RPS Asks: What Would You Do With Call Of Duty?

Yes, it still needs to have guns.

Activision have started vaguely muttering about this year’s Call of Duty, which is the first from Cod Blops folks Treyarch on the series’ new three-year development cycle. We knew that was happening, and all Activision had to say in an earnings conference call yesterday is that it’ll be “loaded with innovation”. Right-o. The FPS is now a decade into annual sequels and quite set on that path, so I wonder: what would you do with Call of Duty?

You can reboot, resurrect, reinvent, fragment, and spin-off all you like, but let’s assume you won’t get the green light from Activision without releasing a core FPS. Past, present, future, revolutions, invasions, operations, robots, dinosaurs, spacemen – go. Dream. Me, I’m thinking episodic.

I’ve never clicked with Call of Duty’s multiplayer, but I like its singleplayer campaigns a lot. They’re big, loud, daft, and exciting spectacles that start big and get bigger, but they’re over in six hours and then I’m done with the game. I won’t pay £40 for that (I’m a few years behind with CoD as I wait for big sales) but I would pay £15 to receive a campaign in short bursts over months.

What I burn through in a weekend then forget would become something to look forward to. “Coo, how ever will we survive being shot out of a cannon at the Space Needle? Our hoverwhale buddy already took a bullet for us at the end of Episode 1, so who will save us now? Though Richard Nixon did keep cryptically mentioning hoverpants…” CoD’s already loaded with cliffhangers.

Presumably there’d be some sort of season pass or bundle dealio with the multiplayer too. I don’t know. I don’t have a particular setting in mind either. Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer seem to know how to make big loud things, so sure, whatever. I’ll never turn down a neon-lit rainy megacity, mind.

But maybe you have a setting in mind? Or you’d like to see spin-offs across different genres tying into your Big Core FPS? Could you swing a CoD where we don’t save the day? Lawks, maybe it’s even an MMOFPS? Maybe you’ve got a wild idea to make it about pop music. Perhaps you have only one single scene in mind. Whatever it is, do share. Thinking about how long-running series in comics, films, and whatnot keep going might give ideas. We’re hypothetically making Call of Duty here so you have a budget to make flashy things and hire Hollywood stars: what would you do?

136 Comments

  1. simulant says:

    I would lose the single player or at least ignore it and focus on multiplayer:

    1.) Dedicated Servers
    2.) No player levels/unlocks/gamefication, or other non-objective oriented team play incentivizing bullshit.
    3.) Obscenity filters and bans for hate speech and racism.

    • LTK says:

      Sounds precisely like the thing Activision would describe as ‘innovative’.

    • Ross Angus says:

      What about snapping it in two: the multiplayer and the single player. It’d be interesting to see which one sells more, and which one costs more to produce.

    • Alfius says:

      So CSS with quick time events?

    • smilingchicken says:

      Dont they know the games they have now and the games they will make will fail…because they don’t have Dedicated Servers….Dedicated Servers…..Dedicated Servers…..Dedicated Servers

    • USAF Pararescue Capt says:

      This goes for the poster Stimulant:

      1st off I’m a military dad and I only played this game a few times with my kids. As I am on or will be on my 5th deployment to the sandbox ( My job is a UH60 pilot with a Pararescue or PJ unit. I’ve been doing in for a while now (in my 40’s) and almost time to retire and or got into the reserves I’m also the squad exec with rank of Capt.) My wife is a MD so our youngest kids do see us much, luckily we have 2 older daughters which one is also a MD and one in university so their adults.

      But they are busy as well but watch and help my 2 youngest kids who are twins age 16 brother and sister play a lot of video games. And hey if their grades are top notch and they don’t get into trouble or shoot up a mall JK They can play all the games they want. btw my youngest daughter or all my kids were taught to shoot real guns at age 7+ and she competes in 3 gun,uspsa and IPSC. As did my whole family at on time. But now only she and my middle daughter compete.

      Pardon the long intro but the case I am making is after near 5yrs+ in Iraq and Afghanistan I found the SP part of this game more (tho not even close to real combat no game or simulator is) how should I say this? By more “real” I mean in the way that real shoot outs happen fast but it timesslow if I make any sense. Also unlike these action games. You cannot just jump like a bunny over walls with a 60-90lb pack, body armor, weapon and LBV etc. Nor carry that much weapons.

      You cannot run full bore like that for more than 10ft before falling over and with dynamic stress you will not shoot half inch groups and its why police shoot people like 60 times as dynamic stress effects everyone from a grandma to a Navy Seal.

      Now I know this is just a game and the some of the younger guys play this game on base. But my point is the SP is the more realistic to actual combat as you take cover and and shoot in a more realistic way. Unlike MP where you run like a rabbit guns blazing. Haha if ya did that in real life you would be dead. A 30rnd mag runs out in 2-3 seconds in full auto which only a amateur like the terrorists do aka shot only is full auto sure we do it but only in CQB room clearing or supression but nowadays that is why there are SAW’s or squad automatic weapons dudes the rest only shoot in semi.

      In COD or all games like it there is no select fire just full auto and this game is pretty funny even tho its in the future shooting like that would burn out a barrel so fast you would end up with a gun that could not shoot a thing heck in previous games did this. Now this is just my opinion of COD MP which imo is the same old shit rehashed over and over with new paint. And now with the jet packs its like going back in time to the days of Quake.

      Now there is one game or Simulator that is quite realistic its called ARMA 2 and 3, the 2nd one is older but still very very popular especially with current or former military and when modded(as there are a ton of mods for these games tons) its can near or more than a 100 controls and you need a hefty rig to run it so its not on anyconsole only the PC which is what we all use we don’t own any consoles. But ARMA is a sim that you could play forever.

      Anyway I found ARMA to be quite realistic and MP is quite good with 64 players a game its what I play the most sadly which is very rarely when I do have the rare time off to do at home or on tour. My family comes before playing games.

      So sorry guy but if it were not for SP there would NOT be a COD and Kevin Spacy was great in this one and the only reason I played it. I tried the MP and it was like my teen days aka Quake and DOOM etc . Same old shit just with better graphics guys running around at what seems like 50mph etc. So boring spawn, maybe kill a dude or 2, get hit , t respawn over and over oh ad nausea. Oh and one thing I or my kids hate is, they mostly have MP games where players are at level 70+ who compete against people with a level 3 or less, now that is totally not fair. I mean where is the averaging levels or maps with people of the same levels or skills?

      According to my kids those area’s are dead so seems all these high leveled players with all their perks and power ups are just like blasting away at new players with NO perks or mods and hence the new kids have no chance or fun. And to me must be pretty boring to be a level 100 guy shooing a level one guy. Yeah what a challenge….IMO their only leveling up on these people on a uneven playing feild.

      So NOPE SP rules, yes COD MP is a good time waster when you just want to blow off some steam or a good popcorn game. But again its the SP that makes for a lot of people imo. Well maybe not COD but games like ARMA, Fallout and other open world types it is the Single player or RPG elements that are most liked. I hear The Division may be good and have it pre-ordered as my son cannot wait for that one. Well from a current USAF Officer that is my take on what COD is and why they should do more SP stuff as every patch or DLC is catered to only MP but if you read the stats Harvard put out? They stated most people play single not multi player. That is a fact. Heck even those who like COD say the MP is at its end aka no ideas anymore.

      Well thats my rant and only saw this on steam as was looking for some sale items my kids may like and saw this article. And again to Stimulant? Hell dude just don’t play the SP as MP is mainly all the same in every FPS type game I cant even tell them apart and not much more you can do to make MP more interesting MP again has imo run its course for a long while now. Why do you think there is a new COD or BF like every year or so their just out for the money or the quick buck tack on a short SP big budget campaign and it lures people in but underneath it all its just the same ole MP crap they had for years.

      Take simulators like ARMA or FSX. They are user supported and last for years and years now that is quality.

      Signing off from the sandbox and no its not like the movies and being shot at is not fun. I just like helping people. Look up what a USAF PF and Air crew does, then you will know what I mean.

      But Stimulant I do agree with you on all the foul, hate, racist and sexual talk on there its horrible what some people say on there is just unbelievable and why does the publisher of this game allow that to continue? Yes block or ban that crap. My kids don’t play MP cause of that or don’t use mics’s etc.

      Bill

      • USAF Pararescue Capt says:

        Oh and please be civil and mature I respect all opinions so respect mine ok? Any childish remarks I will ignore or delete my post so again be civil. We all have different views.

      • BlackBeard says:

        I agree Pararescue Capt., I am Retired Army and enjoy a Good Simulator but Call of Duty is not that game type, I agree 100% it needs to be more Realistic, maps and World should & could be made Larger for at least a 32 Player and be more Immersive for the Gamer, Weapon Ballistics needs to be implemented for realism because right now it is point – shoot – kill. Language is a Huge Issue for many I know, although CoD is Mature Rated it does not mean all Gamers child or Adult want to hear the colorful words, thats why I suggested if it remains Peer Hosted a Admin Panel needs to be input to the game and a Option to not hear it in Single Player. I Thank You for Your Service and Dedication from Veteran to Veteran ^_^

        • USAF Pararescue Capt says:

          @BlackBeard

          Hey man thanks for understanding my comments. Like I said I hardly play these faced paced COD type games since well Quake and such. And I made this mainly for my twins who are 17yrs old and just starting college but they love these games and saw this article starting up ARMA and just thought I comment on some stuff. But I get what ya mean no worries about that I guess what I meant was the game companies should at least use a language blocker for certain words as man I sometimes watch my kids play and one twin is a girl and this jerk was calling her all kinds of sexist and derogatory words who got an earful from me haha and imo the publisher etc is just being cheap all they want is the cash by not implementing a simple word blocker which many forums have. I may just be in my 40’s but very busy and only play games on weekends and very short sessions at that, but my kids are growing up have 2 in medicine like their mom, but we all like to play a game when we can, but man these games just move way too fast for me and MP is twice as fast. But again I get what you are saying about this game.

          Honestly these games are harder than the real thing as I’m a pilot and simulators or games are harder as you don’t have the spacial awareness etc. But yup I do realize this is just a game and my realism comment was a bit sarcastic. Sorry for if I sounded serious as I was not I do like the SP of these games as its like playing a movie but MP nah..If do play MP its only on ARMA with family and friends.Again rarely.

          So Army dude huh? That’s great bro, too bad they don’t have a PM function so we could talk shop etc. As I won’t ask what your MOS, combat unit or not or when you were active etc or such nope not on a site like this. I hate showoffs and I’m a very private guy. But thanks for the words and right back at ya. To you sir thanks for serving as well! Oh btw I’m still in reserves and done x number of tours in the past decade from in 2003 to 2013 in the sandbox, oh and you know what? Some kid called me a weekend warrior on a gun forum as I’m a longtime collector but anyway this kids was a total jerk that very disrespectful term was used for the National guard not the reserves and he was so dumb he should know that even the NG and reserves get called up to Afghanistan or Iraq its just voluntary for us .

          So I wonder man from us guys who have been in the service? I wonder if these young people know that war is not cool nor is killing someone (yes even a bad guy ) and being shot at is NO fun or cool at all. Yes we love our jobs or being brothers in arms like a big family So its fighting for, with and backing up each other (and sisters as I had a female co-pilot on one tour) in the service is why the majority of us do it. You won’t know what that’s like until you join up especially in front line units. Imho I don’t think these kids get it. As an instructor on the Blackhawk we get these FNG’s and man one day in country? Then they see what real war is…And it changes you. Sorry for the rant not a day goes by without so many memories of those deployments as in a PJ unit we see the torn up guys etc Not pretty..

          Btw I was also former LAPD motorcycle officer and current Fed Leo/pilot (same bird UH60) not bragging now, just saying as we have all this recent this ugly anti law enforcement stuff going on. My brother is a CHP motorofficer and with these nuts killing or ambushing officers. My civilian colleagues are under a lot of stress and fear. We in the Fed sector feel it as well, but not as bad as or civilian counterparts like a simple patrol officer. I worry for my brother (former Army like you )who rides a motorcycle and that’s all the protection he has out on the road.

          Again pardon for the rant eveyone. I just heard about another officer today who was badly injured in our state due to this attack on LE crap. So kinda peeved. So I was pleasantly surprised to see a mature adult replying as I expected some foul mouth kid. So I really thank you for the reply blackbeard.
          Take care bro and stay safe

          • USAF Pararescue Capt says:

            Oh I meant I hope you don’t think of all LE as bad its a small minority who are corrupt or bad apples NOT what the liars in the media say. So just saying I respect whatever side you are on regarding this subject of LE. But I want people to know. NO most of us are good people and please don’t compare us with these bad apples which we hate just as much. Again sorry for going so off topic.

            Happy gaming everyone!

    • marano says:

      and a dedicated team for anti cheat. AW is extremely infested with cheaters.

    • BlackBeard says:

      I have Faithfully bought and played all Cod games on Pc to date, If I had the position my changes would be:

      1. A fully functional Anti Cheat System, every Gamer knows that 100 – 0 KDR is impossible even in COD so start Improving the Game by Building a Better or Working Anti Cheat along with Gamer choice to not here the Mature Language in Single Player and a Verbal Abuse filter fo the MP, If CoD remains Peer Hosted then allow options at a minimum for the Host to act as a Admin ie: Verbal abuse 1 warn, 2nd time Kick which can be set up in options as a Host Admin Rules, tbh this needs to be there.

      2. Dedicated Servers are Best & chosen Preference to game on, especially with Large player numbers…but on the same token I have to give credit to the current Designers as Peer Hosting has vastly improved since CoD MW 2.

      3. The End Cost of the Purchase of Base Game + Season Pass (discount a little on individual DLC cost) should be the last Price a Gamer has to pay, Additional DLC Contenet should be a Bonus Thank You for Player Dedication.

      4. Add the current version ie:Advanced Warfare is futuristic Plus a WWII expansion pack for Single and Multiplayer, I remember World in Conflict, the Soviet Assault Expansion added and Integrated into the base Single Player game as well as added Multiplayer content; Battlefield Bad Company 2 also did this with Vietnam.

      5. Last point here is more realistic Multiplayer Maps and Weapon Ballistics, This is an age of Advanced PC Hardware with Great capabilities…challenge the Hardware and give the Call of Duty Gamers a in depth Gaming Experience!

      By pointing out MY Improvements I am not implying that Call of Duty is Broke but in some areas it is behind the Competition and Needs Improvement to Retain the Loyalty of Veteran CoD Gamers while attracting the New !

  2. Gap Gen says:

    Clone Wars. Posit a society where everyone’s genetic material has been tweaked until it represents the latest fashion in perfect bone structure and physique. Fight wave after wave of corporate tyrant Kevin Spacey as he tries to take over the world as you play hardened US Marine Kevin Spacey or gruff British special forces leader Kevin Spacey. Protect civilian Kevin Spaceys and foil a plot to kidnap and execute President Kevin Spacey. Jaunt over to Europe as terrorists threaten the world famous landmark Eiffel Spacey. Blast into space to protect the International Space Spacey. Fight the end boss on a plane with quicktime events or something.

  3. FreeTom says:

    Honestly, I don’t think anyone should do anything with it. It’s supposed to be the same thing with slightly better graphics every time. That’s what most of the customer base wants and to be in any way innovative with that would lose them a vast amount of money. It’d be like adding multi-ball to FIFA.

    I’m glad we have COD. Keeps the bell-ends from polluting the communities of good games.

    • Premium User Badge

      Qazinsky says:

      While I agree that’s what the player base, myself included, wants, I still feel kinda insulted :(

      • FreeTom says:

        Um… hmm. Yeah, that’s understandable. Somehow I assumed proper COD fans didn’t come to this site. Sorry.

        • Premium User Badge

          Qazinsky says:

          It’s ok, I dunno how “proper” a fan I am, I don’t really fit the CoD Dudebro stereotype, I just like to play some CoD sometimes ‘is all.

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            And there are almost certainly a ton of folks just like you who get lumped into that crowd thoughtlessly. It’s not even malicious, just a little thoughtless. Let’s all take something away from this, eh? <3

      • Gap Gen says:

        I dunno, it’s fine. I sometimes want to buy the same kind of pizza I had last week. You pays your money and you makes your choice, etc.

      • Bull0 says:

        Tip, the RPS comments can be great but on stories about mass market games they tend to be sneery and unpleasant.

        • rexx.sabotage says:

          unless it’s a dragon age or mass effect; then they all dawn their dudebro caps and flip those brims to the side with bravado.

        • BooleanBob says:

          To be fair they’re often taking their cue from the article proper.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Pshaw.

          Pshaw!

        • jrod says:

          but being sneery and unpleasant towards the garbage end of the AAA spectrum is kinda the reason RPS is a thing.

    • WiggumEsquilax says:

      Now I want multi-ball added to FIFA.

      • Grimley says:

        To the best of my knowledge, football in all it’s forms has almost always been multiball, but you’re only allowed to hit/ personhandle the one designated as the game ball.

  4. CidL says:

    Take it back to World War 2. Horrible business, but makes for damn fine games.

    • TaylanK says:

      Treyarch’s World at War is my favorite CoD of them all.

      • cannedpeaches says:

        Oh nonono. Treyarch’s games never really had the kind of tense, back-against-the-wall survival situations I got out of CoD2. They just never felt quite as cinematic. Holding Pointe du Hoc until the flyboys showed up in the second CoD was the best moment of 2005.

        • djbriandamage says:

          CoD2 remains my favourite of the series. I’ve played it so very many times.

          I like the WWII setting as well. Maybe Treyarch will do it justice in their newly-announced sequel to World at War.

          • Ross Angus says:

            This.

          • UnholySmoke says:

            Absolutely this. The north African campaign missions were just beautiful – gameplay and setting. I think it was so much more fun than the modern stuff because instead of feeling like a razor-sharp machine of war, bristling with tech and toting a gun from the future, you were just a bloke in sandy coloured clothes and a shonky rifle. The first Modern Warfare was lots of fun but the series hasn’t ever come close to the levels of COD2.

    • Terragot says:

      What about the German perspective?

      Start off with a group of young friends meeting through the Hitler Youth. Kids from family’s that no longer take their wages home in wheel barrows, but construct the great Autobahns. Proud Germans, angry at what had been taken from them in the past looking for an optimistic future.

      Have these friends enrol together during the war, let them show how strong their country has made them, let them show why they are the chosen race. Then have them posted at an extermination camp and watch as their friendship, morals and national duty come into contention between them.

      Obviously this would make an appalling COD game as it’s not directly aping cinema, so I guess we’ll have to skip the conflict of beliefs part and just have a 3d rendering of Schindler’s List, B&W and all.

  5. Blackcompany says:

    My Call of Duty would be to rebuild the world post-apocalypse. And not Zombies. Military tensions escalated due to drone attacks and what not; terror bombings carefully timed world wide, but with WMD smuggled across borders, Jericho style. Whatever method you like, the world was blown to hell.

    Now, you need to help rebuild it.

    First, the basics. This is a single player or co-op experience, in a large open world. The world is full of mutants, but also numerous factions. Some of these factions are hostile; others are not. Some are hostile to one another. All of them regularly patrol the Waste, as well as sending out persistent teams of scavengers, bandits, traders, etc – any of whom you can and will encounter in your travels.

    Your ultimate goal: Clean up the Wasteland and restore order and hope. How you do it is up to you. Maybe you discover hidden caches of powerful weapons and leave only faction to rule the waste. Tyranny, but stable tyranny. Maybe you cow the factions and take over as ruler, an army of befriended bandits at your back. Maybe you clear out bandits and this frees up trade routes, which slowly restore order levels if you keep the routes clear and enough traders safe.

    However you do it, restore order to the world. And do it in single player or co-op. No cutscenes. Few if any scripted missions. Random starting locations. Options to start the game as a bandit, trader, mercenary for hire, etc. Semi-random starting locations for factions, and randomly placed hidden items and loot each playthrough.

  6. GameCat says:

    I would get back to WWII campaigns based on real battles and events – I miss them very much.

    There would be playable soldiers from different armies, including Japan and Germany.

    • James Currie says:

      Agreed, my favorite COD games feature real events with believable characters. I haven’t touched World at War in years but I still remember the Stalingrad level as Sgt. Reznov showed you the ropes of sniping and staying stealthy. Two things that are largely absent from COD games these days.

      The COD franchise was built on dramatised stories from actual wars and actual battles. It went into decline when it started doing completely make believe stuff. I went off the single player of COD with Black Ops, where historically meaningful actions, such as destroying the Nazi bases in Antarctica, were used as a footnote to advance a meaningless plot.

      As much as I like over the top stories with whacky characters, leave it to Just Cause and Saints Row as the linear COD FPS simply is not the best place for that style of story. If the game is linear, make it about something linear with clear direction – rather than a plot that could jump anywhere at the press of the ‘X’ key.

  7. aircool says:

    Make it just like the originals online play. Thompson for the noobs, kar98 for the marksmen and MP44 for the experts. Keep it simple and have the faction flag hovering above everyone’s head because being colourblind sucks.

  8. fish99 says:

    I’d keep cynically churning them out as long as people kept buying them.

  9. Palimpsest says:

    Abort the series and apologise.

  10. Freezern says:

    Remove all crosshairs.
    Hire Hanz Zimmer again.

  11. muppetts says:

    Bury it like the dead IP piece of crap it is.

  12. BooleanBob says:

    I think maybe you take a leaf out of Ubi’s book and go back to historical (or ahistorical, but I’ll get to that) settings. Assassin’s Creed, maligned as it is at times, has always had its burgeoning spread of historical settings as one of its strongest cards – and proven that it’s a conceit that gamers are willing to be sold on.

    World War 2 was heavily over-mined during the early-to-mid 00s, but even then, only scant portions of the conflict (mainly post D-Day Western Europe and Russia circa Stalingrad) received much attention. How about being put in charge of the fledgling SAS in North Africa, helping to plan and execute perilous raids behind enemy lines? Or plunging into deadly, claustrophobic, jungle warfare in Burma, showing off all that Direct X 11 foliage goodness while you’re there? And why has nobody ever made a really good game about the fall of France?

    But I’m not even suggesting you have to go back to World War 2 proper – those lurid, day-glo nightmares of paranoiac fiction that are the plots of CoD games circa Modern Warfare 2 onwards could equally be applied to alternate universe fiction, set at any point since the discovery of gunpowder warfare. Stepping away from the present day/reality in general would also allow you to sidestep the political (in)sensitivities that come with portraying modern-day conflict.

    • Frosty840 says:

      I think CoD3 has an Africa section. Lots of artillery and hiding behind tanks as they advance across the minefields.
      And bloody grenade indicators…

      • cannedpeaches says:

        CoD2 was the North Africa one – but yes, tank hiding, desert city taking. I don’t think we’ve had Burma yet, though. And I’d love to see Infinity Ward (gutted as it may be) take on some of the island hopping campaigns, or Anzio, or Palermo, or the Greek partisans, or Scandinavia, or the Philippines, or…

        Yeah, they really didn’t mine deeply enough on that war.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Go Fallout on WW2?

      Hell, I’d buy it.

    • rodan32 says:

      What about Burma? There’s the awful battle of Ramree Island, where hundreds of poor Japanese got eaten by crocodiles rather than surrender. Or Attu and Adak, subjects of the recent “Red, White, Black and Blue” documentary. Awful fighting in tough conditions. Did anyone ever do anything in the fight up the Italian peninsula? I can’t remember. But Monte Cassino, I’d like to play that fight. Hell, let me play as Pole who escapes and fights with the British. Or as a Jew in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. WWII is a REALLY deep well.

      Why not Korea? Chosun, the awful fighting when the Chinese and Norks pushed everyone back, the Incheon landing. Bloody Ridge, the Punchbowl, Pork Chop Hill. . .

      CoD made it seem like I was there. I loved the Russian campaigns especially, the ridiculous run up the hill from the river at Stalingrad, the Reichstag fighting. Bring that back.

  13. Ross Angus says:

    I’d make it about bullying.

    Call of Duty is a power fantasy. But everyone who has power knows what it’s like to not have power. Often the fear of this is what drives them in the first place.

    I’d like to see a narrative set against a conflict where the war itself is relatively unimportant to the story. The real story is about a character (you) being bullied by a squad mate. I’d like to see flashbacks to the school years of the protagonist, where he was the bully.

    (they’d also be a meta-narrative, where the country of the protagonist is the bully against the country the action is found in, but this should be pretty subtle).

    I think the emotional mistake many games make is to assume that bigger stakes mean bigger emotions. They don’t. Empathy with the character means bigger emotions. Just listen to John’s connection with Bud, from earlier this week.

    It’d be nice if this narrative could open up the topic of bullying in gaming too. Because I’d guess that every bully has been bullied in the past.

  14. No Excuse says:

    I pretty much know exactly what I’d do.

    As someone who was there ‘in the beginning’ and who played the original COD demo a million times before the game came out. I’d return to the sense of drama, tragedy and theatre that was so original in the beginning. Yes, I know it was just ripping off all the WWII films of the previous years, but it was doing it in a way that hadn’t been done in games much before. More importantly, it was one of the first games I played where I wasn’t some sort of ridiculous super-hero – I was just some poor chump caught up in some huge meat-grinder that was way bigger than me. I don’t think COD should move away from on-rails theatre – they should just start doing it well again.

    Firstly I don’t give a shit about multiplayer so that aside (although I genuinely think that online multiplayer FPS never bested the original COD, I’ve lost interest in it since then). I’d do an epic single player campaign based on incredible acting and great writing. I wouldn’t just tokenistically hire some famous guy (i.e w/spacey) I’d get a proper ensemble cast. And here’s my super-genius copyrighted idea – I’d set it during the German invasion of Poland. It it would start before the war – you’d see and live through the run up to it and then just try* to survive those few weeks in the late summer of 1939 as part of the polish army. Just a couple of shitty iron sights rifles to use, no fucking absurd on-rail chase scenes etc. actual. drama. Also exceptional A.I so you needed actual tactics (think HL Marines and the Brothers in Arms series). You’d always be on the run, always hunted, always outgunned and outnumbered – it would be chaos, just you and your buddies trying – and failing to make it. It would be Band of Brothers meets This War of Mine meets The Last of Us meets Brothers in Arms.

    This wouldn’t be some absurd action romp designed to give ‘mericans boners – shit would be harrowing, tragic, and would have a dark inevitability to it.

    THAT. I would play £40 for.

    • Fontan says:

      I’m throwing money at the screen here but it doesn’t seem to load your game! I want it now.

  15. Turkey says:

    I’d probably make the MGS2 version of COD.

  16. TomxJ says:

    Drone of Duty

    You sit at your desk piloting a drone soldier, looking at the world through a green fuzzy screen, surrounded by bottles of Evian and bags of Quavers. In between the collateral damage, engage in office hi-jinks such as covering Barneys desk in tinfoil whilst he’s on annual leave. Play great mini games such as match three ‘Civilian or livestock?’. Other features include a working PTSD meter, which adjusts to choices YOU make in the game!

    Press X to beat a dead horse.

  17. Bracknellexile says:

    I’d take a leaf out of Ass Creed’s book and set it at sea. Probably a series of levels on frigates, tugs, coast guard vessels and fishing trawlers. More specifically in the North Sea and Atlantic in the mid 1970s mostly in the stretch of water between the UK and Iceland… ;)

  18. Kollega says:

    Open on a misty Thursday morning, somewhere in the 20th century. A seasoned bureaucrat comes into his cubicle and hangs his hat alongside his submachine gun. He fiddles with a few switches on the circuit board and turns to his electromechanical typewriter, ready to plug away at the reports and communiques. But suddenly, an alarm lamp flares up and a notice pops out of the pneumopost receptacle. It reads: “URGENT. Employee 335-842-A, Armstrong Daniel: report to the Briefing Room #24-E. The Ministry is in grave danger.” Fade to black.

    Fade in. Several employees of the Ministry are circling the boardroom table, their faces hidden in shadow. The main screen comes on, and an equally shadowy figure speaks:
    – Gentlemen, you are here because you’re the best of the best. Something really unfortunate has happened in these past few days.
    – Cut to the chase: what is it? – one interrupts. – Was the contact with the Orbital Processing Center lost again? Or was it a military incursion by the People’s Bureaucratic Revolutionary Militia? Or did we run out of pineapples again? Or the new tank specifications ran over-budget?
    – Worse. – the figurehead says. – We lost an entire ship, without a trace.
    – An “entire” ship? – one asks. – We lose bigger things on a daily basis. What is so serious about it?
    – Sorry, Employee, but this is above your security clearance. – the figure replies. – But the Ministry is in danger, and we want that ship found. Do whatever it takes. Tear the world apart, or the red tape to little pieces, but find it.
    – What’s the name of that ship? – the protagonist asks.
    – “Maria Elena”.

    Smash cut to action scenes intercut with frenzied paperwork. Heavily-armoured paper-pushers shoot machine guns at an unknown target, several office workers argue about the proper way to fill a form, a tank blasts through an archive wall, the protagonist fills out the procurement sheets inhumanly fast, a Messerschmidt Kabinenroller with wings attached does insane evasion maneuveres up in the clouds. Smash to black.

    The tagline fades in, followed by the title: “Every ounce of paperwork counts. Call of Duty: Maria Elena.”

    (And the story of such a CoD would be about the consequences of playing hero when everyone, including you, is an incompetent obstructive paper-pusher with an uncanny tendency to be sent on spec-ops missions. Not really the best baggage to play hero with, I reckon.)

  19. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Let me preface my comment by saying that I actually want CoD to stay pretty much the same, with improvements, not everyone wants huge sweeping changes in video games, that’s how we got away from the golden oldies, after all ;)

    I would probably send it back a few years, maybe 1980’s-1990’s, then pretty much keep it as Modern Warfare used to be, maybe take the abilities to travel from the AW in a more parkour-flavored style. Ditch Juggernauts and nukes, any kind of bombs left for others to stumble into, care packages that can totally turn a total crush of a fight completely around (I do not like unfair matches, but I dislike things that turn a fight without any player skill whatsoever even more). Keep prestige and levelling (if you dislike these, there’s probably another FPS you can play without them, CoD should have them imo), keep and expand the random weapon drops with random stats that was in AW, the weapons themselves should just be skins but they should also have 3-5 mods that possesses +/-stats (say +1dmg/rng, +2dmg and -1rng, try balancing it out) of allowing the player to really modify their weapons how they see fit and adding longevity, hell, let the regular mods drop with stats (“WTT for holoscope with +2rng-1dmg”).

    Oh, dedicated servers, they should actually have some competent people just rewrite the whole multiplayer code from scratch, after MW2 (and MW2 too at first) they have been terrible netcode wise, compared to contemporary shooters. TF2 works way better than the last 3-4 CoDs when it comes to lag and responsiveness.

  20. Premium User Badge

    Skabooga says:

    You are Hushuang Meng, inventor of the first gun. You have fortuitously hit upon a workable design on the eve of a neighboring kingdom’s invasion of yours. The enemy doesn’t see it coming. You will kill everybody.

    COD: First Gun would also contain optional sidequests to raid ancient libraries, astronomy outposts, and alchemical laboratories to learn about other technology that could be used to create other gun designs to aid you in your quest to free your kingdom/kill everyone.

    • April March says:

      Your gun takes ten seconds to reload, is slightly less accurate than throwing stones, and you start the game with a single bullet (on normal) and need access to a forge to make more.

  21. elderman says:

    The FPS starts a thousand years ago. The player controls a millennial (the first millennium) Chinese soldier using one of the first weapons that could be called a gun. Dialogue is in subtitled Chinese.

    Each time the player’s character dies, he revives at a recent checkpoint but history and technology have moved on. The player will move through a thousand years of the history of the gun and of gun-based warfare. The mission and the map will stay consistent, but the location in the world, the player’s culture, and the voice-over language will continue to change, either with every death or with every map change.

    Eventually, the player projects into the future of warfare, with speculative weapons and science-fiction locations. There’s an end era, and with enough deaths, the player starts going backward in time again, but playing the opposing side in the same mission. Eventually, if the player doesn’t beat the final mission before arriving back at 1000AD, the games gives a fail state and the player has to start over.

    [Edit: Whoa, weird that Skabooga and I both posted about early gun warfare within a minute of each other.]

    • RCoon says:

      Replied to the wrong bloody post, THIS is the brilliant idea.

    • Premium User Badge

      Skabooga says:

      Woah, that is super freaky. I even specifically checked all the previous posts to see if they had mentioned anything about Historical China.

    • AngoraFish says:

      Fantastic!

  22. pepperfez says:

    Set it in the American Civil War.

  23. Zunt says:

    I’d make it largely as people expected it to be, but with one twist. Killing NPCs would trigger a non-skippable QTE (hey, it’s COD) where time slows and you experience their thoughts and feelings. Initially these would be fairly affirming to the player, along the lines of “Grr, I hate democracy and hope all Westerners die – urk!” as the bullets slowly pierce the NPC’s body.

    Later. though, during the stealth sections, the NPC’s thoughts would be different, perhaps the shooty man looking forward to his next leave, when he’ll ask his son to explain the quantum theories he’s studying at college. Not because the soldier wants to know, but because he wants to see the light in his son’s eyes as he explains, wants to see him building a life that soldier man never dreamed possible. As your blade inexorably starts to cut into the NPC’s neck he’ll be thinking about how he’ll always be there for his son, supporting him in a life that is quite alien to him, a life that isn’t predicated on macho posturing but on intellectual prowess. Then you’ll hear the NPC’s thoughts jump: he’s noticed the (slowmo) ropes of blood beginning to shoot from his carotids. His mind will scream and plead with an indifferent universe that it’s not right, he was going to change, he was going to help his son be someone who would make a difference to the world. Finally, the player sees himself through the NPC’s eyes: a blood-drenched figure watching this unique spark of life gutter in front of him with cold pitiless doll’s eyes. His last coherent thoughts before his oxygen starved brain reverts to a useless lump of porridgy flesh are: Why? I’m not the bad guy…

    Then the player regains control and can move to the next target.

  24. foodeater says:

    a game designed to help post traumatic stress disorder researched by working with veterans and their families. it would be cool to experience what aaa funding and creative minds could do with the concept. i don’t think it would even have to be a bad fps. dunno. i found old school shooters much more tension relieving because they were more game like.

    the 1st (skippable) 1/2 of the game could be designed to induce ptsd in players. start with “classic” cod and pull the rug out from under you.

    link to motherjones.com

    • USAF Pararescue Capt says:

      To the poster who said this kind of game helps PTSD? Many of us in the military do not agree that article you posted was by a person who was never in combat. A game like this would be bad for a person with serious PTSD as I stated in my post my wife is a MD tho not a Psychiatrist etc. ( Wife is a Cardiologist Surgeon) even she agrees with me. Shit dude I know guys who can’t even watch war films without breaking down in tears and you want them to relive gunfights? What about those who go violent? No sorry this is a dangerous thing some guys and gals are so messed up. A violent video game is THE last thing I would give them. Sigh…War is ugly and scary I work as a UASF UH60 pilot in a USAF Pararescue unit. And dude the things Ive seen? Well I hope you or anyone never ever sees what Ive seen its stays with you forever. NO joke. As much as I like my job it has its downsides.
      Stay safe.

  25. aldo_14 says:

    I’d keep it a linear ‘cinematic’ shooter – focus on their strengths. Namely on the basis that there are already other games doing the various open world, sandbox, whatever approaches, so why just mimic?

    That said, how to keep it interesting rather than the turgid retread of corridor after corridor?

    I’m thinking…

    Parallel corridors, or wider corridors. Sure, the player is still being funneled along a straight line towards various objectives, but make the levels one where you can double back, flank, explore a little bit. Make more use of interesting confined spaces; rather than skipping through one side of a building and out the other, actually go room to room, floor to floor in a realistic space. Try and move back towards more intimate and believable spaces rather than catapulting the player around movie sets.

    Sort out the basic stuff. Make sure the AI is smart, not just based on progression triggers – maybe adopt the AI director concept so the game responds to how the player progresses.

    Bring in properly destructible scenery (and dump stupid scripted stuff); the player should never, ever have to wait for someone else to open a door (similarly, give the player the ability to issue simple commands to AI, rather than the converse). Anything ‘big’ like a helicopter/tank/etc should actually be driven by rational AI, rather than scripted – if a tank drives through a wall to get at the player, it should be because the situation makes it a rational move, not because a script triggered. Make player movement realistically responsive; i.e. allow the player to not just climb, run, etc realistically, but also let them do things like move tables for cover, whatever seems feasible. Basically take that corridor space and let the player and AI reconfigure it as they need.

    Move back to historical battles, because I don’t think they can write up compelling stories by themselves. Or at least plausible settings – like a Cold War gone hot scenario. Multiple player characters – if the player has to be some sort of super-glamorous special ops guy, then make sure they also spend time as a poor squaddie deep in the shit. And use multiple characters to bring in level etc variety, not implausible story leaps.

    For that matter, if they want to have another appropriately tragic event, they should probably focus on characterizing people affected rather than cheap shots like showing kids being gassed. If they want pathos, show how people are left maimed or injured by war rather than trying to manufacture outrage; I’ve always been somewhat annoyed by how games show soldiers as either being alive or dead, when in reality you’d be also hearing the screams or moans of crippled friends and enemies alike.

  26. RYNOBIG says:

    Spin offs!!!!!
    Gun cleaner simulator – like surgeon simulator only with 1000% more guns
    COD kit man simulator – where you wash flak jackets and blood soaked gloves and other military gear
    Warzone Reclamation crew – the point is to go from map to map putting all the bits of buildings back together
    and the AAA rated Fanboy simulator – where you hack into games reviews sites to “fix” poor reviews and “clean up” comments posted by heretics.

  27. GiantPotato says:

    First, I’d look at the things some other games (like Evolve) are doing with asymmetric game modes and make that more of a focus.

    Second, I’d finally own up to the absurdity of the “press e to proceed” aspect of on-rails gameplay and just embrace it. You can do all sorts of things with the ‘e’ key in between set-pieces, and CoD campaigns barely scratch the surface of this powerful and versatile button.

  28. Trelow says:

    Spanish-American war. Not enough games set in the period.

  29. Penguin_Factory says:

    I’d ditch the real-world setting. Call of Duty games wear a veneer of realism, but they’ve always been gung-ho adventures about individual super-soldiers fighting against cartoon villains. Instead of trying to shoe-horn that into some kind of plausible real-world scenario, set the game in a Wolfenstein-esque alternate past, or another planet in the distant future (this would most easily fit into the series’ current direction) or a Valkyria Chronicles-style fantasy world.

  30. 9of9 says:

    I say, take the war CoD hasn’t yet done: WWI.

    Rather than their usual approach of showcasing the ‘horrors of war’ where you go around torching people with a flamethrower and occasionally doing splattery, grisly things in cutscenes, it would be pretty awesome to have a properly dark and atmospheric WWI game. I’m thinking almost to the point of survival horror.

    It doesn’t have to be entirely historically accurate, but it would be interesting to see a war game with a strong element of disempowerement. I’m thinking things go south fairly early on and pretty soon you’re split up from your team, out by yourself in no-man’s-land with no friendly faces in sight. From that point onwards, the game could turn fully open or semi-linear. At first you’re only really worried about surviving – finding shelter in the bombed out remains of German trenches, hiding away in a French lady’s cellar just before the Germans storm through her village, trying to escape seeping clouds of mustard gas as they roll through an abandoned city, desperately keeping to higher ground and at the same time trying to avoid the gas-masked patrols.

    Later, you begin to get a semblance of the different objectives you can pursue and start to work towards them – whether that involves deserting and getting yourself out of the frontlines altogether, rejoining the ranks of your army or even defecting to the enemy.

  31. Duke of Chutney says:

    some random ideas

    > COD:PEACE you must obey UN peace keeper rules or you get sent to the Hague. You can only ever fire once you have already been fired upon so the game play devolves into jumping out in front of bad guys and pulling face before jumping back into the alley and returning fire.

    > COD:DUNE, Shai Halud! You must ride the mighty Emperor Worm into battle whilst taking fire from T80u’s.

    > COD:NOMICS, the Military has economised on uniforms and HUDS you now have to guess who is friend or foe.

    >COD:THE_PACK, rather than having one dog, innovate by having a pack of angry jack russels at your beckon call. Use them to swarm or distract, the strategic possibilities are endless.

    >COD:FIFA_STREET_URBAN_WARFARE, combine two office job annual hits into one epic game for the ages. Score goals against your enemies with the assistance of Colt and S&W’s latest mil tech products.

    COD:HIGH_SCHOOL, (not as bad as that sounds) Merge the best in game design innovation from east and west. By night, rail shoot bad dudes with gun graphics, by day deal with teenage angst, social awkwardness, anime hair and leveling up in the tumultuous school environment as you secure dates for your friends.

  32. Premium User Badge

    Qazinsky says:

    Oh, I got a new idea, how about they split Singleplayer from Multiplayer, that way if RPS posits this question again, it would be in two posts with less confusing comments sections :P

  33. PearlChoco says:

    1.Remove multiplayer or put it in another game.

    2. Remove all non-interactive cutscenes, triggers, QTEs, health regen and NPC companions .

    3. Remove respawning enemies and fire the programmers (out of a cannon).

    4. Change level design philosophy to ‘non-insulting’

    5. Implement F.E.A.R.’s AI.

  34. datter says:

    Vietnam.

  35. Barberetti says:

    Set in the stone age, the peace loving humans suddenly find themselves under attack from the evil Neanderthals. The leader of the humans tasks you to head an elite force to travel deep into the lands of the enemy, to seek out and kill the Neanderthal king.

    Your weapons are clubs, spears, knives and rocks.

  36. dangermouse76 says:

    I would build on the principle of destructible environments, like Bad Company started to promise. A selection of brash 80-90’s action movie scripts is fine for a 8-10 hour campaign. Medium to large open environments to give a sense of traversing the city / countryside / space or where ever it’s based.

    Set in a the Total recall world where you plug into a dodgy virtual games machine and simply select a theatre of war from a selection of say 5-8 campaigns.

    Multi-player has no unlocks no progression ladder, no kill cams, and uses bullet physics, and destructible environs.
    I want a different game basically.

  37. Bluestormzion says:

    I’d toss it, as it’s a bloated juvenile series that’s lost all of its soul.

  38. pasports31 says:

    I’d love to just get rid of it, but outside of that…do something crazy and unexpected with the game setting. Set it during an alien invasion, or during a demonic apocalypse, or something of that sort. I think these constant military settings are just sooooooo dull that I would personally never buy the game, but if they did something off the wall it’d get my interest going to the point where I’d consider buying it on sale.

  39. Tegiminis says:

    One of the biggest problems I have with CoD is that each release splinters the community even further. I’d really love to just have one big umbrella to dump all that content under so that the game’s community doesn’t feel as totally fragmented. So, I’d roll every Call of Duty game into one game.

    Let’s call it Call of Duty: Universe. Whenever you purchase a Call of Duty game, it adds that game’s content (single-player campaign, multiplayer guns/levels/perks/specials, whatever) to the main “Universe” client.

    You can then play each multiplayer game on its own – much like how Call of Duty is now – or play a combined Universe mode that has all of the unlocks and such from every Call of Duty you own. The Universe client would probably use a variant of the Pick 10 system, because let’s be totally honest: it’s pretty much the best thing that’s ever happened to CoD.

    I want a complete clusterfuck of every single gun, perk, grenade, scorestreak, map, and mode that Call of Duty has ever released.

  40. Joannes says:

    I’d like a campaign with a sense of self-referential humour. Team America: World police as a Call of Duty game, basically.

  41. DanMan says:

    The same as Dice should do with Battlefield. Split it into SP and MP, keep their yearly SP release cycle and turn the MP part into SAAS. The latter gets continuously updated through add-ons or even a monthly subscription or something, so you don’t play this years CoD MP, but CoD MP period.

  42. frymaster says:

    I did like the multiplayer, but there’s been no “proper” dedicated server (meaning: I can run the software) since World at War.

    I liked some of the single player as well, but not recently, and I don’t know how to redeem it

  43. bwuceli says:

    Just let this IP die. also I don’t know why you advocate for even more episodic gaming which will result in more DLC’s.

  44. lowprices says:

    I would get the team that made Bulletstorm back together, and get them to make a game exactly like Bulletstorm , set in the Bulletstorm universe following the characters from the first Bulletstorm, and call it Call of Duty : Bulletstorm, so it actually sells.

  45. Xocrates says:

    I don’t know if I would have the balls to do it, and even if I did I very much doubt I would be allowed to do it, but I would like to see a CoD played from the terrorists side, where you’d fight a vastly stronger and better equipped US army, and where your side are complete dicks, but you feel like you’re in the right due to the relentless of the opposition and the how dehumanized the game would make them.

    So, essentially CoD with the sides swapped.

  46. Morlock says:

    I actually enjoyed most CoDs, so I’d be happy with better writing. As for a setting, why not attempt to show the evolution of warfare, from muskets to drone wars?

  47. Vandelay says:

    I would get all the developers play the original CoD and the Half life series, so they can see where they have gone wrong.

  48. Jim Dandy says:

    CODrophenia. Mods v Rockers multiplayer. Rise above the melee of bike chains and straight razors by scarfing dexies and gaining the ‘hover bovver-boots’ perk.

  49. derbefrier says:

    Pc exclusice of course. Don’t need console holding us back. I would go back to WW2. Normandy would be epic with todays graphics capabilities. Would not go open world but levels would be quite large an open enough to have multiple ways to approach objectives. No regenerating health, guns that don’t behave like paintball guns, I would make it more realistic but still keep the action pretty fast(because that’s what I like). I would make it hard. Not stupid hard but hard enough that people had to think about tactics etc… Maybe have it co-op with some squad based action. I would try and feature well known and lesser known battles being intertwined with a bit of fiction. Then ultimately fight mecha hitler cause video games.

    Multiplayer would go back to its root. Biiger levels and more objective based gameplay and more emphasis on tactics and teamwork. No leveling, no killstreaks. Loadouts will be there but all guns and equipment will be available from the start so players could build their own classes to fit their gameplay needs. Basically I think a goodbaseline would be RO2 but with a little less focus on realisim. Dedicated servers of course,, mod tools, DLC will be single player focused as not to split the multiplayer community, any multiplayer dlc will be free for this purpose also(map packs etc), no stat tracking, your rep will be gained by how well you play and interact with the community, not by how well you can sit in the back of the map and farm kills with your sniper rifle ignoring objectives. Maybe I’ll allow one stat, a win loss ratio but that’s a big maybe. Also mecha hitler because video games.

  50. chopsnsauce says:

    OH! OH! ME! ME!

    I’d drop single player and go F2P. Bring back classic maps. Keep the kill streak feedback loop, but slow the game down, make it more tactical and realistic but keep enough of the Michael Bay “feel” for it to be fun.

    Main problem I have with COD is “advanced” gameplay like instantly jumping 8 feet in the air to avoid fire, it’s completely at odds with the realistic gritty game world they create.

    Sort that out and give me a game that I don’t have to re-buy every year and I’d happily play COD again.