CEO of Activision Publishing Eric Hirschberg opened things up for as at the Call of Duty XP preview by saying, "Speaking on behalf of Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer, Beachhead, Treyarch, and everyone else, we just want to say thanks to you for being here, and that this weekend is all about our fans. We think we have the greatest fanbase in the world." Activision has gone out of their way to make CoD XP a true fan event, and every penny they're collecting for the $150 tickets are going to the Call of Duty Endowment, which helps soldiers find jobs after their military service.
He also thanked Xbox 360 for being one of their premiere partners, and for supplying the hundreds of consoles that will be used throughout the event (between 840 to 1200, we heard), and they are also co-sponsoring the million dollar prize. Of course, he also reiterated the fact that the DLC will be on the Xbox 360 first, although that's not counting what will be coming if you're a premium Call of Duty Elite subscriber. More on that in a moment. Then he finally started delving into the game itself, which the reason we'd trekked out there. "Nobody here takes anything for granted," he said, "Our teams are putting everything we've got into this game." Which is easy enough to roll your eyes at, but after playing the game, he's definitely right.
Hirschberg said the the goals for the team were to strive for epic realism, a balance between authenticity and those "holy sh*t" moment you experience in a Hollywood blockbuster. They what your knuckles to be white while you play, and for your pupils to dilate. They also want it to be easy to pick up and play, and hard to master. And for all of it to run at 60 frames per second. And Hirschberg thinks they've done it. He's calling Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, "The most epic cinematic scale you've ever seen from a Call of Duty game, and it puts WWIII right outside your front door."
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Details -- The New Stuff
From there, we finally got a look at the multiplayer via a new trailer that out today. Instead of rehashing everything that's in Call of Duty multiplayer, we're going to tell you about the differences.
- Killstreaks are gone... sort of. Instead, now you get "Strike Packages" that are part of your loadout. The developers felt like killstreaks were optimized toward one game type: Team Deathmatch, and now they've really shaken things up in an effort to rebalance the game.
- The Assault Strike Packages are tailored towards pushing forward, like the UAV, Attack Choppers, and so on.
- The Support Strike Packages gets Strikes like Ballistic Vests (drops a bag of vests that you and your team can wear), Remote Turrets, EMPs and so on.
- You can customize your Assault and Support Strike Packages, but each class has different Strike Packages to choose from.
- The Specialist Strike Packages is a bit different. This one is awarded Perks as they accumulate kills. Pop two people, and you'll suddenly have the Sleight of Hand Perk, and so on. But, if you get eight consecutive kills, you'll get every Perk available in the game. However, when you die that resets.
- Infinity Ward says the Specialist soldier rolls alone, and that it is "The greatest test of individual skill ever in a Modern Warfare game."
- There's no Commando perk, and no Last Stand perk. But we did notice that "Final Stand" is back as a Death Streak. There are new Death Streaks this time around, like Juiced, which allows you to move faster after respawning, and Revenge, which shows you the location of the person who killed you.
- There's a new game mode, Kill Confirmed. This requires you to collect the dogtags from a downed enemy soldier, thereby "confirming" the kill and netting points for your team. But, you can also pick up dogtags from your downed allies, thereby "denying" the kill and keeping the other team from gaining the points. It's as important to confirm the kill as it is to get the kill.
- Dogtags sitting out in the field make an excellent target. So sacrificing someone on the team and using their tags as bait isn't a bad idea.
- Weapon Proficiency is new, allowing you to customize your weapons. Previously, you just unlocked challenges with your weapons, but now you can choose a Proficiency with each weapon, allowing you to do things like reduce sway and so forth.
- They also have a massive list of private matches, and you can go in and tinker with the settings for matches, thereby creating your own games. You can upload and share these gametypes through Call of Duty Elite.
- There's a new Prestige Shop, allowing you to choose what rewards you get when you Prestige.
- Levels are now capped at 80 instead of 60.
- 16 multiplayer maps will ship with the disc.
Call of Duty Elite Details -- What You Get, And Finally, A Price
- There is Facebook integration directly through Call of Duty Elite. Which helps you find new friends through Groups.
- Much increased Clan support.
- 30 second video uploads.
- You'll be able to access Elite through the web, consoles, and the iPhone, iPad, and Android platforms.
- You can change your loadout remotely through the apps while you're away, and it will change your loadout in the game.
Call of Duty Elite Premium Membership -- $49.99 Per Year
- You get every piece of DLC for that year, which is more new content than every before and will be 20 pieces in all for the first year of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
- You get the DLC first, and more often. In the past, map packs have been available four times a year. For Elite Premium members, you get monthly content drops in the form of multiplayer maps, new Spec Ops missions, and more.
- There will be daily competitions for Elite Premium members that allow them to compete for real and virtual prizes. And that's not just for pros, there will be tailored for all skill levels, and managed and refereed by real people 24/7.
- Premium Elite members will be able to level up their clans.
- Premium members get eight times more video capacity for their replays.
- You'll get access to expert strategy and analysis from expert players.
Elite TV -- What Is It?
- Premium episodic entertainment created by Hollywood talent like Ridley and Tony Scott, Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, and more.
- Ridley and Tony Scott have created a show that brings real life rivals together in multiplayer to battle it out. Cops vs. Firefighters, Yankees vs. Sox, and so on. It's called Friday Night Fights, and they start filming it this fall, only on CoD: Elite.
- Jason Bateman and Will Arnett are working on noob tubes! This show is about the ultimate smacktalk, which tends to happen in the comments underneath a video. Users will provide the video clips, and Arnett and Bateman will provide the Smacktalk.
- Available to Premium Elite subscribers.
For even more COD XP and CoD: MW3 news, be sure to check out our complete coverage below:
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Features Include Team Defender Mode, Prestige Shop, and More
- Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Mode 'Kill Confirmed' Announced At CoD XP -- Collect The Dog Tags
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Strike Packages Announced: Customizable Kill Streaks
- Call Of Duty Elite Pricing Detailed At CoD XP -- "Play Together Better"
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Xbox 360 Bundle Announced
- Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Impressions -- New Weapons, Strike Packages, And More!