Electronic Arts has launched a surprise attack on Activision and TBWA in The War of the First-Person Shooters. Its weapon? Dripping sarcasm.
In EA's newest downloadable "title," "Duty Calls: The Calm Before the Storm," players are tasked with finding "blah blah blah secret base, blah blah blah nuclear missile bomb" (referring to near-interchangeable plot points). From there, it's a four-minute gut-wrenching stroll through the park, full of shooting your rifle (whose gunshots sound suspiciously like someone saying "boring") at generic enemies while leveling-up to fictional (but "X-treme sounding") ranks. The game ends in a glorious American victory, complete with fireworks and Old Glory being launched from your upturned thumbs as the Russian villain cries in shame.
But there is a lapse in your moment of glory. The game then erupts into an action-packed trailer for EA and Epic Games' "Bulletstorm," with the slogan "Kill with Skill."
The game was just an ad in disguise.
EA's "Duty Calls" suggests that gamers take a break from the monotony of "kill 30 people, cliché plot point, rinse and repeat" that is oh-so prevalent in the one-year-cycle first-person shooters of today. Them's fightin' words, as the "Call of Duty" series has reigned supreme over EA's "Battlefield" and "Medal of Honor" series since 2007.
"Bulletstorm" departs from the norm by promoting kill combos and gruesome stunts. So are bite-sized games the future of advertising? Try it out at thedutycalls.com.