Sledgehammer Games worked together with Infinity Ward on creating Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 that will finally hit the shelves today in a storm of blockbuster sales and shooting glory. Aaron Halon, Senior Development Director of Sledgehammer, has been at the forefront of the battle to bring us one of the most anticipated games of all times.
But what does he think about the game itself and what are his personal feelings on the future of the franchise? I had the chance to sit with him yesterday at the Games Week in Milan, and ask him just that.
Giuseppe: Let’s start with something light hearted, what is your favorite weapon in Modern Warfare 3? Why?
Aaron: That’s a great question. There’s a lot to pick from, but personally I’m a big fan of the Type 95. I feel it has good versatility, long range, sort of mid range and short range. I love it.
G: I’m more of a sniper, mostly because it’s the only role in which I manage to hit something.
A: I like sniping too and in that role I use the Barret or the L11-8A, that is a new sniper rifle in Modern Warfare 3.
G: Keyboard and Mouse or Console Controller?
A: I used to be keyboard and mouse, but now… Hands down: console controller.
G: What is, according to you, the best new feature of Modern Warfare 3?
A: That’s a good question. I really would have to say that I’m a big fan of the Strike Packages, which is a new form of killstreak. We actually call it “Point Streaks” in multiplayer. I really think that feature is going to add a new dynamic to the game, to give players of all different levels a lot more versatility in how they load out their character for the game, like with the support streak for example.
G: We’ve heard weapons rank up individually through use, but is there a bonus you get for fully ranking a specific class (assault rifles, snipers, shotguns, etc.)?
A: Well, you’re going to continue to compound XP, so if you did all that, you’re going to get a lot of XP bonuses that will allow you to unlock additional perks and weapon proficiencies, that will help you gain a lot of extra experience.
G: Are there going to be DLC packs for more than just the core multiplayer, I mean like DLC packs that include new Spec Ops missions?
A: At the moment we aren’t ready to release that information, but I can tell you that we’re really excited and we’re working really hard on bringing new things to DLC.
G: What did you guys learn from Modern Warfare 2‘s multiplayer? What worked and what were the main things you felt needed to change?
A: One thing thatr Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward really take seriously is really listening to the customers and listening to the feedback. And there’s been many things that we’ve done. I want to give you just a few examples: Commando was one of the perks that we’ve changed up because there was a lot of feedback. In fact, the developers are also real fans and play the game a lot as well. It’s interesting to kind of wade through the feedback we get from the community and say: “Wow! I feel the same way. We really have to change that!”.
That’s one example. In addition to that we really focused on creating an experience that’s just so large and epic in scale, that it will surpass even Modern Warfare 2. We feel like in the story… We spent a lot of time on the story this time around… And Scale is one of the big things. We really managed to bring the player to big and impressive places in Modern Warfare 3.
G: We’ve been in every theater of World War 2, in Vietnam and now in Modern settings. Has there ever been any plan to move the franchise towards less explored settings? Maybe a Call of Duty: Trench warfare? I always loved the idea of wearing a spiked helmet and headbutting people.
A: That’s an interesting one. We’re always thinking about new things, but really… Our main focus has been working on Modern Warfare 3 and we’ve really been focusing a lot on that area, but yeah, there are all kinds of interesting places that the fanchise could go.
G: If you personally had total freedom in choosing a setting for Modern Warfare 4, which one would you chose, both geographically and time-wise?
A: Wow, that’s a big question. man… I might go… I might consider… Looking maybe a little bit more into the future, but that’s just me personally.
G: Call of Duty: Future Warfare?
A: Maybe. That’s always a possibility, and it could be interesting.
G: I would personally love that. How far into the future?
A: Boy, I don’t know… Let’s see… Yeah, I don’t know. I’ll have to get back with you on that.
G: Ok. Anything particular you’d like to tell to our readers? What should they look forward the most in Modern Warfare 3?
A: Personally I’m excited about Survival Mode, that’s a brand new feature… And then in Multiplayer I touched on a few things, but there’s a lot of very new and innovative ways that are going to change the way multiplayer is played.
G: Great. Thanks a lot for your time and your answers. Will we be able to shoot you in multiplayer then?