“‘Sup brogamers! The new Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 trailer aired last night during the Sunday night FOOOOOOTBALLLL(!!) match between the Steelers and the Chargers. It was AWESOME! There were explosions, and people running around in military stuff, and like Bible references, and OMG the music! It had power chords! ROCK ONNNN! Like, words that can accurately describe this monumental achievement in interactive entertainment don’t even exist. I’d make one or two up, but my mind’s still trying to process how AWESOME it was. Ya know what I mean, dawgs? Of course you do! You’ll be standing by bros like me outside of GameStops everywhere on November 10, waiting to slam down s 150 greenbacks for the totally mindblowing Prestige Edition! Recession? Psh. I need my CALL OF DOOOOOOOODIE!”
The paragraph above didn’t seep through the mouth or fingers of another oil-sucking American. I made it up, and snagged the pic from my favorite industry webcomic, VGCats. But modify a few words, swap out brogamers for some hip term tossed around by the white baseball cap-wearing collar-popped social “elite,” and it’s the same dribble splattered across dozens, if not hundreds, of message boards and forums. The beautifully awful gamer prose even rears its worn out mug in news items by game “journalists.” Check out the snippet below from Kombo.com:
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is big. Really big. So big that a new trailer for the game can’t just debut on the internet or on a videogame-oriented program like GameTrailers TV or XPlay. No, only one entity is big enough to hold the awesomeness of Modern Warfare 2 – the National Football League.”
Here’s another from Kotaku Australia:
“Interrupting a football game between the San Diego Chargers and Pittsburgh Steelers is enough reason to cause some sports fans to want to shoot someone, so slipping the new Modern Warfare 2 trailer in between plays is nothing short of marketing genius.”
And one more from Pwn or Die.com:
“This trailer is much different than others and may hit a bit close to home for Americans. As you watch it, you can see an assuming American soldiers’ convoys hit by an RPG as they patrol through a town in the Middle East. Then taking a page from Fallout 3, Washington DC has come under attack and landmarks are in ruins. It is clear that the storyline in MW2 has just gotten “personal” and “real”.”
In regards to the last article… Fallout 3 doesn’t deserve any more credit for originating the idea of “DC in ruins” as Bad Boys 2 for inventing the buddy cop flick. And how do we even know Fallout inspired Modern Warfare 2? You better have a good answer, Pwn or Die writer NICKSMITH, because that’s what you’re saying.
Using the original Modern Warfare from Infinity Ward as a yardstick, Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t deserve the hype it’s receiving. Its predecessor limped through single-player on simple and dated shooter mechanics (enemies respawn until you advance past a designated checkpoint?!), a contrived story that repeatedly tried (and failed) to sell players on the “reality” of unbelievable situations, and a squadmate with a moustache containing more character than half the supporting cast combined. The game was loud and flashy, and it sold millions. And made millions in revenue, too. Calling it the Transformers 2 of the videogame industry isn’t necessarily wrong, just don’t expect to find giant robots in a title with the “Call of Duty” prefix…yet.
For most, the root of hype probably lies in Modern Warfare’s “revolutionary” multiplayer component. Borrowing leveling systems from RPGs, and forcing players to “earn” weapons and abilities, Infinity Ward found a design that incentivized extended play. Even players without skill refrained from feelings of discouragement. Experience points conquer all, apparently, including any realization that most titles didn’t force players to unlock this type of multiplayer content.
But the gameplay was basic. Unlike number one competitor Halo 3 and its famous guns, grenades, and melee gameplay pillars, Modern Warfare afforded players few options for escape or retaliation when sighted by an enemy. The “spray and pray” methodology, if you can call it that, held too much power. But casual gamers didn’t care. They felt strong, useful, and effective. They felt like capable military men.
And that’s okay, to a degree. I’m fine with videogames eliciting such a feeling. I just don’t like its frequency, and from so little variation. The situation’s disconcerting, at best.
Is this what the American gamer has become? A brogamer hailing contrived military shooters? Please, public, prove me wrong. Go ahead and make Flower the number one selling game this year.