The biggest franchise in video games at the moment released another explosive game onto the market this week. The only thing more explosive and out of control than Call of Duty series gameplay nowadays is Call of Duty commercials, which more and more feature big name musicians and celebrity guest stars. The last five titles have all packed an expensive soundtrack into its trailers. Check 'em out:
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (featuring Eminem)
Although this was the first game in the series to invoke superstar music to sell the product, Modern Warfare 2 went right for the jugular, something that newer trailers have lacked. Although newer versions have put more emphasis on the multiplayer aspect of the game—its main selling point—, the pairing of one of Eminem's most intense songs ("Till I Collapse") with a minute-and-a-half of dark gameplay reveals dead serious intentions. You're supposed to feel concern for the soldiers battling across harsh landscapes of Arctic bases and bombed-out neighborhoods. The most brutal scene occurs when a soldier drags himself away from an attack, lacking an arm. The multiplayer modes in this game are as good as any but producers treated the ad as a literal call to duty.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (featuring The Rolling Stones)
The Call of Duty series hadn't quite forgotten that war was more than just a game around the time it rolled out the first Black Ops title during 2010. That was especially relevant considering the Cold War and Vietnam-era conflicts featured on the game, a part of American history a generation still takes very seriously. The solution is to feature The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter"—again one of the band's most intense songs—during the trailer, which also evokes the style of music we now associate with the era thanks to soundtracks such as Apocalypse Now. Players get a more at-ease track from the Stones during the end credits, thanks to "Sympathy For The Devil."
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (featuring AC/DC)
Although the lengthier "reveal" trailer for Black Ops 2 plays off of the game's sci-fi weaponry themes with synthesizers and such, the "launch" trailer decided to go old school, opting for some dirty rock 'n' roll from AC/DC. And although the choice of "Back In Black" is an obvious one based on the sequential nature of the title, it certainly changed the attitude of the trailer from the "war is hell" message from previous clips to a more "war is a blast." The sequences of explosions and intense action shots remain the same but the song does not. At least heavy makes sense.
Call of Duty: Ghosts (featuring Frank Sinatra)
The trailer for the Ghosts chapter of the series began the era of Call of Duty trailers we're in now, on several levels. First of all, it's substituted regular joes like you in place of the actual soldiers...part of the new "There's a soldier in all of us" slogan. That said, it's probably the most fun to watch, as the four dudes and their dog blow the hell out of post-apocalypse Las Vegas Fallout-style, featuring casino gunfights and the Bellagio fountains recreated by machine-gun fire. The theme is completed with a track from Frank Sinatra, the morbidly humorous YOLO ballad "I'm Gonna Live Until I Die." Most guys probably remember the trailer for featuring Megan Fox as the dream girl who enjoys playing the sniper in.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (featuring The Raconteurs)
Many an alternative rock fan was probably confused to hear Jack White singing on a Call of Duty trailer—does he need the money that bad?—but that complaint isn't quite accurate. The song in question is The Raconteurs' "Salute Your Solution," and the other members of White's occasional side project need the pocket royalties more than he does. As you may have guessed based on the personnel, promoters have obviously gone back to the rock-n-roll-party theme for the new trailer, although the song title does give a handy description of what appears to be a super-weaponized glove utilized by the player during the game. You know. If video gamers went as far as to look back at what song was playing during the commercial. Emily Ratajkowski also make an appearance, continuing the babes-in-games theme established above.