As I've mentioned on the show a couple of times, my relationship with Activision's Call of Duty franchise is very casual. After the release of World at War, I have only picked up used copies of the games, often 2 years after release. I am not even console-loyal -- bouncing around between the various Playstation and Xbox systems.
I was therefore surpised that I've only missed out on five games in the series, the original, Black Ops 2 and 3, Infinite Warfare and 2017's WWII.
The list for the main series so far:
1. Call of Duty (2003)
2. Call of Duty 2 (2005)
3. Call of Duty 3 (2006)
4. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007)
5. Call of Duty: World at War (2008)
6. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009)
7. Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)
8. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (2011)
9. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (2012)
10. Call of Duty: Ghosts (2013)
11. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (2014)
12. Call of Duty: Black Ops III (2015)
13. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (2016)
14. Call of Duty: WWII (2017)
It was leaked this week that the 2018 entry in the series will not feature a campaign mode, which is the only reason I pick up the games, so depending on how that experiment pans out for Activision WWII may well be the last Call of Duty game I buy, which will be a fitting capstone given my introduction to the series was the incredible Call of Duty 2 on the Xbox 360.
Call of Duty's players are mostly derided in gaming culture, with the games seen as being intended solely for the same narrow band of player that buys Madden every year, which is an easy and unfair categorisation. Despite the online braggadocio and bombastic style of the game, they are none-the-less enjoyable shooters with unmatched polish and can be a mindless, though engaging game experience.
I found Ghosts campaign to actually be thoughtful and reflective, and throughly playable and diverse (though not quite up to the standard of Titanfall II, which it was clearly emulating).
If WWII is the end of the road for Call of Duty as we have known it, I am completely at peace with that. It's been a very long and succesful run with relatively original take on the FPS genre.
- Phil Fogg