What Has Treyarch Done For Call Of Duty?

The upcoming Call of Duty title, Call of Duty: Black Ops, was developed by Santa Monica-based studio Treyarch. The studio did not create Call of Duty. Has it done anything for the franchise?

Back in 2003, the Call of Duty franchise was developed and created by Infinity Ward for the PC. Treyarch was brought on board for Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, which, unlike Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 2, focuses on a singular group of soldiers — here, the Big Red One division. The game features narration from Mark Hamill, who starred in Samuel Fuller's war epic The Big Red One, and stock World War II footage.

While Infinity Ward focused on what would become Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Treyarch developed Call of Duty 3. The nuts and bolts of the game were largely similar to Call of Duty 2, with noticeable differences in how campaigns played out in the single player campaign. One new gameplay feature was the addition of hand-to-hand combat. Another was having players drive more vehicles. Online play was reworked as well. Call of Duty 3, however, simply did not have the polish that Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 2 did. That isn't to say Call of Duty 3 is a bad game, because it's not. It's just not Call of Duty 2. Hence the problem.

While Infinity Ward moved on to modern combat for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Treyarch stayed in World War II for Call of Duty: World at War. The game was more violent and grotesque than the previously Call of Duty games. It seemed exploitative, even. Hey, war is really violent and horrible, did you know that? Granted, the Pacific theatre of the war had been largely unexplored, so the setting was, for WWII, a good choice at the time.

And the addition of cooperative play was welcomed, and the Nazi Zombies mode, while gimmicky, was enjoyed by players. The rub is that Treyarch didn't exactly push the series forward like Infinity Ward did. Treyarch, instead, seemed content to tinker and tweak, but left the overhauls, like no more endlessly respawning enemies, to Infinity Ward.

Of course, it is entirely possible that Treyarch was never really given the chance to shine and was told to labour in the shadows of Infinity Ward. But now with Infinity Ward a shell of its former self, Treyarch now finds itself in the driver's seat with the Call of Duty games. Treyarch is now the lead studio for the series, having the most experience developing COD games. That isn't to say that Activision won't farm out other Call of Duty sequels to other developers, but rather, that Treyarch does now have the most know-how for making these games.

The studio's previous efforts were admirable and fun — but often seemed to rely on gimmicks than truly compelling gameplay. They just felt slightly "off". That isn't to say all hope is lost — not by a damn sight! The debut trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops is a rapid cut of images, but what it seems to hint out seems fantastic. This is the type of game we should have gotten for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, but did not.

Treyarch's most important contributions to Call of Duty could very well be still yet to come.


Comments

    The answer to the first question: no

      Couldn't agree more. Treyarch managed to dumbly stumble into Nazi Zombies, a clumsy, unfinished mode that ripped off the zombie craze of the time (Why anyone wouldn't instead play L4D2 i have no clue)

      I'd hazard a guess in saying that the next 3 Call of Duty games with dwindle significantly in terms of quality and userbase, with activism finally pulling the plug after Call Of Duty vs Halo X: Super Future Zombie Nazi Robot Fighters

      "What Has Treyarch Done For Call Of Duty? No."?

      Played WaW today. It is fun, but I'm sick of WWII. The new one could be great.

        Since Doug specifically said 'first question' and not title, I think he was referring to the first question of the article:

        'Has it done anything for the franchise?' -No

          Match point Steven.

    It added the locale option to COD:WaW for finding local multi-player games with no lag which worked PERFECTLY. Then Infinity Ward decided to do its own thing and look how that turned out. Its not until the recent DLC the Australians can finally get consistently lag-free games. I hope Treyarch adds the same functionality to the new COD

      well... us ps3 users had it ages ago :)

      Hear hear! And on top of it all, they actually LISTENED to the community, constantly fixing glitches, balancing the game better and releasing map pack after map pack... Treyarch have far more respect for players than those arrogant pricks at IW did after success of COD4 went to their heads...

        Infinity Ward was also constantly fixing glitches and releasing updates and also releasing map packs. You can maybe argue Treyarch did it better or more often, but I don't think Infinity Ward can be faulted in their handling of updates and map packs, the only problem was not getting the 360 local game issue worked out quicker.

        I would sooner say that Infinity Ward were too un-ambitious when it came to MW2 and just regurgitated MW1 with a slightly different but in the end cliche campaign. However I don't think Treyarch have really done any better in that respect, they actually seem to have more faults with their campaigns.

    Treyarch will hopefully stick with Dedicated Servers.

      Agreed, if they stick with Dedicated Servers, I will most likely buy this. If they don't, there is no way in hell I will buy it. I feel robbed that I paid for MW2, originally I just figured it would be worth the money for the single player, but later realised I'd basically voted with my wallet, that ditching dedicated servers was ok with me. Honestly I would have felt more morally correct if I pirated the damned thing!

      Good luck to Treyarch. WAW wasn't bad, it entertained me and to do that in the WW2 genre these days is a damned good effort. I think I will be a lot more forgiving with modern combat, WW2 games all just feel the same now. Anyway good luck to Treyarch.

    Strongly suspect that Treyarch was instructed not to mess up the winning formula and to just develop "more of the same". While Treyarch did that, IW was given scope to make the next bit thing, which they did with Modern Warfare. They certainly weren't immune to milking the cash cow themselves (MW2, obviously).

    No reason to believe Treyarch can't innovate more. No reason to believe they'll do anything brilliant either, of course. But they will have the added bonus of receiving from Activision whatever early stage planning IW had been doing for follow-up Call of Duty games.

    dont mind a bit of cod online here and there but anyone who still plays mw2 religiously i cant understand how you can not be entirely bored.

    i've loved cod, but it's getting really stale.

    I haven't been paying too much attention to the whole IW vs Activision thing, but haven't Halo creators Bungie just signed with Activision?
    The next COD could very well be COD:Super Mega Modern Future Warfare, set in the future and on another planet. With space-nazis. At least it's not 1940s Europe...

      The only problem is that the other planet will be one of those 'just like earth' ones from original star trek that only existed because the sets were already up out the back. These aliens (or possibly human colonists) will have built a coincidentally exact replica of the reichstag for you to have your final battle in

    so many people bitch about treyarch but theyve done a great job in my opinion. they only had 8 months to work on COD3. hence why it had issues.
    to me WaW is the most enjoyable singleplayer COD ive played and nazi zombies entertained me any my friends for months. the level of addiction is great. always trying to get to that next level.
    add in a LOCAL SEARCH to multiplayer and WaW was awesome.
    I cant wait for COD:Black Ops because im sure theyll do a great job

    Treyarch CoDs just don't feel right. I can't play one without a grimace or unsatisfied snarl on my face. I'll be skipping the series for a while at least.

    WaW was great but was just a little lacking because of the WW2 setting. now they've changed the setting I can imagine Treyarch doing an amazing job.

    Infinity Ward just didn't listen to the community enough.

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