Early in the Modern Warfare 3 development cycle, when it was announced that the game would not be sporting a shiny new engine like its competitor Battlefield 3, many gamers scoffed at the idea of retreading through the same visuals of the past two Modern Warfare titles. Sure, there were claims that Modern Warfare 3 would run at a silky smooth 60 fps, but that paled in comparison to something shiny and new.
Now that Modern Warfare 3 is almost upon us, Sledgehammer Games' Glen Schofield wants to put his two cents in on the matter, and also share his thoughts on a few more nagging questions gamers have had about Modern Warfare 3.
First off, Schofield wants to stress that Modern Warfare 3’s biggest competitor isn’t Battlefield 3; it’s Modern Warfare 2. As the Infinity Ward benchmark for critical and commercial success (the title holds a 94 Metacritic and is the best selling of the Modern Warfares) Modern Warfare 2 still holds that crown of achievement in Sledgehammer’s mind.
Yes, Battlefield 3 might have the flashy new engine, and support for vehicles, but its engine is new and as such can cause problems for developers. Modern Warfare’s engine, on the other hand, has been so finely tuned that any new addition fits in perfectly. That isn’t to say new improvements aren’t being made with how levels and missions are being designed, in fact, quite the opposite.
“If you put Modern Warfare 2 next to Modern Warfare 3 you would see a huge difference. Look at all the character models, look at all the gun models, look at the reflections, look at the water. There is so much that we've added, so when someone says 'cut and paste', I don't even want to talk to them because they don't know. They just don't know. They have no idea.”
In Schofield’s mind, the Modern Warfare engine is like a Porsche, it’s streamlined and clean. It’s hard to see just how smooth the engine does run when only looking at the game through trailers, but those who visited Call of Duty XP know what he’s talking about.
In fact, Sledgehammer looks at the Call of Duty XP event as its own little closed beta. Gamers might have been wondering if Activision would roll out an open beta for Modern Warfare 3, but, in fact, they were able to mine all the data they needed at the event.
“This game is so big between the campaign, the Spec-Ops and the multiplayer, there was so much work to do that I don't know whether it hit anyone's mind or not. We had XP and XP was in itself a way for 1,000s of people to play the game and for us to look over their shoulder and see how they were doing and how they liked it and that was really good.”
So while Modern Warfare 3 might not be sporting a fancy new engine, and didn’t roll out an open beta for gamers to test out, it does promise to be the definitive Call of Duty experience. So much knowledge has been gained from the first Modern Warfare to now that it has us pretty excited about where MW3 might be taking the franchise.
Do you think that not outfitting Modern Warfare 3 with a new engine was a mistake, or the game’s biggest advantage? Are you upset that an open beta wasn’t available?
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 releases November 8, 2011 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360.