Rumblings in the Call of Duty world. Or the World Of Call Of Duty, as seems inevitable at this point when so many teams appear to be invested in the franchise. You may have heard back in November that Activision had apparently added a third development team onto CoD making duty, alongside Treyarch and the main bods, Infinity Ward. It now seems, according to rumours reported by VG247, that those main bods may not be the people responsible for Modern Warfare 3. Which becomes an interesting story when you realise it frees the team up to potentially work on a new project.
You have to imagine at this point, having made only Call Of Duty games for the last decade, that the idea of doing something else might be quite appealing the to developers. While I’m sure there’s room for more hype, more expectation and even greater sales, it would seem reasonable to assume they were happy with the peak they’ve already reached.
So the rumour is that simple – according to VG247’s anonymous source (and you have to assume Mr Garratt isn’t blowing smoke when he decides goes ahead with the story) – another of Activision’s coterie will be taking on the duty of creating the third game in the enormous franchise. And more significantly, that IW’s next game will be “completely new”.
I think there’s a temptation to roll eyes at the mention of Infinity Ward at this point, especially for us counter-cultural elite types with our berets and calligraphy pens behind our ears. Modern Warfare 2 may not have set our hearts alight, but I maintain that Call of Duty 1 and 2 are stand-out shooters. The emotional impact of the original CoD still sticks with me – a game I found myself having to quit out of after each chapter to let the feelings of horror fade away. Every WW2 shooter likes to include boasts of paying tribute, etc, in their PR. In IW’s case this seems to be genuine. Well, to an extent. The developers, certainly during the development of CoD2, seemed to exist in a state of creative conflict. (As in, the sort of conflict that’s creative.) Half the people at the team I asked would tell me it was about creating an experience that respected the horror of war, basing the linear levels on the events recounted by veterans they’d interviewed, wanting to be authentic. The other half would reply, “We want it to be like an action movie.” I think this tension, this split desire to make something that’s fun and explodey as well as sombre and affecting, was the pearl-generating irritant. (Which leads me to tentatively throw out the idea that perhaps the ludicrous No Russian level was an attempt to recapture that.)
Which is my oh-so long-winded way of saying, I’m really keen to see what a team as talented as Infinity Ward might make if not shackled to that heaviest of licenses. Presuming the rumour‘s true.