They Ruined The Call of Duty Guitar Stinger™

Call of Duty: Warzone launched today, bringing a revitalized and re-imagined take on the battle royale to the Call of Duty brand for the first time since September 2018. It’s got everything that you could want from a battle royale – guns, hats, skins, guns, an unskippable opening cutscene where a guy gets shot in the face  – but with a Call of Duty Twist™.

No, I’m not talking about kill streaks (but those are in here). I’m talking about the guitar stinger.

You know, the guitar stinger? From Call of Duty. The Call of Duty Guitar Stinger™. The one you hear when you complete a challenge, or get a killstreak, or level up. This one (volume warning):

This is the sound of success. This is the sound of achievement, one only rivaled by the literal Xbox “Achievement Unlockedbloop. It is the sound of a simpler time, before I cared about my taxes or student loan debt. A piece of audio with this gravitas can not be thrown around all willy nilly. It must be earned.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I made my way to the middle of the tutorial for Call of Duty: Warzone (after, of course, watching a man get shot in the face in an unskippable cutscene) and heard a guitar sting when I picked up a gas mask.

A gas mask. A g a s m a s k.

I did QA for Call of Duty: Black Ops III – if, at any point in time, I picked up anything from the ground and the stinger played, I’d write it up as a bug. This sucks. I’m infuriated. The game is borderline unplayable in this state.

The last game to do the Call of Duty Guitar Sting™ well was Titanfall 2, which was made by ex-Infinity Ward folks. The crunchy, seemingly unending kerchunk-kerchunk of bars being filled and numbers going up was satisfying, and it satiated the thirst of my ears. My ears did not ask for The Sound when I picked up the gas mask, but they were immersed in it anyway. It is untenable.

I hope Infinity Ward is forced to atone for this affront to the ears and to common decency. To denigrate the sanctity of the Call of Duty Guitar Sting™ is to insult and mock the achievements of a generation of Modern Warfare veterans. Earning akimbo Model 1887s was not easy. I had to do more than press and hold X. It involved blood, sweat, tears, and numerous trips to Target to buy more 1 month subscriptions to Xbox Live Gold.

Kids these days have it easy. Marshmello’s out here in Fortnite doing his cool computer noises, while Weezer is also out here in Fortnite doing their fanfic where they recorded Toto’s “Africa” before Toto did. Sound means nothing to them because it is given to them.

I want to earn my noise.

I’ll be sure to talk about this on Late Lunch, which you can watch live on Wednesdays at If videos aren’t your game, you can listen to John and I dig into this crime by heading over to and subscribing to our Fanbyte FM feed.