Today saw the release of the latest trailer from the Activision behemoth franchise CoD subtitled Advanced Warfare and featuring non-other than the world's current political anti-hero/villain/badass Kevin Spacey.
The announcement has been covered by a number of sites out there - like Eurogamer for example - featuring the expected descriptions and details.
This iteration comes from Sledgehammer Games which aided a, at the time, partially crippled Infinity Ward with completing CoD: Modern Warfare 3. Considering that the game went on to make $400 million within 24 hours, becoming the largest entertainment product of all time (only beaten by GTAV) secured them a position as developer of the latest franchise installment.
The trailer released is definitely bombastic and seems to be introducing new elements to the franchise, with exoskeleton armour, Crysis-like superjumping, spiderbots, far too many drones, and an amount of explosions that would make Michael Bay swoon in awe. Also, Kevin Spacey, because House of Cards.
There is absolutely no doubt that it will sell a preposterous amount of copies and that it will be technically superb both graphically (despite the engine's age, it still looks pretty solid) and gameplay wise with expertly tuned mechanics.
For me personally, it looks a bit tired. As if CoD met Titanfall while reminiscing about that weekend in Elysium with Crysis.
That said, there are issues with discussions around such massively popular franchises. I mean, read any comment board or forum and you'll see the same feeling of ennui about the franchise, yet obscene amounts are sold every single year.
Furthermore, we're on the thirteenth game at this point. Barring the incorporation of eldritch horrors (Call of Nyarlathotep would be awesome:)), the franchise has pretty much covered most types of conflict at this point. Also as a business, it would be silly for them to take a huge risk with the thematology due to market expectations. There are millions who still buy Call of Duty titles, because they're exactly that - competently made, military themed FPS shooters with great gameplay.
It's simply the summer blockbuster effect.
Now as to whether it's sustainable, is fairly debatable.
Despite the cynicism expressed above, I am thinking of trying this year's release. I haven't played a CoD title since Black Ops which had an entertaining single-player campaign while Nuketown kept me entertained due to its excessive absurdity for a couple of weeks. That was four years ago, and despite the seemingly silly premise and the thematic mash-up of sci-fi tropes, I've kinda missed the franchise. Also, Kevin Spacey.
We'd like to hear what you think. Will you be giving this year's iteration a go or have you had enough of the franchise at this point?
Let us know in the comments below!