In the same way that YouTube and Instagram are pushing vertical short-form video to try and keep up with Tiktok, it seems Call of Duty wants to emulate Fortnite as a game where you can be Goku doing the Griddy. CoD will be introducing skins straight out of Diablo 4 and other out-there fictional universes in its upcoming Halloween-themed season.
At least they kinda fit that vibe. Highlights of the wacky wave include Lady Diablo Lilith, a faceless angel guy named Inarius (not to be confused with the faceless angel guy named Tyrael I guess), Ash Williams from the Evil Dead, Skeletor (?), and Todd McFarlane's Spawn, once again voiced by the inimitable Keith David.
I feel like I can't get too mad at this goofy stuff, nobody's forcing anybody to pay for it, and these skins will carry over into the coming Modern Warfare 3, for a change. The not-Tyrael premium CoD skin isn't real, he can't hurt me. He can only hurt premium special operators Nicki Minaj and Homelander.
The collaboration is also in line with Activision's cosmetic strategy around recently-shut-down Warzone 1, which included bundles for John McClane, Leatherface, Ghost Face, and the titan from Attack on Titan. I can't help but chuckle, though, thinking back to PCG contributor Noah Smith's "6 mistakes that Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 better not repeat," namely the one about cosmetics getting out of hand:
"Warzone 2.0 already looks like it'll be refreshing," Noah wrote, "briefly free of the baggage of two and a half years of a monetization model run amok." Emphasis on the "briefly" there, I guess.
Sorry, sorry, I'll stop getting worked up about it. The skins look really high quality at least, to be expected from the CoD-Industrial Complex at this point, and not at all like those gaudy, proto-NFT, graffiti-tagged Counter-Strike guns teenagers like to gamble on. I'm happy Keith David is getting a little bit of that Activision Blizzard money too—thank you for your performances in The Thing, They Live, and Pitch Black, sir!
Now that Doom shotgun skin with the low-fps reload, on the other hand, is just unambiguously good and cool. No notes.