The Modern Warfare trilogy delighted in destroying monuments, both the literal and figurative kind: The White House, the American suburbs, the New York coastline, the Eiffel Tower, the streets of Paris, and so on. It has been outlandish and bombastic, but in retrospect and after playing Call of Duty: Ghosts, all that iconic destruction feels weirdly restrained. It’s a bunch of bluster being corralled by the invisible walls of “realism,” and it all feels like a desperate attempt by the developer to break out of an old mold that it had set for itself. By that, I don’t meant that Infinity Ward didn’t want to make a shooter—they most certainly did—but they wanted to make a different kind of shooter than what Modern Warfare could allow. I think the “Modern Warfare” moniker limited the kind of action that could be presented because it was a title that came with certain expectations of tone and setting. Expectations that were set before Call of Duty morphed into the spectacle shooter that it is today.