After playfully unloading on Halo 3 via the recent trailer for Bulletstorm, the cheeky folk over at People Can Fly and Electronic Arts (EA) have conspired to turn their smoking humour gun on the world’s biggest first-person franchise.
More pointedly, Activision’s Call of Duty series is currently being peppered with parody slugs—or a storm of bullets, if you will—thanks to a new tongue-in-cheek trailer advertising, not Bulletstorm directly, but a free downloadable game called Duty Calls: The Calm Before the Storm.
“Here’s your objective!” intones a generic-sounding military commander as the trailer begins. “Blah, blah, blah, blah… secret base. Blah, blah, blah, blah… nuclear missile bomb… blah, blah, blah, blah… counting on you, utmost importance, good luck.”
While offering up an amusing swipe at all militaristic shooters, both trailer and game make a mockery of the self-serving seriousness peddled by the likes of EA’s own Medal of Honor and particularly the dour tone running through Call of Duty.
For example, when squeezing the trigger in Duty Calls, players can look forward to hearing ‘boring, boring, boring’ over the usual ear-shattering resonance of hot lead spewing from an assault rifle.
Also, almost every kill in the game results in the player being given an instant Rank-Up promotion, ranging from ‘Master Sergeant Shooter Person’, through to ‘Sergeant Sergeant Master Sergeant Shooter Person’ and ‘Sergeant Of The Master Sergeants Most Important Person Of Extreme Sergeants To The Max!’
The brief game level ends with a new trailer for Bulletstorm, which is built around a dynamic “Kill With Skill” gameplay scoring system that will, according to developer People Can Fly, “put the fun back in the gun”.
While it remains to be seen just how deep Activision’s sense of humour runs (if at all), the Duty Calls website does its best to dodge any potential backlash with an apologetic disclaimer that notes:
“Duty Calls is a parody. It is not associated with Activision or the Call of Duty games.”
Bulletstorm will be released on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC on February 22… at which point we’ll see if the action justifies the smack-talk or it’s all mouth and no trousers.