“We know people were aggrieved, but CoD3 wasn’t made by us - it was a console developer who made a console game. CoD4 is being released two years from the finish of CoD2, as CoD2 was two years from CoD. If a game comes out every year, it isn’t going to be as amazing.”
Next up is one of the first US missions, which begins with an obvious homage to the “Ride of the Valkyries” helicopter attack from Apocalypse Now, with a dozen or so Black Hawks flying in over a very detailed Middle Eastern town, as ground-to-air missiles roar up from ground level, snaking smoky trails behind them. You hastily rappel down into the dusty urban sprawl with the other troops - some of your fellows begin constructing barbed wire defenses, while you commence intense street-to-street fighting, throwing the new flashbang grenades into rooms and clearing them of stunned enemies.
“Our art director Richard Kriegler has really helped improve the quality of the artwork across the board. One example is when he asked the programmers to create a post-processing effect engine, so he can now take sliders and change the time of day or the lighting to create different moods. So in these hot, dusty levels, it looks really washed out and desaturated, such as in films like Saving Private Ryan.”
The US Marines’ Force Recon squads are larger than the four-man teams you have in the SAS levels, and rather than being used for quick infiltration and clandestine missions, they storm in guns-blazing and lay down the law. As before, AI soldiers point the way towards objectives and you have multiple paths through the levels, but Collier asserts that CoD4 isn’t a “sandbox” game.
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