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WMG / Call of Duty

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    Franchise-Wide Gameplay 
Things like Trick-shots, no-scoping, quick-scoping, and 12 year-olds swearing are actually happening during the battles of the series
During the single-player campaigns, the series has Weirdness Filter preventing one from seeing the utter lunacy of Call of Duty multiplayer. Nevertheless, in World at War Reznov comments on the players ability to no-scope in Vendetta, glitching the filter up and moving past it. In Black Ops 2, this might prove to be a plot point, similar to Reznov in the first Black Ops where, occasionally, a NPC doing a serious military command will suddenly start swearing like a 9-year old playing Call of Duty. In addition, the player later will see a solider doing a no-scope flash before them before fading away, making the player question whether or not the events of the campaign are even happening.
  • A Mind-Screwy to unveil this might be that, as the campaign goes on, things become more multiplayer like. Ex, smooth NPC animations become machinima-like "move the head up and down." You stop dying and start respawning, complete with killcams. You begin to hear voice chats, perks start taking effect and scripted sequences just stop happening. By the end of the campaign, the game literally becomes the same as the multiplayer, and simply ends with a end-of-match score sheet and then the credits.

The Soldiers of Multiplayer are hearing voices in their head.

  • If this WMG is correct, then somewhere, there is a parallel universe where Earth is stuck in a massive, never ending war over the same plots of land. All of the people that appear in multiplayer are real people with families that love them in another dimension who are hearing and obeying voices in their head or are possessed by spirits. The countries in the War are the factions as they appear, since their flags are just the faction's flag instead of their country of origin. (Example: The flag for the S.A.S. is the winged dagger symbol instead of the UK flag.) Weapons in multiplayer are manufactured by giant corrupt arms dealers who happen to make guns with random, often illogical weapon modifications and camouflages. New soldiers deploy so quickly because the ones you are controlling are too confused to notice the spider holes that are spread throughout the battlefield.
    • This makes a lot of sense. If I were hearing voices in my head commanding me to fight and die for things I don't care about, I imagine they'd also be screaming things like "eat my shit, cockface" all day at every enemy I managed to kill. I'd be willing to go along with it just in the hopes someone killed me so I could get away with it.

Call of Duty multiplayer maps serve as the afterlife
  • Non-Playable Characters that died during the single-player campaign end up fighting the battles on multiplayer maps. In this eternal limbo, logic and laws of physics don't fully apply which is why factions like militias can have access to EMP bursts and everyone has access to superhuman perks.

The Regenerating Health is actually representing the ability to dodge bullets.
  • The Player Characters have the ability to dodge incoming fire, but it puts them under intense stress (Why they start seeing red). Eventually they can't take the strain anymore, and the next bullet hits.

The multiplayer matches are a last stand against the enemy
To start with, only the Team Deathmatches are canonical, as it's the game mode that makes the most sense. Initially, the battle started out as a regular military battle, à la Battlefield. However, after days of conflict, both sides have eventually been reduced to a few dozen men. Realising that the next engagment could be their last, the teams decide that if they are going to go out, they're going to take as many of the opposing team with them as they can. They scavenge whatever weapons are at their disposal, and charge right into the enemies waiting clutches.

    Cross-Timelines / Franchise-Wide 
Black Ops is a prequel to all of the other games, and all of the bad guys' plans are sucessful.

  • There is no evidence or reason established within the game that simply killing the main villain would stop the launch of Nova 6, as even if he was the one sending the signal to the operatives, the bad guys would surely have others who could replace him. Mason failed, and the Nova 6 was fully dispersed, killing most of America. This allowed the resurgence of the Nazis, leading to the events of the first four games, which were about the remnants of America fighting the resurgent Nazi forces. This explains why all the wars in the series feel the same: The alternate World War II happened shortly after Black Ops, the weaker technology a product of societal degradation due to massive depopulation, and the wars between America and Russia in the later games are constant struggles for domination of the world between the Nazis and the Russians. When the Modern Warfare series happens, America is actually controlled by the Nazis, who maintain the illusion of a democracy in order to hide their horrible policies. All of the whites in the Modern Warfare series are treated as super-powered Aryan ideals, and the foreigners and non-Christians like Arabs, Russians and Muslims are treated as stereotypes because the series is filtered through Nazi propaganda.
    • Completely and totally Jossed. Black Ops takes place after World at War, and with Black Ops 2 on the way, the chances of Treyarch and Infinity Ward having the same canon is extremely unlikely.

Call of Duty isn't just the name of the game, it's the name of a spirit that temporarily grants people superpowers
The reason certain characters suddenly gain superhuman abilities like surviving bullets and bombs, quick health regeneration, super-accurate aiming, and in the case of the player character, the ability to reverse time to redo their mistakes (save/load) is because they are being posessed by a supernatural spirit. The NAME of the spirit is Call of Duty, and its purpose is the destruction of totalitarianism, and facism in particular. That is why there has never been a Call of Duty game where the player character has been German, and it is only in the games where facists are still in power that the spirit inhabits the body of lesser totalitarians, in this case Soviet soldiers in World War II. The spirit can inhabit several people at once, making certain people almost invincible, but can only inhabit people for a few hours at a time, and so can only make certain people superhuman during certain pivotal moments of their life.

The spirit of Call of Duty can also cloud perception. Instead of allowing other people to see bullets pop out of bodies and wounds miraculously heal in seconds, all anyone not possessed by the Call of Duty understands is that such people are very lucky, or just very good soldiers.

As for the cause of the spirit, perhaps it comes from a future where Nazi Germany took over and held large parts of the world, while international Communism and islamofacism makes other large swaths miserable (or rather, moreso than they currently do). The spirit was sent back in time to temporarily provide key people with superpowers to destroy the things that make life so miserable in their time.

The Black Ops and MW storylines are alternate universes of one another.
  • They start in common, but the divergence points come in "Pyrrhic Victory" and "One Shot, One Kill" In the Black Ops universe, the shot at Menendez wounds him, and the shot at Zakhaev kills him. In the Modern Warfare universe, the opposite is true. In both cases, somebody believed to be only a minor player was killed, only for the other to become the world's greatest villain. Also, this means that Price and Soap and MacMillan are around in the Black Ops universe, and Mason and Woods and Hudson are around in the MW universe.

COD is in one single timeline
COD seems to take place in at least three different continuities: Modern Warfare, Black Ops and Ghosts. However, with a bit of a stretch, all of COD can take place in one cohesive timeline:First off, WW2 COD’s and Black Ops can fit in easily; compared to the other COD’s; they’re decades in the past. The real deviation starts in 2005. According to the French version of Ghosts, the battle that formed the Ghosts, Operation Sand Viper, took place in that year, and allegedly it took place in Iran. This was the Tel Aviv War, so-called because it started in Tel Aviv, in Israel. Israel’s relations with the rest of the Middle East are notoriously fragile, and it’s not that far-fetched that a conflict there would drag the rest of the Middle East in. Who was the mastermind behind the attack: Khaled Al-Assad, the villain from COD 4. Yes, the Tel Aviv War is the same conflict that’s in COD 4. The country featured in COD 4 is Saudi Arabia in all but name; it was even called Saudi Arabia in COD 4’s development. However, it’s stated that its monarchy has been toppled by revolution by the timeframe of the game (2011), unlike in real life. Well, if the Middle East has been in turmoil since 2005, then an explanation presents itself. According to Ghosts, Operation Sand Viper was the conflict that created the Ghosts. However, at the time, the Ghosts was simply an idea, not official. However, the concept of a group comprising of the best of the best from Tier 1 teams was later developed into Taskforce 141. Regardless, the Tel Aviv War escalates into COD 4’s war, and as we see, it goes nuclear. The Middle East essentially gets destroyed.

With the Middle East destabilised for years to come, an oil crisis begins. South America monopolises its resources, but more on that later. What other country has large natural resources: Russia. The headscratcher of Russia in Modern Warfare being more powerful than real life Russia gets solved right there. As Zakhaev gets gunned down by Soap, the Ultranationalists Martyrize him. The Ultranationalists gain control of Russia. Perhaps some event helped them along; say, the Crimean conflict? Regardless, the Russian military becomes bigger and more powerful. Why do they have incorrect firearms? Russia’s got a different government now. AK-47? The Ultranationalists are die-hard Soviet fan boys, and the AK-47 is THE Soviet gun. TAR-21? It’s an Israeli weapon, Israel’s been shattered by the Tel Aviv War, so they’re selling guns so they can use the extra money to help rebuild. F2000? It’s a very ergonomic gun. So, Russia becomes Ultranationalist, the Modern Warfare series comes, and the Modern Warfare series goes.

America sets ODIN into motion, desiring some form of additional defence after suffering from the first successful invasion in their history. But as this is happening, trouble brews in South America. The Federation forms, but fighting is rampant, as countries meld and patriots clash. In the end, the Military has De Facto control. In the De Jure government, an extremist party emerges, most likely fascist. Hating America, they get into contact with an anti-American general, Diego Almagro, and begin to discreetly elevate him to the position of leader with the Federation’s military, in a bid to get themselves into more power. Almagro begins his American purge, and is assassinated. This, however, merely helps the Party’s goal. With the Federation having its own space program, the Party gathers anti-American astronauts, and gives them the secret mission to hijack ODIN. Their plan, as seen in Ghosts, is a partial success.

America, confused and enraged, declares war on the Federation. The two nations fight for several years, during which time the wall is constructed, until the Federation’s government, at this point in time still peaceful and democratic, calls a ceasefire, explaining, using evidence falsely supplied to them by the extremist party, that the astronauts that hijacked ODIN were fanatics of Almagro, operating independently. America, hardly in a position to fight after WW3 and the ODIN strikes, stops the war. Unfortunately, many Federation soldiers have already died in the war, and the Federation civilians demand a return to war, blinded by revenge.

America tries to rebuild, but its military is still crippled, with the exception of the drone fleet, which is as strong as ever. China, now more powerful than ever, begins its expansion via the SDC, not only into countries such as Afghanistan and India, but also Russia, which is recovering from WW3. Meanwhile, the Party realises that ODIN was not a complete success, and to finish off America, they need to destroy it from the inside: enter Raul Menendez. Sharing a common goal, the Party begins secretly funding Menendez’s Cordis Die campaign. However, both Menendez and the Party are each planning to double-cross the other when America falls. Meanwhile, the Party rises to power in the Federation, using the people’s hate of America to their advantage.

However, America essentially takes care of Menendez for the Party, having apprehended him. With the drones, America’s final defence, destroyed, the Federation declares all-out war with America, leading into Ghosts.

As for Advanced Warfare? This troper, as of this post, doesn’t have the game yet. However, with nearly 30 years in between it and Ghosts, it’s not that unreasonable to assume things recovered in the meantime.

Black Ops III and Advanced Warfare take place in splinter timelines that break off from Black Ops II's multiple endings.
Leaving the whole "different companies' games are not canon to each other" thing, it makes for an interesting theory. They take place in the same general time period (2050s-2070), but the technological aesthetic and geopolitical landscape are completely different. One has a Crapsack World ruled by giant, Orwell-esque superstates locked in an eternal Cold War, mind control, cyborgs, and battlefield dominated by brutal robotic weapons. The other depicts a relatively clean and prosperous future, with no wars between major powers and terrorism on the decline thanks to Atlas, at least until Irons' machinations start to take fruit.

Since BO III canonically takes place in a timeline where Raul Menendez was killed at the end of "Judgment Day", I propose that Advanced Warfare instead follows from the Golden Ending where Menendez is successfully capture and rots in prison. With his Celerium bug easily defeated by Karma and Menendez himself ending up little more than a punchline on the late-night monologues, the world was just a lot less scared of large-scale drone attacks— DEAD systems were never developed, the Winslow Accords weren't signed, and countries by and large stayed where they are instead of grouping together into superstates out of fear. The lack of a New Cold War and an arms race to go with it resulted in certain military technologies ended up becoming either more or less developed as compared to the BO timeline; cybernetics and autonomous robots remained side projects while more research went into exosuits and other weapons aimed at increasing the efficacy of single soldiers, and energy weapons were developed for ground use rather than air defence. Coalescence never really grew beyond Zurich, while Atlas instead picked up Menendez's patents after the Tacitus Corporation's liquidation.

The old Infinity Ward was actually broken up because of a specific gun in Call of Duty 4.
Stay with me on this, it's going to take some explaining. First, some backstory: the M40A3 (and to a lesser extent the Remington 700, which is basically the same thing). Basically the Call of Duty equivalent of the AWP, due to the bug with the ACOG scope that makes it a one-shot kill under basically any circumstances with the Stopping Power perk. Now here's the thing: it reloads one round at a time. If you've ever seen a version of the M40 in a game before, you've seen that every game except for this one just has it magically have the capacity for accepting detachable box magazines (ignore the latest version of the gun, which actually does use those). And then one game after this one, IW was basically thrown out by Activision.

There is clearly only one sensible explanation for this: one-round-at-a-time reloads for any post-World War II weapon in a video game that is not a shotgun? It's against the law. IW only got away with it for CoD4 because Activision is basically made of money and so were able to pay off the authorities. But then here's the thing: IW tried it again. Both the M40 and R700 are in the game's code for Modern Warfare 2. They're not part of the multiplayer arsenal and they're never spawned in campaign or Spec Ops, but they're there all the same. And that was the last straw: Activision, mad at the massive amount of money they already had to pay out once to avoid legal issues with having both guns prominently featured in a game they published, basically told IW "that's it, get the fuck out" and fired them all. The new group was hired and were given explicit instructions: "do whatever you want for this story to wrap it up, I don't care if it doesn't make any goddamn sense, but remember, only magazine reloads for the sniper rifles". And they followed it to the letter.

This is also why the only real high-profile releases Activision has published since then has been one more CoD title a year - they make them a shitton of money, and they need that money to make up for how badly they were screwed by the bribing-the-authorities bit. Guitar Hero? Dropped because it wasn't popular enough to support yearly releases. True Crime: Hong Kong? Cancelled because the first two True Crime games weren't multi-million sellers sequentially released two and then one year before it. James Bond game license? Dropped because 007 Legends bombed and Activision didn't want to go through the trouble of learning from the many reasons why that was the case. It also gives some context as to why they were mad at Rockstar when Grand Theft Auto V broke the sales records for every CoD game that had come before Ghosts - Rockstar's solid where they're at, they don't need to keep releasing high-profile, high-quality games the same time every single year just to continue existing.

  • But, that's correct. All M40 models excluding the A5 and A6 have internal magazines, so the model in the game, the M 40 A 3, is depicted correctly. The games that have the M40's, M 40 A 1's, and M 40 A 3's are incorrect, such as Rainbow Six: Vegas and Vegas 2, Opposing Force, and Soldier of Fortune: Payback.
    • That is what I was saying, yes. Pre-A5 versions of the M40 are reloaded one round at a time, but for some reason, because the M40 was developed after World War II, depicting this correctly in a video game is illegal. IW did it anyway, and Activision is still reeling from the economic repercussions of bribing the authorities to look the other way.