We've seen the trailer, and the silence has finally been broken with the first official details on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
An in-depth preview on Infinity Ward's new game, appearing on PCZone.co.uk, reveales Call of Duty 4's storyline revolves around the machinations of Zakhaev, a Russian ultra-nationalist with aims to bring the Soviet Union back into existence and in the style of his idol, Stalin.
Zakhaev initiates civil war in the Mother Land and, aware that other world powers will attempt to intervene, hatches a trap to tie-down US forces in Middle Eastern country.
British intelligence, meanwhile, has been tracking Zakhaev and tries to convince the US of the true reason for the Middle East conflict...
Call of Duty's campaign system, essentially playing through a number of small individual and independent scenarios stacked back to back, has been ditched, instead you have two storylines, one played from viewpoint of an SAS trooper and the other a member of US elite fighting force Force Recon, that interweave, with both plots coming together in a climax on Russian soil.
Infinity Ward president Grant Collier explains that the developer really wants CoD 4 "to play out like an episode of 24", and to this end it's been working with TV scriptwriters "who understand how to get a strong, episodic storyline going".
"We're able to have continuous characters throughout the game while being able to change locations," he continues. "In previous games we changed locations through the various campaigns, but you lost contact with all the characters from that storyline. And besides Price and McGregor, do you really remember any of the characters from Call Of Duty? No. Our goal is for you to really get to know these characters, to have an attachment to them, and at the end of the game, remember them."
So, changes in not just setting for the first-person shooter series but in the formula too. But PC Zone says that Modern Warfare still looks and feels like a Call of Duty game, "but in today's world, complete with blinding pace, terrifying weaponry and state-of-the-art technology."
You can read the magazine's in-depth preview online right now on the PC Zone website, and for even more details and exclusive screenshots go pick up a copy of Issue #182 out this coming Thursday, May 24, from shop shelves!