Call of Duty is pretty infamous among the gaming community. Once upon a time, Modern Warfare 2 really stuck out as a mark of excellence among First-Person Shooters. But that was back in 2009. Now, the frequent releases have forced the badge of the “unrelenting cash cow franchise” to be slapped upon the whole series. They just keep on coming: Modern Warfare, Black Ops, Ghosts, Infinite Warfare. And with no end in sight.
But the stigma of the repetitive, yearly FPS aside, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare may have something to say as the newest installment. The cries from the gaming community to make it stop, there’s a reason the sequels still beget more sequels.
Still Buying, Still Having Fun
The bottom line for a videogame-producing company is it’s sales. And Infinite Warfare is doing a fine job here. According to Polygon, the futuristic shooter checked in some pretty good numbers after being made available online. In fact, it ranked 4th overall, only beaten by the Rocket League, Battlefield 1, and Minecraft in 2016.
In terms of physical sales, it didn’t match that of 2013’s Black Ops 3. However, given that it managed to hit Top 5, being released toward the tail end of the year, it’s quite a feat. It’s rival Battlefield 1 may have won the sales category for now, but EA’s FPS had a few weeks of a head start.
And the reason people buy? A videogame’s most important determinant is often considered to be its fun factor. Call the Call of Duty fanbase what you will, but they’re actually having fun blasting each other with high-tech sci-fi weapons. (The realistic weapons from the previous games might have gotten stale after 14 years).
The Verdict Is In
Critics are also cutting Infinite Warfare a little bit of slack. Metacritic has scored Infinite Warfare a reasonable 77 based on 85 reviews. Which means, though imperfect in many areas, a lot of its fans are still bound to spend hours in front of the screen. Game Informer called the campaign “compelling”, the multiplayer system “robust”. Until the next game tides them over, this isn’t sorely a bad thing.
Critics of the Call of Duty series have (and rightly so) called the series the “same”. Activision has responded this time by changing the whole aesthetic of the game, blasting it into outer space. For now, it works. And as yearly videogame franchises go, they only have to keep it that way for one year.