Series Of The Generation - Call Of Duty
Every major Call Of Duty title has been released on this console generation. Just let that sink in for a second.
Although Call Of Duty 2 was the first Call Of Duty release on the current console generation back when the Xbox 360 launched in 2005 and was the best-selling launch title the original Call Of Duty arrived later on as the downloadable Call Of Duty Classic.
Infinity Ward was formed by a crew of former EA 2015 developers that wanted to take a different approach to making FPS games, one that stepped away from casting the player as one super-soldier facing off against hordes of enemies.
After making the enjoyably old-school Medal Of Honor: Allied Assault the boys at Infinity Ward decided to build a game based on some real-life scenarios from World War II. It put players into a squad - a revolutionary idea for its time - and jumped between fighting with the Allies in Western Europe and fighting with the Russians on the Eastern Front – another revolutionary idea . It also featured some rather nicely-paced multiplayer making Call Of Duty a nicely-rounded debut from Infinity Ward.
The series then stuck with WWII until the Treyarch-developed Call Of Duty 3 failed to perform as well as expected. Infinty Ward decided it was time for a change a reinvented the series with fictional operations set in the modern day. The new game was Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
Modern Warfare's storyline and level-design in particular was exceptional. One level in particular, Ghillies In The Mist, features some of the best level design of the generation. Price and Soap's first mission together sees them infiltrating the deserted ruins of the city of Chernobyl to interrupt a clandestine arms deal. It's a perfectly-paced stealth segment with Price directing Soap's movements as they sneak past the guards dressed in ultra-camouflaged ghillie suits that ends in Soap and a wounded Price fighting off the arms dealers while they wait for extraction.
To match the superb single-player Infinity Ward crafted an addictive and fast-paced multiplayer with a clutch of excellently-designed levels kept player coming back for more and more long after the game was released.
And so began FPS-gamers' love affair with the Call Of Duty series.
Since Modern Warfare, Infinity Ward and Treyarch have shared development duties on the series with Infinity Ward continuing the Modern Warfare trilogy while Treyarch developed their Black Ops series from the beginnings in Call Of Duty: World At War, the last game in the series to be set in WWII.
While World At War wasn't a particularly great entry in the series, even with the vocal talents of Kiefer Sutherland and Gary Oldman, it did have one redeeming feature in introducting the world the co-op multiplayer Zombies mode. Four players locked up in a house trying to fend off a seemingly endless horde of Nazi zombies became the most fun thing to do in Call Of Duty: World At War and the best reason to complete the single player.
The Modern Warfare series saw its culmination two years ago with Price saving the world and the death of the Kevin McKidd-voiced Soap MacTavish. The ending freed up Infinity Ward to work on a completely new series in Call Of Duty: Ghosts to begin Call Of Duty's push on the new console generation.
Call Of Duty has managed to break all-time sales records, even beating James Cameron's Avatar to become the highest-grossing entertainment launch of all time until GTA V blew the records clear out of the the window and halfway across the street this September.
It's not escaped its share of controversy though. It has been highlighted by politicians as the cause of violent behaviour in children on both sides of the Atlantic.
Infinity Ward was also the subject of a bit of a storm when Activision fired founders Jason West and Vince Zampella and had them physically removed from the the studio buildings by security for supposed illicit communications with EA. What ensued was a lengthy period of litigation which saw Activision suing West, Zampella and EA for working against the company. West and Zampella counter-sued Activision for unpaid earnings. Much of Activision's case was dismissed and West and Zampella ended up winning.
The two went on to found Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment which is now staffed by a considerable amount of Infinity Ward veterans. West left Respawn earlier on this year due for family reasons. Titanfall will be released on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC next March.
The Call Of Duty series has dominated the gaming landscape of the last five years and become the gold-standard of online multiplater FPS gaming. 3.32 quadrillion bullets have been fired and 5 billion cars destroyed in the series so far. The total time spent playing Call Of Duty has reached 2.85 billion years which is longer that the entirety of human existence. Not a bad achievement all things considered.