It’s been quite a while since Call of Duty has aimed for deep-seeded realism in reflecting the effects of war today, but Infinity Ward is looking to change that for the upcoming Modern Warfare.
As reported by PCGamesn, Infinity Ward is setting out to make Call of Duty: Modern Warfare the most realistic first-person shooter ever made, not in terms of the fidelity of its bullet ballistics, but in its depiction of conflict around the world today.
What this means, is a complete re-think on how the player will approach situations and what the result of those conflicts could mean. Gameplay Director, Jacob Minkoff, commented on some of the design methodology:
“Call of Duty has always had ‘friendly fire will not be tolerated’ warnings when you kill too many civilians. Obviously, we’re trying to make things much more realistic, much more visceral this time, so that if you kill a single civilian you feel bad, because you might see a woman go for a gun but instead she’s going to grab her baby. We want you to feel bad, and the characters around you will respond and react to what you did, too.
On top of this, we also have a collateral damage score that we give you after each mission, a rank A through to F score. We talk about ‘unknowns’ – an NPC is an unknown until they prove whether they’re a threat or not. If you kill no innocents and you evaluate all unknowns correctly then you’ll end up with a rank A, and if you kill more than three you will get a rank F. There are rewards associated with being as accurate with your threat assessment as possible.”
Studio Art Director, Joel Emslie, joined in and the two commented on the realism and how it has impacted some play-testers:
“I think what made some of those missions so iconic was the context. If you were to think of the original Modern Warfare series as tongue-in-cheek action fare, this is a lot more serious, like Sicario and American Sniper. The context and the stakes are so much higher with this, so when we do a moment like Townhouse it just resonates much more, and I believe they can become their own thing. We’re making new hallmark moments, most definitely.
It’s because of the weight and gravity we have now, I’ve never seen narrative in a Modern Warfare game like this narrative. The stories [of the original trilogy] were great for that time period, but I think the gaming community expects more now, it has to be more sophisticated, and from what I’ve seen it’s incredible, there’s a really great story driving this thing.”
“We’ve had multiple playtesters cry.”
“I thought it was a joke when they told me, and then I watched a video of it. It was a real human moment, and now I’m like, ‘I worked on a game that made someone cry.”
“To be making people feel emotions that deeply – we’re doing it.”
For years we’ve heard that Call of Duty has become to far removed from what made it special to begin with. It looks like Infinity Ward may finally be taking fans back to what many believe made the series great and we’re very excited about it. There will be a lot more to cover with Modern Warfare in the coming months so stay tuned!