You are right, they aren't popular anymore. But trust me, when Quake was new, no FPS on the PLANET, then or since then, has ever had as much following, as many players, modders, etc. The entire polygon based FPS genre is based entirely off Quake. CoD is a footnote in comparison.
I don't mind modern shooters. I'm just sick of the same formulaic, static shooters like CoD we've gotten in the past half dozen years or so. Every year there's a new one that is almost entirely exactly like the last accept for the storyline. The locations, the gameplay, the setting, the graphics, the weapons, the same stupid artificial cover systems, regenerating health system, it's just all so BORING.
I think this particular case has more to do with Infinity Ward's (and byt extension, Treyarch's) massive hard-on for scripted gaming rather than publisher pressure. They used to rail on Crysis quite a bit for not being able to come close to the epicness of their scripted events. Naturally, no one in those interviews ever mentions that scripted events only get one shot and then it's over and done with, whereas sandbox games never do the same thing twice.
That being said, I actually like Modern Warfare. Has everything it does been done ten thousand times? Yes, but not with nearly a much production value and polish. Not every game needs to be innovative
to be good,
and half the reason so many games coming out these days suck is that developers/publishers insist on always making some half-baked attempt at innovation. Sometimes they just don't have the funding or the backing to be innovative and it falls flat, sometimes they're trying to innovate just for the sake of it and the end result is poor game design. While I don't want gaming to turn into a drudge of one Halo after another, this belief that every single title must be innovative
in some way, shape or form is ludicrous. It's perfectly possible to make a good game based on tried-and-true formulas.
It's like when you watch crappy military movies and the enemy's attack is turned back by a hero laughing at their predictability for following textbook tactics; no one ever seems to understand that things that end up in the textbook are there because they work.
Hell, if you want an example of this formula not
being done well, look no further than World at War. The scripted sequences largely consist of your character falling down and a supporting character running to pick you up, and the presentation is trying so
hard to be gritty and realistic instead of like a John Wayne movie that it goes way, way too far in the opposite direction and is just corny.
NOT THE BEES! NOT THE BEES THEY'RE IN MY EYES