"If you look at Call of Duty in general, you're on the high-tech, super-powered forces. You're America, you're strong, you're Britain, Germany," Rubin told Joystiq at a recent press event in Los Angeles. "It just felt like, what if we could reverse those roles a bit, what if we had America as the underdog and not the superpower? What if we had some other countries as the big superpower and we're fighting against this more technologically superior force. And so that is really where we got: now we've got this technologically superior super force, they devastate the western world, the US, with a weapon of mass destruction of some kind - I'm not going to go into that, it will come later, and what we did is we had that event start the game, but the story picks up ten to fifteen years later and you as a soldier grew up in this new changed world."
That soldier will be a focal point for the game, Rubin said, and won't contribute to the fractured, multi-perspective narratives for which the series has drawn ire in the past. "It's not like before where you have these multiple sides and trot around. You're pretty much the same person throughout."
You'll also be accompanied by a Navy SEAL dog (not to be confused with a Moreau-style seal-dog), which can sniff out dangers and aid the team in several ways as a companion AI of sorts. As you might expect from a production of Ghosts' caliber, Infinity Ward did full motion capture on a retired SEAL dog.
Activision announced that it will continue to release timed-exclusive Call of Duty content for Xbox platforms with this year's launch of Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Microsoft hosted the worldwide premiere of Call of Duty: Ghosts at today's Xbox One reveal event. Currently, downloadable Call of Duty content is exclusive to the Xbox 360 for one month before it launches for other platforms. Microsoft and Activision's exclusivity agreement will continue with this year's launch of the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Ghosts.
The latest Call of Duty, dubbed Ghosts, has drafted Syriana and Traffic writer Stephen Gaghan to provide its fiction.
Games don't get more Hollywood than Call of Duty, and Activision has shown little hesitance in acquiring composers and writers from the silver screen to aid in its ever bigger and brasher efforts. Gaghan's work on Traffic, a dour crime drama, and political thriller Syriana made him a standout candidate for Ghosts. The game follows the remainder of the US military in a world scarred by a weapon of mass destruction.
According to developer Infinity Ward, Gaghan didn't swoop in and drop off a script – he requested an office, and worked from one amidst the game's single-player team all throughout the game's production. That's a sterling gesture, but I asked Call of Duty: Ghosts executive producer Mark Rubin to explain why Gaghan was deemed suitable to write for players, not viewers.
"Basically, we looked at his work – he's a great writer, no doubt about it and that's fine, there are probably lots of great writers out there," Rubin said. "So what we did is we actually got the chance to talk to him a long time before we decided to go forward with it. And we realized he was getting it. We've had writers before, and they know how to write, but they don't understand the game aspect of it.
"And I feel like with Gaghan, he really understood what we were trying to do. He asked more questions than try to sell himself, and that was, I think, a really big selling point. He was asking how things work and how we do things, and was really interested in how we craft the story, not from a writing standpoint but from the visuals and gameplay. He was really asking more questions. Although he was a gamer – he knew it from that side – he didn't know it from the dev side. He really was asking a lot of questions about the dev side, he really wanted to know more. I think that interest in what we were doing is really what drove us to him."
Spielberg appeared in a short video at today's announcement, where he said he was excited to be involved with "the heroes, worlds, and wonders that Halo will take us to."
At the event, EA's Andrew Wilson revealed that four EA Sports games in the FIFA, Madden, EA Sports UFC and NBA Live series will launch with the Xbox One, though none were named as exclusive to the system. Remedy announced Quantum Break at the event as well.
Quantum Break is a new game from Remedy, developer of the Alan Wake series, coming to the Xbox One, Microsoft Studios head Phil Spencer said.
The Quantum Break tagline is, "Time is the fire in which we burn." The teaser video opens with a live-action family preparing to leave their house, and a little girl with some sort of special power. The game footage shows a ship as it crashes into a large bridge – and then time stops and reverses.
"The actions you take and the choices you make shape your experience as the story unfolds," Spencer said.
Update: Don't believe us? Check out the trailer for yourself.
Microsoft has announced Forza Motorsport 5, set for an exclusive release on the newly revealed Xbox One. A short trailer shown at today's Xbox reveal event featured branded cars and car parts racing around some nicely rendered real world locations.
The game will be developed as usual by Turn 10 Studios, and available at launch (which Microsoft says will be later on this year) for the new console.
Update: Trailer added!
At its Xbox One reveal event today, Microsoft announced that it plans on having over 300,000 servers powering the console's expanded Xbox Live service.
The server bump represents a significant increase over the 15,000 servers that power Xbox Live currently. Player content will be saved via cloud storage, equipping players with a "dedicated game DVR" to capture live gameplay moments for future playback.
The Xbox One's Achievements system is "dynamic and changing," and matchmaking allows for "bigger matches with more players" and "living and persistent worlds."
In addition, Xbox Live's asynchronous capabilities will allow players search for multiplayer matches while browsing the web, watching movies, or listening to music on the Xbox One.
EA Sports Ignite, a new engine created at EA, will power each game, attempting to emulate human intelligence and true player motion within each games. There are "four times more calculations per second" to achieve this. FIFA 14 Ultimate Team will "only be on Xbox," Wilson concluded before showing off an EA Sports sizzle reel.
SmartGlass uses computers, mobile devices and tablets to interact with their media on their Xbox console. The service's more interesting features include interaction with games, shows and sporting events.
Microsoft's Marc Whitten also revealed that, currently, the SmartGlass app has seen over 10 million downloads. The application is available on a plethora of devices, including iOS and Android-based phones and tablets.
Skype on Xbox One will run with the Snap feature, which allows multiple apps to run simultaneously, as demonstrated by David Jurenka and his beautifully groomed living room, shown alongside a movie.
The ESPN app also showed off some Snap stuff, letting Xbox One users watch live sports on ESPN, then using Snap to research stats on key players by speaking to Kinect. Xbox One will even let fantasy sports fans update their teams and interact with their leagues through Snap mode.
Microsoft also revealed details on the next-gen Kinect sensor and the Xbox One's controller at the event.
For a sense of symmetry with our PlayStation 4 reveal post, the announcement of the new Xbox console comes seven years and six months (2,737 days) after the launch of the Xbox 360, marking one of the longest distances of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff between one console and its next regeneration.
The distance in time between this console and the last certainly makes up for the original Xbox's lifespan, which was one of the shortest, at a mere four years and one day.
Update: The Xbox One will launch "later this year," Microsoft President of Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick said near the end of today's conference.
Watch the entire reveal, in high-def, after the break and make sure to keep a window opened to stay updated on our liveblog, with impressions live from the reveal event.
Who is Peter Moore wearing?! Did Bobby Kotick really paint the Xbox logo on his chest?! Is J. Allard haunting the reveal rafters Phantom of the Opera style?! We'll let you know in the liveblog.
The next Xbox is about to be unveiled in Microsoft's Redmond campus, and Joystiq will be there to scrutinize and document the whole presentation. It starts at 1PM EDT (10AM PDT, 6PM GMT), so get your glib reactionary .gifs ready before then.
Once the event starts, we'll switch this post over to liveblog mode and unleash the flood of quotes, observations and ill-advised jokes about computer chips. (Note: The presence of chips in the new Xbox is a rumor until Microsoft says otherwise.)
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
Fully armed and operational.
What's In A Name
'You know what? We're Blacklist, let's try to build on it.'— Splinter Cell: Blacklist Producer Sébastien Ebacher on evolving Spies vs. Mercs multiplayer.
The Joystiq Podcast
Latest episode: Friday, May 17th, 2013