According to the a report coming from Kotaku, what was just a month ago among the best kept secrets of the gaming industry—details on the next Call of Duty game—has just become anything but.
Activision has been playing its card close to its vest with the next entry in the annual franchise. Last March, it would have been a no-brainer to declare the 2011 Call of Duty to be Modern Warfare 3. Since 2006, the series has alternated between the original developer Infinity Ward, who are also responsible for the Modern Warfare games, and Treyarch, who finally left the WWII setting behind with last year’s Black Ops. It just made sense that Modern Warfare 3 would be the next installment, but then Activision gutted Infinity Ward, and the lawsuits began.
Activision then brought in other developers, including Sledgehammer and Raven, to help create more Call of Duty titles, and it vowed to keep Infinity Ward open. That ensured the future of the franchise in general, but it didn’t address the immediate plans for the coming installment.
But still, even with Infinity Ward losing its founders and roughly one-third of its staff, the work they had already begun on the next Call of Duty put their project further ahead of any other studio working on Call of Duty. Treyarch will likely return next year with a new entry, while Sledgehammer and Raven’s plans haven’t been announced yet.
Yet, no official announcement on Modern Warfare 3 has been given. It made sense that it was coming, and in keeping with tradition it would be released in November, but that is all we knew, and that all came from educated guesses. But now, if the article from Kotaku is correct, not only has Modern Warfare 3 been unofficially confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt, the entire story line of the single player game, and details on the multiplayer have been leaked as well.
First, the multiplayer will feature several maps from around the world, as well as the return of the Spec Ops missions. A new Spec Ops “survival” mode is also listed. The maps and the mission names are listed below:
- Plaza 2
Spec Ops Modes
- Civilian Rescue
- Flood the Market
- Invisible Threat
- Little Bro’s
- Out of Africa
- No Fly Zone
- Wing Man
The inclusion of 20 multiplayer maps is incredible—so much so that many of them will almost certainly be cut. They may have simply been test maps that never worked, or they may be packaged and sold later. They may even be pre-order bonuses, but regardless, it seems unlikely that Activision would release that many maps when they have seen so much success with the sales of additional map packs.
As for the story, Kotaku has all the details. Literally, all the details, including who will live and die. The link will take you to the full story, which is spoiler intensive. So much so that you may actually want to avoid it, unless you just don’t like to be surprised by a game’s storyline. You have been warned.
The basics are that the game will pick up immediately after the cliffhanger-ish ending of Modern Warfare 2. As Price and Soap are busy hunting Makarov around the world, a Russian force invades Manhattan. Two new characters, “Frost” and “Sandman” are introduced, and the fight rages around the globe over 15 missions (that could change though), eventually concluding in Dubai.
The game will feature a storyline where the world is on the brink of a total crisis. As such, you will fight through rural, wilderness and urban landscapes, including New York, Paris and London. Destructible environments will be a new addition to the series, and there will be several vehicles that are usable as you try to stop the coming of the next full blown world war.
The game is also set for a November 8 release, which is right in line with the last few games. Again though, this is all still unconfirmed. That doesn’t mean that Kotaku is wrong—in fact they have so many details it is almost certain that they are dead on—but it means that the game is still not complete. Levels could be removed, and sections could be totally reworked before the actual release.
For now though, it appears that the speculation can end, and in November we will have the next Modern Warfare title in our hands.