The Call of Duty franchise boasts millions of players, the most successful online console community, and (perhaps most important) commemorative bottles of Mountain Dew.
With the recent announcement of a direct sequel to the franchise's 2010 title Black Ops, an overwhelming sense of stagnation permeates throughout the gaming community.
Terrorists are doing a mean thing that was ripped from the headlines. Again. Players are going to need to navigate a series of linear set pieces inspired by action movies, and then move on to multiplayer (the only feature they've cared about since the release of Modern Warfare). Sales are up, map packs are selling, and Modern Warfare 3 is still the most popular online console game.
Here's why you shouldn't race to the camp-out for Black Ops 2:
5. They put one out every year.
3. There isn't really anywhere else to go. Activision Blizzard CEO promised that the new BLOPS title will feature "meaningful innovation" for the series. Since its 2003 inception, the game still features hordes of brainless enemies standing on one spot until death takes them. Various on-rail segments find players shooting from AC-10 gunships, but the core gameplay will remain the same.
The only announced feature is a plot affected by the player's actions throughout the game. Many franchises have tried this tactic before, and the results tend to be the same game except a small part of the ending cut scene changes.
2. Multiplayer is still good. CoD's multiplayer is its only strong point. The fast-paced, twitch combat has been consistently appealing and is the vast majority of player's favorite aspect of the series. A fan of the franchise is going to pick the title up on the promise of the same experience they have enjoyed since Modern Warfare in 2006.
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Basically, the game's installed fanbase is already there.
1. Call of Duty is an industry leader and still can't find the room to innovate. The ultimate problem with the series is that, ironically, it has no one left to copy. Mainstream gaming has tended toward the gritty realism of the CoD series since its meteoric success, and the lead horse just meanders onward.