Black Ops 2 Brings New Hope to Call of Duty Franchise?

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was what ignited my fuel for online gaming. It was one of the first games I bought for my PS3 and it introduced me to a whole new experience of gaming. So when a new Call of Duty game is announced, I can’t help but get a little excited. It’s like a reflex.

But since Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty has been spiraling down a tunnel full of stale chips and forgetfulness that not even I can deny. I admit it: I am a massive Call of Duty fan inside a gaming community that spends more time insulting the franchise than enjoying it, but I’m just now realizing that perhaps I have finally reached the point where it’s just not fun anymore.

I couldn’t get excited inside of the hype that Modern Warfare 3 tried to spread, and the game itself is definitely my least favorite of the series. The game is currently collecting dust on my shelf. This was a severe sign that my interest in the series was beginning to dwindle, and I noticed I wasn’t the only one experiencing this feeling.

So when Black Ops 2 was finally announced, I couldn’t help but be extremely skeptical.

It was extremely surprising to me to see so many people interested in the game! I suspected a typical amount of hype to spread through the community, but not to this degree, and after dedicating my time to multiple videos and streams of the multiplayer gameplay, and hearing other reactions toward the single player experience, my thought process began to change. Perhaps Black Ops 2 will reignite the passion that so many people have lost throughout the life of the series.

Maybe we finally have a game that will focus less on the “attract new players” approach, and solidify its place inside the franchise as a worthy Call of Duty game. I can’t convey how annoyed I was to watch interviews on Modern Warfare 3 and continuously hear the same story, “Well we want to give new players an easier approach to the game.”

While as a moneymaker you definitely do want to entice new people to play, I felt that Infinity Ward abandoned their loyal support and insulted the experienced fans that have followed the series since the beginning. MW3 felt like simple filler, a horrible extension to Modern Warfare 2 that remained inside of their static formula of easy-to-earn killstreaks and a battleground of “has beens” that left many gamers feeling bored.

Making a new Call of Duty game has now become an even stronger challenge simply for the fact that the gamers have seen it all. Modern Warfare 2 introduced a wider variety of killstreaks and competition that introduced fresh air to the series (I couldn’t really enjoy World at War, so that game won’t get a mention). Black Ops followed the formula, but in my opinion they retained an important air of competitiveness that MW2 failed to hold. Not to mention the wager matches, CoD points, and customization really shoved Black Ops into a position of a worthy Call of Duty experience. We’re now entering the point where developers have to come up with something new. The only problem with this is, what changes can they make without corrupting the formula that makes a Call of Duty game? What changes can they make without blurring the lines between other games such as Battlefield or Medal of Honor?

My main question is: How many more years of life does Call of Duty really have left?

I’m continuing to hear the same message online. “This is the most excited I’ve been about a Call of Duty game in a long time.” And I have to agree! Black Ops 2 is introducing a new experience that I think the franchise has been lacking. They’re allowing the series to evolve with the players.

During Black Ops when theater mode was first released, I once made the offhanded comment that it would be cool to be able to livestream games from our consoles. Not once did I ever think anything like that would ever happen. My mind couldn’t even conceive the possibility. But now, Black Ops 2 is giving everyone the chance to showcase their games in a new level (and although I know I’d be horrible at it, shoutcasting sounds like a blast).

Once I get my hands on this game, I’ll make sure to write out an actual review. But for now, I can only speculate. What do you think about Black Ops 2? Do you think it will become the game to reignite the interest in fans? Or do you think that the game will end up as another ornament on the shelf after the hype dissipates?

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