Modern Warfare 3 preview event this morning 50 floors above Central Park, Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling spoke with me about a variety of IW-related topics. Ranging from MW2's controversial "No Russian" level, to the importance of the Modern Warfare series' running plot threads in the eyes of both IW devs and gamers alike, Bowling took a proud and optimistic stance on the franchise's less-than-clear "Task Force 141" storyline.
"For the single-player campaign, especially for Modern Warfare 3 more than ever -- this is the payoff for the investment that people have put in since Call of Duty 4," Bowling began. Though he explained that IW has been "learning new ways to tell stories and learning new ways to deliver experiences" across the development of all three games, it's his belief that MW3 "is the payoff to all those lessons learned."
Speaking briefly to the flawed, often convoluted plot of Modern Warfare 2, Bowling admitted, "Every game we put out, we sit back and we look at 'What can we do better? What areas can we focus on to bump the experience up?' And story was one of those coming out of MW2." To him, as MW3 is the focal point for the series thus far -- especially in terms of plot -- the goal is to tell "one hell of a story." Specifically, "we want it to build up on the key themes that we started in MW2, but really polish that storytelling ability."
For me, that aim played out immediately in the single-player hands-off demo I was given. Less than five minutes in, two separate keys were required to launch missiles from a hijacked Russian submarine -- and two separate individuals turned those keys, more or less directly mocking the massively unbelievable nuke launch moment with Captain Price from Modern Warfare 2.