Follow TV Tropes


YMMV / Call of Duty

Go To

  • Acceptable Targets:
    • The Call of Duty franchise as a whole has become this for the entire Internet, now that the developers of that other franchise which everyone claimed was the cancer killing first person shooters have moved on (and come back into public view, but the Halo hype seems to have started again). This reached the point that footage from Infinite Warfare wowed audiences at E3 2016... until the Call of Duty title came up on screen, silencing the cheers. The sheer bile has begun to die down now that Fortnite has become the new fashionable thing for the entire internet to hate.
    • Advertisement:
    • Private Military Contractors seem to be recurrent villains in the franchise, counting on the Shadow Company from Modern Warfare II, Cordis Die's mercs from Black Ops II, and Atlas Corporation from Advanced Warfare.
  • Broken Base:
    • The guys who hate World at War, Big Red One, 3, Black Ops and its sequel because they weren't done by Infinity Ward. Many fans also hate the Juggernaut perk and/or rifle grenades, and the MP-40 in World at War is given similar views.
    • Modern Warfare has its own set of this - see its page.
  • Contested Sequel:
    • World at War attracts a lot of flak for various reasons (unfair respawns in single, Darker and Edgier, going back to World War II, being by Treyarch, etc).
    • 3 does likewise, largely for pointless motion sensor gimmicks, rather dull graphics, no PC port, and abandoning the "major historic battles" motif in favour of being set in a series of seemingly random towns that even the French have probably never heard of.
    • Advertisement:
    • Ghosts is generally considered to be a sub-par Call of Duty sequel due to its weak gameplay.
  • Complete Monster : Has its own page which contains the most despicable villains this franchise has to offer.
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: The people who say the Modern Warfare series glorifies war and xenophobia. It's kind of hard to state that when the first game alone shows the horrible consequences of gung-ho military adventurism while having you teamed up with Russian Loyalists the entire time. It also seems to have even skipped a lot of player's attention that the American forces are coming to "liberate" the unnamed Middle Eastern country, with ambiguous and contradictory evidence about whether it's a genuine sentiment or a transparent power play for control of the "oil rich" Arab nation. Y'know, just like real life.
    • Can apply to the whole series since every and each installment has at least one level that shows that War Is Hell. However, it's still thought of as "the FPS series that glorifies war" by people who, if they played it at all, paid zero attention to anything but the shooting.
  • Critic-Proof: Boy is it ever. The games sell very well on the market. However, given the way most people treat the games, you'd wonder where on earth these millions of Call of Duty players are coming from. Hell, even the actual playerbase spends a good quarter of their online playtime claiming either the game they're currently playing or every one that's since come after it are terrible.
  • Advertisement:
  • Critical Dissonance: The franchise is a serial victim of this. Due to being the second biggest franchise in video game history, and by far the biggest first-person shooter franchise, it is often bashed by reviewers or random internet goers who simply did not like the first person shooter genre. Complaining about something inherent in the genre, like "All you do is shoot at things" is a very common criticism.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Quite a few:
    • Sgt Reznov from World at War. It helps that he's Crazy Awesome.
    • From the Modern Warfare series: Gaz, Cpt. Macmillian, Sgt.Foley, Yuri, and Ghost (to the point he got his own comic)
    • Even though he's a Dog, Riley from Ghosts seems to be the only character people seem to like from that campaign.
  • Even Better Sequel:
    • Call of Duty: United Offensive. While Call of Duty 2 is an excellent game, aside from the new gameplay elements and updated graphics, it's a step back from United Offensive.
    • And eventually, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare to Call of Duty 2.
    • Black Ops to World at War.
    • And Black Ops 2 to Black Ops 1.
  • Fandom Rivalry: The Call of Duty fanbase has a historical rivalry with Electronic Arts titles Medal of Honor and later Battlefield in the department of military first-person shooters.
  • Game-Breaker: Enough of them that it gets its own separate Game Breaker page.
    • The classic CoD gamebreaker is the PPSh-41; in the original, it had a huge 71-round magazine along with very friendly and predictable recoil and an excellent iron sight. Almost every later game tried to Nerf it somehow. Submachine guns in general have always been overpowered in the WWII games, although to an extent that's actually historically accurate, as most Call of Duty multiplayer maps are designed in such a way that most encounters are at smg range, where a bolt-action rifle (designed to engage at distances upwards of 100 meters) will usually be outclassed.
    • CoD 1 also had the scoped Mosin-Nagant; while every other scoped rifle had to reload one round at a time, the Mosin-Nagant used a stripper clip even when scoped, giving Soviet snipers a huge advantage in multiplayer.
    • Apart from the other broken scoped rifle, of course. The FG42 in the original game was ridiculous; a selectable semi/full-auto high-damage weapon with an extremely accurate scope, it was a true do-everything gun with no meaningful weaknesses whatsoever.
    • The rifle grenades in World at War. They're pretty much accurate rocket launchers. If one uses them, they will be hated.
    • Any form of grenade or rocket launcher is usually decried as a "noob tube". It didn't help that one of the default classes in every Modern Warfare game before the player unlocks Create-A-Class has an assault rifle with a grenade launcher, meaning you don't even have to work to unlock it if you like the weapon the default class puts it on.
  • Growing the Beard: Combined with the whole Infinity Ward versus Activision stuff after Modern Warfare 2, general sentiment following the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops II is that Treyarch has gone from the makers of "off" Call of Duty games to the new makers of "on" Call of Duty games. After Ghosts released the year after and was judged to be So OK, It's Average, most of the remaining IW fans jumped ship as well.
  • He Panned It, Now He Sucks!: Inverted with Josh Scorcher, who had the audacity to put the whole series at #1 on his Overhated Video Games list.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: This video by Corridor Digital. Eight months later...
  • "Holy Shit!" Quotient: The Zombies mode in Black Ops. It begins with Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, and Richard Nixon having a conference after the Cuban Missile Crisis. Then, zombies break into the Pentagon.
    Kennedy: Zombies. Gentlemen, in times like these, our capacity to retaliate must be, and has to be, massive to deter all forms of aggression.
    (Kennedy opens a secret panel of the conference wall, revealing a stockade of weapons)
    Kennedy: Gentlemen, lock and load.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!:
    • Some Call of Duty fans were not too pleased when the Modern Warfare franchise was introduced and turned out to be a hit.
    • Gamers themselves aren't too pleased that the franchise itself is popular. The franchise itself is a best-seller. You wouldn't know this by looking at most gaming boards, though.
    • Call of Duty is so infamous for evoking this trope that any franchise with massive mainstream success that ends up being disliked by hardcore fans of the medium is compared to it, such as Naruto for anime and Family Guy for Western animation.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Another criticism, due to a general lack of change until Black Ops II, and even then there are quite a few aspects that people are still complaining about.
  • Just Here for Godzilla: Many people largely ignore the campaign modes and buy the games strictly for the multiplayer. Or the zombies.
  • Magnificent Bastard: Raul Menendez, Dolos, and General Shepherd, see their pages for details.
  • Memetic Badass: James Doyle of United Offensive and 3 was an early example.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • "TELEFONMAST!" from 2, crossing over with models from Day of Defeat and used in some Garry's Mod videos.
    • Press F To Pay Respects: An action prompt from a quick time event in Advanced Warfare which involves pressing the F key (which is the game's interact button) to pay respects to a dead person. The letter was also commonly (and (un)ironically) used by both gamers & non-gamers for commenting the series of real-life or fictional miseries. The PS4 uses the X button, but the "Press X to pay respects" meme is not popular enough.)
    • Children's Online Daycare explaination 
    • Dogs explaination 
    • "I do ur mum harder than you suck at this gaem" explaination 
    • The logo for Black Ops 4 features four vertical lines under the "Black Ops" part, implying that the title is alternatively written as Black Ops IIII. Not "IV", "IIII". While that was once correct for writing the number 4 in Roman numerals, it's still a source of mockery and memes for many fans.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • In Modern Warfare 2, many. Makarov for mowing down an airport full of innocent civilians and blaming pinning it on the U.S.; the "good" Russian army vowing to kill 1,000 Americans for every dead Russian civilian in the airport (and they go about this gleefully by shooting down civilian evac choppers); and Shepherd for orchestrating it all because, he claimed, there weren't enough patriots in America.
    • Black Ops: In case you didn't catch on that Dragovich was a bad guy, the part when he locks up some of his own troops, including Dimitri Petrenko, the hero from World at War, and exposes them to a horrific flesh-melting chemical weapon just as a test should leave no doubt at all.
  • Never Live It Down: The funeral scene, which ultimately popularizes the PC version's interact key as the respect-paying button.
  • Nintendo Hard: The single player campaign for Finest Hour can be quite difficult. As the series had not yet switched to regenerating health, players had to find health kits and use them wisely. Also, your health bar itself was very small, meaning a few bursts of machine gun fire could take you out. Not to mention that now there was no Gameplay Ally Immortality at any point - you had to conserve your health kits to give to your named allies if they needed them more than you did. Checkpoints were few and far between, as well as many opportunities to get yourself killed between those sparse checkpoints. All this comes together to form a very challenging experience.
  • No Such Thing as Bad Publicity: No matter how many people hate the game series, it sill manages to sell millions of copies. Whatever the developers are doing, seems they're doing something right...
  • Older Than They Think:
    • Treyarch's developing games (they made 3, and absorbed the team that created United Offensive after co-developing Big Red One with them) and the yearly release cycle (UO came in 2004, a year between the first two games) has been around from the very beginning.
    • Not to mention the heavy use of Simultaneous Arcs, although no playable characters actually die until Modern Warfare.
    • United Offensive was the first game in the series with a Sprint Meter, though it was bound to a different key (Alt by default) and covered a much shorter distance before running out; it was not until Call of Duty 4 that it became ubiquitous in the series.
  • Sacred Cow: The original Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It was commercially and critically successful, and left a massive impact on the franchise, if not on shooters genre as a whole, to the point where some consider it to be one of the best games ever made.
  • The Scrappy: Dogs. More specifically, attack dogs whenever they're used by enemy factions against the player. They were infamous for their extremely difficult Press X to Not Die moments starting with Modern Warfare. They were toned down in Call of Duty: WWII, where escaping their attack was instead replaced with Smashing Survival, but it wasn't much better. This is even Harsher in Hindsight in WWII where a dog ends up killing the Player Character's older brother.
    • Woods in BO 4 has become quite possibly the single most hated character in the entire franchise. Yes, the same Woods who was the fan favorite of the first two Black Ops. He is relegated to the role of the announcer for tutorial modes, which would be fine if he acted like he did in the previous games at all. Instead, he's reduced to an absurdly obnoxious Totally Radical caricature ("That bounce was lit AF!") that everyone wishes they could mute.
  • Seasonal Rot: Most long-time fans of the franchise agree that Modern Warfare 2 is when the franchise started to become increasingly glamorous and distanced from the previous entries' brutal depiction of warfare.
  • Sequel Displacement: A vast majority of the fanbase have never played the original game, United Offensive or even Call of Duty 2, largely because the current Call of Duty fanbase consists of Xbox 360/One and PS3 and PS4 gamers, and the early games were PC exclusives before being ported to consoles (with the exception of United Offensive, which still has not seen a console release).
  • Sequelitis: The series generally fell into this starting from GHOSTS due to being Strictly Formula in multiplayer, and the singleplayers features increasingly implausible scenarios and increasing number of fictional firearms.
  • Sidetracked by the Gold Saucer: A lot of people play World at War JUST for Nazi Zombies.
  • Silent Majority: Judging by the sales figures and how most people react about Call of Duty, this is a very good example of this trope. There are obviously thousands of people who think these games are very good, yet feel no need to scream about it on the internet (or maybe they're too busy playing the game to scream about it).
  • Snark Bait: Due to its popularity, lots of people mock the Call of Duty franchise, particularly its cinematic hyperrealism and how it appeals to the rowdy "dudebro" demographic as well as pottymouthed kids and teens attracted by the violence. Related memes, such as Major League Gaming along with Product Placement for Doritos and Mountain Dew, are frequently mentioned and used when making fun of the series. An example.
    • It's also partly a side effect of the early 2010s, when people were transitioning from the 90's and 00's. The amount of bullying kids faced in middle and high school from people who played the "Darker and Edgier" games that saturated the market left a bad impression in many kids.
  • Tear Jerker:
    • The ending of the American Campaign in World At War. Even more so if Roebuck is killed, since he does the final narration.
    • If you played World at War, Dimitri's death in Black Ops can hit hard.
    • Isabelle's death in Call of Duty 3, which causes the normally stoic Marcel to break up. Sgt. Keith, who usually has less than flattering views on Frenchmen, comforts him.
    • Jackson's death in the first Modern Warfare.
  • That One Level:
    • Milk Run in World At War DS. A very long level with several Unexpected Gameplay Change moments.
    • Also from the same game, the first Russian mission. What seems to be infinite respawning enemies in one section makes it extremely hated.
    • Blowtorch & Corkscrew in World at War. 75% of the enemies have Type 99 LMGs and they're all pointed at you. Heart of the Reich too. The grenades, the grenades!
    • "Comrade Sniper", the desert tank missions, and "The Silo" in the second game, especially on Veteran difficulty.
    • The second half of the Foy mission in United Offensive comes to mind. As if sniping tankbusters while EVERYONE IS SHOOTING AT YOU isn't enough, the final part of the mission is just as brutal.
    • The very last sections of both the American and Russian campaigns of United Offensive force you to wait for German tanks to show up and be destroyed, while soldiers respawn infinitely. In the American mission, they are so frequent you may not even get enough time to reload your Panzerschreck; in the Russian one there are also soldiers firing at you from afar, and a Stuka doing frequent bomb runs - it may even destroy the artillery piece you can use and force further exposition to scrounge for Panzerfausts around.
    • Finest Hour has the first mission in the American Campaign, "First City to Fall". You had to escort an M12 self-propelled gun through the streets while fending off Germans with Panzerschrecks. It seems that the Germans have pinpoint accuracy while your armour support (two Sherman tanks) are almost useless to deal with them.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Once, the mere mentioning of Modern Warfare 2 on any gaming forum will bring the wrath of untold PC fanboys, as it lacks server browser and dedicated servers.
    • Since 2013 to this day, it was the time when the developers experiment with all new characters and (usually futuristic hypothetical) settings. Even its return to WWII doesn't feature the return of iconic characters due to the relatively new Sledgehammer games in charge instead of Infinity Ward. The return of the Modern Warfare in 2019, along with COD Mobile bringing the best of Modern Warfare and Black Ops in one mobile package, has managed to Win Back the Crowd.
  • We're Still Relevant, Dammit!: Many people accused Activision of this after the announcement that Black Ops 4 would not feature a single-player campaign while also introducing a Battle Royale mode, decisions that respectively jumped on the AAA game industry's questionable party line that gamers no longer wanted single-player games, but "Live Services" instead and clearly chased the tails of popular games of the time like Fortnite and Player Unknowns Battlegrounds.
  • What an Idiot!: In Call of Duty 2, quite a few Germans take cover behind sandbags and walls and the like. But for some reason, right behind them they have bright red barrels Made of Explodium. This makes it very easy to off said soldiers simply by shooting the barrels to make them explode.
  • Video-Game Movies Suck: An interesting example considering there isn't a movie based on the series. It's not that nobody is willing to have a go - plenty of studios have offered, and in fact the games themselves seem like movies due to the talent they bring in for the plots and voice work - it's that Activision, fully aware of this trope and its implications, are worried about the negative effects a bad CoD-based movie would have on the games.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: