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5 things we want to see in Call of Duty 2014

COD-2014 reveal.jpg

As the PR machinery of the video game industry is wont to do, the pre-announcement for the announcement of the next Call of Duty has been announced.(Yes, it is as absurd as that sentence.) Activision upped a teaser that confirms the new Call of Duty, which will be developed by Sledgehammer Games, will be revealed in full to the public on the 4th May. That's this Sunday. For more info on the game, check out our earlier coverage, "Kevin Spacey stars in new Call of Duty - videos, first in-game screenshot and game info revealed."

So now that we have official confirmation that the game is coming, it's time to ruminate a bit on what we hope Call of Duty 2014 will bring to the table.

COD-2014 teaser.jpg

1. Splitscreen co-op in the Campaign

For all the bohaai that gets made over Call of Duty's multiplayer it's easy to forget that these games have had some quality single-player campaigns. Characters like Captain Price, 'Soap' MacTavish and Reznov wouldn't have become iconic without a quality campaign.

So it's a real shame that you never get to enjoy these stories with a friend on the couch. The last Call of Duty to give us that privilege was World at War and getting to finish that with friend at my side remains a personal co-op highlight. With the power of the next-gen consoles, splitscreen co-op should be a cinch and we'd love to see it reintroduced.

2. Return of Special Ops mode

The inclusion of the Zombie modes in Call of Duty: World at War was a very pleasant surprise and the similar Extinction from Ghosts is also a hoot. For a horde style mode, though, I'd prefer the series to retreat back a little into reality.

The Special Ops modes from Modern Warfare 1 & 2 were rocking good fun and kept the overall motif of the game intact. They offered gamers more 'campaign' without the limitations of a campaign and were able to add challenging objectives to a playthrough. These added objectives placed variety in the game that ordinarily wouldn't have been there.

For Call of Duty 2014, we'd like to see this mode make a reappearance, perhaps with four-player co-op as an option. Ideally mission would be designed in such a way that they encourage teamwork and really allow player to develop some camaraderie. 

3. Evolution of the branching storyline

The branching storyline structure introduced in Black Ops II was a breath of fresh air for the Call of Duty franchise. More so than the fact that it was there, was the how it was actually implemented.

It wasn't a simple case of choosing a path and then just going with it. Rather when a divergence point happened it initiated a Strike Force mission. The Strike Force missions had elements of Real Time Strategy in them, allowing the deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles, jet fighters and robots to complete objectives. The end result of the Strike Mission would impact the course of campaign's plot and players only got one shot at them.

As cool as they were, there's room for improvement for this system, both in how they play and the larger impact on the game at large.

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4. Make it Next-Gen Exclusive

That sub-heading says it all. Call of Duty 2014 should not appear on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, but given their combined installed base of 160 million users, I don’t' see that happening.

But locking Call of Duty on to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is good for both the game and those consoles. It means we'll get an uncompromised game that will take full advantage of the power in these machines, without being slave to the limitations of the last-gen.

It will also be a boon for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Unlikely as it may be, if any game can really push players to upgrade to an Xbox One or PlayStation 4, it’s Call of Duty.

5. Full eSports features included at launch

Call of Duty: Black Ops II is considered the gold standard as far as catering to the needs of the competitive player is concerned. The team at Treyarch realised the value of the competitive player and made sure to included streaming and shoutcasting tools to advance that. In contrast, Ghosts was far more limiting as far as the competitive player was concerned, lacking the advancements Black Ops II introduced.

With Call of Duty 2014, Sledgehammer needs to have those features ready at launch. But there's an opportunity here for them to go one better.

How helpful wouldn't it be if tournaments could be organised from within the game itself? Imagine if the game informed you of all the tournaments that were happening and entering was simply a matter of choosing to do so from the option menu. That, and if the game itself could track and seed players for tournament play, would be fantastic.

Inclusion of clan stats and leaderboard standings would be nice too. 

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