It's almost certain Activision will finally announce Modern Warfare 3 this coming week, as they gear up the hype machine in preparation for yet another annual Call of Duty assault. But with Jason West and Vince Zampella no longer at Infinity Ward - along with a few other key personnel - having relocated to EA and upstart studio, Respawn, we're all curious to see what the new-look outfit can accomplish.
However, we have a few key demands we'd like to at least see considered. Call of Duty is almost impossibly popular, shattering records with each annual release, but just 'cos it 'aint broke, doesn't mean we shouldn't tinker with it!
I love Zombies; Spec Ops was great; but I think we'd all like to witness - and, in most cases, prompt! - all of CoD's spectacular moments as part of a flesh and blood team. World at War featured a terrific co-operative option, and it's a lot more fun to dive into the fray with a friend or two - or three - than slog along by yourself.
Often, you're either a lowly grunt in a platoon of soldiers, or one of several highly trained, lethally armed shock-troopers. More than enough room to include a few player-controlled characters to muck around with. So for Modern Warfare 3, I'd like to see a fully-featured, two player minimum co-operative campaign slap-bang in the menu!
Less Linear, More Open!
Call of Duty is a lot like a theme-park ride. It's thrilling, white-knuckle stuff. However, you can't help but feel like you're on the set of a Michael Bay film at times, every explosion, every crashed helicopter or feat of superhuman heroism appearing a little bit staged. Nothing wrong with that at all, but it wouldn't hurt to add a little choice into the matter.
For instance, what if instead of shooting your way into a terrorist compound, you could snipe the occupants from afar or set explosives at select options? I often feel like a bystander in Call of Duty, rather than an integral part of proceedings. I'd also like to see less of a gauntlet of death, racing through preordained paths decided by the developer, and more open-ended, multi-staged encounters, please!
Bye Bye Infantry Warfare, Hello Special Forces!
Black Ops' campaign was a success on a number of fronts. For one, it had a genuinely riveting story with an intriguing set-up and numerous - pulpy, mind - plot twists. It was also nice to invest in a single narrative protagonist - rather than several disparate ones - and bid farewell to the tired, cliched attempts at aping Saving Private Ryan.
So in Modern Warfare 3, we want an emphasis on special forces operations. I'm talking infiltrating enemy lairs via sewage pipes, slicing hapless guard's necks, silenced pistol shots to the cranium and thrilling escapes via helicopter. Call of Duty is always at its most intense and exciting when you're a spec ops soldier, so let's never forget that.
Heresy, I hear you proclaim! Revamp perhaps the most popular multiplayer option on the planet? Well, yes; why not? It's been the same pretty much since Modern Warfare cracked the mold, but since then it's barely changed a bit, sans new weapons and perk rosters. It's an excellent system, no doubt, with a lot of customisation and enticing rewards. But it's a little set in its ways, too.
For instance, the camo options for your guns are in dire need of an update. Instead of offering a choice of - often ugly - skins, why not let us choose from a base template colour we can then customize with a range of decals? And what about customizable perks, traits we can tinker with or abilities we can mold? New modes, greater variety of maps, special ammunition; you name it! A host of examples can be suggested, so I hope Infinity Ward is listening.
What would you like to see in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3? You never know, it might end up in the game! As always, sign off in the comments section below.