This Week @ Shack: 'Call of Duty: Setting Placeholder' Edition

In which Call of Duty gets a Medal of Honor for its bravery and valor on the Battlefield. Bulletstorm.

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Welcome back to This Week @ Shack, our regular roundup of news, commentary, video, guides, and any other notables.

The Call of Duty series has been on quite a ride. Since the massive success of Modern Warfare, Activision and its various development houses have taken it in a few different directions. It started out as modern, or at least conspiratorial near-future complete with input from real futurists. More recently it veered hard into sci-fi, most recently resulting in Saving Space-Private Ryan, also known as Infinite Warfare. Whether this move was good or bad depended on your perspective and interest in sci-fi, but it was clear that Call of Duty had drifted far afield from its origins.

Remember, the series was named for a part of the phrase in the official description for Medal of Honor recipients. It was very consciously responding to another shooter set in World War 2, with the kind of hero-worship reserved for The Greatest Generation. On that note, let's take a moment to reflect that this is a group that we nicknamed "The Greatest Generation." It was a simpler formula, giving players a virtual look at the war that we all agree was justified and righteous. 

So when Activision announced Call of Duty was going back to its roots, we kind of all knew what was coming. What was slightly more surprising was how straight they're playing it. No lofty title or pandering to our sense of the noble war. It's just "WWII." You could practically have named it after the setting, or just said, "Call of Duty: Yeah We Know." 

I'll reserve some judgment about the game itself until I see it. The near- and far-future settings afforded Activision's studios a lot of creative freedom to reach outside the confines of actual military hardware, but video game engines and tech have come a long way since the series has featured Nazis. We may find that having a standard set of tools to replicate forces them to innovate in other ways. 

Either way, we're relatively sure we'll be shooting Nazis, and that doesn't really get old.

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