It’s impossible to discuss the new Call of Duty game without mentioning its size. The sheer magnitude of the software, in total gigabytes, has become perhaps the most defining and talked-about aspect of the long-running shooter series since the reboot of Modern Warfare last fall and the launch of Activision’s Warzone battle royale a few months later.
The overall bloat of the experience has become both the franchise’s central selling point and its biggest flaw. In a bid to create the do-everything shooter that can compete with Fortnite and other live service games, Activision and the many studios it tasks with making a new Call of Duty every year have created something so monstrously all-encompassing that it is difficult to both literally and figuratively fit other games into your rotation.
But last year, Call of Duty became something altogether different. Activision yanked its most successful, formulaic moneymaker into the future by tying it together with a fully baked battle royale mode, Warzone, now one of the most popular on the market. The company promised an ever-evolving Call of Duty that could remain a stable fixture by adding what it needed and subtracting what it didn’t as the annual cycle progresses.