Call of Duty: PTSD3 Lets Players Live with the Choices They’ve Made
Latest game in blockbuster franchise gives you the feeling that you’re really after the action
Video game publisher Activision has announced a new focus for the massively popular Call of Duty series, one that it says will take point-of-view gaming to a whole new level.
‘We wanted to put the first-person back in first-person shooter,’ said Activision CEO Robert Kotick in a presentation at E3, the year’s biggest industry trade show. ‘We kept wondering, what has it done to this guy to have killed wave after wave of people in such richly imagined settings with a wide range of customizable weapons? What does it do to your soul? And what happens when you go home, and you’re not on the next-gen dynamic battlefield anymore?’
Kotick says the creative team was inspired by the idea of crafting a blockbuster gaming experience from the ‘far less kinetic world’ of veterans on the homefront. That meant shaping gameplay around things like grocery shopping, overlong Home Depot excursions, negotiating a home loan with the VA office, raising small children, drinking until the pain goes away, and finding a way to fall asleep without the nightmares waking you up again.
‘It was challenging, but I think our team did a superlative job,’ said Kotick. ‘Gamers are in for a heck of a ride.’
A sneak peek at the gameplay footage revealed a novel ‘inner demons’ feature, in which the invariably kerchief-covered faces of people you’ve killed come swimming into view at randomly generated intervals. Whenever this happens, the player must tap the X button as quickly as possible to keep the character from raising his sidearm to his head and pulling the trigger.
A level from the game also previewed involves sitting on a couch watching politicians on TV discuss the nation’s wars. The virtual camera shakes along with the controller, and the image fades queasily to black as the character crumples to the ground and passes out. When you wake up, you have to crawl across the floor to find and answer your ringing phone. It’s your wife calling to ask why you haven’t picked up the kids yet. She doesn’t know if she can go on like this. She’s met someone at work and it’s just easy, you know?
Activision is rebuilding the game from the ground up, hyperconscious of the fact that the first two entries in the PTSD series underperformed both commercially and creatively.
‘We’ve got a brand new engine here - none of that drinking with your war buddies in a low-res strip club stuff,’ said Kotick. ‘This is our first fully HD, 1080p release, and we wanted the content of the game to reflect that. It’s as true to life as the current generation allows.’