We all know that one guy who absolutely swears by the Call Of Duty franchise.
You know the one, goes out every year a new game is released and either buys up all the DLC or Season Passes, or pre-orders the next, next game that comes out a year or more later. The games all have the same formula: World is threatened, major war is happening/about to happen, your are either the best in your field or an criminal (or both) and you must save the world. Re-skin every so often with a different setting and you have the makings of the franchise, yet even with this reuse of this formula, this guy absolutely swears by it and will defend the series to his grave.
You just can’t see why he loves the same thing just wrapped in last years Christmas paper.
Now imagine any other game franchise that does the same, could be any type of game that has more than 2 sequels, and you know for a fact that they at least recycled some of the first game into their latest outing. However, none have lasted so long as Call Of Duty has. 14 main titles in the series, not including expansions and mobile versions. Let that sink in… FOURTEEN. Almost the exact same game has been copied and recopied onto discs with somewhat fresher coats of paint each year, and yet people still shell out the $60 to play it. I understand multiplayer is appealing to most of those buying these games, but that seems a little steep of a price to grab a copy each release cycle.
Yet People Still Eat It Up
Yes, it maybe repetitive as all hell and the stereotypical kids on their talking about banging your mom drive you nuts, but many people with money burning a hole in their pockets grab them like a crack addict needing their fix. The bigger issue I’ve been facing lately is that Destiny, a game I’ve had mixed feelings with for a while now, has seemingly contracted the COD Syndrome.
We knew from the start that Destiny was going to be a project with sequels spreading across a few years with tons of expansions. An MMO but on consoles. Understandable that this game would be the same basic systems with just added content. Withe Destiny 2 being revealed and the gameplay reveal not too long after, it showed us that it was a whole new game… filled with the same exact shtick.
Obviously this isn’t a surprise to anyone, but there is an issue popping up for me but first let me give a back story of my love hate relationship with the Bungie title. I started off playing the beta of Destiny when it was free on PS3. I loved the action, the gunplay, hated the voice acting when it was there, overall it was enjoyable. I then picked up a copy of the full game, with the intent on playing it for many, many hours happily. I was met with bugs that broke the game for me, I was also met with a game that had a puzzle piece story that not only gave you the bare minimum, it also made you go online to read the ‘grimoire cards’ only allowing for certain bits handed to you until you earned more of it by killing multiple enemies over and over again.
It became unbearable. I was drowning in the salt I had for this game because I was fucking pissed. The game was just a basic shooter with not attempts at a story on the development side and a heavy focus on multiplayer. At the time I hated, absolutely fucking detested, multiplayer games. I couldn’t stand when a game was delayed because they wanted to add in multiplayer features because many gamers who loved the matchmaking systems needed to be pleased so they would buy it. Needless to say, I did what I never do with games, and I sold it. Didn’t care what I made for it as long as I didn’t have it.
Flash forward to 2017, around Christmas, I was given the vanilla version of the game by my father-in-law as a gift. I let it sit on my shelf because I had other, ‘more interesting’ games to play than what I hated on the PS3. Having it on the PS4 would change nothing for me. I then beat Mass Effect Andromeda and after lumping in 87 hours into a game, I needed a palate cleanser. I broke down and popped Destiny in and waited for the worst. Coming back years later not only changed my thoughts on the game, but made me fall in love with the bastard. I couldn’t stop playing the matchmaking, I didn’t care that the story was non existent (granted I knew that going in). I enjoyed the hell out of my time with it, until being shunted by the need for expansions and DLC. I felt pang of sorrow as I realized my time ended with it, faced with the tough call between buying the DLC or just reserve copy of Destiny 2, both costing the same amount. Deciding I’d wait to get the second game, I started looking up the reveal and looking at the new gameplay.
I say new, but not a whole lot has changed. Which began to make the wheels turn in my brain. MMO’s like WoW and Guild Wars do expansions, Guild Wars has a sequel game, but in all honesty they always follow the same path. New content is an expansion, not a sequel, I mean have you ever heard of World of Warcraft 2? Didn’t think so.
So it bothers me just a little that the next installment is a sequel when it really doesn’t seem to change the game more than an expansion pack would do. I’m sure the storytelling is going to be about the same if the gunplay and attacks didn’t change all that much. Then why would you replace a game with a sequel, then follow it with probably a whole shit-ton of DLC, then once again a Sequel years down the line?
Maybe I Just Don’t Get It
I mean, MMOs were never really my bag, I liked casually playing WoW and the beginner levels of Guild Wars 2 but the repetitiveness of it all dulled my experience. How can I feel safe knowing that this same idea is going to be part of a massive sequel+DLC pattern till Bungie feels like letting the last entry be the best?
Is there something I’m missing when it comes to games like Destiny?
Is there some multiplayer aspect that drives most players into letting this be a trend that we settle for?
Is this the same for Call of Duty fans, do they just enjoy a slightly tweaked graphical improvement for their online murder sprees?
If anyone has insight into this, please enlighten me as I want to love Destiny enough to feel comfortable buying Destiny 2 and seeing the future through with it. I want to understand how other see this trend, and just feel a sense of calm towards buying sequel after sequel.