Microsoft didn't mess around with the opening to their conference, kicking things off with an on-stage demo from Modern Warfare 3, controlled by community honcho, Rob Bowling. Showing an elite spec ops unit, SEAL Team, traversing the Hudson River on miniature subs, they glide past fish, mines and a massive Russian submarine prowling the waters.
They plant mines on the Russian sub, bringing it to its knees or, more specifically, the surface of the river. You follow team leader, Sandman, inside. It's typical Call of Duty stuff, stealth and explosive firefights mixed to great effect. You're armed with a suppressed sub-machine gun, dropping Russian goons like flies.
You attach charges to a reinforced doors before breaching in dramatic, slow-mo fashion. You procure the launch-keys from a high-ranking officer, as you tap in some controls on a console. Then you disembark the sub, hopping on an inflatable raft and navigating the war-torn river, crawling in Russian and American warships trading fire. It's frantic, explosive, cinematic stuff, as you crest immense waves rippling out from explosions.
Piloting the raft, you dock in a submerged aircraft carrier's innards, flying high above the scenery of a ruined, rubble-strewn New York city. And so ends the demo. Glen Schofield, head of Sledgehammer Games, took to the stage to thank the assembled audience and tease us for this year's explosive Call of Duty offering, for which the Xbox 360 will receive the first offering of DLC.