stage at Call of Duty XP last night, Infinity Ward’s Robert Bowling let the
crowd know that big changes are in the works for the Modern Warfare franchise,
most of them relating to the games’ balance. Some of the biggest complaints from
fans, he said, came from the cheesier perks and kill-streak rewards, which
tipped the scales hugely in the favor of experienced players. So the worst
offenders – like the infamous, match-ending nuke – are gone, and in their place
is a new kill-streak system designed to even the odds a bit and reward
different kinds of play.
as “strike packages,” the new kill streaks are divided into three categories:
Assault, Support and Specialist. Pick the Assault path, and you’ll unlock the
same rewards kill streaks usually unlock, all designed to punish the enemy
(i.e. airstrikes). Support, meanwhile, gives bonuses designed to help your
entire team – anti-helicopter SAM turrets, for example, or countermeasures
against ally-revealing UAVs – and picking it means that your kill-streak
counter won’t reset when you die. Meanwhile, the third option, Specialist,
grants bonus perks, with streaks steadily unlocking even more perks until players eventually have every available perk
activated at once.
MW3 will also
introduce a “weapon proficiency” feature, which means your weapons will level
up with use, enabling players to earn enhancements for their favorites. And
finally, it’ll put enough match variables at players’ disposal - including map,
team and gameplay options – that customizing matches can produce what the
game’s creators call “user-generated game modes,” which can apparently be saved
for later use.
course, there’s Call of Duty Elite to consider. Once a controversial idea,
MW3’s companion subscription service will actually offer a bunch of free
features for those who choose not to subscribe, including things like the
ability to join groups based on your interests and/or affiliations, access to
apps that show heat maps and player lists of your games, and assorted other
tools designed to keep you interested. Invest in the premium membership,
however – which costs $49.99 a year, and is included in the Hardened Edition of
MW3 – and you’ll get access to every piece of DLC released for MW3 first and more often, with monthly content
subscriptions will also enable clans to level up together, grant entry into
online competitions, and grant players eight times more video-replay capacity
than non-paying players. Strategy and analysis videos from the world’s best
players will be made available as well, and subscriptions will also open up
access to Elite TV, which features CoD-themed videos made by Hollywood talent.
Two shows were announced, the first being Friday Night Fights. Created by
Ridley and Tony Scott, the show pits real-world rivals against each other in
CoD. Also announced was Noobtube, in which Will Arnett and Jason Bateman
apparently go online to smack-talk players.
very impressive, but the most noticeable changes are the ones the casual
players are just going to jump straight into, which is to say the new modes and
maps. For details and impressions of those, read our hands-on multiplayer preview.
Sep 2, 2011