During our first look at Infinity Ward's Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare we got chance to sit down with the developer's president Grant Collier. In the middle of a lengthy global press tour, Collier looked absolutely exhausted, but it's amazing what some caffeine can do.
You can read our impressions of Call of Duty 4 righthere, and below is the result of our chat with Grant Collier.
Are you missing World War II?
Grant Collier: I'm so sad that I can't work on World War II anymore; it just breaks my heart (laughs). We really like World War II. We wouldn't have worked on it for seven years if we didn't like it.
Call of Duty 4 is just something we wanted to do for a really long time, and while we were developing Call of Duty 1 we had a bunch of ideas for this game, and during Call of Duty 2 even more.
By the time we'd finished Call of Duty 2, with the success of Call of Duty 2, we were allowed to do whatever we wanted. So sweet, this is something we've been dying to do.
I don't want to speak for the designers, but probably while they've been designing this game, they probably came up with a bunch of ideas for a World War II game. You know, like "Oh I wish we'd done that back in Call of Duty 1 or Call of Duty 2."
So you don't think the World War II FPS has been done to death?
Grant Collier: Well, I think it's been done as much as fantasy RPGs and science fiction shooters. There are such few original games any more, they're all just different takes on a current setting.
I think there's always room for the top games in any genre. If someone came in right now and decided to really blow the doors off World War II, I think the community would embrace them. Lots of people murmur about, "Oh, I've played too many World War II games", but every Call of Duty game sells more than the last one.
You've said how during development of CoD and CoD 2 you were looking at different ways to deliver and present storyline and that you're exploring this more in Call of Duty 4...?
Grant Collier: We've been working with TV writers who are masters of episodic content, who create great teasers at the end of the episode to get you waiting for a whole week until the next show pops up. We've been working with them to really make a lot of very interesting twists and turns in the storyline and get people really engaged.
We're jumping around so much. In one of the first missions you're British SAS rappelling down ropes onto a cargo ship, then in the next mission you could be Americans coming in guns blazing in the Middle East, and then all of a sudden you're a covert attack helicopter pilot.
Then maybe you're the gunner on some large, unknown airship that's flying around the battlefield. Then maybe you go back in time 15 years to be with the young Price [Price from previous CoD games] who's trying to assassinate Zakhaev.
All these things really help propel the story forward - tell the storyline but also get the player just constantly guessing, like "What is gonna be happening next?"