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Back To The Call of Duty Time Sink

There are regularly jokes about people buying Call of Duty and playing nothing but Call of Duty until the next game is out. Honestly, it’s easy to see why. Because you CAN.


The amount of content these games offer up is unreal. Now, being able to alter and tinker with dozens of guns, in dozens of game modes both online and offline might not appeal to everybody. It doesn’t always appeal to me. But for those that it works for – well, you can gear yourself up for endless time spent.

This morning I’ve spent some time playing DMZ and Warzone. I am not very good. But in the three games I played of Warzone, I could feel the appeal – the tense moment-to-moment gameplay. The need to collect and scavenge what you need before the other guy can manage it.

And, clearly by the fact that I had three games in an hour, that isn’t for everybody. But it has endless possibilities for those that do.

And really, whatever you think of Call of Duty, that is laudable. Gone are the days where yearly releases are a thing. To continue that tradition – at least up to Modern Warfare II – and still have this amount of content is insane.

I’m sure those that play it the most could suggest changes. Balance is a neverending task. If you only look at it as the number of maps available, there is always room for more. And, actually, we live in a world where content is so freely and easily available, that our base reaction is always “more”. More, more, more.

Call of Duty – The Endless Quest For More

But think of what a fantastic industry this would be if all games felt as endless as Call of Duty.

I should curb that a little bit. Not every game has had the best part of two decades developing a formula. There aren’t dozens of studios and thousands of people working on every game. And, most importantly, not every title needs to be an online experience with single player as a bonus.

It is a unique position for a limited number of blockbuster franchises, and Call of Duty is the diamond in that not-always-sparkly crown.

But it is a top standard to strive towards. It doesn’t feel like it wants your time like Assassin’s Creed, and it doesn’t feel like unlocks are as conscious to the experience as Overwatch.

It is a time sink. There’s no doubt about that. If you play a single game, you’re going to play a dozen games. And there are issues in there I’d be interested in exploring. Mostly this idea – likely a conspiracy theory – that evreybody has “their game”, in which everything just happens to go right for them. It’s an interesting discussion to have.

But as far as time sinks go: having lots of fun, with as much content as you want to explore, in online games that never feel the same twice… That’s a pretty good way of keeping us engaged.

But I’ll say this Activision: I’m still not buying your battle pass. But thanks for the good time, anyway.


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blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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Twitter: @matgrowcott