For some strange reason, Activision still seems to think it can tease games that people already know are going to come out every year, at the same time, every year. Perhaps the only real bit of information it can tease is the name of the next Call of Duty, which all signs point to as Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Going to the official Call of Duty site redirects to CallofDuty.com/______. That’s six underscores, presumably for “ghosts,” and the literal ghosting of the rest of the URL also points to said name.
The site also features an image of what appears to be the same mask worn by the character Simon “Ghost” Riley from the Modern Warfare series. The image is comprised of individual thumbnails of users who shared the hashtag “#CallofDuty” on Twitter or Facebook.
Several retailers also leaked advertising for “Call of Duty: Ghosts” prematurely, relegating this “teaser” to mere redundancy. Sources suggest Call of Duty: Ghosts will be officially announced on May 1.
Whatever Activision reveals on May 1, there’s one thing we know for sure: The Next Call of Duty will be a first-person military shooter that sells millions of copies. And in spite of the critical backlash of military first-person shooters, this fact omits Infinity Ward from having to say anything meaningful about, well, anything.
The very nature of first-person shooters may intimidate narrative tightness, but that isn’t to say that the genre can’t grow. Bioshock: Infinite is the latest major release of a first-person shooter, featuring a narrative praised for its intricacies and admonished for its slavish loyalty to the gun-as-character FPS stigma.
Shooters as a whole have taken certain steps in directions that are out of the box in thinking (Spec Ops: The Line, Hotline Miami), but nothing has really combined the mechanics of the FPS genre to great narrative effect. Not yet. One thing’s for sure, we don’t have to wonder whether or not Call of Duty: Ghosts will be that game.
Every genre has its pot boilers. Activision is the Michael Bay of video game publishers. A Call of Duty that attempts intelligent storytelling is a Call of Duty that is disingenuous.
No matter how tired we grow of the FPS military genre, or how much shooting games grow in portraying violence in a faithful narrative, gamers are always going to need their brainless Michael Bay shooting games, year after year after bloody year. That is the only thing we even need to know about Call of Duty: Ghosts until its release.