Infinity Ward has revealed full details of Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer, insisting there are "more changes to the game than ever before."
"This is the most balanced Call of Duty experience ever," explained Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling.
"Map layout, speed of movement, perks, every area has been meticulously balanced. We listened to the fans. As such, there's no longer a Commando perk, no Last Stand, no shotgun as a secondary weapon. And we've added in more choices to support a wider variety of play-styles than ever before."
Two new game modes join Modern Warfare stalwarts 'Free-for-All', 'Team Deathmatch', and 'Domination', playable across the game's 16 maps.
'Kill Confirmed' requires players to collect the dog tags from a downed enemy before the kill is registered, giving the opposing team chance to 'deny' the kill if they manage to collect their teammates' tags first.
Meanwhile, 'Team Defender' is a new take on Capture the Flag, in which one team must grab the flag and protect its carrier to increase their score.
These two public game modes are joined by a host of private match options including 'Infection' (where the 'infected' kills enemies to recruit them to their team), 'Drop Zone' (hold a drop zone for points and care packages), 'Team Juggernaut' (each team plays alongside an AI juggernaut character), 'Gun Game' (be the first to dominate with every gun) and 'One in the Chamber' (in which players gain ammo by defeating enemies).
As well as leveling up your character, guns can also be evolved as you progress. All 40+ of the real-life weapons included in the game can be improved with proficiency unlocks such as reducing recoil, allowing the use of two attachments and so on.
Another area of the game to be overhauled is Killstreaks - the bonuses awarded to players for unbroken chains of kills.
"We really went back to drawing board here," explained Bowling.
"In MW2 Killstreaks were basically optimised for Team Deathmatch play. In objective-based games there was no benefit for the player who wanted to focus on clearing objectives. To combat that we've changed Killstreaks to the Pointstreak system, which rewards diverse play styles. Now it isn't just about kills: you earn points for assists, objectives and so on."
Players are able to choose between three packages when setting up a load-out, which reward Pointstreaks in different ways. The Assault Strike Package works in the same way as Killstreaks in MW2, rewarding players with offensive bonuses such as Predator drones and helicopters.
Meanwhile, the Support Strike Package offers support-style rewards such as UAVs, SAM turrets etc. In contrast to the Assault Strike package these do not reset on death, but instead accumulate over the course of the match.
Lastly, the Specialist Strike package simply rewards players with new perks as they progress a Pointstreak. After the eighth consecutive kill your character receives every perk in the game, before resetting back to none when killed.
Additionally, MW3 will feature Facebook integration, allowing you to play with other gamers who share your interests, as well as hook up with friends who play the game via the social network. A host of web, iOS and Android apps will expand your game yet further, allowing you to amend load-outs while away from the PC or console.
Finally, private matches now allow players to create new game modes which are then shared and promoted in the community, with the best making their way into the public playlists.