The development team has included an incredible amount of depth in Modern Warfare 3. Not only can players level their characters in the classical sense, but they will also be able to increase their in-game skills, level their clans, and even improve their gun proficiency. "People love to fill bars," Rubin said, "not just the ones on the screen, but also the ones where the alcohol is served. And the leveling of the weapons is such a rewarding experience. I just love doing it." Not only can players customize the look of the weapon (ala Black Ops), but they've added an option called "weapon proficiency." This allows you customize the way your character actually uses his gun. For instance, if you love the way a gun feels, but get frustrated by the way it flinches when you're hit, you can unlock a gun-specific perk to lower this flinch. Or if you're a ranged player who wishes that assault rifles had a touch more accuracy at long distances, you can "unlock a proficiency that allows you to hold your breath like you can with a sniper rifle."
Activision is releasing Call of Duty titles with breakneck speed, which means that titles like Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops are actively competing with one another for the fan base. However, Rubin is quick to point out that each game has a few important features that make it unique, and the developers try hard not to step on each other's toes. "The community that we're listening to is the same community for both games," Rubin explains. "And we're always trying to innovate on our thing and they're trying to innovate on their thing," he takes a moment to clarify that he doesn't mean to infer that the studios are in direct competition. "I think everyone can agree that Zombies is amazing. And we didn't put Zombies in Modern Warfare 3."
Actually, there is a refreshing amount of openness between Treyarch and Infinity Ward, and I think it's led to a rapid increase in innovation over the past few years. The multiplayer in Black Ops was more like Modern Warfare 2 than it was like World at War, and Modern Warfare 3 has taken an incredible number of cues from Black Ops. And anything that makes gaming more fun is alright with me.
Jason Ades joined the discussion late in the interview, but shed a little light on the way the integration of Elite has informed the upcoming features of Modern Warfare 3, and vice versa. "I think we approach it a couple of different ways. Certainly, we're paying attention to what those guys are doing with Modern Warfare 3, and when something comes up that seems to really makes sense, based on what they're doing, we'll mention it to them in a weekly meeting. And if it makes sense and they're excited about it, we'll work on it."
For the uninitiated, Call of Duty: Elite is a system that adds a social networking component to the CoD franchise. Not only that, but it encourages community participation through DLC and premium content. I'm still a little hesitant to throw my support behind it, because it feels like the Elite team is promising far more features than they can deliver. But Ades and Rubin seem to think that my worries are unfounded.
Toward the end of the interview, Mark apologized for being long-winded. Obviously, this apology was unneeded; we showed up to listen to him talk about the game, after all. But more people will play Modern Warfare 3 than will watch the last Brad Pitt movie, and it's refreshing to hear someone with his clout expressing a bit of knee-jerk humility—even if it is unnecessary.
Modern Warfare 3 is slated for release on November 8th. I have my copy reserved. Do you?
By Josh Engen
CCC Contributing Writer
*The views expressed within this article are solely the opinion of the author and do not express the views held by Cheat Code Central.*