We recently sat down with Infinity Ward president Grant Collier to discuss the until-now undisclosed details of the World War II shooter's multiplayer modes. For more information on Call of Duty, consult our previous coverage of the game.
GameSpot: Thanks for taking the time for this interview. It sounds like Infinity Ward and Activision are finally ready to disclose some information about Call of Duty's multiplayer. How many multiplayer modes are planned for the game? Could you give us a rundown of each?
Grant Collier: In Call of Duty, we have focused on refining what we believe are the bases of a fun and competitive multiplayer game, while avoiding spending too much time on anything niche. To that effect, Call of Duty has a solid foundation with four base multiplayer modes; those being deathmatch, team deathmatch, seek and destroy, and retrieval. All of the functionality of these modes has been opened up to players in script form. This allows the community (with a little thought and ingenuity) to modify them to support various additional types of gameplay. I refer to these new gameplay modes as "arch-modes" and we've already included one, behind enemy lines, in Call of Duty.
GS: Any plans for new weapons or vehicles in multiplayer?
GS: You could say that PC game fans seem to be gravitating more towards team-based shooters (and away from head-to-head deathmatch games) in recent years. Obviously, Call of Duty is a very team-oriented game, so what kinds of features will the game offer to encourage players to get coordinated online? Will there be staggered spawn timers, two-man vehicles, or team-based classes, like medics?
GC: In Call of Duty, we have a "Rock, Paper, Scissors," form of play--balancing between the troop types of the four nations (American, British, Russian, and German). Each nation will have specific weapons, which will customize how the player is able to fight. We want to make sure to keep games as competitive as possible. If a team takes all submachine guns, they will quickly find themselves overwhelmed by a balanced team of riflemen, snipers, and support gunners. No two nations have the same weaponry, and we allow players to change troop types between deaths or rounds. Additionally, all friendly teammates appear on their nation's compasses. Also, we have prerecorded voice commands in the game. For example, "enemy spotted," "grenade," and "all clear." These chat commands will make your position flash on your teammates' compasses. These allow players to coordinate to very high levels, while not being overly complicated and obtrusive to the gameplay.
GS: The field of multiplayer shooters is much, much more competitive than it ever has been. How is Call of Duty going to distinguish itself from its very tough competition?
GC: We have crafted a multiplayer experience that is brilliant in its simplicity. Novice players will not be overwhelmed with dozens of keyboard commands and exotic objectives. Teams will quickly become aware of the balance of their nation's weapons and how the mixture will need to be altered dependent on the map. We feel that it takes a round to learn but months to master. There are some additional features, but we'll leave those for players to experience for the first time.
GS: Thank you, Grant.