The world is most definitely at war. It may not be top of the Xbox Live charts, but Call of Duty is king of the All-Formats Top 40, and with double experience points this week for LCE owners, now seems a good time to relate what we've picked up from the last few weeks running around the internet shooting people in the dogs. Thankfully, Eurogamer's recent intern Matt Edwards happened to write some of it down. Quite a lot, actually. Here's what he reckons.
First things first, apologies if you were disappointed, having read our Eurogamer Expo preview on Monday, to discover that the MotorStorm: Pacific Rift vehicle outside the Expo entrance was a monster truck instead of a Humvee. We are also sorry that so many of you missed the chance to touch Bertie's moustache, which endures even now atop the sweater-clad granite torso and arms of news-typing sultriness.
A London press event over fifty years after World War II, and it's still being fought. At least for one last time, as this Call of Duty - reading between the lines - seems to be Treyarch's capstone to the period. And another battle quickly surfaces when I ask producer Noah Heller, who handles the game on the Activision side, about whether the developer feels upset about how they're viewed, considering they turned around the maligned Call of Duty 3 in less than a year. Do the angry internet men frustrate him?
Remember when Call of Duty 4 managed to topple the mighty Halo 3 from the online gaming throne? This may yet prove to be a pivotal moment in the evolution of the venerable wartime shooter, or so it would seem from the first glimpse of Call of Duty 5's multiplayer component. It's familiar, you see. Very familiar.
Call of Duty: World at War executive producer Daniel Suarez already knows what's on our minds, and he's come armed. "The first question I get asked, is why go back to World War II?" Well, quite. I ask myself a similar question sometimes, since I'm the one who always ends up reviewing WWII shooters. Treyarch's answer is probably the same: old habits die hard.
It might be because I'm paranoid, it might be because I'm a cynic, or it might be because I'm horribly myopic. I'm convinced nevertheless that every time the Treyarch team heard the name 'COD4' during their recent demonstration of the fifth Call of Duty game, their eyes narrowed a little, their lips pursed and a distinctly frosty tone crept into their voices.