Does Call Of Duty Deserve All The Vitriol?

Call of Duty is reviled among a vocal group of gamers. When they read that the latest iteration of the series is selling well, well reviewed or is being played by a lot of people, they seem to take it personally. That's always baffled me. So on Twitter today I asked the 13,500 or so people who follow me why that is.

I can't rerun everything they said, but what follows are some select opinions sometimes expressed in multiple tweets. I'd still love to hear from more of you. Not more blind hate or unfocused vitriol, but well-reasoned explanations for why you're not a fan of the series or its successes.

Me? I stick by my suggestion that if you're a fan of shooters you should buy the latest in the series. My full review runs next week and that's where I'll go into the details of my opinion on what I think is a pretty good, though not unflawed game.

Now for those reasons: _SimplyG writes: "It only bothers me when it completely overshadows other titles released around the same time that are worth more attention, IMO."

V_Ben writes: "It's gaming's popcorn film. Big, dumb and mass-market. A crowd pleaser, but not exactly what people want to represent the medium. I mean, can you imagine If people pointed at transformers as an example of cinema at its finest, or twilight for books?"

jerschobel writes: "it perpetuates stereotypes of gamer culture that simply aren't true. many who buy COD buy ONLY COD."

browntown2327 writes: "It's a good game but there are so many other games out there that people are missing out on because all they play is MW."

Dragonzigg writes: "It shows to the world that the stereotypical video game — the violent, bombastic FPS — is still the most popular."

EvilKatarn writes: "My reason is that the game is very iterative. It's basically the same game back from 2007. Minor additions and a premium price."

tim_rosas writes:"It makes a mockery of troops anywhere in the world by placing depictions of them in a fantasy world and making them kill people."

Taggart451 writes: "It bothers me in the same sense as they're still making Fast & Furious. They're only doing it for the money, not for any passion. But that's just coming from a non-fan. I'm sure the atmosphere is COMPLETELY different for them; they love what they do."

EddieMakuch writes: "It glorifies and festishises the activity of war greatly. It also actively dodges showing genuine depictions of modern conflict."

yyr_ writes: "IMHO, extremely passionate gamers may say 'I just KNOW that game X is better, therefore it SHOULD have sold more than MW3!'"

FabledFew writes: "Other good games deserve some of the money that Activision makes. They gobble up so much of the money that this industry makes."

mahlemedved writes: "Because of what happened to infinity ward, because it's carbon copy, because the unbalanced MP rewards winners"

Image: Forest Badger/Shutterstock


    I'm neither here nor there on the topic but 2 articles in 2 days from US kotaku on the same thing? Who the hell is Kotick blowing there to get more than one sentence...

    Get some new material, guys. It's great that you love the game but you've just gotta accept that some people don't.

    How much has activision paid Kotaku US to post anything that mentions Call of Duty?

    Maybe they both got the same assignment from their editor? :D

    Those reasons hold for practically every franchise of game with new releases every year or two... Battlefield, CoD, Need for Speed, plus all the sports games- PGA, NFL, etc, Singstar, the Sims... the list is endless. They're all practically just slightly improved carbon copies of whatever came before.

    The main thing is, who care? If you like CoD, play it. If you don't, shut the hell up and go play Battlefield or something

    its a matter of Call Of Duty becoming a thing of Quantity over Quality compare it to game franchises like The Elder Scrolls and how they have the opposite philosophy call of duty used to be the pinnacle of FPS and now its become the FIFA of FPS a new one every year and we beg the question as to what is different between this and the last iteration, saying that i totally agree the people who buy CoD only buy CoD and it overshadows far superior games because of its mass appeal... there is plenty to not like but what pisses me off the most is Activision are murdering the franchise like they did to Tony Hawks and Guitar Hero

      The difference between FIFA and COD is substantial though. There is a demand for a yearly cycle for FIFA because of players moving clubs. Yes, this could be patched in, but in most recent FIFA's there's been a significant change in gameplay, which is more than can be said for COD

    Well, at least it's better than Luke "Oh COD8 you feel SO good in my mouth" Plunkett's article.

    But tweets are so short, should have had more tweets. I was enjoying reading them! One thing I'm surprised wasn't mentioned was "HERE'S 3 MAPS THAT WE PORTED IN FROM AN OLD GAME, $15 PLEASE"

    I liked COD up to MW2. That was when the story became incoherent, the game became unbalanced for lean (heh), the game became SHORT (seems like no one really remembers that now, but honestly, it was ridiculously short) and also they ditched dedicated servers.

    It was a step backwards from MW1, except that it looked prettier.

    Im not a fan myself, but I do enjoy them as a generic, war-based shooter.
    Personally, I attribute the success of the franchise over the years to the way it makes gamers feel part of something. By that I mean that the franchise has snowballed into this almost "social" wargame experience. And it only gets more popular for the simple reason that it is more popular.

    It's the Facebook of games in my mind. In the way that Facebook went from just being popular to being you-have-to-use-it-to-keep-up-socially, MW has become the game that you play because you feel like part of a big, international community...possibly even more-so than WOW.


    An article written by Kotaku about CoD that doesn't call me an arsehole, idiot, or obnoxious elitist?


    I want you to slap me, and tell me that I'm scum.

    Kotaku, please call me obnoxious elitist idiot because I don't like CoD.

    I dont mind the Gameplay at all. I liked playing the game. But the story just sucks & sucks HARD I've said it before. There is no way any country (currently and the forseeable future) can launch an airborne only invasion and succeed especially if its against another superpower (The US). This is beyond the realms of fantasy. If the game was called Fantasy Warfare 3 then yeah no problems, but Modern warfare? Please.
    Also the premise for the invasion is ONE US soldier with some Russian Terrorists mowing down some civilians is enough to launch this type of invasion?
    Really? Finally 2 Nuclear armed nations go to war and no one launches a Nuke? really? I mean the US is invaded by the Russians, and what they still play nice (ie no nukes) WTF? Remember Nukes are supposed to be DETERENTS, but if your being invaded then they havent done there job so its time to USE them. You see, Too much Bull$#!t one has to swallow. I know games arent supposed to have a story but i'd rather no story then have to accept this nonsense. The story treats its audience like morons that accept whatever is told to you. I dont like that one bit. Hence my hatred of the COD MW story.

      hmmmm, while i agree with 90% of this statement, the one part that got me was the "games aren't supposed to have story" i mean, the main reason CoD is crap is as you correctly stated, the story is almost more fantasy than something like Skyrim.... at least Skyrim knows it's a fictional fantasy based story and doesn't play itself off as being a modern semi-realistic shooter. The same thing pissed me off about the BF3 Campaign.... (SPOILER) at least it had some catastrophic nuclear moments.... it still pissed me off though because, the dev's looked at CoD and saw that it was the Bar they needed to reach, and instead of something awesome and new you get a slightly graphically superior CoD game with the same lame ass Hollywood newcomer script...for single player anyway, MP is a different kettle of fish. and that in essence is why i hate CoD. It sets the bar Low, unintelligent and sales wise, unreachable, and because it's unreachable every single freaking FPS game coming out these days tries to carbon copy it so they can have a slice of Activisions substantial pie. The Games industry needs to get off it's ass and hire some decent script writers to completely redo the entire FPS Genre

        I would settle for 'Makes sense'

          Actually i believe all games should have a decent story (im sure there are those that disagree), doesnt have to be epic, but like i said makes sense is all i need. I just found the COD MW story just and excuse to use Famous American Buildings as Battlegrounds and a very BAD excuse. Atleast with Homefront they established an alternate world were the invasion of the US seemed plausible. But This game, Plausibility was thrown out the window - much like many movies these days too.

          Completely agree with your views.

    It's pretty simple. When boring people want to appeal more interesting they revile against something that is extremely popular in their sphere of interest.

    They're exactly the same as the people who worship little known indie bands until they get a record deal and go pro, then hate them.

    These people don't actually have taste or opinion, at least not any they express in their opinions. They're just dull people, and they know it, searching desperately for a way to be interesting.

      While it's inevitable that certain people who would hate whatever's popular for the sake of its popularity, that hipster mentality is not even analogous to the CoD situation. The hate isn't targeted at its mechanics or artistic integrity, it's levelled directly at the secondary hype and fanbase.

      I've always been neutral to CoD, thought it was polished but nothing too exciting, I've also happened to revile its fanbase in the times I've dipped my toes into that pool. The backlash is compounded by the fact that CoD deliberately targets a lowest common denominator demographic, hence attracts kids.

      I can't even walk down the CBD without having a whole ROW of MW3 posters, articles like this, flash banners and generic talk shoved in my face. And guess what? Getting annoyed at the CoD hypetrain and phenomenon completely valid. This beyond the normal backlash, MW is reaching Angry Birds-level of mainstream noise and there are people who are just sick of hearing about it.

      Right. Cause the only reason to ever hate something is cause it's popular. /sarcasm

      Seriously, did you even read or think your comment through before you posted it?

        Did you even read HIS post? It's not just because something is popular, it's because of the social trends it makes... Gigantic numbers of 12-16 yr old kids, who ONLY play COD, with either no skill or no manners, sportsmanship or tact. It's all teabagging and lobby bashing. It's these large numbers of people who not only give gamers bad names but sully the overall gaming experience for the rest of us. Sure these types of people can be found here and there, but COD is basically their mecca. It's what it represents.

        I can play the game and get a kick out of a fast paced, novelty shooter, but when I see everyone going crazy over MW 3, being underwhelmed or sceptical isn't even a criticism on the game, it's what goes along with that hype.

    It all comes down to personal opinion. That's what a lot of these articles have been about. It's not about whether the game is good or bad, it's about the 'We hate CoD' bandwagon that everyone seems to jump on.

    I really enjoy the Modern Warfare series. I like the completely over-the-top storyline. If I wanted a realistic combat simulator I'd play Operation Flashpoint.

    As for the 'It's the same game' argument that people throw out, there really is no such thing as an original game anymore. Everything is compared to what came before it. Battlefield 3 is just Bad Company 2, Skyrim is just FallOut (I didn't play the previous Elder Scrolls games). I played all the previous iterations of these games enough to appreciate their subtle differences. I like all of them, regardless of house samey they may seem to others.

    At the end of the day, stop spamming forums with hate and just play the game you want to play. And with that said I'm going back to play FallOut: Dragons, I mean Skyrim.

      "it’s about the ‘We hate CoD’ bandwagon that everyone seems to jump on."

      Which is different how from the bandwagon that everyone who hate's COD jumped on a hate bandwagon.

      There is some serious hypocrisy from the positive side.

      And the problem is most of the hate isn't actually towards COD anyway, it's toward the thing's it represent's.

      Your it's the same game argument is utter tripe too.

      BF3 and BC2 are similar definetly. As for skyrim and Fallout, they each have their own intricate world's, with 100's of hour's of content in each. No one would have an issue if that was what CoD is delivering or BF3 was delivering for that matter.

      Skyrim and fallout may have similar threads running throughout, but they both have completely different setting's. Some may love post apocalypse while other's want their old fashioned fantasy.

      You can't make the determination between MW2,BO,MW3. Black ops might be set in vietnam but in term's of technological and time based gaps between them there is little that actually distinguishes one from the other. If the next cod went 200 years in the future and was lazer's and stuff it would have enough of a new twist and variation that it could actually distinguish itself from the titles we have now.

      It is after all what made CoD4 what it is, suddenly we had titles that stopped existing solely in WWII(there are more than just CoD4 but it was one of it's defining trait's_. it separated itself from the crowd but since doing so it's failed to even attempt to move past it's achievements from 2007 and instead fallen into the lets milk this bitch for all it's worth category

    that dead horse must be getting real sick of the beating you are giving it...

    i doesn't really deserve the vitriol, but it doesn't deserve the praise; its become generic, and needs inovation.

      It's only praise is for being a tightly, well executed game. Which it is. Plus, with the other offerings in the modern combat settings out there? I'll take MW3 any day. Arma is far to intricate for my liking and Battlefield is only a ghost of it's former self. A pathetically weak one at that. There really aren't many other options.

    I've noticed a trend. It's almost becoming cool to say "hey I like CoD, people who don't are annoying hipsters". Honestly Kotaku, what are you trying to prove? I don't like COD, a lot of people don't like CoD, does it upset you that much?

      Barry, you CLEARLY fail to see the point. It's astonishing how many people do fail to see the point since it's so very obvious and very clear. Is it just blind hatred that makes it hard to see or just sheer stubbornness?

      Everyone knows that there are people who don't like CoD. They have every right to not like CoD. That is their opinion and they are entitled to it. But for those of us who enjoy CoD, who aren't "fratboys" or "non-gamers" or those who "only invest in yearly release games", it gets tiring to see every post on every site regarding CoD filled with pathetically immature remarks about how CoD sucks and how other games (BF3 especially) are for more mature players blah blah blah.

      If you don't like something then fair enough but why go out of your way to try and ruin someone else's enjoyment of something?

      I cannot stand Twilight because of the author's childish writing abilities and the positive portrayal of emotionally abusive relationships but do I hunt down every forum and website with posts about the book and spout out a thousand words of how much I hate it? No.

      There is absolutely no need whatsoever to seek out places where people enjoy a certain thing just so you can say how much you don't.


    Maybe they should make an opinion after playing it? It blew my socks off from start the finish. No other game quite has the production value as call of duty and gamers should be applauding the amazing animators, modelers and coders that bring it to life.

    It ticks the only necessary box for a game -> FUN

    at least it's a better article than "you don't like COD because you are a dickhead"

      Except that is not at all what that article said and anyone who took it that way should really look into their reading comprehension skills.

        Stop being an obnoxious dickhead

    Its not that its mindless fun, its that gaming can be so much more then corridor shooting mechanics mixed with heavily scripted events.

    That is not the soul of gaming, similar to how transformers isn't the soul of cinema.

    I like the comment about the money, it's just the same thing every year, and every idiot out there buys it, and if they do that of course the companies won't feel the need to improve it. Too many overpowered kill streaks, and I hate this pro perk stuff. My main reason for not buying this installation of CoD however is subscription. I know it's not compulsory, but putting a subscription in an FPS game has pissed me off so much. The only games that have the right to do that are MMOs, as they're constantly updated with useful content and the servers cost a lot more to upkeep. I mean for crying out loud they release a new CoD every year, subscription, really?

      I'm an idiot because I bought a game I thoroughly enjoy? Get off your elitist high horse dude.

    The game has already made 400 million dollars I doubt Bobby would care about paying anyone anything to say nice things about CoD....

    I myself don't get into the CoD is better than BF or vice versa BS. I just state my preference. I personally prefer BF for online gameplay and MW for campaign. Growing up I preferred campaign than online. The only game I played online for years and still do is Counterstrike. It was Bad Company 2 that opened me up to start playing other games online. I find CoD online to easy. Not saying I'm a champ, just not finding it a challenge. Whereas BC2, I have on PC,XBOX and PS3 and on all 3 platforms I played til I maxed out on all groups. It can just keep me going and I will probably do the same on BF3.

    Plus people blame Activision and other things why CoD is SO big and complain it's overrated. IT'S THE CONSUMER!!! They can't make massive money and sales unless people buy it. So figures show it is a very popular game. Just have to do the waiting game and see how many get traded in. I am not a big fan of Activion, as mention before they ruined Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero for me. But MW aslong as they have IW I think they won't lose track as much.

    I loved CoD 2, hated 3, fell in love again with MW, didn't mind WaW, loved MW2 and thought Black Ops was average.

    Last bitch. What annoys me in a way is there is no new inventive story/plot in some of the big FPS shooters. Give you a quick example in a basic view.

    Black Ops and BF3 campaign - Guy who is interrogated and tell his story.
    Name - Black Ops and Sergeants code name in BF3 is "Black"

    All this reminds me of is the game - BLACK

    BTW - Haven't played MW3 yet as I am still playing BF3. It's just soo good. Plus I have a feeling I might be let down with the campaign story continuing on from MW and MW2.

    I am not really a hater of Call of Duty. Our clan is based around Call of Duty—which is also the reason we are virtually non-existent. It is because everything seems to be the same. Just new skins, remodelled this and that. Over time when you do play the same thing over and over, one looses interest.

    We loose interest faster, when the new business model was created - pay for extra maps when it was free (from the community). Loss of dedicated servers and all those inconsistencies.

    The business model they placed out there, I like. This means more money for the makers. But sucks for the consumers. Black Ops, was the last I have purchased (barely bought it too). Future releases I will not be buying, until something else have changed in the game. For now, I think they have it the prime and needs some change. But I am only one of the few, considering the game is just as popular as ever (noting, the record sales).

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