Much to Activision's chagrin, on the internet Call of Duty: Ghosts has become a running joke, a meme.
The poster child of a burgeoning generation which on the surface has little to offer over the past bar incremental improvements. Call of Duty, now with added dog!
Well, while it's true that Call of Duty: Ghosts' gameplay is - how can we put it kindly? - 'faithful to the series' heritage' - to focus negatively on this would be a slight on a vibrant and imaginative entry in the series - and one that we feel will surprise more than a few naysayers with how good it looks.
In a behind-closed door session at E3, Infinity Ward demoed two new levels to the press - the first of which, 'No Man's Land', takes Ghosts' brother protagonists (and woofy sidekick Riley, named after Ghost from Modern Warfare 2) back to their home city of San Diego.
They're in California to survey the damage to their old neighbourhood following the (still unnamed) mass event that has shook America to its core, and do some sneaky recon in the process. After pouring miserably through the wreckage of their home, they continue onwards towards downtown, and fine nothing but a huge crater where San Diego once stood. The Convention Center, SeaWorld, that bar from Top Gun - all gone!
As the bros look out into the chasm, a church teeters precariously over the precipice. And wouldn't you know it? It chooses the exact moment they arrive to topple over. What a pair of Jonahs they truly are.
The rest of the demo focuses on the abilities of Riley, the Ghost squads' much-maligned doggy. Riley's fitted with a battle jacket that allows our heroes to give him orders remotely via tablet (see, even game characters have a companion app these days).
"A vibrant and imaginative entry in the series - and one that we feel will surprise more than a few naysayers with how good it looks."
Fitted with a periscope camera, Riley can be sent up ahead to scout for trouble. If he finds it - and he does, frequently - he can be commanded to bark to lure enemies away from their post, or controlled directly using motorised sensors around his neck. It's all real world tech, Infinity Ward tell us. We're not doubting that at all - not after watching that TV show where they strapped cameras onto cats to see what they get up to while we're not about.
The second level, 'Federation Day' is set in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, as foreshadowed by the coordinates in an earlier trailer. Here three members of the Ghosts team - sans Mr Woof - are tasked with infiltrating a skyscraper and eliminating a high-value target.
They begin the mission by zip lining onto the side of the skyscraper from an adjacent building. They walk sideways along to the enemy soldiers' office(!), where you're greeted with the unusual sight of them going about their daily business, playing poker and buying Chomp bars or whatever type of chocolate it is they sell in Caracas from vending machines.
Your squad's objective - to take them out in such an order that no-one notices. It's a job made easier by the sound of your gunshots being disguised by the fireworks lighting up the South American sky. Once clear, they cut their way through the glass with a laser and continue to breach the building.
Couple these missions with the previously-revealed scuba diving mission 'Into The Deep', and you've got three very different levels, all of which offer a new twist on the established CoD run-and-gun formula. While some of the online flak heading CoD: Ghosts' way is perhaps justified, you can't accuse Infinity Ward of lacking ideas beyond a dog.