Call of Duty Q&A

We get an update on Infinity Ward's progress on its upcoming WWII shooter that features US, British, and Soviet campaigns.

The team that produced the highly successful Medal of Honor: Allied Assault has been busy with a new first-person action game that packs in three campaigns' worth of historically based World War II missions. Call of Duty will have you face the unique challenges that US, British, and Soviet forces dealt with at critical moments in the war. The upcoming game will put you in the middle of coordinated US attacks on German positions in Normandy, switch to behind-the-lines paratrooper and commando raids by British forces, and follow up with the desperate Russian defense of Stalingrad against the better-equipped Germans. We recently spoke with Vince Zampella, chief creative officer of Infinity Ward, to learn more about the game's recent progress, its variety of single-player missions, and its controllable vehicles.

GameSpot: Could you give us a general status update on the game's development? What aspects of the game is the team working on now?

Call of Duty will have three campaigns spanning key battles for the US, British, and Soviet forces in WWII.

Vince Zampella: Gameplay is in for the entire game, and we are currently tuning and fixing everything, which is one of the best parts of the process. We are looking for balance issues with the AI, weapons, and levels in general and working to really polish the experience.

GS: What kinds of team tactics can we expect to see in the game? How much control will players have over their teammates?

VZ: Your squad is well trained and will execute squad tactics as the situation demands. They will take movement cues from the player, and will not play the game by themselves. You can always interact with your squad by making them move off a mounted weapon or move out of your way.

GS: We were fortunate enough to briefly spend some time with the Ste. Mère Eglise demo level at E3--including the sequence where grazing cattle are cut down by enemy gunfire and players are forced to use their carcasses as cover. How much interactivity can we expect to see in Call of Duty's environments?

VZ: You are part of a huge war, and we have designed Call of Duty to portray that in the world around you. There are always things going on around you, some that you can interact with and others that you just observe. This really helps us tell the story and immerse the player.

GS: We understand that the American and British single-player campaigns will take place mostly on the western front, whereas the Russian campaign will begin in Stalingrad and eventually move to Poland. Can we expect to see a lot of missions and areas based specifically on historical battles and operations?

The battle for Stalingrad includes some epic scenes with hundreds of soldiers onscreen at once.

VZ: There are many missions based on historical operations, and many more based on historical locations. We put a lot of effort into creating an authentic environment for Call of Duty. This type of game really needs that kind of attention to accurately portray some of the more epic moments of WWII.

GS: We know that Call of Duty will involve paratrooper missions and urban warfare, but will the game provide any opportunities to pilot or drive any World War II planes or vehicles?

VZ: The player will be part of a tank squad, controlling one of many Russian tanks making their way across the countryside. These battles consist of ground troops, vehicles, artillery, and tanks on both sides, which creates an amazing battle for the player to experience. The player will also get to be a passenger in several other vehicles, with gameplay designed around them.

GS: The last time we spoke, you mentioned that the game's multiplayer options will be different depending on which side players choose to play (American, Russian, or British). Could you elaborate on what sets these sides apart?

VZ: While we aren't releasing many details on the multiplayer just yet, I will say that we have been having a blast testing it over here.

GS: Can you comment on the game's multiplayer modes? Can we expect to see standard modes such as deathmatch and capture the flag? What about mission-based multiplayer maps with team objectives?

VZ: We aren't releasing details, but I can tell you we will have more than standard deathmatch in Call of Duty.

Some missions will put you in the driver's seat of a tank.

GS: When Call of Duty was first announced, it was described as a "new brand" for Activision. We know you probably can't reveal a whole lot at this point, but we're curious to hear about future plans for the brand. Are there any plans to follow the game up with expansion packs, sequels, or both?

VZ: The only other plans that have been announced are for the consoles, called Call of Duty: Finest Hour. This is a separate and unique game designed by Spark specifically for the consoles, and it will be out next year. While it is still early for that project, it looks great so far.

GS: Finally, is there anything else you'd like to add about Call of Duty?

VZ: Call of Duty captures the epic moments of war and lets the player experience WWII from three different Allied sides. The team has worked very hard to bring an interactive, fun experience to life, and the results have been outstanding.

GS: Thanks for your time, Vince.

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