The big release news is that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and the other WWII-themed game will be released for PC, PS2, PS3, Xbox, and Xbox 360--and they will be released only 3 months apart from one another. This would follow the pattern of releases for Call of Duty 2 on the PC and 360 and Call of Duty 2: Big Red One on current-gen consoles, only this time both would be released on both generations of hardware (minus the GameCube and Revolution).
What follows below are brief descriptions of each title, though Infinity Ward was explicitly fingered as the developer of Modern Warfare, while the as-yet untitled WWII game had no such designation. This would lead us to believe that "CoD 3" (or whatever that WWII game ends up being called) is being produced by Big Red One dev Treyarch. Whatever the case may be, just remember, folks: you heard about Call of Duty: Modern Warfare here first!
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, as we stated before, moves the Call of Duty franchise into the modern era, where you'll serve as part of the U.S. Army, U.S. Marines, and British S.A.S. to take on terrorists loyal to an aggressive Middle Eastern dictator. This war on terror must be fought all over the world--in locations as diverse as vessels at sea in the North Atlantic, secret terrorist cells in London, the urban streets of Eastern Europe, and, of course, the Middle East--as you try to stop a terrorist coalition from using its deadly chemical arsenal.
As a pilot in an Army attack helicopter, you'll fly over cratered urban environments--with rocket-propelled grenades to boot--before you rope down as part of a Marine platoon to engage in close-quarters combat in a very different (yet oddly familiar) sort of environment from Call of Duty 2. It's in this door-to-door implementation of battle that similarities to Rainbow Six 3 and Splinter Cell start to become apparent as you fight in squads, rappel down walls, and clear rooms with silenced guns, tear gas, flashbangs, and various specialized goggles. That doesn't prevent you from utilizing all manner of authentic modern weaponry, however, including automatic grenade launchers, mines, and machine guns.
Modern Warfare will also feature deformable environments, where you can kick down and blow up doors, or take it to another next level with destructible walls, roads, buildings, and bridges. You'll also be able to block doors with heavy obstacles like vehicles or furniture and block windows from grenades with a little chicken wire. But you're not just limited to shooting what's within your (fire)arm's reach: you can call in and laser-sight air strikes to knock out those pesky enemy tanks and sniper's nests, too. Now that's what friends are for.
The next Call of Duty World War II-based title will return gamers to the battlefields of Normandy as the Allies take on Nazi Germany to drive them out of France once and for all. This time around, American and British forces are joined by Canadian troops, Polish tanks, and French freedom fighters in a reenactment of the bloody Normandy Breakout campaign spearheaded during the summer of 1944. In the push to Paris, you'll get to choose how you approach each mission, free of menu screens and jarring non-interactive cut-scenes.
You'll also get to try your hand at a number of different roles in the Allied assault, including parachute drops and commando raids with the S.A.S. Powerful tanks will become part of your vehicular arsenal, as will jeeps and sidecar-enabled motorcycles--even in multiplayer mode. Bazookas and sticky bombs temper the advantage of armor, but at least you and a friend will be able to drive and shoot cooperatively in a trusty tank.
In addition to bringing the innovations of Call of Duty 2 along for the ride, the new WWII game will run on a new physics engine and context-sensitive battle-chatter system. Another system being added concerns Battlefield Actions where you'll push specific button combinations to pull off sprinting-to-cover, trap-disarming, and artillery-avoidance (aka dodging) maneuvers. (Tricky? Or gimmicky?)
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