Infinity Ward (IW) is one of the game industries most renowned developers. With the excellent Call Of Duty 2 (COD2) and the best selling shooter of all time, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, IW have built a reputation for the Call Of Duty series as being one of the best First Person Shooters around. Although Call Of Duty publisher Activision called upon developer Treyarch to do Call Of Duty 3 and Call Of Duty: World At War, Infinity Ward has always been seen as the definitive Call Of Duty developer.
Call Of Duty 3 was a decent game, it just didn’t have the smoothness and feel of an IW COD game. When IW revealed COD4: MW to everyone, expectations of the game shot through the roof. The graphics appeared to be a huge leap from previous COD games and the introduction of modern war with modern weapons was a first for the series and very intriguing as to how it would come up. When COD4:MW was released the praises flowed as it was seen by many as the game of the year. The single player campaign was compelling and kept you glued to the game, but not for as long as many people had hoped. The multiplayer mode with its new ranking system was enormously popular and is why COD4 is still played by many today.
With Call Of Duty: World At War, developer Treyarch used the COD4 engine. When this was announced you at least knew the game would look good. With COD:WAW, Treyarch went back to the traditional World War II theme. They made minor improvements to the graphics as their focus was on the implementation of co-op into the campaign and on the multiplayer modes. The co-op campaign was implemented well, but Treyarch struggled with the multiplayer mode. It was reported that Activision called upon Infinity Ward to help. What gamers were left with when COD:WAW released was a solid FPS with a good co-op and multiplayer mode. Bottom line though, was that COD:WAW just didn’t have the same impact as COD4 did.
Since the release of COD4, Infinity Ward has been hard at work on a follow up. Recently it was revealed that they were dropping the Call Of Duty name and just sticking with Modern Warfare 2. Although no official details have been released about what to expect from the game other than it being an awesome shooter, it was announced that it will release on November 10, 2009.
With the release of titles like Killzone 2 and Resistance 2 and the continual dominance of Halo 3 on Xbox Live thanks to Bungie’s excellent post game release support and DLC, can Infinity Ward produce a game that not only looks better than the above mentioned games, but one that surpasses them in gameplay and features? Let’s have a look at what IW might do to make MW2 GOTY material.
First off there is the graphics. Being 2 years in development and the fact that COD4 is still one of the better looking games around, it is a sure fire bet that MW2 will most likely surpass the likes of Gears of War 2 and Killzone 2 to again raise the bar for next gen graphics.
Second we have the gameplay. Infinity Ward is known for producing smooth gameplay that feels great to control unlike some other FPS’s. However, with Killzone 2 introducing a proper cover system for the first time in a first person shooter, can IW come up with something different that will set their game apart from a standard FPS? If they introduced a cover system, one would hope that the additional development time would allow them to refine it and implement it even better than in Killzone 2. A tall order, I know, but as no game is perfect there is room for IW to develop it further and implement it how they want to. Maybe IW would not be satisfied in just refining something that someone else did. Maybe they will bring something completely different to the FPS genre. Time will tell. The problem with FPS’s, is they are primarily the same. What separates the good from the bad is how well the developer makes the game control.
The other features that IW need to bring to MW2 is to include co-op in the campaign and a killer multiplayer mode with even more stats and rankings than COD4 had. As COD:WAW included co-op in the campaign, you’d think it would be a certainty that IW would include it in MW2. Co-op is becoming a feature that is present in almost every shooter these days and gamers expect it. If IW don’t bring co-op to MW2, there will be a lot of unhappy gamers out there.
As for the online multiplayer modes, Halo 3 and Killzone 2 have shown us what console games can do in terms of stat tracking. The dedicated websites that Bungie and Killzone 2’s developer Guerrilla Games are amazing. If IW wants to make MW2 the definitive shooter of 2009, it has to do more than just have a ranking system within the game. It will be interesting to see what they come up with, let’s just hope it is good.
Obviously, as we all excitedly wait for more details to emerge from IW, all we can do is speculate on what MW2 will be like. According to IW’s track record, I don’t think they will let us down. Bring on November 10!
Article Written By Craig Cirillo.