Thunderbolt logo

Call of Duty 9 Preview… of sorts

Call of Duty

As I watch the new buds burst forth from their winter slumber and cherry blossoms fall softly of the dewy grass I think about how spring, the season of change, has remained static in my memory for some time now. Were it not for the bleeting of new born lambs and the cooing of the evening lark I doubt very much that my winter depression would ever cease.

One new addition to the concoction of intoxications that make up my springtime remedy is the announcement of impending videogames. I imagine if Keats were alive now he’d write a garish poem about it. One game that has become as regular as the seasons and has us all yammering like cattle is Call of Duty and if you sniff hard enough you’ll be able to get wind of the impending barrage of previews lumbering over the hill.

So here we stand yet again, peering into the brink of a bombastic assault on our better judgement. Will it be a more complete game this year? Will it feature a section to match ‘All Ghillied Up’? Can we expect a shock on par with ‘No Russian’? You’ll have to read the multitude of super exclusive, utterly illusive, absolutely stolen from a Treyarch employee’s laptop preview to find out.

While I have purchased my fair share of the illusive franchise I have also criticised their lack of development and eagerness to amass a vast collection of money; not a major crime in the videogame world, but apparently more important than pushing the genre forward.

Call of Duty is not so much past it, but has to accommodate too many ideals. Treyarch has an impossible task at hand not least because critics, myself included, will never approach their new game with a fresh pallet. I know what to expect from a Call of Duty game and I’ve never really been surprised by the content on the disks. Despite my concerns I do think Call of Duty does have a part to play in the great medium we call gaming.

Bringing war to the screen has always been a challenge for artists. Film-makers struggled with the concept of bravery and heroism when faced with images of war beamed home from Vietnam. The change in thematic design changed overnight and it’s rare to see a macho American war movie without some form of ‘isn’t war terrible’ moment spoiling the gunfights.

While Call of Duty isn’t as bad as some of the early war films it does struggle with the concept of war being an awful, awful event that no human should want to be involved in. Perhaps this isn’t one of the complicated pre-requisites of a major gaming release, but I would love to see it tackled in the next Call of Duty game.

But where would that leave the millions of fans who don’t want to play a compelling story but do want to blow up their friends list with heavy ordinance shelling? Herein lies the problem. Call of Duty has gone beyond telling a compelling story. It doesn’t need to tell a decent story as long as it’s got more killstreak rewards than the last game.

Call of Duty 9 is coming, but do we really need to see it in all its glory before we can tell we’ve played it all before?

The author of this fine article

is a Staff Writer at Thunderbolt, having joined in January 2011. Get in touch on Twitter @RichJimMurph.

Gentle persuasion

You should follow us on Twitter.