The Call of Duty franchise is facing choppy seas as another seasonal update fails to impress, and a new contender enters the first-person shooter (FPS) arena. With numerous titles circling like hungry sharks, the first game to strike appears to have already sunk its teeth into Call of Duty's weakening grip.
Ubisoft's XDefiant, supported by former Call of Duty designers, has quickly earned the nickname "CoD killer" as its Closed Beta test wows FPS veterans. Led by ex-Treyarch luminary Mark Rubin and eight Call of Duty esports stars, XDefiant brings back fan-favorite features that have been sorely missed in recent iterations. Boasting vibrant visuals, red dots on mini-maps, 14 mode-specific maps with a voting system, and a classic weapon lineup featuring fan-favorite guns, XDefiant has swiftly captured the hearts of CoD enthusiasts.
Remarkably, the beta version of XDefiant offers more maps than Modern Warfare 2, despite being three seasons into its lifecycle. Gamers are already hailing XDefiant as a superior alternative to the current Call of Duty model. This free-to-play title further outshines its rival by excluding skill-based matchmaking and promising a Ranked mode in Season 1. However, only time will tell if XDefiant truly becomes the next big thing or simply away like past games that tried to overtake the throne.
XDefiant leads the charge in the emerging wave of arcade shooters, with Deadrop receiving mixed feedback in its pre-Alpha stage, 100Thieves developing their own FPS, and another former Call of Duty studio (Wildlight Entertainment) crafting a potential challenger. As the FPS landscape shifts, it remains to be seen if Call of Duty can regain its footing or succumb to the rising tide of competition.
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