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Call Of Duty Devs Talk Die Hard Missions And What It Took To Bring Rambo And McClane To The Game

We caught up with developers from Activision who shared more details on the new Rambo and Die Hard DLC.


One of the most exciting new additions to Call of Duty: Warzone with the Season 3 Reloaded update is the introduction of the game's first licensed characters, John Rambo from the Rambo series and John McClane from Die Hard. Both are coming to the game through the '80s Action Hero DLC, which shakes things up in a big and exciting way. We recently had the chance to speak to developers at Activision about the new DLC, which arrives this week, and our conversation touched on the Nakatomi Plaza missions, whether or not Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis worked with Activision, and if more licensed characters could come in the future. We also asked if Call of Duty's player base might even know who Rambo and McClane are, given they originated back in the '80s.

Activision's Natalie Pohorski, a narrative designer at Raven Software, said she's excited in particular about the introduction of the famous fictional building from Die Hard, Nakatomi Plaza, being added to the game. It replaces the broadcast tower and is the tallest structure on the map. It's also filled with special missions and activities, and there will be a series of Easter eggs to uncover throughout its five stories of playable spaces.

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One of the missions will involve cracking into the Nakatomi Plaza safe, but it won't be easy, as other players will be trying as well. There is also another missions where players must stop an arms deal. Pohorski said this will be a multi-stage mission that begins in the basement and moves all the way up. Another missions challenges players to defuse C4 on the top of the building while enemy choppers try to gun them down. Overall, Pohorski said players can expect a series of Easter eggs in the Plaza building.

"It's a 450-foot structure, five levels of playable space," Pohorski said. "And we have some specific missions for that space. There is definitely a Vault event, where players are working to secure Vault keys. There's another arms deal event where players are starting in the basement and working their way up through the building," she said. "We also have something going on at the helipad. Trying to defuse some C4 while getting attacked by enemy choppers. So there is definitely a lot more going on in that building. There are a lot of Easter eggs we're hoping players can find those on their own."

"I'm most excited about being able to play Zombies, as John McClane, with a baseball bat, smashing skulls," -- Natalie Pohorski

Pohorski also shared that she's excited for the blending of franchises that will come about with the '80s Action Heroes DLC. Specifically, she's stoked to whack some zombies with a baseball bat as John McClane--whether or not she'll be yelling "yippee ki yay" as she does this remains to be seen.

"I'm most excited about being able to play Zombies, as John McClane, with a baseball bat, smashing skulls. But also, Nakatomi Plaza--all the special missions going on in there, I think is going to be a blast to watch players experience that," she said.

Also in our interview, we wondered if Rambo and McClane might be just the first of many new licensed characters to come to Warzone. It's not an unprecedented strategy, as Fortnite has welcomed all manner of licensed characters from major franchises. Call of Duty: Mobile VP Chris Plummer said it's too soon to say if this will happen, but he said Activision is always looking to mix things up and keep the game fresh and interesting for players.

"This season is totally focused on the '80s action event, so we're totally stoked on bringing Rambo and John McClane and Die Hard action into the ecosystem and letting players engage with that," Plummer said. "So that's where 100% of our focus is right now. We'll continue to inject more content over the course of the seasons to come. I think we're always committed to evolving the playbook and continuing to try new things. Right now the focus is 100% on Rambo and Die Hard and our '80s Action Heroes event."

Finally, we asked Plummer for his thoughts on the recognizability of Rambo and McClane as characters that the audiences of Warzone, Black Ops Cold War, and Call of Duty: Mobile would be aware of. The franchises date back to the '80s, so you need to be more than 30 years old to have been alive when they debuted and rose to prominence. That may be true, but Plummer reminded people that Rambo and McClane have elevated themselves beyond a particular time period; they are legendary, not only from film but also memes, he said.

"We think these characters are legendary from their films, but also memes and even folks who never saw the original release know who these characters are," Plummer said.

While Rambo and McClane are coming to Call of Duty, it doesn't appear that Sylvester Stallone and Bruce Willis voiced the characters or consulted.

Plummer said Activision worked closely with the rights-owners for Rambo and Die Hard--which is Studio Canal and Disney--but it's believed Stallone and Willis did not record new lines for the game. Instead, Pohorski said, "You're going to hear lines directly from the franchises," suggesting that voice lines from the movies will be carried into the game.

While it may not be Stallone and Willis voicing the characters in Call of Duty, Plummer stressed that Activision went to great lengths to make sure Rambo and McClane are represented authentically in Call of Duty.

"We worked super closely with Studio Canal and Disney to make sure that these characters were brought to life with all their vivid detail and authenticity that fans would expect for those particular IP but also for Call of Duty," he said. "We want to deliver it in a way where you recognize these guys and you feel like you've seen those weapons, you've seen the looks on their faces; that was really important for us. It took a lot of awesome artistry to get those details just right. It was definitely a deep collaboration with the IP holders and with our studios to create that awesome content."

Check back soon for GameSpot's full interview with Plummer and Pohorski, which touches on a range of other subjects about the forthcoming DLC. For more, check out everything you need to know about the '80s Action Heroes DLC.

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