Last weekend, hundreds of thousands of hardcore gamers heard the “call of duty” and converged on Playa Vista Studios in Los Angeles, CA for the first annual Call of Duty XP event. Fans from all over the world (including those from Japan, England, Germany, France, and more), came together to take part in Activision’s major unveiling of the next installment in its massive franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Those who attended got their ticket for a whopping $150, however, all proceeds went straight to Call of Duty Endowment — an awesome non-profit organization that aids veterans in finding work and reestablishing their civilian lives after their time in the service. Of course, Activision threw in some sweet goodies, as well. Everyone who went to Call of Duty XP received an all-access pass to the event (which lasted two days) where one could see numerous presentations given by CEO’s of the forces involved with MW3, compete for prizes (and a tournament to win up to $1 million and some serious bragging rights), Q&A with developers, access to various activities and live entertainment by superstar Kanye West and Boston icons the Dropkick Murphy’s, a free T-shirt, poster, Call of Duty Mountain Dew can, and a voucher for a free copy of the Hardened Edition of Modern Warfare 3.
Now, that’s a lot of stuff, so let’s start with some details that were revealed about MW3. We have already been given much insight into Call of Duty Elite, but until now we didn’t know the cost of the much talked about social networking and stat compiling service. Many of its core features are free for all to utilize, but if you really want to call yourself elite, you’ll need to pay a staggering $50 on top of the $60 you just spent for the game. Oh, and that’s a yearly figure, since you must renew your membership every 12-months. That price may seem a little unjustified, but let’s break it down a little bit. $50/year comes out to about $4.17/month. (See? It’s already sounding more reasonable.) To make it a little sweeter, Activision has announced that they intend on ditching the old four packs of downloadable content (DLC) per year for a more steady and consistent approach. Instead, they will push out twenty DLC packs just weeks apart from each other in an attempt to give gamers a more refreshing Call of Duty experience without going through that dull period between DLC’s. Naturally, everyone can purchase said DLC packs from their usual market place (such as Xbox LIVE), however, Elite subscribers will essentially pre pay for all of that year’s DLC and even get it before everyone else, giving them a significant advantage on the battlefield. To see the full list of features for both free and paid Elite accounts, visit Call of Duty’s official website.
It’s easy to see that Activision and Infinity Ward have been dedicated to bringing the Call of Duty gameplay experience to the next (ultimate) level. One new feature to multiplayer that sticks out is called “Kill Confirmed.” Players can collect the dog tags of their deceased opponents. In addition, new weapons, new perks, and new killstreaks were all announced. Actually, “killstreak” isn’t the term being used anymore, mainly because it’s no longer applicable. “Points streak” is the new in-game reward system which gives players support based, self-explained, on points rather than kills. This will please many who too often get assists by having their kills stolen by greedy teammates. Sure, you still don’t get as many points as the jerk who ran in and finished off the enemy you were just about to take out after an extended engagement, but you’ll still be that much closer to that chopper gunner.
Have you ever been playing MW2 and thought to yourself, “I would love to do this in real life,” but don’t have the nerves to enlist in the armed forces? No worries, because Activision gave fans that opportunity by building life-sized replicas of favorite multiplayer map, Scrapyard, and race against the clock target practice course, The Pit. Armed with Paintball guns, Call of Duty players got the opportunity to live the action for themselves (less the attack helicopters and claymores). Hey, you don’t automatically get care packages in real life either. No doubt, all who participated had an incredible experience and a lot of fun running both sets. And when you were done unloading paintballs on friends and strangers alike, you could unwind by waiting in one of two very long lines to grab some food from a recreation of Burgertown or Nate’s Grab N Go before you harness yourself for an exhilarating zip line experience, or maybe even strap into a sumo-suit and get your wrestling on. What Call of Duty and sumo wrestling have in common, I will probably never know.
Let’s see what Activision serves up next year. Don’t forget to watch the entire XP presentation (on the left)*. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Elite are both available for pre order and are to be released on November 8, 2011.
* This video may contain animated violence and content not suitable for all audiences. Those under the age of 18 are asked not to watch this presentation.