Call of Duty: World at War

Interview: How Treyarch wants to exceed expectations...

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We can't get away with delivering tight infantry gameplay and sloppy vehicle support. That's what we mean when we say we want to add to it.

Farrelly: So people that are used to playing Modern Warfare will be able to easily slip into our multiplayer game and then say: "oh, they also have this."

CoD is known for being a great for it's infantry gameplay. Aren't you afraid that introducing vehicles might endanger that reputation?

Farrelly: Absolutely, and that's why we're spending a lot of time on vehicle balancing.

Farrelly: And also creating maps that are geared towards specific gameplay. And even on the vehicle maps, there are sections where we've got no vehicle allowed, and that's going to ensure support for infantry combat in those regions.

Also, we provide many maps that are infantry only, so if people don't want to play with vehicles, they don't have to.

And will the vehicles be team-operated - so you have one guy driving while another mans a gun?

Farrelly: Yes, we think that team gameplay is a great thing to support. There'll be LVT vehicles that go through the water. Water and fire on maps will be a new feature in multiplayer, and we'll have to see how that plays out.

You obviously use CoD 4 as a point of reference, but how much does Infinity Ward contribute with feedback on what you're doing with WaW?

Farrelly: Absolutely. We share builds back and forth with their team. We're our own team and we have to build our own game, but long before CoD 4 was shipping, we were looking at builds of that game because we were working with that engine. There's good communication between the two teams.

How will the new gameplay elements introduced for the Japanese gameplay - hiding in holes, ambushes and things like that - be crossed over into the multiplayer?

Farrelly: We're not ready to talk about that just yet.

It must be quite tough to translate these new mechanics into the human-vs-human multiplayer...

Farrelly: Yeah it is. We'll be ready to talk about that soon, I promise.

There were rumours on the net of Infinity Ward wanting exclusive rights to the Call of Duty franchise. Was there any reality in that?

Farrelly: No. I think that the colonel truth in things like that is that everyone at Activision that touches the CoD brand wants the highest standards for it, and if it's not a strong game no-one's going to be happy to let it out the door. The official line is that "we don't comment on that", but no one at Activision would be happy with a CoD game that wasn't up to our standards.

How's the Wii version coming along?

Farrelly: It is the Modern Warfare engine ported to Wii. Not some special thing - we'll be showing it soon. I think it looks better than any Wii game on the market so far. It's a special team at Treyarch focused specifically on the Wii - it's not some outsourced team, not some group living in another country. These guys live, eat and breathe Wii.

They're doing a lot of control work and developing a lot of special technology to make sure that you're able to find the enemy as quickly as possible. We'll be supporting the Zapper, which is very challenging in CoD because you've got three buttons when you're using the Zapper.

We've got a unique co-op mode and we'll support multiplayer. This is going to be easily the best shooter on Wii.

So it's fully online enabled like the other versions?

Farrelly: Absolutely. You can't have CoD without it. It can't be a robust as next-gen consoles, but we're trying our best not to make a compromise there.

We've got a great engine that can go onto multiple platforms. You have to do a bit more to get it onto the Wii, but for all intents and purposes it's the same game.

So it will be the same in terms of content to the other versions?

Farrelly: Yes. There may be instances where we, say, can't have 48 Russians attacking you at the same time because of the power restriction. But in those instances we'll go into it and say "how do we make this experience good for the Wii player?"

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