Why I hate Call of Duty

With the annual biggest entertainment release of all time slated for next Tuesday, there’s something I need to get off my chest: I hate Call of Duty. Yes, it has defined the modern shooter. Yes, it has revolutionized multiplayer in video games. Even so, the idea of purchasing Black Ops 2 (COD 9, for those of you who have been counting) seems seriously unappealing. Here is why I can’t stand the best-selling game franchise of all time. Agree? Disagree? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


It’s the same game. Every. Time.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was amazing. The atmosphere, gameplay, and progressive multiplayer structure introduced gamers to a new world of strategy and competition. But what about its sequel? Other than reverting to the WWII setting and throwing a few tanks into the mix, it offered an identical experience. This is what drives me crazy about Call of Duty—each iteration contains the exact same game. Sure, the developers throw in new weapons or killstreaks here and there, but the structure and gameplay remain unchanged. I loved the first Modern Warfare for its innovative approach to online multiplayer. It’s been five years since that game came out. Isn’t it time the developers build on the formula?

Modern Warfare Call of Duty Black Ops Screen Shot

Modern Warfare 1? 2? 3?

It’s brimming with flaws

You dash around the corner, the enemy in your sights. You unload your entire clip and…he kills you with a grenade launcher. Sound familiar? Call of Duty is scattered with imbalances and inconsistencies. Ever spawned in an enemy’s line of fire? Shot somebody at point blank only to have them kill you with one bullet? Some of these frustrations stem from poor design (noob tubes, absurdly ranged Model 1887s), while others are just plain weird. All too often you feel as though the game is cheating you.

Black Ops II Screen Shot

“Oh no! Those enemy snipers have pistols! Run!”

 It’s just so…fun.

There, I said it. In spite of these glaring flaws, the games are a blast to play. Nothing quite beats seeing your hard-earned killstreak crush enemies like flies, and that first match when you bring home each new game is enthralling. This is what’s so insanely frustrating about the best-selling series of all time—it draws you in, convinces you to love it as it buries you with its problems. You know it’s flawed, you know you’re buying the same game over and over again, yet you can’t help but enjoy it. Am I going to purchase the next Call of Duty? I don’t want to. But there’s a part of me that’s begging to play it, and it’s very hard to resist.

Modern Warfare 3 Background Wallpaper

No this…this is pretty awesome.

So what do you think of Call of Duty? Love it? Hate it? Let me know in the comments section below! As always, please like, share, or reblog this post if you enjoy it. Be sure to check me out on Twitter and Facebook as well. Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe for new content every Wednesday!

Click here to read last week’s special Halloween post: What is Fear?


Comment question of the week

What do you think of Call of Duty? Are you getting Black Ops II?


4 thoughts on “Why I hate Call of Duty

  1. Lol, I’m not planning on getting it, no, at least not for some time. To be honest my favourite single-player war game in awhile was Medal of Honor (not the recent Warfighter): it looked gorgeous running on Unreal, had a grounded, believable story and streamlined multiplayer. As for multiplayer, Battlefield 3 is pretty awesome: I’m a sucker for vehicles and classes. I miss the genuine destruction of the Bad Company games, though… I also agree with your mentions, though haven’t played Journey. I think I prefer Uncharted 2 but in general they some of the best looking games of this generation / yet.

  2. Pingback: “Call of Duty” is Ugly | XandurSE

  3. I agree on the first two points, haha. I find the single-player fun enough but – over the course of the franchise – stopped enjoying the multiplayer. There’s a really high barrier to entry in that if you start off late or don’t stick with it, higher level players will have unlocked weapons and abilities that provide them with a net advantage over newcomers. Admittedly, most MP shooters with an unlock system face this problem, but I’ve never felt it as deeply as I have with COD, possibly due to the extensive range of upgrades and weapons: there’s just too much of a discrepancy between new and leveled players.

    The problem that bugs me the most at this point, though – especially with Modern Warfare 3 – is that the games have not improved graphically. Like, at all. I recently started playing MW3 again on Veteran for the achievements (and boredom) and was struck by how comparatively UGLY it is to other shooters. In comparison to Gears of War and Medal of Honor (NOT Warfighter) or Battlefield 3 and the Bad Company games, which use the Unreal and Frostbite engines – respectively – in all their glory, Call of Duty looks positively outdated.

    Flames and explosions are dull and flat, nothing but sparks. The lighting is dim and leaves everything feeling desaturated and lifeless. Environmental destruction is entirely scripted, with walls breaking apart into laughably neat sections.

    As good as their teams are at designing fully realized and addictive multiplayer games (for most), their custom engine needs some serious work. As far as I’m concerned, graphics-wise, the Call of Duty franchise is sitting on it’s laurels and has rapidly been outstripped by it’s competitors in that department.

    The game is about as attractive and appealing to me as a dying fish, hence why I frequently refer to it amongst my friends as “CODfish”…

    • Good points. I agree it is certainly difficult to jump in against experienced players (which is exacerbated by the fact that every game is practically identical), but I think that Call of Duty’s leveling system actually handles this more deftly than most shooters out there. While many of the perks and weapons players unlock at later levels can be advantageous, I feel that they do more to open up new strategies than give players a significant upper hand. I’ve personally never felt at a significant disadvantage because of my level.

      You’re definitely right about the games’ graphics–for a series that receives praise for its appearance, the engine seems surprisingly sub-par. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that the games look bad, but they can’t match the detailed models and environments of many competing series. My vote for the best-looking game to date goes to Uncharted 3. Journey might have the best art of any game I’ve played, while L.A Noire comes in near the top for facial animations. I feel as though these games have pushed the bar higher than any iteration of Call of Duty. Videos of Halo 4 also boast impressive graphics, though I have yet to play it.

      Which of COD’s competitors do you prefer? I take it you’re not getting Black Ops II haha.

Leave a comment. You know you want to...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s