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"War...war never changes. Or does it? The war has changed...did it? The answer is no! Unless it is yes! No, of course it is! Is war! Yes! No! Yes?"—The opening narration.
Duty Calls: The Calm Before The Storm is a playable Parody of the Call of Duty franchise (specifically the Modern Warfare games), and those that follow in its footsteps such as Battlefield: Bad Company and the new Medal of Honor, poking fun at some of the most pervasive, cliched tropes in modern military shooters with an extremely short campaign (roughly five minutes in length). You, the player, must storm an enemy base, witnessing the brutal horrors of war and the unending monotony of shooting uniform-clad soldier after uniform-clad soldier with the same boring weapon, ranking up before taking down the enemy leader and securing the nuclear missile bomb, ensuring the United States' victory over enemy forces once again.
In actuality, the game is a covert advergame developed by People Can Fly, developers of Painkiller, to advertise Bulletstorm, a game that couldn't possibly be farther from yet another boring military shooter game, showcasing the monotonous predictability of modern military shooters in contrast to Bulletstorm's own take on brutal videogame violence. It's been speculated that Duty Calls was the developers' way of compensating for the lack of a PC version of the Bulletstorm demo, though how much better a job Duty Calls does in advertising Bulletstorm is debatable. It's still funny, though.
This Game features examples of:
- America Saves the Day: "U.S.A. Is Dominate!"
- Cue the player character giving a thumbs up with American flags and fireworks sprouting out of them.
- Anticlimax Boss: Leader Enemy Boss gives up as soon as you ask him to give up.
- Bad Bad Acting: Used intentionally to parody thin shooter plots.
- Big No: The Mook in the jeep does this when the game goes into slow motion for some reason.
- Blah Blah Blah: The briefing.
"Here's your objective: Blah blah blah blah, Secret Base. Blah blah blah, plans. Blah blah blah Nuclear missile bomb. Blah blah blah counting on you, utmost importance, win, good luck."
- Bullet Time: The game goes into slow motion for some reason so that you can defeat an enemy who killed one of your allies.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Most of the mooks you encounter declare themselves as enemies.
- Cliché Storm: Parodied.
- Cutscene Incompetence: Lampshaded.
Enemy: I am a paratrooper because that is a real-life war scenario. You cannot shoot me because this is a cutscene to make the game feel more dramatic, like a movie. Soon I will be landing, I have landed on the ground.
- Death Is Dramatic: One of your allies tries to advance the story about halfway through, but gets killed by an enemy in a jeep. He then laments about how this has increased the drama of the story before dying.
- Deconstruction Game
- Department of Redundancy Department: The ranks you go up in, starting with "Master Sergeant Shooter Person" and culminating in "Sergeant of the Master Sergeants Most Important Person of Extreme Sergeants To The Max".
- Every Car Is a Pinto: The military vehicle that can be shot, explodes.
- Excuse Plot: See Blah Blah Blah.
- Foregone Victory: All the enemies never attack on their own (two of them only attack through scripted events), and you can never run out of ammo.
- Hitbox Dissonance: The hitbox of the enemy soldiers are much smaller than it looks like.
- Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: It's impossible to jump over the sandbags.
- Kleptomaniac Hero: For no good reason, you can pick up a small meaningless stick and 500 sheets of wide ruled notebook paper when you find them.
- Lampshade Hanging: Frequently.
- Major Injury Underreaction: When enemies get hit, they say delayed "ow.".
- No Sidepaths No Exploration No Freedom: The game takes place in a very linear area.
- Real Is Brown
- Reality Is Unrealistic: Averted. You can only jump a few inches in the air.
- Regenerating Health
- Shown Their Work: At one point you encounter a paratrooper, which is a real-life war scenario.
- Stealth Pun: Duty Calls. Think about it...
- Take That: A big one to military FPS games like Modern Warfare that focus on "gritty realism" at the expense of fun, while simultaneously indulging in fantastic escapism (fighting invading Russians in suburban Virginia, anyone?).
- Totally Radical: TO THE MAX!
- Trope Name: Multiple times. An example:
U.S. Soldier: Hey Foxclub Niner, I'm gonna point at you and say something serious to further develop the game's storyline.
(jeep runs over him)
U.S. Soldier: Ow! I'm dead, increasing the drama of the story.
Russian soldier: Ha ha! You cannot stop me, unless the cam goes into slow motion and I become easy to shoot.
- Unsound Effect: "Bo-ring! Bo-bo-bo-bo-bo-ring!"
- Wham! Line: Parodied. "I'm gonna point at you and say something serious, to further develop the game's storyline."
- What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?: "B-B-B-BLOODY SCREEN!!! So real..."
- Doubles as Hypocritical Humor as the game it's promoting does the EXACT. SAME. THING.