This current generation of gaming has been dominated by the Call of Duty franchise but with the next-gen approaching, can this continue?
With a new installment coming out every year, Call of Duty has become just like a sport game where people will buy the new one every year, despite not much being changed. But with this new generation, shooters seem to be more popular than ever, and they are getting much bigger than a normal Call of Duty multiplayer game with games like Battlefield 4 and Titanfall pushing the normal multiplayer experience to its limits, and new games like Destiny and The Division bringing more depth to the common shooter, can Call of Duty survive?
From the hardcore gamer to the casual gamer to even a non-gamer, everyone knows what Call of Duty is, and while games like Halo, Gears of War, and Killzone have its large number of fans, neither of those games come close to outselling Call of Duty. Just between Call of Duty: Black Ops II and Halo 4, Black Ops II nearly tripled Halo 4 in sales, and it still continues to be the leading shooter being sold more than half a year after it was released. Those are daunting numbers, and with so many people only buying Call of Duty every year, can any other game bring it down?
The theme at E3 nearly a month ago for next-gen games was the pure size of them, and what we can accomplish. Games like The Division and Destiny are not possible on the current-gen, but with the hardware possibilities on the new systems, developers are pushing games to their limits. The one thing that Call of Duty lacks is that it is a relatively small game. Most games are 6 vs 6, and the biggest game type, Ground War, only boasts 9 vs 9 combat. While Call of Duty: Ghosts is promising to have mid-battle events like floods and other map changing events, the biggest 9 vs 9 pales in comparison to some of Call of Duty’s competitors.
DICE’s Battlefield series has long been competing with Call of Duty, but it still lies largely under the radar to the general population. Next-gen may change that however, as on the PS4 and Xbox One, the Battlefield multiplayer experience will be as big as never before. Matches can now hold up to 64 players in one match, which makes CoD’s Ground War 9 vs 9 pale in comparison to a 32 vs 32 game. On top of the number of players, but DICE continues to perfect vehicle gameplay, with tanks, boats, and jets/helicopters playing huge parts in a multiplayer match, and to add to that, the amount of destruction you can cause in a single match is completely unseen before. Now, with concentrated fire, teams are able to take down entire skyscrapers in the downtown city levels, and almost anything can be destroyed. Now while we still know relatively little about Call of Duty: Ghosts, chances are it will follow the same multiplayer format as usual, giving Battlefield 4 a chance to finally make its way to the casual gamer.
Battlefield 4 isn’t the only awesome shooter coming out at launch along with Ghosts, as both the PS4 and Xbox One boast their own exclusive shooter. The Xbox One has a new IP in Titanfall, which is a purely multiplayer game that boasts regular gunplay, but also adds Mechs to the game as well to change the a game is played. The developer team at Respawn Entertainment is comprised of most of the former team at Infinity Ward working on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, so the game should feel very similar to Call of Duty, but with the addition of Mechs, the players have to worry about more than just an enemy player shooting them. Respawn seems to have finally nailed down Mech combat, and with Titanfall getting a lot of notice after its impressive showing at E3, it may actually steal more than a few players away from Call of Duty.
With Battlefield 4 and Titanfall giving Ghosts a run for its money on the multiplayer standpoint, it only seems fitting that Killzone: Shadow Fall give it a run for its money on the single player standpoint. Call of Duty is known for its multiplayer, but it never fails to have an absolutely epic single player. Killzone has always had truly epic single player moments that rival some of the big moments of the Call of Duty franchise, and Shadow Fall looks to continue that tradition. Shadow Fall utilizes the PS4′s new touch pad on its controller to control a new companion that the player has called the Owl. The Owl can be used to scout for enemies, stun enemies, shield yourself and even cause damage in a grenade like fashion. Ghosts boasts a similar new feature in a new companion dog that will accompany the player throughout the missions, so both games have new similar features. Killzone has the edge however in story department as the consequences of the actions done by your character (that Killzone 3 ending) rival anything in any Call of Duty game.
Killzone and Titanfall have one huge downfall being that they are both console exclusives however. Ghosts has the advantage here as it is being put onto pretty much every single platform possible so while Titanfall looks awesome and its multiplayer may actually be better than Call of Duty’s, and while Killzone probably will have a better single play campaign, both of these games don’t have the opportunity to sell as much. That being said, neither of these games could single handily take out such a huge multi-platform game, but with a game like Battlefield 4 also taking away sales, combined they all could together.
Those three games also have help in two huge and completely new kind of games that will hit the market in 2014. Destiny and Tom Clancy’s The Division bring to next-gen what could never have been done before in the fact that they aren’t just shooters. Destiny combines the gameplay of the Halo series with an MMORPG, while The Division combines a very Splinter Cell looking gameplay with an MMORPG to bring us the biggest shooters that we have ever seen on a console. Both games offer hours upon hours of gameplay against all sorts of enemies, as well as player versus player combat that is always in motion and can happen anywhere. Those who are bored with the repetitiveness of the Call of Duty multiplayer may trade it in in order to explore our Solar System in Destiny or survive in a completely rundown New York City in The Division.
On top of those five games, DICE has also announced that they are working on Star Wars Battlefront 3, a game fans have been waiting for for years that should sell incredibly well when it releases. Add the in development Halo 5 to this list, and here are seven games that combined may slow down the Call of Duty franchise.
People have been predicting the decline of the Call of Duty franchise for years now, and so far the next installment proves them wrong every year. For all we know, Titanfall is the new franchise to beat and it will dominate sales, or a new not yet announced game will become the ruler of all shooter games. Ghosts will come out and sell extremely well, and all signs point to it being a great game, but is it going to be that different to the point that it is a must buy? Many people are sick of the repetitiveness of CoD’s multiplayer, and if those people are willing to try something new, whether it be Titanfall, Battlefield 4, or Killzone, then without a doubt we will see a huge dip in sales in Call of Duty Ghost. Smarter people than me have been wrong about the decline of this humongous franchise, but a new generation bring new possibilities, and if Call of Duty were to die, this would be the the time where that could happen.
Do you think this new generation will be the end of the Call of Duty franchise? Let us know in the comments below!