Will the next Call of Duty suck?

Multiplayer will contain all the perks, challenges and unlocks we loved from Modern Warfare. Co-op specific challenges will help unlock perks in competitive multiplayer as EXP points are linked across all game modes. Co-op can be played with two players on split-screen, or with four players online. Difficulty will adjust dynamically so players of different skill levels can still play together. We saw a tiny taste of co-op play, during which one player drew fire from enemy tanks while the other flanked and attacked with flamethrower and grenades. The intense, in-your-face action got our trigger fingers itching as the devs hosed down enemies with the flamethrower and bombs rained down from air support. Building on the already robust CoD4 engine has allowed Treyarch to work through iterations very quickly, and so far the results look impressive.

In competitive multiplayer, the most exciting upgrade will be the inclusion of tanks, along with vehicle-specific versions of modes and maps. We weren’t shown any multiplayer tank action at the demo, but the potential is huge. Expect more multiplayer reveals over the summer months.

It remains to be seen whether Call of Duty: World at War will be able to deliver the same gripping story and addictive multiplayer experience that put Modern Warfare on top of the charts. Treyarch will also have an uphill fight against audience fatigue from more than a decade of WII shooters and the perception that they’re Call of Duty’s second-string development house. But if our scientific graphs and first-hand impressions are any indicator, this should be Treyarch’s best Call of Duty yet.

Jun 23, 2008