“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” makes its mark on entertainment

Activision/Courtesy

Since the big launch, news sites and gamer blogs are buzzing with the record-shattering success of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.” The eighth installment in the “Call of Duty” series continues the mega-franchise’s legacy of bringing gamers an addictive, gripping experience that transports players to war’s frontlines. 

Despite criticism from hardcore fans that the game fails to innovate on earlier editions especially in its Campaign (Single Player) Setting, “CoD” has clearly mastered a tried-and-true formula that continues to hook a loyal and growing audience to their controllers.

Since the first release of “CoD” in 2003, fans have been programmed to expect the unveiling of a new game each November. (This is made possible by a yearly rotation in development duties that alternates between game companies, Tetrarch and Infinity Ward.) This year, Infinity Ward makes the latest installment, which is not only making video game headlines, but is also turning heads in the broader world of entertainment.

The CEO of Activision Blizzard, who co-produces the game, said the game’s release is “the biggest entertainment launch of all time in any medium.” Making $400 million in the first 24 hours and $775 million in five days, “CoD: MW3” runs laps around “Twilight” and leaves “Star Wars” in the dust. The ability of a shoot-em-up video game — commonly condemned as brain-melters and terrorist-creators — to penetrate the market so powerfully is wildly impressive.

In addition to its financial success, the sophistication and artistry of “CoD: MW3” merit the game serious consideration in the entertainment realm. With its intricate and poignant story lines, hyper-realistic images and cinematic sound effects, the game rivals the aesthetic experience of any high-budget action flick. With “CoD,” though, you get to be in on the action.

As entertainment becomes increasingly more interactive — IMAX 3D Movies, personalized ads on Hulu and Pandora — the audience consuming video games is diversifying, expanding beyond veteran gamers. Those seeking engaging, action-packed amusement are clicking on the glowing green button and entering the battlefields of “CoD: MW3.”