Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Let's Reboot ... Call of Duty

Tom Senior at

Call of Duty - what a monster. With clockwork precision a new edition pops up every year and sells millions without fail. It's doing perfectly well, but in spite of an audacious shift to a far future setting in Black Ops 2, it's becoming increasingly repetitive. It's become a slapstick dose of noisy annual nonsense with an arcade multiplayer mode attached. It's a game about gun-lovin' superheroes who are 90% bicep and 10% stubble shooting hundreds of enemies, shouting and occasionally getting into knife fights.

Activision have found a golden formula for mainstream success that has changed the genre. Call of Duty perfected iron sights aiming and ushered action movie set pieces into shooter environments, but those set pieces have gradually subsumed the challenge and tension of the series' rolling street battles. The series' ballooning love for noise and bombast masks a dearth of substance, and its ability to deliver those famed set-pieces is increasingly hindered by an engine that's starting to fall behind the pack.

Activision and their army of CoD developers are surely plotting a next-gen leap right now, so let's pip them to the post with a few ideas. Changing CoD is a monolithic endeavour, influential as it is, so perhaps it's better to think of this as a wish list for war games. What do we like? What do we hate? What would we love to see from gaming's glorious future?


Activision's Bobby Kotick shares thoughts on Infinity Ward founder firings

Omri Petitte at

Outspoken Activision CEO Bobby Kotick was recently the subject of an extensive profile by The New York Times which charted his rise as the head of one of the most prolific publishers in the industry. As part of the interview, Kotick said the decision to fire Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella after they were planning to switch publishers in breach of contract was an easy one.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4 in development at IW according to Captain Price actor

Tom Senior at

The actor behind the most famous walking talking 'tache in gaming, Bill Murray (not that one), has made mention of a somewhat inevitable follow-up to Modern Warfare 3. "Yeah, on Monday I am off to meet Infinity Ward about the next game, Modern Warfare 4, I’m doing work on the sequel to Modern Warfare 3, it carries straight on and I only ever appear in the Modern Warfare games” he told This Is Xbox.


Activision were "looking for excuses to dump" ex-Infinity Ward heads in 2009, document claims

Chris Thursten at

According to a court document supplied to Giant Bomb, Activision's former IT director was asked to hack into the e-mail, phone and computer accounts of former Infinity Ward heads Jason West and Vince Zampella.

The document in question is a court filing that forms part of the imminent trial between Activision and the Modern Warfare creators. In it, former IT director Thomas Fenady claims that he was asked to "dig up dirt on Jason and Vince" in 2009 by George Rose, Activision's chief legal officer at the time. During his deposition, Rose denied that this was the case.


Free UK-based CS: Source and Call of Duty tournament offers prize pool of £10,000

Chris Thursten at

A new Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and CS: Source tournament is offering players a shot at a slice of a £10,000 prize pool - with no entry fee.

It's called GameShadow Battles, it'll be run online, and it's being put together GameShadow, Fasthosts, and epic.LAN. The tournament will launch on the 14th of May, and give 128 5-man teams a shot at a £5,000 grand prize. Runners-up can take home between £750 and £2750, and there are other prizes on offer for teams that reach the top of weekly scoreboards.


Call of Duty: Devil's Brigade was in development by a secret team. Got secretly cancelled

Owen Hill at

The Verge have reported on a top secret Call of Duty game that was in development five months before the release of the first Modern Warfare. Call of Duty: Devil’s Brigade was cancelled nine months in to development, was a third-person affair, and focused on the “superheroes” of WWII who later inspired the formation of the Green Berets and the Canadian Special Operations forces Command.

Activision cancelled the project in 2007. The dev team included Jason VandenBerghe, current creative director on Far Cry 3, along with Scott Bandy and Trevor Jalowitz, who now work for Activision. They called themselves Underground Development.

VandenBerghe quotes Infinity Ward’s dominance as one of the reasons for the cancellation: "If the IW guys say they want to control the Call of Duty IP, they don't even have to say our name. We just got sideswiped. And that happens. I don't begrudge them for that."


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 trailer talks guns, weapons have own experience bars and unlocks

Tom Senior at

 
Even your weapons will have experience bars in Modern Warfare 3. The unlock system has been revamped, and will work differently depending on which of the three classes you play as, but the perks and point-streak rewards will be separate from the weapon unlocks. You'll be able to earn new attachments by fighting and killing with a weapon. See the devs explain the system in the new trailer above, spotted on Evil Avatar. Infinity Ward say that the unlocks will be geared towards giving players more options in combat, though some, like the weapon stabilising upgrade, will probably just make you better.

If guns can level up, it feels as though they're starting to become RPG characters in their own right. We're hoping for loyalty side quests and proper story arcs come Modern Warfare 4.


Editorial: Call of Duty fans deserve better than Rezurrection

Tom Senior at

Call of Duty: Black Ops Rezurrection came out on Friday. The pack adds five new arenas to Call of Duty: Black Ops' zombie survival mode, except four of them aren't new at all. Nacht der Untoten, Verruckt, Shi No Numa and Der Riese are all "remastered" versions of zombie maps from Call of Duty: World at War, released in 2008.

That means 80% of the map pack is made up of recycled, three year old content. What's more, those who bought the Hardened and Prestige editions of Call of Duty: Black Ops received the new maps as part of the deal last year. The asking price? £11.50 / $14.99. This has to stop.


Call of Duty Elite price revealed at Call of Duty XP event

Tom Senior at

At the keynote address at this weekend's Call of Duty XP event, Activision revealed the price of the premium subscription for the upcoming Call of Duty Elite service. It'll cost £34.99 / $49.99 a year, and give subscribers access to all of Modern Warfare 3's map packs early as part of the price. Premium players will also be able to enter competitions to win real world prizes and watch pro-commentated match reports and strategy videos.


Call of Duty XP: Live dispatch from our embedded reporter

Will Porter at

Howard Hughes built the first hangar entirely out of wood in 1943, convinced that structures made of metal were intrinsically unhygenic. In the cavernous interior next door, rumour has it, last week they were filming Batman. Today, right now, Infinity Ward Creative Strategist Robert Bowling is in the central hall and playing to a home crowd.

Walking from one end of the hangar would take at least five minutes – it’s a vast space the size and shape of a landing strip you’d usually expect deep inside the Battlestar Galactica. Today, however, you’re not walking anywhere. The hall is packed with bodies – some with fists raised, others with unfurled hands alternately moving between forehead and open mouth.


Watch the Call of Duty: XP keynote right now

Tim Edwards at

Watch live streaming video from callofdutyxp at livestream.com


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Spec Ops Survival mode analysed

Tom Senior at

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CVG have done an in-depth analysis of the latest trailer for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3's spec ops survival mode, pointing out all of the UI cues and weapon appearances that you might have missed amidst the carnage and exploding dogs. You can find the original version of the trailer here for comparison. For more Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, check out the most recent screenshots, and 13 minutes of in-game footage from this year's E3 conference.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 getting £250 "Ear Force" headset

Tom Senior at

How much would you be prepared to pay to hear Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 at its best? If the answer is "between £90 and £250" then you might be interested in the range of new premium headsets from Turtle Beach, improbably named "Ear Force." Ear Force!