Activision’s Field Generals Talk ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3’

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Schofield: It’s hard to elaborate on much of what Rob just said, but the co-op of Spec Ops is fantastic. We’ve added a brand new mode, Survival. We still have the great Mission mode. But, personally, a lot of us also have a blast playing it alone.

It’s great playing as a co-op but it’s also made to be played alone as well. If I want to play it alone, I got this other thing that I can go out and I can upgrade, and I can play and a lot of us are having a blast with that as well. So there’s a lot of single player experiences as well.

Robert, one of the things you mentioned was locations, and obviously a chunk of the game is set in New York. Not only is it set in New York, but you’ve got buildings crumbling in downtown Manhattan in a game that comes out 10 years after 9/11. What reservations did the guys at Infinity Ward have about approaching these sequences? Did you have anything that maybe gave you pause or something that you tried to be sensitive around? That stuff might be an issue when the game comes out.

Bowling: Yeah, I think this is a great answer for Glen to take, because Sledgehammer had a huge role in shaping this level as it played out. Before I hand it off, one thing I’ll say is it’s always a key thing for us is to be as authentic as possible in terms of what we’re showing, but Call of Duty takes place in a very unique universe that is outside of our own.

And what sets it apart more than anything is the fact that this is a full-blown war. We’re fighting the traditional Russian military and navy. This is an invasion of the U.S. that has just escalated in New York as well other major cities. And the team has put a lot of work into making sure that we’re delivering that war experience.

(MORE: Why the Cuban Government Is Speaking Out Against "Call of Duty: Black Ops")

Schofield: Yeah, I’m from this area and I’ve lived downtown, and have friends that have been touched by that tragedy, with people who have died. We went into it making sure that we had a healthy dose of respect for what happened. And we in every way possible did not try and tread on that.

I think what Robert is saying is that we’re not in the real world; we’ve made up our story. So, in our story, we don’t have to talk about Osama bin Laden. We don’t have to talk about that sort of thing, and we don’t. I think that we do have respect for what went on. Don’t dive into this with trying to make a controversy out of it.

It’s also the same way that we have a real higher respect for the people in the military. You don’t go into going, “Let’s do something controversial.” Something may have to happen out of it…

But you’re saying it comes from wanting to scale-up the experience.

Schofield: Absolutely. It’s in the story. The story started in Washington and the Russians, they’re not going to go to Pittsburgh next with all due respect.

Right. New York makes for a big target. One of the things I noticed in the "Black Tuesday" level is that you’re playing in New York City, which is a densely populated urban center, but there’s no civilians around. That seemed to me like one of the decisions you guys must have made. Was the thinking that it’s one thing to put war in a realistic setting, it’s another thing to actually put people in danger?

Bowling: Well, what you’ll notice as you’re playing throughout is the war is ranging very differently in each location. So, the war in New York has been going on for a while. It’s very different than how you’re fighting in the streets of London.

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