Treyarch has had some mighty big shoes to fill after Modern Warfare 2 did insanely well followed by Jason West and Vince Zampella leaving Infinity Ward and followed shortly thereafter by a good portion of the IW dev team. The legacy of the Call of Duty franchise rests firmly on the shoulders of Treyarch and from what I’m seeing from their latest title I am already very impressed.
While the Treyarch team intially led with their single player experience, which is all well and good, most players were chomping at the bit to hear about what has become the real meat and potatoes of the game; the multiplayer.
The first multiplayer trailer revealed new weapons such as the Crossbow that fired explosive bolts that detonated after a short time while still stuck to they player as well as a remote-controlled explosive R/C car equipped with a camera to allow the player to control it remotely. What shocked and excited most people however was the brief clip at the end of the trailer telling players that they were finally going to have the ability to record gameplay footage without the need for a capture card.
Halo 3 was the first FPS title to launch with an in-game theater mode which allowed players to record their most memorable moments or create stunning machinima that was far more friendly to newcomers than the older methods. It seemed like a natural progression for FPS titles to incorporate as the sheer viral marketing such a tool could create, but several years later and no other title added this feature. It would seem that Treyarch finally heard the community at large and decided to incorporate a similar feature into their game. No word yet on how extensive this feature will be (if it will allow a free roaming camera, rewind and fast forwards, etc) but any functionality that allows a player to record their own brag reel I fully support.
Tonight the Treyarch team revealed some new multiplayer modes which could put a new spin on the multiplayer dynamic. Wager Match allows players to essentially bet their hard-earned in-game currency which is used to buy upgrades and other customizables on the outcome of matches they’re participating in. At the start of the match players place a wager which goes into a pot and at the end of the match the top three players walk away with it all. “One in the Chamber” is an interesting take on the “elimination” gametype commonly seen in shooters. The player starts the match with a pistol with only one bullet in the chamber, the only way to get more bullets or better weapons is to get kills via gunshot or melee. Another interesting mode is “Gun Game” in which players start with the same weapon and through their kills work their way through the various weapon tiers first player to the top-tier of the game wins. If a player is knifed however, they are set back one tier. This is a nice feature to keep the games intense as it will encourage players to engage in all levels of combat rather than resting on their laurels. The only concern I have with that comes from my time spent in Modern Warfare 2 in which players have their perks setup to allow them to run around the map nonstop simply knifing people rather than playing the game in a more traditional manner. Since it seems the only way to win is by progressing through the tiers it should keep this method of dispatching your enemies to a minimum. The last of the game modes i found most interesting is called “Sharpshooter” in which players all start with the same randomly selected weapon to use for a set period of time, after that time is up everyone is cycled to a different weapon. This game mode will reward players who use all of the various weapons available rather than choosing their personal favorite and using just that weapon.
Watching the newest trailer I come away with a very strong impression that Treyarch is more than capable of bearing the burden of the Call of Duty franchise and I cannot wait to see more of this game before its release in October.
- Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer revealed at Activision event (joystiq.com)
- Winning Big, Losing Big In Call of Duty: Black Op’s Four Wager Modes [Clips] (kotaku.com)
- “Call of Duty: Black Ops set to repeat Modern Warfare 2 controversy?” and related posts (electricpig.co.uk)