Nostalgia In Media Is An Empty Cash Grab
The newest Call of Duty (CoD), Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) (2023), dropped for PC, Xbox, and Playstation, yesterday.
Note: MW3 (2023) is the third installation in the rebooted series (2019, 2022) that's based on the original trilogy, MW (2007), MW2 (2009), and MW3 (2011). It's confusing, yes, I know! I'm going to do my best to avoid confusing you, the reader, when comparing the old and the new series. If I'm referring to the new series, I will put the word "new" in front of the title to signify that, as well as refer to the video game year.
However, if you pre-ordered the game (which you generally should never do if you're a gamer!), you could get early access to the campaign. Those who did obviously went ahead and played it.
The (early) reviews are in - the new MW3 (2023) is trash. There are countless video reviews up on YouTube and TikTok describing how garbage it is. I could spend hours listing them here in this blog, but I'll share the most important one with you.
This is a 4 (out of 10) negative review from IGN, of all places. Historically, IGN is known to give generally high reviews across the majority of games they review, especially first-person shooters like Call of Duty.
A 4/10 from IGN says something - something bad. It's a reflection of nostalgia taking over first-person shooters (and other forms of media) in general.
We live in an era of reboots and remakes, and I don't see that ending anytime soon, unfortunately.
It's not because we've run out of new ideas, but it's more of the fact that from a risk-reward standpoint, old ideas are likely to be more profitable for a given amount of risk. Old ideas have been tested and found good; why not refashion them for a new era of consumers instead of taking a chance on something new?
The problem I'm consistently finding with these reboots and remakes is that they don't bring anything new to the table on their own. They are heavily reliant on the success and charm of the original material they borrow from, which makes these new iterations stale on arrival rather than a breath of fresh air. The only reason that the current CoD reboot series is even viable is because of the immense financial, cultural, and entertainment success the original trilogy brought over a decade ago.
My going rule of thumb is that if a "new" piece of media is a reboot or remake; it's automatically going to be bad.
This rule applies to all forms of art.
I'm not interested in them any longer. No more nickel and diming me by trying to exploit my feelings of nostalgia for simpler times.
I want art (in this case, FPS games) that speaks to me in the current moment, not to memories I have of when I was a pre-teen and teenager.
I love the original Modern Warfare trilogy because it stands the test of time. I can go back to watching clips of it on YouTube and the campaign, multiplayer, gameplay, and design still hold up incredibly well.
I had hoped that the reboot series would do the same, given the first edition, Modern Warfare (2019), was a solid game in its own right and a strong first step in the new trilogy. However, its successor, the new MW2 (2022), dropped the ball, and the new MW3 (2023) has completely lost it.
All in all, I'm so glad I didn't waste $70 on this overpriced "game" (read: DLC).
If I am to play video games at all, I think I'll turn my attention to single-player/story-driven games instead. Those seem to be worth a try.