VentureBeat have been speaking to Bret Robins - creative director on Modern Warfare 3.
Bret worked on the single player portion of Modern Warfare 3, due for worldwide release on Steam at midnight tonight. When asked how Sledgehammer deal with such a sensitive matter as World War III, he said: "You blow up a lot of cities, is what you do. We’re creating a huge, like a summer blockbuster story and experience. You try to go for the biggest and craziest moments and set-pieces and locations you can come up with. You try to do it in a very believable and authentic way, so it feels like this could actually happen."
He was also asked how the studio manage to create a story that's controversial, but not controversial enough to get banned or censored. It seems to be something Bret has considered in some depth.
"Without getting sued by everyone? Yeah. Very carefully, is how you do it. How do you go about blowing up the world? You just come up with scenes and moments that would make sense within the story. So you don’t do it just for the sake of blowing everything up, just for the fun of it. Does this make sense? Should the characters actually be here at this time? Does this fit the plot? You want it to be exciting, but you also want it to make sense. It can’t just be gratuitous, it can’t just be fantasy. It needs to be real missions, things that you think could possibly happen, given the extraordinary circumstances that you’re creating. So it’s always walking that fine line of believability and insanity and crazy action."
The creative director insists that the studio don't attempt to cause controversy for the sake of it but strive for originality, not gratuitous shocks: "What you don’t do is say: "we’re just doing this to top ourselves." Like you say: "it needs to be something that’s authentic, that actually moves the plot forward." We have some moments in the game that I think are pretty shocking, that push the envelope a little bit. But like I said before, it’s not a matter of trying to be gratuitous about it, doing shocks for shock value. You always want to push yourself and see if you can push the limits of the medium, and storytelling. We’ve got such a big audience for this game that we want to deliver something that’s memorable. Experiences that people are going to be talking about the next day after they played it, talking about with their friends. It’s really a matter of creating something unique."
We recently covered a controversial scene in Modern Warfare 3, which featured lots of pigeons getting massacred, along with the death of a child. The footage has now been taken down from YouTube, but we're sure you'll see plenty of it on the internet over the next few days, so don't worry too much.
Modern Warfare 3 is due for release this evening. And, although we'd love to get our review online for the embargo date, Activision are yet to send us review code. The console versions of Modern Warfare 3 have been shown off at recent events around the world, but the PC version has remained aloof.
Still, Graham will be playing at midnight tonight, and reporting his first impressions as soon as his fingers can type them. Until then, check out the launch trailer, embedded below.