NEWS - Friday, May 13, 2011

MW3 Story, Screenshots, and Release Date Leaked

Activision has yet to confirm much of anything about this year’s Call of Duty title, including whether or not it is, as expected, Modern Warfare 3. Some details were unearthed earlier this week -- namely, it is MW3, and environments in the game are going to be larger and feature destructible elements, bringing the game more in line with what’s seen in a Battlefield title. More details were set to be revealed in the "coming weeks," most likely at E3, but a huge leak has instead brought with it a tremendous amount of information about Modern Warfare 3 including screenshots, multiplayer details, and an outline of the game’s campaign and story (complete with spoilers, which are marked below). We’ve also got what’s allegedly the game’s release date: November 8, 2011.
 Update: Infinity Ward Creative Strategist Robert Bowling, better known as FourZeroTwo, wrote on Twitter a short while ago, "A lot of hype & a lot of leaked info on #MW3, some still accurate, some not. To avoid spoiling the experience, I’d wait for the real reveal."
Kotaku obtained the information by way of "multiple sources" who were not identified, though speculation is sure to be rampant about who’s responsible given just how much was leaked. Some of the content is subject to change, given the game is still six months away from release. Kotaku noted that they haven’t seen the game for themselves, but they’ve "gone to great lengths" to confirm what they could. It’s unlikely this was an intentional leak in order to generate buzz, as some of the screenshots aren’t especially great looking -- and considering that the consensus on Battlefield 3’s graphics has so far been a resounding "wow," that makes it unlikely that Activision, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, or Raven Software (the latter two of which are helping out with development of the game since IW’s former heads and many of its staff have left over the past year-plus) would leak any of this as a PR move.
***** If you want to avoid learning anything about the game, you’ll want to stop reading now.***** Story-related spoilers will be marked in bold below.

There are 20 multiplayer maps currently in development, but it’s possible some won’t make the final cut or will be held back for a lucrative map pack release. Modern Warfare 2’s Spec Ops mode makes a return with two types of levels: Cooperative missions, like those in MW2, and ’survival maps’ that sound similar to the Horde mode in Gears of War where you face waves of enemies that become more difficult as time goes on. There are five Survival maps listed (Carbon, Dome, Radar, Seatown, and Village) and seven mission-style Spec Ops maps (Civilian Rescue, Flood the Market, Invisible Threat, Little Bro’s, Out of Africa, No Fly Zone, and Wing Man). The names of the competitive multiplayer maps were also shared: Alpha, Alps, Bootleg, Bravo, Brooklyn, Carbon, Coast, Dome, Exchange, Hardhat, Interchange, Lambeth, Meteora, Mogadishu, Paris, Plaza 2, Radar, Seatown, Underground, and Village.
***** Single-player spoilers ahead.*****

Without going into great detail -- Kotaku’s report outlines much of the game’s story (they’ve held some stuff back), the different locales you’ll visit, which characters die, and so on -- it’s worth noting that the story picks up immediately after Modern Warfare 2 as the U.S. is still dealing with the Russian invasion which was caused by the infamous "No Russian" level. As per the usual, you’ll assume the role of multiple characters, including a tank gunner and an AC-130 gunner, across 15 levels. The Russians will invade New York City (Manhattan, specifically) before the story wraps up in Dubai. Besides the existing cast of characters we’ve seen in previous titles, two new Delta Force troops, Frost and Sandman, are introduced, whom Kotaku speculates could become recurring characters in future MW games.
At one point, SEAL Team Six is mentioned, which isn’t something new; it was previously mentioned during Call of Duty 4. But the name becomes more significant now that the real-life SEAL Team Six is responsible for killing Osama bin Laden. It’s unlikely that there’s any connection given how recently that happened, but that won’t stop people from thinking otherwise.
With E3 less than a month away, we should have at least some aspects of this leak confirmed soon -- unless Activision decides to address the leak sooner. As of yet, it hasn’t made any comments.



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