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CODumentary Review

 

Call of Duty, a series that everyone loves to hate. Other players find it to be the best first-person shooter series on the market. Call of Duty has been around for 14 years, and has been the gateway to the industry for many gamers. The Call of Duty documentary titled CODumentary, made by Devolver Digital Productions, showcases how the mega-franchise became what it is today. The documentary begins with the inspiration of the first game that released in 2003 and how the team developed what would become Call of Duty. Half of this film focuses on the development of the series, with the other half focusing on multiplayer and eSports aspects.

Codumentary

 

 

The movie goes through the years as it interviews some of the heads of the companies who made Call of Duty the successful franchise it is. You can tell how much love each of them has towards the series and towards the work, they all have put into the game. They show you some of what goes into the multiplayer map development and why they made the decisions they did. They even explained what they showed Activision to get the go-ahead for Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.  The experience progression and level cap came from influences provided by World of Warcraft.

 

Another thing that affected the game was the ESRB and parliament complaints. Parliament first was aware of the game due to the “No Russian” mission in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. The mission shows a group of terrorist killing everyone in an airport. The developers wanted to portray an aspect of war that made you truly feel how evil people were. Parliament wanted stricter regulations on the video game industry so children could not get to the violence as easily in games. Some members despised it so that they wanted the game banned completely. They again brought this issue up a couple years later due to the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Ultimately, the ESRB stated that these games did not require further regulation other than the rated M rating it has already received.

 

In the film, multiple fans are interviewed asking about the history of CoD, and their experiences while playing. One such fan is a disabled video gamer, who explains his love of the series and how he is able to play. The fan wished for more games like CoD and wants more developers to be more attuned to disabled players. They even interview the famous Call of Duty player NadeShot. Nadeshot talks about what game got him into the eSports scene and which games mean the most to him.

Call of Duty has directly affected the popularity of Esports. So much so that Call of Duty made their own league called Call of Duty World Championship. Call of Duty has even made an organization that gives back to the veterans titled Call of Duty Endowment. In this organization, they help veterans by raising funds and helping find jobs for them.

The film shows what the developers do during launch weeks of their titles. Several developers go all over the world to help market their games. They also want to see fan reactions on what they have made. The Documentary even shows a fan who waited outside of his local store to be the first person ever to own the game. The developers stationed there gave him signed items to show their thanks for his commitment.

After watching this film, I got a deeper appreciation for the developers and the journey they have all been through. The only downside about the movie was that they didn’t interview Sledgehammer Games or Respawn Entertainment. It would be nice to get their sides of  some aspects of the story. What they did well was showing how Call of Duty became the powerhouse that it is now, and what they used to be before the game.

THE GOOD
Researched history
Fan interviews
Original footage from the developers
THE BAD
Not all parties were interviewed
Focuses heavily on multiplayer talk
7
Good

Review Summary

Codumentary is a film made for fans of Call of Duty who want to know the history of the franchise. It was well put together but had flaws due to all parties not being interviewed. If you were ever curious on how Call of Duty became what it is today then this movie is for you.

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