We’re starting the Military Shooter Week with Cpt. Low Price, so go to Kinguin.net to grab classic (as well as forgotten or less-known) games from this respectable genre. A genre that had been very popular for quite some time, pretty much since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare made a splash and up until gaming slowly turned to sci-fi. You may know the games themselves, but what happened behind the scenes is a whole ‘nother story, and one worth telling.
Modern Warfare was supposed to be a sequel for Call of Duty 1
The military shooter craze started with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, which was released in 2007, however the idea for Modern Warfare was in circulation from around 2003. It was supposed to be the follow-up to the original Call of Duty.
The team at Infinity Ward, who had previously made World War II-themed Medal of Honor: Allied Assault, was getting a bit tired with the formula and wanted to move the setting into the 2000s. Activision, their publisher, wasn’t too eager to do so. The company was convinced that a modern shooter wouldn’t catch on and requested a straightforward sequel, which became Call of Duty 2. Only then IW was allowed to have a shot at Modern Warfare, while Treyarch was doing its best to bring Call of Duty 3 to the consoles.
When Modern Warfare finally hit the store shelves and became an instant classic, Infinity Ward had a new idea again. This time they wanted to follow it up with a sci-fi title. And again Activision didn’t believe they would succeed. Besides, Modern Warfare was selling like hot cakes, so they requested an immediate follow up — even though the game was envisioned as a single stand-alone title.
After Modern Warfare 2’s success and some financial disputes, the series was handed over to Sledgehammer Games. Infinity Ward’s core people left to start Respawn Entertainment and realize their sci-fi concept in the form of Titanfall.
At first, the entire campaign was about the American soldiers
The concept was to recreate the modern battlefield, so Infinity Ward adopted the American point of view, getting inspiration from real life conflicts of the decade as well as then-popular movies (Black Hawk Down etc.). Some time later, however, they looked at what they made and all they saw was desert levels. It looked extremely monotonous and the team went back to the drawing board. The game’s plot was rewritten to allow placing missions anywhere in the world.
This change came late into production, and the reason behind it was that Infinity Ward initially had split into two teams. Team A was working on Modern Warfare while Team B was tackling another (secret) project. It was Team B that had the most experienced designers, which was responsible for Call of Duty’s setbacks. Eventually the unannounced game was cancelled and the entire studio focused on their flagship title.
The game’s testing period was cut short because of PlayStation 3
As the developers admitted in the game’s post-mortem, Modern Warfare was a bit unbalanced due to reduced beta testing period. Late in the production the team learned that making Blu-ray copies of the game would take longer than expected, so the code needed to be finalized sooner. Even though no platform was named in this recollection, at the time only PlayStation 3 had a Blu-ray drive.
Consoles aren’t to blame, however, because the developers themselves admitted that it was easier to code for them than for PC. At the time, swapping assets between Xbox 360 and PS3 was simple and quick, and their performance was pretty much the same. At the same time the PC version had to run on a number of different configurations, in different resolutions, with different drivers. That’s why there weren’t that many configuration options in Modern Warfare. These would make it even harder to ensure it works on different rigs, and it would be impossible to deliver the game on time.
Call of Duty has barely any recognizable characters, but an all-star cast
Call of Duty doesn’t have a particularly strong story, and even though there are more than 20 games in the series, the cast of recognizable characters is limited mostly to Cpt. Price, Ghost, Soap, Reznov, with maybe the addition of Mason and Frank Woods. What you might not know is that many roles, including small and supporting parts, are voiced by Hollywood’s top actors.
Among the actors who had a part across the series there were Idris Elba, Jason Statham, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Michael Keaton, Gary Oldman, Ice Cube, a lot of “wow, I know this guy”s and approximately half the cast of the Band of Brothers, which is indeed very cool. Not that you’d know it since they can be barely heard among all the gunfire. Besides, who in their right mind plays Call of Duty for the acting?