For 16 consecutive years, the Call of Duty franchise set the standard for the first-person shooter genre and wartime settings in video games. Since its first release, the games stood out from an array of FPS games and continued its legacy with the Modern Warfare series and Black Ops.
The Call of Duty series’ gameplay and story are known for their realistic takes on war, which is one of the reasons why millions of copies are sold every year. This year, the fourth installment to the Modern Warfare series and the sixteenth release in the main series will be released with an interesting multiplayer mode.
But before you spend that hard earned cash on re-doing your PC gaming desk and dusting off your computer, check out what’s in store for fall 2019, let’s have a look at how far the series has come, starting with the game that made history.
Call of Duty (October 29, 2003)
When the first and original Call of Duty came out, it took the gaming world by storm. During the era when FPS made its mark, Call of Duty presented a unique take on shooter games. From the AI allies to the real-life inspired war setting, the original Call of Duty provided a new gaming experience, one that would certainly suck the player in.
Taking place in a fictional version of World War II, the story is set in three campaign modes: American, British and Soviet. In each campaign, the player controls a soldier tasked with high-pressure missions against enemy forces. Even the weapons were designed to imitate the ones used in the real World War II.
The game was developed by Infinity Ward and is available in various platforms including Microsoft Windows, OS X and N-Gage.
Call of Duty 2 (October 5, 2005)
Two years after the first game’s success, a second installment was developed and game was extended to mobile devices. Call of Duty 2 features the same formula as the first and added another British campaign, making a total of 4.
Following reviews from 2003, the developers added more features such as health regeneration, better status notifications and a mapmaker. The game even has four levels of difficulty, the highest and most challenging being Veteran. The three main characters from the original game are also carried over with new missions and levels.
The game was developed by Infinity Ward and is available for Microsoft Windows, OS X, mobiles and N-Gage.
Call of Duty 3 (November 7, 2006)
Although the third installment had different developers and new platforms, it was still similar to the original except for a couple of new campaigns—Canadian and Polish—and fewer missions than the previous game.
Utilizing the new platforms brought countless opportunities for multiplayer mode. More players were able to play in the same session and game invitations were also added. Through online mode, players were able to track their progress in normal and ranked matches in achievements and leaderboards.
The game was developed by Treyarch and is available for PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, Wii, Xbox and Xbox 360.
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (November 5, 2007)
After three consecutive games following the same World War II setting, Infinity Ward made a breakthrough in their fourth installment and pioneered the Modern Warfare series.
Set in early 2010’s, the story tells of a fictional war involving terrorism and conflict between powerful countries such as the US, the UK, and some countries in the Middle East. It featured two campaigns, one American and one British, and added more features to multiplayer mode such as killstreaks, air strikes, helicopters and recon scans.
Call of Duty 4 gained praise and won several game awards like the Best Xbox 360 Game award. It even had a remastered edition developed by Raven Software and released in 2017 as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered.
The game was developed by Infinity Ward and is available for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii.
Call of Duty: World at War (November 11, 2008)
World at War returns to the age of World War II with two new campaign modes: Japan and Germany. Though the fifth installment didn’t stand out from its other WWII variants, it featured a cooperative mode which supports local and online hosting.
With the new game engine, the visual aspects for environmental damage and human gore leveled up to become more realistic and mature. The multiplayer mode also introduces rewards for consecutive kills like recon planes and attack hounds.
The game was developed by Treyarch and is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (November 10, 2009)
Bringing back Modern Warfare and adding in even more features than the original, the sixth installment caught attention for its success and controversial aspects, specifically a level where the mission involves plane terrorism.
Another game mode called Spec Ops was introduced, where players could choose to play solo or cooperate with a friend. For players interested in a challenge, it offered difficult gameplays with time-sensitive missions.
The game was developed by Infinity Ward and is available for Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (November 9, 2010)
Taking a break from World War II and modern war settings, the seventh installment is centered around the events of the Cold War in the 1960s. The locations available for exploration features 8 countries and provided larger campaigns with visual improvements.
Black Ops became a milestone for the Call of Duty franchise as it broke records in sales and became the best-selling game in Europe, United Kingdom and the United States.
The game was developed by Treyarch and is available for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, OS X, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (November 8, 2011)
Sequel to the second installment of Modern Warfare and the eighth overall release to the main series, MW3 3 follows the same characters and story from MW2 through various missions divided into Acts. The game also allows skipping parts of the game that are deemed too graphic and mature.
Gameplay difficulty has been increased and killstreaks expand into a more flexible pointstreak system, where points are awarded for gaining consecutive kills and/or completing mission objectives.
The game was developed by Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games. It is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (November 13, 2012)
Black Ops 2 is the ninth installment and the first game to introduce a future setting. The story takes place in the 1980’s, when the main character chases after a terrorist, and 2025, when the past protagonist’s son continues pursuing the same terrorist in another war.
One of the challenges in Black Ops 2 is the presence of permanent death during missions. Along with this, decision-making skills made an impact to the overall gameplay. Each playthrough has different endings, which depends on the player’s actions and skills.
Praised for the concept of a futuristic war and for its story-driven gameplay, Black Ops 2 garnered acclaim and half a billion in sales in a day.
The game was developed by Treyarch and is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.
Call of Duty: Ghosts (November 5, 2013)
The tenth installment introduced a new series that, unfortunately, did not earn a sequel like Modern Warfare or Black Ops. Though it offered the Extinction game mode, it did not differ from the past games in terms of gameplay and story.
Unlike past Call of Duty games, Ghosts did not offer campaigns for different locations and solely focused on the perspective of Logan Walker. Throughout the game, the player may seldom take on the roles of other minor characters, such as Riley, the German Sheperd.
Other than the new game mode, multiplayer was upgraded with destructible maps and gave players the option to play as female soldiers. Kill streaks were also made to be more dynamic with new rewards.
The game was developed by Infinity Ward and is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (November 4, 2014)
Advanced Warfare is the eleventh installment and the second game to be set in the future, specifically in the years 2054-2061. The game received praise for its single-player and multiplayer modes and was deemed more successful than the previous installment.
The futuristic setting allowed for significant changes compared to past titles. Enhanced movements, holographic HUD, stealth boosts and laser weaponry are a few of the game’s additions, all of which add up to a refreshing gameplay. Like Ghosts, the player can only control one character in the game.
The game was developed by Sledgehammer Games and High Moon Studios. It is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (November 6, 2015)
Another sequel game, Black Ops 3 is the twelfth installment and the first CoD game without a single-player campaign for the PS3 and Xbox One. However, compared to the previous installments in the series, Black Ops 3 gained the least praise, mostly due to the game being exclusively available for online play.
Four decades after Black Ops 2’s storyline, the game continues its futuristic settings in the fictional year of 2065 when the world has drastically changed. The game is cooperatively played by 4 player characters, all of which are cybernetically enhanced for more skills and abilities.
The game was developed by Treyarch and is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and MacOS.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (November 4, 2016)
As the thirteenth installment of the Call of Duty franchise, Infinite Warfare was considerably unlucky in its release. Set in another distant future featuring a struggle for control of the Solar System, Call of Duty fans and critics expressed much dislike. This negativity was especially apparent in Infinite Warfare’s trailer, which earned its spot as the sixth most disliked video on Youtube.
The game takes place in outer space and introduces zero gravity environments and aerial combat, a first in the franchise. Locations vary from far-off planets to lone asteroids where players are transported via a transforming fighter jet.
The game was developed by Infinity Ward and is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Call of Duty: WWII (November 3, 2017)
Due to Infinite Warfare’s bad feedback and poor performance in sales, the World War II setting makes its return in the fourteenth installment.
The game retains the same traditional WWII formula, albeit with improvements to both single player and multiplayer mode. The game is highly similar to the original Call of Duty, as several convenient gameplay aspects are removed.
To compensate for the lack of health regeneration, AI allies provide the player with support by supplying weapons and health. This makes gameplay slower than previous titles and more difficult.
The game was developed by Sledgehammer Games and is available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (October 12, 2018)
The fifteenth installment is an improved version of both Black Ops 2 and 3. Along with the upgraded combat and movement, it takes the non-regenerative health aspects from CoD WWII to create a challenging multiplayer game. The new game mode, a battle royale, is called Blackout, where one hundred players are matched to fight simultaneously.
Like the previous Black Ops release, character classes called Specialists are featured, where each Specialist has his or her own unique skills. Matching weapons are also made for these characters and are limited to one per team.
The game was developed by Treyarch and is available for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare (October 25, 2019)
Though the sixteenth installment has yet to release, sources say the game will feature a cross-platform multiplayer mode. Like last two Modern Warfare games, Spec Ops mode will also be made available.
Set in the modern times, the story is said to take on dramatic themes into the plot and a centralized narrative across game modes. Past characters like Captain Price and Alex will also make a return, most likely due to several requests from fans.
The game introduces a scoring system for every choice that affects the story. Tactics and morals are highly emphasized in the game and proper threat assessment provides more points and a higher grade.
The game is being developed by Infinity Ward and will be available for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.