I jumped into the Call of Duty: WW2 beta over the weekend, and found that the series’ leap back into the past applies to more than just the time period it’s set in.
RPS Feature War isn't what it used to be
After larking around in the present and future, Call of Duty this year returns to the war that kicked the series off, wrapping modern CoD in the spats and mud of the Second World War. How has that worked out? Well, you can see for yourself this weekend in the free PC open beta test for Call of Duty: WW2 [official site]. The test will begin on Friday but we can now preload the client. It’s a 14GB download so you might want to start now if your PC isn’t slurping a jackhose ripped to the nines with gigabits to spare. Read the rest of this entry »
Call of Duty [official site] is returning to its roots. No more orbital adventures and digital warfare, and little chance that the series will complete its full evolution into a sort of first-person Command & Conquer: Red Alert. Instead, the billboards that decorated E3 this year had a solemn air about them. “This,” they wanted us to know, “is serious business.”
We’ll have to wait ’til CoD: WW2’s singleplayer aspect is playable before we get a proper sense for the tone and the specific battlefields we’ll be (re)visiting, but the multiplayer open beta is coming to PC in a couple of weeks. It’s a little later than console and will run across the weekend, from the 29th September to the 2nd October. No real news on what exactly will be included yet but the announcement post gives a few more details.
I welcome spaces to goof off in serious competitive games. On the Plunkbat loading runway, you’ll find me creeping along wonkily as I lean and wobble or launching myself into the air with the plane wing glitch. In Natural Selection’s ready room, you bet I’m climbing onto heads. And in Call of Duty: WW2 [official site], oh boy, the ‘Headquarters’ social space looks great fun. 48 players will get to fight, muck about, and shoot things in all sorts of fun ways. Have a look in this new trailer: Read the rest of this entry »
Actors including David Tennant (Ian Whom PhD), Elodie Yung (Electro), Katheryn Winnick (Ribs), Ving Rhames (Quentin Tarantino’s A True Story), and Udo Kier (Disturbia) are lending their voices to characters in the cooperative Nazi Zombies mode of Call of Duty: WW2 [official site], Activision announce. I’m sure they’re fine actors but the next CoD: Infinite Warfare zombie DLC has Elvira, Mistress of the Dark and I know which I find more exciting. Anyway, this announcement trailer fresh from San Diego Comic-Con shows some of the shambling horrors we’ll gun down with our chums: Read the rest of this entry »
We’ve already had some Nazi shooting with Wolfenstein 2 this E3, so why not shoot some more? Sony have shown off some more Call of Duty: WWII [official site] footage. This time it’s what multiplayer will look like (er, once all the names hovering above your friends and enemies are stripped away and it’s recorded from many other cinematic angles, that is) along with all the accompanying sounds of war – M1 Garand pings, shotgun cher-chicks and flamethrower fffsssshhhhhhhhssss’s. Yup, it’s CoD. War! Bullet belts! Grenade pins! I am duty bound to show you this footage because I am on the night shift! Pow pow! Etc!
Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature "War is a fun hell"
“Those who do not learn from from history, are doomed to make another World War II videogame.” A famous saying, and one we all know well. So when Activision hosted a live presentation for the reveal trailer of their latest shooter, Call of Duty: WWII [official site], I watched and felt nothing but a tired wave of low-burning resentment for everyone involved. During this presentation the word “visceral” was said a total of eight times and our own news editor Alice silently got up from her desk, walked solemnly out of her house, and never returned. If anyone has seen Alice, please call us. Read the rest of this entry »
A month after word of its existence leaked, today we have our first peek at Call of Duty: WW2 [official site]. At a livestreamed mega-reveal-o-world-first-a-exclusive-y-shoot-o-bang-a-blowout, developers Sledgehammer Games and publishers Activision have shown the first trailer. It looks pretty fun! Has all those scenes from the WW2 movies. Lots of explosions and shouting. The event is still ongoing but seems mostly to consist of men saying “visceral” and pretending the game is serious historical documentation. I can’t take this anymore. Look, I’ll drop this trailer here then be on my way. Read the rest of this entry »
Cor blimey, love a duck, and stone the crows: Activision have announced that the next Call of Duty game will be Call of Duty: WWII [official site]. Their official announcement says about as much as the leak which gave this away four weeks ago. Another supposed leak has sprung with unconfirmed babbling about unsurprising things like D-Day and a co-op mode. But what’s most important is that ↑ teaser artwork up there. What’s going on with the man we shall assume is named Robert Gunnington? Read the rest of this entry »
RPS Feature Do mention the war
If the rumours are true, and they most likely are, this year we’ll be seeing Call Of Duty: WWII. People have reacted with concern, but I’m here to argue it’s the best possible news.
There was a time when learning a game was set in World War II was deserving of the heaviest of sighs. Not only did it mean that it would be one of seven thousand other games that year plundering the past for an excuse to bob a gun at the bottom of the screen, but it was more likely to be crass and ignorant than a tribute to the bravery and miserable deaths of our ancestors. We got well and truly sick of WW2 games. Then to save us, the march of the zombies began. We had a whole new theme to groan at, and the Second World War has had something of a break.
The temptation of hearing the rumours that the all-conquering shooter series is to return to its own origins is to start sighing once again. But there are some really good reasons not to. In fact, if there’s anything that could save CoD from itself, it’s heading back. Read the rest of this entry »
Rumours of Call of Duty’s return to World War 2 have circulated since, well, since Activision’s mega-hit FPS series left it almost a decade ago. This time it’s really for really real, folks including our chums at Eurogamer say. Whispers, rumours, and supposedly leaked artwork say this year’s game will bear the rubbish name Call of Duty: WWII. Presumably this would mean a sad farewell to the wall-running and double-jumping of futureCoDs but the welcome return of the M1 Garand rifle’s ping, the loveliest sound in all murderdom. Read the rest of this entry »
More than any Call of Duty in a long time, I fancy a crack at Advanced Warfare. I want to see how those exosuits and zany futuristic weapons shake up what was already a pretty fast for a modern FPS, but I’m not curious enough to splash out – strewth! – £40. Thankfully, the multiplayer side is free to play on Steam this weekend, so I’m downloading that now. One minor issue: the download is 36.5GB, so you might not have much time left to play by the time that’s finished.
RPS Feature Dad Warfare
The Call of Duty games are often best understood not as first-person shooters in the lineage of Half-Life 2 and Halo, but as extensions of light-gun rail shooters. They’re games set in strictly scripted corridors, with one button to pop in and out of cover, one to shoot, and another to reload. That you can move your legs around a bit hardly matters, and taken on these terms, the entries in the series which lean towards boyish action romp are at least lightly entertaining.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare resists even these acts of apologia. If the first Crysis game was made by a team of people asking themselves, “How can we create a videogame which approximates the thrilling freedom and power of being a super-suited soldier?”, Advanced Warfare was made by people asking, “How can we create a Call of Duty game that approximates the thrilling freedom and power of playing Crysis?” Much like the metallic ‘exosuits’ that wrap around its grizzled heroes, this is Call of Duty wearing the artificial shell of a more interesting game.
It’s a good year for videogame trailer one-liners, but who would have guessed at the start of the year that the best of them would be delivered by Kevin Spacey? The poster-boy of this year’s Call of Duty installment and for Evil Capitalism actually says the name of the game in the launch trailer. That’s bold – and I’ve never smiled so hard at something so cliché.
Call of Duty games aren’t any more stupid than most action games, but there’s an adopted seriousness to its bombast that makes me want to prick its balloon at every opportunity. In this latest Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer for example, they throw up the quote “TRANSCENDS THE LINE BETWEEN GAME AND FILM”, then a few seconds later cut to Kevin Spacey’s uncanny, screaming, plastic eyes.
Yet then there’s guns and exo-suits and double-jumping and ooh, I do like a bit of an action romp sometimes and the multiplayer’s always worth a spin. The back half of this trailer even introduces a new mode, Exo Survival, which is four-player co-op.
How do you keep a multiplayer game interesting, or even alive, over years and successive instalments? I hugely admire how Magic: The Gathering has, a few missteps aside, kept revitalising itself with expansions for over twenty years. New card types, abilities, and stories come and go, but the core game is still there and quite splendid. Call of Duty is now almost eleven years old and seemingly doing pretty well for itself.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare looks, in many ways, to bring the biggest shift since Call of Duty 4 in 2007, with exo-suits changing a player’s basic abilities. I wonder how it’ll work out. Come see more in a new lengthy trailer.
Heya, Call of Duty, buddy, how are you doing? Breakups are hard, aren’t they? Ex-friends Respawn are off doing their own thing and that big bully Battlefield‘s still swanning about, making your life difficult. You wanna look cool and hip, so at Gamescom yesterday you showed off your hottest new clothes, spruced up versions of the last-season garbage those losers are wearing. Double-jumps and cloaking, maps that modify themselves over time – you’ve taken the best of them and mixed it in with your own feel. Plus, for some reason, Unreal Tournament dodging. That one’s a bit off the wall.
INT. SKYSCRAPER - NIGHT
JONATHAN IRONS is hanging from a window ledge. We can see shards of broken glass, but the camera pushes in on his face. He looks like Kevin Spacey. Or a sort of facsimile of Kevin Spacey's head, smooshed on to a Vince McMahon wrestling figure.
This scene doesn’t appear in the new Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare story trailer, I’m just guessing at where this whole thing is headed. Trailer and more thoughts below.
Ahhh, don’t hurt me, okay? Hear me out. Up until now the twenty-three-game Call of Duty franchise has been running its yearly main sequels (which make up ‘just’ eleven of those) through a two-year development cycle. Releases have alternated between original developers Infinity Ward, who were basically decapitated after the release of Modern Warfare 2, and Treyarch.
But this year’s offering isn’t from either of those studios, rather relative nu-kidz Sledgehammer Games. They helped finish Modern Warfare 3 while Activision wrestled legally with Infinity Ward. Plus, studio main-men Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey were co-directors of the original Dead Space and have brought some of the staff from Visceral with them. What they’ve shown off so far, in Activision’s usual blitz of trailers, actually has me excited. Come see.
Finally! A new Call of Duty game! What has it been? Five years? Ten years? One whole minute? Never mind the agonizing wait. All that matters now is this perfect moment, this sweet embrace. Activision were planning to take the wraps off Call of Duty: Ominous, Obvious, Or Utterly Meaningless Subtitle (aka, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare) this weekend, but a couple of leaks have prompted them to offer a few early details. Foremost, this one is being developed by series first-timer Sledgehammer as part of Activision’s plan to give each series entry a three year development cycle. Second, it’s about Private Military Companies (PMCs) deciding to STOP TAKING ORDERS and START TAKING OVER and there’s a brief SHOCK-YOU-MENTARY below. Third, there’s also now a trailer and this time the villain is Kevin Spacey.