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The Long Road for Call of Duty 3 43

All this week, 1up has been running an extended feature on Call of Duty 3. Despite the sometimes tired WWII genre, the CoD series has managed to keep things fairly fresh in their continued exploration of the FPS' greatest war. Articles include details on the making of the game, a look back at past installments in the series, and a discussion with Creative Director Richard Farrelly on the jump to next-gen consoles.
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The Long Road for Call of Duty 3

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  • by mhazen ( 144368 ) on Friday July 07, 2006 @11:41AM (#15675846) Homepage
    ...before the gaming industry gets stuck using the same material over... and over... and....

    (too late)
    • One wonders why Vietnam hasn't had the same draw for game designers as WWII. Perhaps because there are still too many veterans who would enter awful flashbacks upon seeing such a game?
      • by amliebsch ( 724858 ) on Friday July 07, 2006 @12:01PM (#15676011) Journal
        I think it's more likely that Vietnam simply offers a less epic scope. It was a proxy war, and the enemies just lacked that inherent evil awfulness that the Nazis had, and our motives were less than clear, reducing the "good vs. evil" dynamic that makes for compelling storylines. Also, WWII was on a huge scale, with practically every conceivable form of fighting was represented, and over a huge variety of landscapes and cities, giving designers lots of material to work with. In comparison, Vietnam battle types would be limited to infantry squad fighting and patrol boating, all taking place in either jungle or rice paddies. Finally, WWII was the last "total war" we have fought, with truly massive battles and relatively straightfoward strategy, and clear victories and losses. The Vietnam battles would be and endless series of skirmishes without any clear goals or much way to define "winning" or "losing", and I can see how that could easily be boring or frustrating to play.

        That said, it would be a different kind of FPS if they did it right - the player as an American commander in VietNam, where you have to make ethical decisions about who to fight (with lots of noncombatants or ambiguously aligned personnel), what villages to destroy, and what kind of force to use, all of which affect your ability to achieve some kind of overally strategic goal, like territorial pacification.

        • "endless series of skirmishes without any clear goals or much way to define "winning" or "losing", and I can see how that could easily be boring or frustrating to play."

          Doesn't this pretty much define every pubbie server for every FPS ever made?
        • "A strange game. The only way to win is not to play."
        • That doesn't neccessarily follow - many of the more interesting storylines in any media were based on ideas with more complexity and ambiguity than WWII - and arguably, the more interesting stories about WWII were focused on the struggles on the Eastern Front, between one evil dictator and another, slightly less evil one.

          I think the main problem with Vietnam games is simpler than that - terrain. Vietnam was focused on foilage dense landscapes, which game designers and game engines just do not handle that we
        • As usual, Penny Arcade [penny-arcade.com] covered this pretty well.
        • Aside from myself, I often get the impression that noone plays single-player FPSes anymore. With that in mind, it could actually be far more compelling than Star Wars/World War II/Marines vs Demons. In Vietnam, all five sides had compelling reasons to fight (and to dismiss the validity of their opponents' struggle (I'm not counting the Trotskyites and anarchists (ie. I'm counting France, North and South Vietnam, the Viet Cong, and the Americans as seperate entities))).

          This could make an awesome multiplaye
      • Because it would probably be boring as hell. WWII puts soldiers with old-school rifles and old-school artillery in massive battles with thousands of soldiers that take place in a very familiar environment - European cities and countryside. You get to run through houses, city halls, town squares, demolished offices, seaside bunkers, you name it.

        I think it's possible to make a fun Vietnam game, but the battles would be monotonous. Being part of a large armed force fighting against small groups of geurilla sol
      • Different types of conflicts. WWII had large, open battles, epic campaigns, and a variety of backdrops for developers to use (europe, africa, pacific). All of these make for great action games. vietnam, on the other hand, its set it either jungle or burned out urban settings, fighting using guerilla tactics, booby traps, etc. While vietnam might make a better stealth-action game, it lacks the epic action packed battles seen in WWII.

        Also, WWII was a much more glorious war for the US, where we were the he
    • I'm not sure why but I never get tired of the CoD series. I've played and replayed the original, expansion, and sequel over and over and I keep coming back for more. Maybe it's just fun to kill Nazis, maybe it's the designers' fantastic level design with a great variety of long and short-ranged battles, or maybe it's the culmination of all the elements in one package. Regardless, the sights, sounds, and screams of these games are very polished and professional.

      WWII is a great setting for games because
    • Why aren't there any games made about the Vietnam War? I'm telling you, it'd be a tough game to conquer!
    • http://www.bgmod.com/ [bgmod.com]

      It's great fun playing during the Revolutionary War. It would be great if someone did a similar Civil War mod. Red staters and Blue staters would love to go all Blue vs Gray online.
  • EA has exclusive licenses with Vietnam, Korea and Iraq, preventing any games set in these places from being done by other companies.

    Looks like we'll have to get CoD: Hippie Beatdown to explore the next few years of the "Greatest Generation".
    • Gawd I hate EA. Not that they can manage to make much in the way of a good game, but when they do it would be a prime candidate for massive scale piracy just on a purely moral basis alone.

      They simply don't deserve to get *any* of my money, even when they squeeze out the occasional non-turdish title.

      The sooner EA just fucks off and dies the better off the games industry as a whole will be IMHO.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday July 07, 2006 @12:08PM (#15676065)
    After the screwing that the long-standing CoD community got with CoD2, I think that a lot of people are going to think twice about purchasing another Call of Duty or Infinity Ward title. Infinity Ward made a conscious decision to dumb down their multiplayer (because of the XBox360), kiss up to Microsoft, and release an extremely flawed multiplayer game really got under the skin of most of the die-hard fans. While the single-player was excellent, it wasn't enough to offset the travesty which the multiplayer fanbase got stuck with. Patch 1.4 and most of the issues still aren't fixed.

    It didn't help that the "all-new from-the-ground-up" Call of Duty 2 was actually just Call of Duty 1 with a slightly upgraded rendering engine and dumbed-down interface. Serious bugs, including server-crashing exploits that were known from the original game were all present when CoD2 released ("all new", huh?) - and code was found that indicated the fixes were bypassed to rush the product to market. It didn't help that they released the multiplayer without ANY cheat protection. It didn't help that Grant Collier (President of IW) pissed all over the mapping and modding community.

    While the guys at Treyarch are great, the decision to go console-only on this title isn't going to make their PC-based fans any happier.

    Grant Collier and Infinity Ward need a serious reality check - you don't survive long in the gaming industry by spitting on you customer base, especially when they're who put you on the map in the first place. While they can trot out whatever server stats they care to, it's a known fact that CoD2 is withering on the vine (something like 1% of available server slots are actually in use).

    Most of the CoD players I know (and I know 100s from League and clan play) will never purchase another IW product or any further CoD titles. Best of luck to Treyarch, but Infinity Ward can rot for all that most serious players care.
    • Remember that not everyone plays games online, I enjoyed CoD2 and haven't gone online with it even once. OTOH, CoD2 is still the #1 most played 360 game on Xbox Live, so don't pretend that it's "withering on the vine".

      Sounds to me like you feel personally voilated by Infinity Ward and have decided that everyone hates them as much as you do. Not so, certainly 360-wise there is a lot of CoD2 love around.
    • "It didn't help that the "all-new from-the-ground-up" Call of Duty 2 was actually just Call of Duty 1 with a slightly upgraded rendering engine and dumbed-down interface."

      I was actually very appreciative of the way they updated the game engine. The original CoD ran smooth as silk for me and it was jarring to see how choppy everything was on my fairly decent system at full detail (Athlon XP 3400, 1.5GB RAM, 6600GT). I flipped one option to DirectX 7 and I got what I really wanted - another add-on to Co
      • So wait, it is realistic to be shot 6 times in the body and just regenerate it back in 10 seconds as long as you don't get shot again? I haven't played anything but CoD2 on 360, but it reminded me a lot of Halo 2: Regenerating "health", two weapon carry, melee, one-button-grenades. In terms of gameplay, just swap dual wield for the ability to use iron sights and you've almost got the same sort of game.
    • Maybe the online play suffered, but many of us are fans of CoD because of the strength of the single player campaign. From that standpoint CoD2 is a great game. It does lack some of the more memorable scenes from CoD1 (the suicidal landing at Stalingrad is one of my favorite moments in any game ever). Still, the play is rock solid. It looks good and is a blast to play. The "healthy-injured-dead" wound system kept the game moving and risky without the "I think if I backtrack for three minutes I'll find a
    • CoD 1 and 2 both were great single player games. I have only played CoD 1/2 over a LAN, and have found both version to be a LOT of fun. What I find annoying, is companies build up a franchise that is well-loved on a PC, and then port it over to the consoles, where it flourishes, and then the next version of the game is a PC port of a console game. Ubisoft has been doing this to us with the Tom Clancy games recently. It gets frustrating to support these game companies, and have them spit in your face onc
  • OK, I didn't RTFA, but...

    How come every time a great game designed for PC starts targeting a console the game ends up sucking?

    Deus Ex -> Deus Ex 2
    Morrowind -> Oblivion

    So if CoD3 targets the console from the beginning, is the game going to be not as good?
    • Morrowind came out on the X-box, too. I don't know why anyone would play it on there, but it was available.

      I think that Max Payne 2 was a PC/Console dual release, and IMHO it was a much better game than the first one (remember, how dull Max Payne 1 got, starting at the parking garage level?).

      That said, yes, both of the games that you cited suffered severely from too much focus on console crap. And both Morrowind and Deus Ex are on my list of games that I'd gladly pay $50 for again, just to play the exact
      • Xbox version came out 5 weeks after PC version of Max Payne 2, same with Morrowind. Morrowind also had an updated game of the year edition that tweaked gameplay for the console. They were not simultaneous releases and they weren't developed with the console as the base system of play.

    • Oblivion isn't a good example of a game that moved to consoles and sucked, it's a counter-example. It has a Gameranking score of 93% on the PC while Morrowind has a score of 88% on the PC.

      To speak to your questions though, when games released on Console & PCs games have problems, the usualy suspects are designing for different control schemes and different audiences.

      Oblivion and GTA are strong examples of games that have defied those problems, so it's not inherient in targeting consoles and PCs at the s
      • It has a Gameranking score of 93% on the PC while Morrowind has a score of 88% on the PC.

        Oh, well in that case...
      • It has a high ranking because its shiny and it was hyped to death.
        Popularity does not equal quality.
        These two things are independent of one another. Plenty of quality games are not popular and plenty of popular games really aren't that great. Oblivion WAS dumbed down for the console. Its a perfect example of something that was ruined by. They made sweeping changes to the game as a result of it going to the console and it turned out as garbage. The backlash lasted for weeks on the forum. The AI sucked, the g
    • Because consoles are poor gaming platforms compared to the PC. They're cheap because they just don't have the same abilities. Static hardware means that at release IF the console is designed by current PC standards your first few games might be on par graphically. Next year, you're releasing crappy graphics if you don't clean it up for the PC. Even oblivion when compared side by side was shown to be better on the PC already and it was just released.

      Processors aren't good in the consoles. I've linked to this
  • I suppose Call of Duty 3 could be based in the Pacific Theater which has generally been unexplored territory as far as WW2 FPS go. But in the end I can't help but think enough already. How many more damn FPS games do we need, not to mention the overused WW2 setting.

    These developers have about as much imagination as a pile of rocks. And whats worse they continue to promote each subsequent sequel like it's a great feat in gaming.

    This explains why I have purchased a new game in close to a year and why I don't
  • I mean think about it. It was the "good war", and their existing users liked it, so why add risk by doing a war you don't know everyone will like? That's the way real marketers think guys, sigh.

    I personally, would have done speculative storylines involving wars with Iran, China, Sudan, Russia, North Korea, and maybe just for laughs, France, etc. Doing an India vs. Pakistan nuclear aftermath war could be fascinating as a storyline. I mean, if we are to have firefights, let the architecture and background
  • Or does this look exactly like COD2? WTF? Console kids are gonna' shell out another $50 for the same damned game they already have? Since when did IW become EA?

    and no PC!? Are they nuts!? What self-respecting gamer plays FPS on console?



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