More Reviews
REVIEWS Wayward Manor Review
Not even the power of Neil Gaiman and The Odd Gentlemen could save this game from a fate worse than death: a terrible score.

ONE PIECE Unlimited World Red Review
"Unlimited World Red"? More like "Sorta Limited Town and Extended Areas... Red. And Blue. And Some Yellow."
More Previews
PREVIEWS Pillars of Eternity Preview
For Obsidian's crowdfunded love letter to Infinity Engine games like Icewind Dale and Baldur's Gate, I was impressed by its willingness to pull back the curtain and let me see the machinery behind it.
Release Dates
NEW RELEASES Sacred 3
Release date: 08/05/14

CounterSpy
Release date: 08/19/14

Tales of Xillia 2
Release date: 08/19/14

Plants Vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Release date: 08/19/14


LATEST FEATURES How Bioware Creates Romances
Bioware's games have romances where you might save the world, on the side of course.

We Absolutely Should Be Upset With Club Nintendo's Latest Elite Rewards
Surveys out the wazoo and I get a code for Dr. Luigi?
MOST POPULAR FEATURES Picking Your Gender: 5 Industry Professionals Discuss Queer Identity in Gaming
Women from Naughty Dog, ArenaNet, Harmonix, and Gamespot unite to talk about what they want from games in terms of diversity.
 
Coming Soon

LEADERBOARD
Read More Member Blogs
FEATURED VOXPOP Kakulukia
Why Sunset Overdrive Can Go Suck A Lemon
By Kakulukia
Posted on 07/14/14
Yesterday, while cleaning up my media center, I found my copy of Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus, which I bought sometime before Christmas last year. I had been pretty excited about this game pre-release, what with it being the first "traditional", albeit shorter than usual,...

DAILY MANIFESTO

Inclusive Or Not, Playable Women In Call Of Duty: Ghosts Doesn't Change The Brand

Posted on Thursday, August 15 @ 00:44:16 Eastern by


In video game trailers, the most important information comes at the end. The game's release date, supported platforms, and the ever present push to preorder typically wind down whatever highly choreographed song and dance the publisher has composed, and today's new Call of Duty: Ghosts Multiplayer Reveal trailer (above) is no different. Regardless, I was most impressed with what came just before the title card.

Ghosts is the first entry in the series to allow players to completely customize their character, all the way down to their combatant's gender. You can give your female or male soldier face paint, armor, head gear, and choose from dozens of patches. This compliments the kind of customization players are probably used to: assault rifles, hand guns, perks, attachments, killstreak rewards.... It's all there... but now you can play as a woman.

Out of Infinity Ward's new modes, weapons, maps and more, female avatars felt unexpected, important, like a significant step forward for the industry, what with Call of Duty representing gamers as the medium's biggest property, played by tens of millions of people every day, of every week, of every month, of every year. Before the show started, a slide on Activision's big screen informed us that not millions, but billions of care packages, the boxes players can call in for a random killstreak (from a stash of ammo to a massive, kill-the-entire-team missile strike), have been delivered in-game.

Those care packages could be used to construct 10 separate Great Walls of China. 10. You can spot the Great Wall of China from space The Great Wall of China is really fucking big. Call of Duty's reach is nothing to shake a stick at, which set me up for disappointment in regards to these new female soldiers. Despite how fresh and significant the announcement felt, it doesn't push the franchise forward in any meaningful way.


Why would anyone want to play as a female soldier? Activision says that techincal limitations kept them from making this addition sooner and that gear has been altered to ensure female avatars don't have an advantage over their male counterparts (as say Master Chief may have had over Halo 2's optional Elite avatar in multiplayer). In the end, Infinity Ward's desire to allow as much character cutomization as possible drove the decision to include a female soldier, but I still can't shake the feeling that these are excuses and little else.

With record-breaking sales figures year after year, why couldn't Activision have invested in female avatar support on the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation of consoles? With all the fancy graphics tech going into Call of Duty: Ghosts, player-specific decorations seem peculiar and decidely last-gen. I'll have more on what makes Ghosts a next-generation Call of Duty game tomorrow, but changing what my soldier was wearing does not make that list.


In the end, this image largely exemplifies how little female soliders change Call of Duty as a brand, as a franchise, as a multiplayer-focused first-person shooter. In one of the game's maps, a strip joint advertises live nudes, while an interior display promises special events for anyone willing to show up in the middle of a massive multiplayer war. This image proves that the significant addition of female avatars for Activision's blockbuster franchise is an exception, and not a rule.

Based on my hands-on time, I'm very excited for Call of Duty: Ghosts. It feels like a return to Modern Warfare 2 (which I loved and spent countless hours playing) and I'll write more about why that's a great thing for long-time fans later as well. Every single match I played in almost three hours of hands-on time was with a female avatar. I helped lead my team to several victories as a woman soldier, but I couldn't shake the feeling that Call of Duty remains juvenile despite the newfound inclusivity.
Related Games:   Call of Duty: Ghosts


comments powered by Disqus

More On GameRevolution