E3 2013 – Call of Duty Ghosts and The Eternal Recurrence



The Infinity Ward Call of Duty games have traditionally been the mouthwash of single player narratives. Drink in all the nonsense, swish it around a little bit, then spit it back out a couple months later.  Expect a burning sensation.  The Treyarch developed Black Ops games have since tried to situate themselves in a historical context, create characters we’re meant to identify with etc. – that’s no fun.

Ghost is set in a universe torn between the fever dream of a Red Dawn inspired magical realism and the amalgamation of every piece of advertising targeted at the 16 – 32 male demographic.  Having painted themselves into a corner in their previous attempt, they thought it fit to throw it all out and start fresh.

America is now the underdog, its sovereignty being threatened with a homeland invasion.  All that’s left is a small band of elite fighters termed “Ghosts”.  But that’s all they’ll cough up for now.

Given that Modern Warfare took several games to build up to its own crescendo of nonsense, I can’t wait to see the premises thrown out to gain back that ground and re-assert themselves as THE purveyors of the preposterous.

In case you thought it couldn’t get any better, your comrade and wingman is your brother, justifying all kinds of “bro” inserts.  “You all right bro?”  “Take ‘em out, bro!” “Get my back bro.”  They really did think of everything.



Did we mention you get a dog?  But not just any dog, more of a magical familiar that you can control, one that’s capable of incredible feats that render irrelevant silly things like guns or opposable thumbs.

In the demo we saw, our ‘bro’ ordered the dog to clear a building for them.  It leapt through the window and used its canine Jedi powers to force blast a heavy wooden door into splinters, killing half the bad guys.  The protagonist and his ‘bro’ then killed everyone else in the now mandated slow motion sequence.

Perhaps the trio is a subtle gear up for a sitcom spinoff?  We all know that Kotick is very partial to Two and a Half Men.

All taken together, it’s the mental equivalent of typing something into a Word document that is so heinously misspelled that the little red squiggly has no suggestions to offer.  Your brain is confident there’s a problem afoot, but doesn’t have the foggiest for how to comprehend, much less rectify the situation.

Don’t make it worse by thinking about how much money it will make either.


Author: Wu

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