Coming up with fun trophies and achievements for a game is not an easy matter. Certainly, there are the most obvious ones: For example, meeting someone for the first time in a game – or being hit by the opposing side yourself. Then there is a beep and an icon appears on the Playstation, Xbox or PC: Trophy or achievement won.
“Call of Duty: Vanguard”, the newest part of the shooter series, gives you a very special award . If you manage to kill yourself with a grenade, you will get quite extraordinary news. It simply says “F” – and you got a silver trophy, as the Twitter user MissMolle experienced for himself. This F points back to an older part of the series.
Now press “F”
In 2014 the part of the series “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare”, which was rather unpopular with many gamers, was released. The game is set in the near future and lets you take part in a global war – so it’s a “Call of Duty”. But most of them don’t remember the game as such, but a special moment in it. Standing by a grave, it wants you to show respect – say goodbye to a friend who died in the war.
In memory This scene has remained because it is one of the grossest kind of attempted interactivity in a video game. To pay their respects, the players should: press “F” inside, above, depending on the controller, “X”. At the push of a button, people could take part. This cut scene soon became a meme. In chats there are still users today who simply write “F” when something tragic happens. The thickly applied sentimentality also seems to have stuck in the memory of the developer of the Sledgehammer Games studio himself. Because that’s exactly what the trophy in “Call of Duty: Vanguard” brings out again – and makes fun of them.
“Call of Duty”, like “Battlefield”, tries again and again to perform a certain seriousness in the games. Especially when it comes to historical settings such as the current World War II, the developers try: at least in the story missions to find a respectful use of the material. Of course, that doesn’t always work. In the end, any complexity of topics such as war, death, fame or even farewell is usually broken down into an interaction: Press a button.
Not only these ranks have to struggle with this problem. In many video games, self-reflection is seldom enough or given space at all. Rather, it is about heroism and fame, which, as in the example of “Advanced Warfare”, often turns into kitsch and pathetic. At least the developers show with this trophy that they have a sense of humor and that they may not always take their own games very seriously. And that’s usually the best way to deal with a first person shooter anyway.