Someone somewhere's decreed this week to be multiplayer reveal week. Rockstar's doing its duty with Grand Theft Auto 5's online modes tomorrow, and Activision's doing much the same today with the first look at Call of Duty: Ghosts' multiplayer. Never ones to do things in half-measures it's flown half of the games press to Los Angeles to see it up close. Wesley Yin-Poole's our man on the ground, and he'll be bringing you impressions and interviews early tomorrow.
Activision's also streaming the event live, and we thought we'd join in the fun by bringing you a livetext from some of the more exotic reaches of the globe - so that'll be Brighton and Lewisham, then - as we all wonder if Colin the dog's made it into Call of Duty's multiplayer, and whether there's clan support for online packs of hounds. Join us here from 6.30pm BST to see it all kick off.
It's breakfast time in downtown LA. I had little ham and cheese croissants. What did you have for breakfast?
Soon I'll be heading off to the COD: Ghosts multiplayer venue for check-in and lots of other boring stuff. We're on target for a 6.30pm UK time start, as a soldier in Call of Duty might have said.
It's the one you've been waiting for, the gaming event of the season! Or at least the one of this afternoon. Activision's preparing to unveil Call of Duty: Ghosts' multiplayer, and judging by the push it's giving the reveal it's going to be something noteworthy.
Or it could be the same old same old. Or, even more excitingly, Colin the dog's going to be involved in some capacity.
Which one will it be! There's only one way to find out! And that's by giving over the next hour of your life to see whatever Activision pipes out of LA Live.
There's just enough time to watch this before it all kicks off in LA, which should get you in the mood and may hopefully set the tone of what's to come.
I'd love to say we're coming live from LA Live, but that's not quite true.
Wes is there on the ground for us, but in an amazing turn of events the press have been placed in a venue with no wi-fi ensuring they can't communicate with the wider world.
So we're coming to you from the slightly more glamorous Ladywell, where I just popped out and bought a bowl of aubergines for a pound.
That'd be eggplants in the US. And it'd be a dollar. Think a bowl's a bowl over there though.
So what can we expect from Ghosts' new multiplayer? Black Ops 2 went after the eSports crowd last year, and it's safe to assume Ghosts will too.
Hopefully we'll also see some of the evolving levels that were glimpsed at E3.
Battlefield 4's got a similar feature, of course, called *ahem* Levolution. Eugh, I think I've got sick in my mouth. I promise that'll be the last time I allow that word on the site.
What made-up words can Activision and Infinity Ward come up with? How can we expect to see the English language slaughtered tonight? I'm literally dying with excitement.
It's happening! We're promised some disturbing content, which is always a good way to kick things off.
A quick reminder being delivered of Call of Duty's global impact, should you need reminding.
Which basically amounts to Jimmy Fallon firing a bazooka.
Hirshberg's on-stage. One of the more handsome execs for sure. Definitely top ten material.
It's obviously a big year for games, he says, alluding to the next gen consoles.
Be interesting to see what impact next-gen has on MP - will we see bigger player counts on PS4 and Xbone?
A lot's changed since Call of Duty launched - Brosnan was playing Bond back then. Ah, happy days.
Reminds me of Donlan's spot-on take on CoD's 'late-Brosnan' period.
You can't count on much in this world, but you can count on CoD says Hirshberg. Then something about setting your hair on fire. Can't tell if that's a veiled threat.
Anyway, enough of the guff, here's the game.
And most importantly, here's Colin the dog.
So Colin's confirmed for MP. That's it, show over, everyone go home. We're done.
Oh, there's more. Something about Dog Tags, which I excitedly thought was a new Colin-based mode until my brain clicked into place.
The Eminem song you heard made its debut in that trailer, btw. It's called Survival.
Oh, and here he is! I didn't realise Eminem was still a thing, but I'm massively out of touch.
There are three main pillars to Ghosts' MP - first your soldier, which is customisable.
dog looks overpowered
Cat DLC will restore the balance.
Dynamic map events - or destructible scenery on some level - plays a part.
And there will be seven new game modes, and 30 new weapons - plus an entirely new weapons class.
You can take your MP profile with you anywhere, across tablets and, I think, across different consoles.
There's a new mobile app that builds on CoD Elite.
That comes complete with a new metagame called Clan Wars.
And 60fps is on all platforms, current and next gen.
Exec producer from Infinity Ward Mark Rubin's now on-stage.
This is all super-lavish for the reveal of MP mode, btw. Can't imagine any other series going to these lengths with a full-blown stage show etc.
In Ghosts you'll be able to fully customise your soldier, from their head to their outfit.
And you can play as a female soldier. I'd applaud that, but it's been how many years for that to arrive?
Anyway, Dual Render scopes allow you to look down the sights and maintain some peripheral vision.
Perks this time - they have different values, and you've a set amount of points to allocate.
Kind of like the Pick 10 mode introduced last year (excuse me if that's wrong)
Colin's one of the killstreak rewards. He'll accompany you in stages. Go Colin!
Airstrikes are being phased out in favour of more ground attacks, which is a welcome rebalancing.
And! There are no more deathstreaks. A brief pause for applause from Rubin after that, but it's slow in coming.
You get to choose what unlocks with Squad Points now, so you can define your own path.
New modes time, yo.
Cranked is like Deathmatch, but you'll get faster once you've killed people. There's a catch though - there's a timer, and if you don't kill someone before it reaches zero you explode.
The Statham-inspired mode we've all been waiting for, basically.
Search and Rescue is something about picking up tags but I was too busy daydreaming about Statham to take any notice.
Squads is a new mode that lets you play alongside AI, which is much improved this time out, apparently.
Squad takes MP, mixes in AI and.... Let's you play co-op and solo. You can bring your squad of soldiers with you, and earn XP for them as you play.
Safeguard's a Squad mode that's a wave-based mode. Waves!
We're now onto the destruction side of the maps. I also think I just saw Wes in the crowd. Hi Wes!
Buses will tumble, lifts will fall. Kennels will explode.
It's the most visceral experience yet. How visceral can they go? I want nothing less than chunks of tripe spewing out of the screen at me thanks.
There's contextual lean in there now, which leans around corners without you needing to press a button.
Plus, mantling. You can be a mantler. Go mantle things.
A knee slide, too. I'm probably alone in enjoying the dolphin dive of old. It was funny, at least.
Sound design seems to have taken a leaf from Dice's book. Actually, a fair few things seem to have take an leaf from Dice's book.
The contextual chat, too, seems familiar.
Rubin's assuring that the current-gen versions will also benefit from some of these next-gen 'innovations'.
And now onto eSports - it's the exclusive FPS for MLG in 2014.
It's Fwizz and Benson. Sounds like an awful puppet pair, look like a pretty awful puppet pair.
Anyway, they're big shot shoutcasters and they're about to shoutcast a live match between some pro players.
I don't think this will be quite as sweary as the championships we saw earlier this year.
Cranked's the mode being shown off.
And the map's Strike Zone, a small baseball stadium.
Cranked does look brilliantly mental.
There's a reason FPSs aren't as popular as MOBAs when it comes to eSports, I think, and this is a perfect example of why. So hard to read the action when you're swatting around between different perspectives.
The fact they're playing a mode as fast-paced as Cranked doesn't help.
I just saw Colin in action. Can we cut to Colin-cam plz?
And we have a winner. The Ghost Squad. Go Ghosts.
Here's exec Yale Miller to take things down a notch or two. It's mellow hour with Miller.
Cross-stats for 360 and Xbox One is a pretty neat feature.
The app allows you to edit your loadout pre-game, and select your next one in-game too.
You can create clans, join them or manage them from the app too.
And you can edit the clan emblem from the app too.
Plus! More! Clan vs. Clan playlists.
Clam wars is the last thing they're excited about. I'm pretty excited about it too.
Hirshberg's here to drive us home.
That's a lot of features, and some mildly interesting ones too - can't say there's anything there that's going to drag me from Battlefield this year though.
Season Pass is back, which gives you 4 DLC Map Packs. You get a Ghost character pack too.
This is good news -the season pack is available cross-gen. So get it for 360 then upgrade to Xbox One and you can take the content with you.
Hope that sets a precedent - a lot of publishers haven't committed to anything like that yet.
The Prestige Edition is being introduced by some clowns kicking down doors.
I think maybe you've got to be there to get it? Anyway, 1080p helmet cam is included in the Prestige Edition.
There's an MP world tour that's bringing the game across the world - heading to London on 26 September.
That's the Expo, ain't it. Subtle plug there.
So you'll get a free Prestige Edition if you come and play it at one of the events.
And that's that. Not enough Colin, obviously, but an awful lot of everything else.
We'll have more details on the MP from Wes who's out in LA tomorrow. For now, I'm about to do one.
Tata, and enjoy the rest of your evenings!