By Sam Coles:
The new Call of Duty has a lot of people talking at the moment and the first thing you think of when you look at series is the multiplayer. I however love the campaigns as they are generally over top, gory and sometimes emotional. I want to go over my favourite campaigns in the series spanning from the early games up to now. Let’s get into it!
Modern Warfare 2
Modern Warfare 2’s campaign was great as it followed the events of the first game where you play as four different characters Roach a soldier in the Task Force 141, Agent Allan in the CIA, Private Ramirez in the USMC and Soap MacTavish in the Task Force 141.
The story is about the world being pushed to the brink of a third world war due to one of Imran Zakhaev’s lieutenants Vladimir Makarov causing all sorts of havoc across the globe from goading Russia and the US to go war with each other to a terrorist attack in an airport. The story is over the top with segments where you’re racing snowmobiles down the side of a mountain to helicopters falling out of the sky when an EMP is set of, but it also has some dark moments with the aforementioned airport massacre. It’s both dark and gritty as well as over top and somewhat goofy with some of the set pieces.
Released one year after Modern Warfare 2 this was Treyarch’s attempt to make an original campaign rather than re-treading World War II like they did with their previous game and it proved to be an excellent Psychological thriller.
Black Ops takes place in the 1960’s during the height of the cold war where it takes you to theatres of war that were very controversial such as the Bay of Pigs Invasion and the Vietnam War which aren’t explored often due to the ethical nature. You play as Alex Mason who is being questioned by shadowy figures in the CIA about a string of numbers that he keeps hearing in his head which results him telling stories of previous missions he had participated in. These missions start in the early 60’s then the final half in the late 60’s in Vietnam and the subject matter is treated with respect but does not shy away from torture and the gory reality of the war with limbs being blown off and POW’s playing Russian roulette.
World at War
When the World War II genre was starting to feel stale Treyarch made one last game before they disappeared altogether with World at War which is easily one of the best World War II shooters of the last decade.
World at War doesn’t shoot for the standard flogging of the dead horse that is the story from the British and Americans in the European fronts, it instead goes for the more intense moments from the eyes of the Soviets invading Berlin and the Americans in Japan. The game is really intense where it starts with a torture scene at the hands of the imperial army where you see your fellow soldier’s throat sliced open by a Japanese soldier it is very gruesome. Even the first mission as the Soviets is brutal as you’re lying in a pile of dead bodies as you see German soldiers executing stragglers. The game doesn’t shy away from graphic content as you can blow enemies limbs off with blood flying everywhere and it makes wonder how the game got away with a 15+ age rating in the UK maybe it’s due to the fact it’s set in World War II.
The game that started the advanced movement and the first game solo developed from Sledgehammer games with a three year development cycle rather than two and really it shows with the amount polish that went into this game.
Advanced Warfare takes place in the distant future in the 2060’s where the US military have invented exoskeleton suits to give their soldiers extra speed, strength and mobility. You play as Private Mitchel who is in the Marines until one mission went wrong where he had the task to repel North Korean forces out of South Korea. Mitchel is gravely injured as his arm gets blown off after an explosion which also kills his best friend Will.
Mitchel is introduced to Will’s father Johnathon Irons who is the head of a private military company called Atlas. Mitchel is recruited into Atlas where he is given a cybernetic arm to help him fight for another day. However as you progress through the story you find out the true intentions from Irons as he wants complete control of the world and its conflicts. The story is incredibly predictable but the performances from the actors are superb which make a joy to play through especially the performance from Kevin Spacy.
Black Ops II
Black Ops II was one of the first games in the series to have a somewhat futuristic setting as half of the campaign was set in the year 2025 so they could be a bit more creative with the weaponry.
Black Ops II takes place about two decades after the original game as you first start off as Alex Mason in the 1980’s when he has to go into Africa to save his best friend and comrade Frank Woods who is been held captive by Raul Mendez. Alex finds him and has to get him out of there so he goes to use the enemies radio to radio in an extraction but Raul is using it and ends up sabotaging the radio where Alex is then compromised and he ends up shooting Raul in the eye crippling him.
Jump forward to the future and you find yourself playing as Alex’s son David who is searching for Raul Mendez as he has become a threat to national security because he has a plan to take control of the US and China’s drone fleet for a massive attack. The story is really good in this game as it is written by David S. Goyer who wrote the Dark Knight. The great thing about this campaign is that it has multiple paths and several different endings depending on your actions during your playthrough which adds a lot of replay value.
So there are my favourite Call of Duty campaigns did you see any you liked or did I miss some, let me know in the comments or tweet at me via @bristoliangamer or my personal Twitter @samcoles2.