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The manufacturers of Humvees are suing Activision over Call of Duty games featuring vehicles which, they say, look an awful lot like their own warcars. AM General claim that these Humvee-lookin’ vehicles violate their trademark and Activision don’t have permission, so they want CoD to knock it off and pay them damages. Their case pivots on several Call of Duty games, including Modern Warfare and Ghosts, featuring warcars which allegedly look close enough to Humvees to fall under their ‘trade dress’ — a type of intellectual property covering what a product looks like — and are sometimes called Humvees by name.
What do Hitler, Snoop Dogg, George Washington, and Shakespeare have in common? If you said they all appear in Rik Mayall’s autobiography Bigger Than Hitler, Better Than Christ*, you’re wrong. Washington and Snoop aren’t mentioned in that. The correct answer is that each has been digitised and reformed–Weird Science style–into your games as DLC.
There’s a lot of DLC out there, ranging from the mundane to the insane, and I think I know why. Games are increasingly serious business, with huge budgets and a cast amount of public scrutiny. DLC–well some of it–feels like the passion projects that don’t fit into the canon. An outlet for the stuff that gets cleared from the whiteboard for being too off message, or too niche. DLC is cathartic. I’ve been on a strange journey, readers. I’ve been looking through games catalogues and hunting down the sort of DLC that could be described as ’boutique’. I’ve been on a boutique call, ahahahahahahaha!
Call of Duty: Ghosts seems to have rediscovered a bit of the Quake and Half-Life mod scene spirit. Hear me out, right. I know it’s all usually very po-faced and dull, but the next DLC map pack seems to throw together whatever weirdness its creators found kooky or funny or cool–as so many mods did. See, ‘Invasion’ will bring ghost pirates and mariachi revenants and I’m surprised to find CoD DLC making me nostalgic. It’s just a shame this attitude is confined to paid DLC.
This is not a joke. This is real.
But maybe it is also still a joke.
Call Of Duty’s online world has something of a reputation. A reputation for being a cesspit of revolting idiocy, bile and cruelty, rather spoiling it for those who just want some multiplayer shootyfun. So it is to this that Activision have targeted their latest trailer for Ghosts Onslaught. To the idiots, I mean.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is a lot of things (a game, a shooter, a faithful recreation of Michael Bay’s entire filmography), but a graphical powerhouse isn’t one of them. Visuals aside, it doesn’t seem> particularly demanding in other fields of warring and faceness either. Relatively small enemy counts, linear levels, simple AI, etc. So when a 6GB RAM requirement sneaked up and shouted, “BOO,” most players were more confused than frightened. Also, angry. But now, much like a ghost or an entirely unnecessary wall put in place to boost trumpetings of “next-gen”-ness, that barrier has disappeared.
Here’s the thing. The Call Of Duty modern campaigns really don’t need to be dreadful. I think, after so many ugly, stupid attempts, there’s a perception that it’s just the way it is, the limits of the genre, the best you can hope for. And this simply isn’t true. Sadly it isn’t the case for the latest release, and I think I know why. There’s a conflict that’s gone missing, and they need to get it back.>
Call Of Duty: Ghosts is available now. We weren’t given any review code before release, so I’ve just started playing its single-player campaign this afternoon. About two to three hours in, I’m ready to provide you with some impressions. Will this be the CoD to win us back over? To realise the potential of such a massive budget, and remember what made the original Call Of Duty 1 and 2 such incredibly special games? Will I grow a rollercoaster out of my face and gargle fireplaces? Find out below.>