to stay true to the series and spice it up a bit than setting the game’s corridor encounters in space on space ships and space stations. It won’t look familiar but it will feel familiar when aiming down the sights. Of course, the problem with this type of setting is that created future weaponry in sci-fi settings always seems to feel a little too like the old standbys. Still maybe the setting change, along with some smart map design would be enough to spark the series in a new and interesting direction.
The American Revolution
A more drastic change than a futuristic space setting would be to go well into the past, like 200 years in the past to the Revolutionary War. This of course would pose certain gameplay problems that no one has ever been able to figure out, namely how do you make it fun. Warfare then was far different than what it is now and the lone-wolf nature of Call of Duty wouldn’t lend itself wonderfully to the style of battle that history says happened. Still if one could figure out a way to make it fun and intriguing from both a single player and multi-player standpoint, this setting could make the series into something entirely new.
And finally, what if we just flipped the conflict? What if instead of fighting the Russians, or the Chinese, or the South Americans, or the Middle Easterns, or any variety of other made up enemies? What if the enemy wasn’t a threat to our normal way of life, but a common enemy that humanity would have to band together against and fight? What if Call of Duty took on a zombie apocalypse, World War Z style? The book provides plenty of potential gameplay scenarios and while the multiplayer would have to be entirely overhauled, it could be done and done well.
What would you like to see out of the next Call of Duty, setting or otherwise?