Has Call of Duty Finally Jumped The Shark?

Will Black Ops III be the game that brings about the downfall of the series

When it was officially announced that Call of Duty: Black Ops III was in the works, there was a moment of hope that the series will be going in a new direction. Instead, it feels like Treyarch took what mas memorable from several other games and mashed it together in the hopes that it feels unique. 

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With the exception of Black Ops II, every Call of Duty game since Modern Warfare 3 has failed to captivate the audience or reinvent itself as the gaming world progresses.

Recycled, Once a Year

Looking back, Modern Warfare 3 just recycled what made the last two games memorable by having another shocking moment and killing off a few characters. However, the shocking moment was predictable while Soap was the only character who mortified us when he was killed-off. The multiplayer and co-op game offered the same setup and maps that have been rehashed in the hopes of appearing unique.

Next there was Ghosts, a game with a plot that obviously riped-off Homefront while featuring both a hero and villain that nobody could care about. Not helping was the short game time along with less than memorable gameplay. The multiplayer offered a few minor variations while the maps were just mazes cluttered with junk or rehashed environments from previous games.

Finally, there was Advanced Warfare that tried to tempt gamers with a trailer featuring Kevin Spacey delivering a powerful monolog in a Frank Underwood manner. Instead, the story felt like an interactive episode of House of Cards with a lot of jumping. The multiplayer aspect was unique to overall experience so long as you never played Titanfall

During that entire era of stagnation and creative bankruptcy, Black Ops II attempted to redefine the series and take gamers to a war-zone. It had a combination of content gamers liked along with new gameplay features that changed the players overall experience.

“What the f*** is the point?”

That was the expectation for Black Ops III; but after watching the reveal trailer I had a moment of confession followed by having to ask, “What the f*** is the point?” More specifically my question was: what is the plot, who are the heroes, what is going on, and who are the villains? At no point could I even make any sense of the trailer aside from the general sense that this is going to be a Terminator knock-off were the machines rebel against humanity. 

Even though the trailer lacked any clarity, that is not going to be the game’s only problem. The trailer presented a game with content from other major titles that have been mashed into one diatribe. It had references to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, Crysis, and Titanfall that were all mashed together in the hopes of becoming something original.

Finally, this needs to be said: enough with the futuristic settings already, it has been played out way too much. The last three Call of Duty titles have already taken players to the distant future and now it’s becoming annoying. Most gamers were hoping that Black Ops III was going back to the Cold War based on the rumors that were circulating.

Black Ops III had some promise that it would bring the series into the Next-Gen era but instead it seems they have gone creatively bankrupt. This might very well be the game that brings an end to this long stagnant series that has officially jumped the shark. Although, it may be a bionic shark.


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Author
Stan Rezaee
Stan Rezaee is a gamer from the Bay Area who has been writing about the medium for over five years. He is an old school gamer who still plays with his N64, PlayStation 2 and GameCube. When on his PC, he could still be found playing classic Counter-Strike with friends.