By Steven L. Kent A FEW YEARS AGO, Russian “ultranation- alists” invaded the United States—in the video game Modern Warfare 2. Now those ultranationalist Russians are expanding their efforts to Europe. Welcome to Modern Warfare 3, the latest installment in Activision’s Call of Duty, a long-running series of chart-topping video games. Call of Duty first saw actionin 2003as a World War II simulation, but has more recently caught up with the times. Robert Bowling, creative strategist at Infinity Ward, the studio that developed Modern Warfare 3, was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule of programming and global domination for a conversation
with The Connection.
The Costco Connection: What new features
will we find in Modern Warfare 3?
Robert Bowling: There are a ton of new features in every mode of Modern Warfare 3. The
biggest, and by far my personal favorite, is the
all-new Spec Ops Co-op Survival mode, which
lets players work together as they battle infinite
waves of AI [artificial intelligence] enemies.
Spec Ops Co-op includes the most popular features from the multi-player modes, such
as ranking up, unlocking new weapons and air
support. It lets you customize your load on the
fly from armories inside the levels. In Spec
Ops Co-op, each wave of enemies introduces
increasingly more difficult tactics, forcing
players to change their play style to adapt.
Duty calls, again
CC: Where do you get your inspiration?
RB: When we have concepts like breaching a
sub in New York Harbor, we talk with our
military advisers about how they’d approach
that particular mission, then we take that real-world advice and craft the cinematic moment
you see in game.
CC: Gaming has become mainstream entertainment. Who do you see as the primary audience for Modern Warfare 3?
RB: While, at its core, Modern Warfare 3 is a
shooter, we focus on taking players through a
cinematic action-movie experience. The
game has you boots-on-the-ground in the
streets of New York at one moment, flying on
the side of a helicopter past skyscrapers the
next, and then avoiding underwater mines
while piloting subs after that.
CC: Where do you see the series going?
RB: Right now we are 100 percent focused on
Modern Warfare 3. Once players have the
game in hand, we’re going to be playing online
with them, listening and updating it even more
as we continue to support it. C
Steven L. Kent ( www.sadsamspalace.com) is
a novelist and video gamer. His latest novel,
The Clone Redemption, came out in October.
The Costco Connection
Modern Warfare 3 (available in mid-November) and a variety of other popular video
games (see page 63) will be in the warehouses and at Costco.com this holiday season, along with top video game consoles.
Game selections may vary by location, and
arrival dates are subject to change.
By Tim Talevich
COUCH POTATOES, be warned: Kinect
for Xbox 360 from Microsoft may not be
the game console for you.
Kinect, unveiled a year ago, is all
about full-body movement. Using motion-sensing technology, Kinect turns you into
the controller for everything from smashing a tennis ball to setting up an HD
movie to watch with the family. There are
no controllers or cables—a wave of the
hand starts everything off.
The system has grown up in its first
year, with more game makers coming on
Microsoft’s Kinect: Action!
board with new releases in time for the
holiday season. I got a chance to preview
a few of them recently in a special studio
on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond,
I started out with Kinect Disneyland
Adventures, published by Microsoft
Studios. You enter the Magic Kingdom’s
iconic front gates and start strolling
through the park, where all the famous
Disney characters are there to greet you.
Go ahead and hug Snow White—after all,