No one fights alone.Call of Duty
when abbreviated) is a series of First-Person Shooter
games created as the Spiritual Successor
to Medal of Honor: Allied Assault
after the exodus of some 2015Inc. staff, who would go on to form Infinity Ward. The series is developed mostly by either Infinity Ward or Treyarch and published by Activision, famed for its immersive storytelling techniques and engaging multiplayer mode. So far, the series has appeared on the PC and has also appeared on most major consoles and handhelds. A card game
has also been announced.
The first three main installments took place during World War II
and garnered acclaim from the entertainment press. Then came Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare
. The setting for the game, indicated by its sub-title, was drastically different from the previous entries and the campaign's plot is about the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, and the Middle East tied to a nuclear weapons plot. It was a massive commercial blockbuster for Activision and won several awards (including Game of the Year). Soon afterward, a spin-off, World at War
(sometimes referred to simply as Call of Duty 5
), brought the series back to its roots as a World War II shooter. Modern Warfare 2
(alternatively "Call of Duty 6") reverted to the modern setting introduced in CoD4
. While the game has been well received by major reviewers and console gamers, PC gamers were upset over the removal of dedicated servers
, which resulted in the loss of game mods
and being able to pick one's own server (let alone administrate them), and the reduction of the number of players to 18 per server. In addition, it sold around 3.3 million copies within 24 hours.
This record would be broken by Call of Duty: Black Ops
. The story centers on Alex Mason, an American squad leader who is probed on his exploits in Cuba, Vietnam, and other areas. Oh, and the PC version has dedicated servers and game mods again
. Its position as the fastest-grossing (and fastest-selling) video game of all time was conquered by Modern Warfare 3
, released to a less-than-stellar critical reception when Activision and Infinity Ward made legal action against each other, which in turn was surpassed by Black Ops II
, partially set in 2025
from the final years of the Cold War. The next game after that was Call of Duty: Ghosts
, with an all new story taking place after an unknown catastrophic global event.
On November 4, 2014, Activison released the eleventh game in the series, Advanced Warfare
. The game stars Kevin Spacey
as the main antagonist, and takes place far in the future, where the world's most powerful military is not a country, but a corporation. The setting features futuristic elements such as hoverbikes and mech suits. The trailer can be seen here
Though the series earned early fame as one of the finest WWII shooters on the PC, it didn't really take off on consoles until the fourth installment. Most games in the series since then have consistently set their own record for the largest launch in entertainment history.
Warning: This game series may make you want to apply to the actual
American/British/Russian military. Further warning: If you do, there are no respawn points.
Please add any examples relating to the Modern Warfare sub-series, Call of Duty: Black Ops, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Call of Duty: Ghosts, or Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare to their dedicated pages.note Likewise, add tropes relevant to Nazi Zombies in... well, Nazi Zombies.
This series provides examples of:
- Acceptable Break from Reality: We're not sure how Japanese soldiers get a hold of Russian machine guns and prototype Nazi rifles in the World at War multiplayer mode, but hey, Rule of Fun.
- Action Girl: The Communists have female combat infantry (although not in the first game). Finest Hour even has a female sniper (Tanya Pavelovna) as one of the player characters.
- Added Alliterative Appeal: Commissar Markhov's Rousing Speech before the assault in the Ring Of Steel mission of World at War.
"On the Führer's birthday... A barrage of Katyushka rockets will tear Berlin to pieces. With your bullets... With your bayonets... With your bare hands... Do the same to their wretched soldiers!"
- Another Russian soldier gets at it in the first game as a Bond One-Liner: "You can heil Hitler in Hell!"
- A.K.A.-47: Averted; most weapons appear with their real names.
- Oddly played straight due to a possible bug in Call of Duty 2: the Gewehr 43 with a scope is referred to as the Springfield in singleplayer.
- Black Ops has an odd example in the singleplayer appearance of the Grim Reaper, where Bowman will actually call it by its real name when telling you to pick it up.
- The Alliance: The Allies of course. For the most part they're made of the Americans, the British and the Soviets but at some points, Canadians, Poles, French and Dutchmen appears to join the fight. Their counterpart are the Axis Nations. For 85-90% of the series they're made of Germans but other nations appears as well, In Big Red One Vichy French and Italians appears and in World at War the Japanese appear.
- American Armed Forces
- America Saves the Day: Subverted in World at War, which presents the American Marine Raiders as dying constantly and being ground down by the Japanese troops' tactics despite the eventual progress of their forces. The protagonist and his battle group are eventually sent home after taking a castle - but the war is not presented as being over by their hands; the Russians' have the final missions in the game and take the Reichstag.
- Yet the missions are presented in Anachronic Order, the Reichstag fell a month before the events of the final Marine missions, meaning the war technically really did end with the Marine Campaign.
- America Wins the War: Mostly averted, in that the WWII installments usually let you see the conflict from the British (except in World at War) and Soviet sides as well.
- Also averted insofar they show all three major Allied nations' contribution to the war effort. The first and fifth games even end with the player leading a squad of Russian soldiers on the final assault on the Reichstag (German parliament) in Berlin.
- Call of Duty: Big Red One, however, IS this trope. You follow the Big Red One from the sands of North Africa to the borders of Germany, kicking the collective asses of the entire Vichy French, Italian, and German Armies with no mention of any of the other allied nations.
- With the game focusing entirely on the 1st Infantry Division (U.S.), this trope is probably justified.
- Call of Duty 3 also had you play from some Polish and Canadian troops' perspectives.
- World at War has you play as Americans in the Pacific - but their segment ends with them going home before the war is over, with the final part of the game showing the Russians taking the Reichstag (though, as above, note that the Reichstag mission took place several weeks before the final Marine missions on Okinawa; the game also ends with footage of the atomic bombs being dropped on Japan, after which the war really did end).
- Also subverted in the Modern Warfare series, where the British are responsible for killing Zakhaev, and at the end of Modern Warfare 2 the war with Russia is still ongoing despite Shepherd's death. Modern Warfare 3 plays it semi-straight: while the war officially ends with the rescue of the Russian President's daughter by US forces, they're assisted by Captain Price and Yuri, who go on to kill Makarov and what remains of his inner circle.
- Ghosts shoots for the inversion. By the time the events of the game start, the US has already lost the war. Devastated by the surprise attack from South America, the country was left without a good enough military to ward off the subsequent invasion. The Ghost unit's ultimate goal is to hopefully reverse this and win back their country.
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: In Finest Hour, Nikolai Badanov (whom was playable at the time) and his tank crew raided a German airfield on Christmas Eve during Operation Little Saturn.
- Anachronism Stew/Weapons Understudies: Destroyed King Tigers can be found "Vendetta" in World at War. They're never used in the Battle of Stalingrad, and didn't even exist until one year later.
- Anyone Can Die: It became official in Call of Duty 2: Big Red One and oh, and how they do. Oddly enough, averted in Call of Duty 2, where none of your named allies die.
- Killed NPC's include: CoD1's Price, Elder (depends on the player), Sullivan, Chernov, Roebuck or Polonsky, Woods (except not), Bowman and Reznov.
- Arbitrary Minimum Range: Players can use grenade launchers. In most cases, the grenades have to travel a minimum distance before they'll explode, meaning that if someone is too close to you, the grenade will simply bounce harmlessly off the ground or wall next to them. Fortunately, you can usually still get a kill with a direct impact.
- Artistic Licence - Geography: probably many.
- CoD: United Offensive: Your bomber is shot down after a raid on Rotterdam. In the Netherlands, a country known for its nearly completely flat terrain. You then go on to help La Résistance blow up a railway bridge which spans a deep chasm between two rocky mountainsides, with tunnels through the mountains on both ends. That sort of geography is more closely associated with Switzerland.
- Arrow Cam: The Kill Cam in the multiplayer, an anti-cheating feature which shows the POV of the player who just killed you. This feature has been around since the first game.
- Attack! Attack! Attack!: Literally posted on a sign in the FIRST scene in the first game; it's a sneaky way to tell the player "always move forward or the Respawning Enemies will overrun you".
- Authority Equals Asskicking: World at War has Sgt. Sullivan until the end of the second mission, Cpl./Sgt. Roebuck, and Pvt. Polonsky. (Roebuck and Polonsky are a special case in that one of them will die at Shuri Castle, although the only difference is an achievement if Roebuck lives, and the player getting a promotion if he doesn't.)
- Black Ops does this to Reznov, who was apparently made Captain near the end of the war, by the time you play as him in "Project Nova".
- Autosave: Most games save between levels, and some save at checkpoints.
- Awesome but Impractical: The MG 42 & FG 42 in most cases. Fun to use, but it runs out of ammunition very quickly and it's rare to find replacement ammo. Especially impractical when most of the guns can kill an enemy in 1-4 shots anyway (or just one good one to the head). The former also slows you down.
- Large capacity machine guns in general fall into this. While their firepower is nice, they generally have a really long reload time compared to regular assault rifles, to the point that you can be quite vulnerable in the time it takes you to reload said machine gun if caught out in the open with no cover to hide behind.
- Badass: It's a game about the scrotum-crushing badasses who fought WWII.
- In the Easy Detail level of Call of Duty: Big Red One, five guys take on an entire division. And win.
- Badass Boast: Commissar Markhov makes one in World at War, over a loudspeaker:
Citizens of Berlin! A ring of steel surrounds your rotten city! We will crush all who dare resist the will of the Red Army! Abandon your posts! Abandon your homes! Abandon! All! Hope! URA!!!
- Badass Driver: Sgt. Moody and Pvt. Elder both do a little of this in first game, Pvt. MacGregor does this at least twice in the second game.
- Bag of Spilling: Compared to the later games, the original games very rarely indulged in this - missions that took place one after another let you keep what you previously had.
- Battleship Raid: One of the original game's most ignored achievements was recreating the entire 830-foot Tirpitz in the iD Tech 3 engine.
- Bayonet Ya: One of the attachments for weapons in WaW is a bayonet.
- Quite a few in the various games, though the biggest would be any time you're handed an anti-aircraft gun; Call of Duty had you handle a FlaK 37 (normal crew: 10) solo and not from the side the elevation and traverse wheels are on, and a FlaK 30 quad with a normal crew of 8. The 25mm Type 96 triple in World at War would normally have a crew of nine.
- The example in United Offensive was done to keep people with infinite ammo tanks from ruining the multiplayer.
- World at War has crew-served machine guns such as the M1919 and MG 42 that you can fire from the hip. Extra silliness point for including the PTRS 41 anti-tank rifle as a sniper riflenote that you can carry as if it was nothing.
- Black Ops introduces the Death Machine and Grim Reaper, respectively a man-portable gatling gun and a quad-barreled, incendiary rocket launcher. Both appear briefly in the single player and are obtainable from care packages in multiplayer.
- Black and Gray Morality/Gray and Gray Morality: The Soviet Campaign in World At War, puts your teammates, (and by choice, yourself) in a gray territory. Granted, the Germans did rape their way through Russia,but it is shown that many of the soldiers you capture and kill are human beings.
- In addition, during the capture of Berlin, the narration points out that many of the soldiers you're fighting against, though identical in appearance, are old men, young boys and the mentally ill forced into battle at gunpoint.
- Bloodier and Gorier: Modern Warfare was like this to the previous games, bumping the rating up to an M. World at War cranked up the gore, including dismemberment. And Black Ops is easily the most graphic and brutal Call of Duty yet.
- Black Ops has scenes which deliberately amp up the horrific mutilations, particularly in pre-scripted melee kills and sections such as the VC "Rat Hole". The latter sequence has Mason wielding a Colt Python in close quarters, and every shot fired grotesquely rends limbs and sends victims sprawling as they clutch at ruined stumps. The Python has no such effect outside of this situation, and without such sequences the game would have received a 16+ rating at most. The player can choose to dial back the gratuitous sections at the start of the game. Strangely enough, averted in the multiplayer, which has no gibs whatsoever (compare World at War).
- Book Ends: World at War, the very last WWII Call of Duty game, ends the exact same way the original Call of Duty did; with the Russian assault on the Reichstag and raising the Russian flag over the roof of the seat of German government.
- From Three. At the beginning...
Sgt. McCullum: I'm Sergeant McCullum, and I only got three rules. One, you're no good to me dead. Two... ah, what's the difference? Most of you are going to die anyway.
Pvt. Huxley: The hell kind of a pep talk is that?
: You want inspiration, private? Read a poem.
Sgt. Guzzo: I'm Guzzo, and I only got one rule: you're no good to me dead.
Unnamed Private: What the hell kind of a pep talk is that?
P1C. Huxley: You want inspiration, private? Read a poem.
- Boring but Practical: The WWII games have plenty of gun options to choose from, from both Allies and Axis origins. But in all games, the Kar98k + MP 40 combo is second to none, as they're both very reliable guns that cover both short- and long-ranged combat and, since so many Jerries carry these two, they're super easy to obtain and ammo is a non-issue.