Call of Duty: Next: Every Major Announcement and Call of Duty Endowment (C.O.D.E.) Bowl IV
“It’s a good time to take inventory.” — Captain Price, Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 2 (2009)
In anticipation of the November 10 launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III, the Call of Duty: Next event showcases a huge sampling of upcoming content across multiple modes and titles. Starting with Modern Warfare III, viewers will get their first in-depth look at Multiplayer and Zombies, followed by major announcements for both Call of Duty: Warzone™ and Call of Duty: Warzone Mobile. What a way to celebrate Call of Duty’s 20th anniversary!
Plus, immediately after Call of Duty: Next, military esports teams from the U.S., U.K., and Canada join top Call of Duty streamers to compete for the Call Of Duty Endowment Bowl IV presented by USAA, with the winning team taking home the C.O.D.E. Bowl Trophy and bragging rights for their service branch of the military.
Modern Warfare III Multiplayer
Modern Warfare III celebrates the 20th anniversary of Call of Duty with one of the greatest collections of Modern Warfare Multiplayer maps ever assembled, including all 16 launch maps from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009).
To introduce Modern Warfare III Multiplayer, Sledgehammer Games developers Greg Reisdorf, Adam Iscove, and Kim Weigend were invited to the stage to present and share a selection of the maps, modes, and new features coming to the game.
Modernizing Classic Multiplayer Maps
The event began with gameplay focused on five of the 16 launch maps from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) that will be available on Day One: Favela, Estate, Skidrow, Rust, and Highrise. All five of the presented maps will be available to play in the Beta.
Sledgehammer Games aims to stay true to what made these maps so special to the Call of Duty community by offering faithful modernizations of the classic experience that players know and love, a great way to celebrate Call of Duty’s 20th anniversary.
Through matches of Team Deathmatch, Domination, Hardpoint, and Kill Confirmed, we saw how the maps have been graphically modernized while maintaining a high level of authenticity compared to their original versions. With modes like Hardpoint and Kill Confirmed (released after 2009 when the maps originally appeared), players got the chance to see how their favorite modern modes stack up on these classic maps.
For more on the modernization process, see our Intel Drop: Modernizing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (2009) Maps.
More at Launch . . . : While Next was focused on Core Multiplayer in Modern Warfare III, the studio confirmed that new Ground War maps and a War mode map will launch on Day One, with more info on the way.
. . . And Post-Launch: Expect at least 12 new Core 6v6 maps in post-launch seasons, including three all-new maps deploying with Season 01 plus three more new maps in Season 02.
New and Returning Gameplay Features
In addition to introducing some of the new features introduced by Modern Warfare III, the developers discussed some returning fan-favorite elements:
Map Voting: Map Voting returns between matches, giving players greater autonomy over their gameplay experience.
Classic Minimap: Series veterans should be right at home with the classic minimap, wherein red dots appear on the map to temporarily show the position of enemies who fire unsuppressed weapons.
Dead Silence: Persistent silent movement returns in the form of boots that can be equipped in one’s Loadout, offering stealth advantages to those seeking a low profile.
Increased Health: Core Multiplayer health is being increased to 150 points, thus increasing the Time-to-Kill (TTK).
Movement and Combat Changes
Modern Warfare III features fast, responsive movement, allowing players to swiftly navigate the map in search of their next target and objective.
- Cancel slide and reload animations to quickly adjust your tactics on the fly.
- Mantle objects more quickly and while sprinting.
- Fire immediately while sliding, including a Perk that allows aiming down sights (ADS) while sliding.
- Increased Tactical Sprint duration. Tactical Sprint recharges while sprinting.
- Increased base strafe speeds while ADS.
Tac-Stance: Toggle in and out of the new Tac-Stance at any time, a perfect middle ground between Hip Fire and ADS. Tac-Stance balances mobility with accuracy for more aggressive play with supported weaponry, dramatically increasing ADS movement speed while introducing bullet spread. Operators can fire in Tac-Stance while sliding as well.
Weapons and Operators
As mentioned in our Carry Forward article, your inventory from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II will carry forward into Modern Warfare III. That said, a whole slate of brand-new weapons and Operators are also being developed for Modern Warfare III, including the Rival 9 SMG, Longbow Sniper Rifle, and Warden Kortac Operator.
Loadouts: New Gear
Perks are active from the moment the match begins to the end, now represented across four different categories: Vest, Gloves, Boots, and Gear. The items you pick in these categories supply your Operators with various Perk-like abilities. They do not modify your Operator’s appearance in-game, so you can choose the items that offer the best playstyle benefits without effecting your style.
Vests: Equip a variety of Vests that offer special abilities in addition to determining which kinds of items are able to be equipped within your Loadout. For example, the Engineer Vest disables Lethal Equipment, but provides two Tactical Equipment pieces and an extra Gear slot.
Gloves: Adjust your weapon and Equipment handling with Gloves that increase weapon swap speed, allow you to throw equipment farther, reload while sprinting, and more.
Boots: Further enhance your mobility options with Boots that eliminate footstep sounds, increase climbing and mantling speed, and more.
Gear: The Gear slot features a greater variety of items that affect your Operator, from EOD Padding that reduces non-Killstreak explosive and fire damage to the Bone Conduction Headset, which reduces combat noise for improved identification of enemy footsteps and gunshots.
A new feature coming to Gunsmith and Loadouts is Aftermarket Parts, which allow players to dramatically alter the function of a weapon beyond the effect of attachments unlocked in the normal course of Gunsmith.
Aftermarket Parts introduce new progression paths for weapon leveling that offer truly unique weapon configurations for enhanced playstyle customization. To access this new feature, players must first obtain a supported weapon’s max level and then complete an in-game challenge to unlock the new gear.
From converting an LMG into a bullpup design for more aggressive play to using 3D-printed parts to transform a Handgun into an SMG, Aftermarket Parts turn everything you know about your most familiar weapons on their head. Read more about the feature in our Aftermarket Parts blog.
Players were also given a peek into some new items coming to Modern Warfare III Loadouts, including:
Breacher Drone (Lethal Equipment): Deploy a slow-moving explosive drone that explodes on proximity to an enemy or on impact. The Breacher Drone can be countered by EOD Padding or shot out of its flight path before reaching its destination. According to Sledgehammer Games’ playtest sessions, this is one of the most fun new Equipment additions.
Mosquito Drone (Killstreak): Deploy an explosive drone that circles the area where it’s launched, dive-bombing onto approaching enemies. Listen for audio and visual cues on the receiving end of this Killstreak to pinpoint and destroy it.
A.C.S. (Field Upgrade): Toss the Automated Computer Spike onto objective points to contribute to your team’s score without taking yourself out of the action. The A.C.S. also hacks enemy Equipment, turning a deployable item against its original owner.
Comm Scrambler (Field Upgrade): Deny enemy Killstreaks and Field Upgrades from being used within the vicinity of the Comms Scrambler. Its area of effect is clearly visible on the minimap; enemies can choose to play around its vicinity or target the item directly to get rid of it. In addition, teammates are hidden from enemy UAV pings while in range of a friendly Comms Scrambler.
Game Modes: Cutthroat, Ground War, War
After showing off some classic 6v6 Core matches, the Sledgehammer Games developers turned to the new Cutthroat game mode, along with confirmation on the return of Ground War and War.
Cutthroat: A brand-new mode to the franchise, Cutthroat introduces 3v3v3 action on Core Multiplayer maps. Operators have only one life per round; eliminate the enemy teams or capture the overtime flag to win the round. Will you charge in gunning for everyone, or let the other two teams whittle each other down first? The opportunities are endless in this new chaotic mode arriving at launch.
Ground War: Players who love large-scale Multiplayer battles will be glad to know that Ground War is returning in Modern Warfare III. Compete in sections of the map that players will experience later this year in Call of Duty: Warzone.
War Mode: War mode is back! In this classic mode that was originally featured in Call of Duty: WWII (2017), players enter a vast, purpose-built landscape, with the focus on competing in linear engagements and progressing the battle through a series of objectives. Secure capture points, escort an armed tank, and launch an ICBM — this is War.
Modern Warfare Zombies
Special guests Kevin Drew and Miles Leslie of Treyarch joined the presenters at Call of Duty: Next to reveal Modern Warfare III’s third game mode: Zombies.
For the first time in franchise history, the beloved Zombies game mode will be fully featured in the Modern Warfare universe! In this iteration, teams of players will cooperate in an open-world, pure player-versus-environment (PvE) setting featuring multiple squads who can work together (or go their own way) when facing down multiple threats, masses of the shambling undead, and clandestine enemy forces in an increasingly terrifying series of hostile environments!
In this extraction-based mode, beware of the expanding Aether Storm which will consume the map as the match progresses. Work together, move fast, and dig deeper into the Dark Aether narrative.
For New and Veteran Slayers Alike
For new players, there’s never been a better time to become a Zombies fan. With vehicle support to navigate the map more quickly, more enemy density than ever before, and multiple squads working together toward a common objective — to contain and prevent the outbreak from spreading — there’s plenty to look forward to as a fresh player, including a series of rewards and upgrades specific to this mode.
Returning fans will feel right at home with core Zombies features, including the escalating tension as the match progresses, as well as classic features like Pack-A-Punch, Perk Colas, the Mystery Box and Wonder Weapon. And, perhaps most important of all, there are new secrets to discover . . . which you’ll have to find on your own.
Replayability: In the extraction-based gameplay featured in this iteration, players will be able to store and use weapons they’ve successfully exfilled within their future matches, including fan favorites like the Ray Gun. For the first time ever, you’ll be able to start future matches with these classic weapons!
Throughout the map, players will additionally find blueprints that allow them to create acquisitions outside of the match, providing benefits like starting a deployment with Juggernog.
Enemies, Both Living and Undead
Zombies features much greater enemy density this time around, and it’s not just the undead you’ll be fighting. Battle against mercenary soldiers working for the Terminus Outcomes PMC hired by the main antagonist Viktor Zakhaev. In addition to a variety of undead and otherworldly creatures, prepare to face one of the biggest Zombies creatures to ever appear in the mode.
For more on the Zombies narrative, see our article on Operation Deadbolt.
Call of Duty: Warzone
Senior Creative Director Ted Timmins of Raven Software joined the desk to discuss the next chapter of Call of Duty: Warzone. Players will descend on Urzikstan, a brand-new big map where the Middle East meets Eastern Europe, designed with 11 memorable main points of interest alongside many other smaller areas.
The main points of interest to visit in Urzikstan are as follows:
- Levin Resort
- Popov Power
- Zaravan City
- Shahin Manor
- Low Town
- Orlov Military Base
- Hadiqa Farms
- Zaravan Suburbs
- Old Town
- Seaport District
- Urzikstan Cargo
To situate yourself in this new and nostalgic map, which is also the main theater of operations in Modern Warfare Zombies, be sure to consult our Urzikstan Tac-Map POI Overview!
Movement and Combat Changes
As with Modern Warfare III’s Multiplayer, Call of Duty: Warzone will also feature changes to movement and combat mechanics, compared to the current iteration of Warzone:
- Cancel a slide by jumping or crouching again. This does not reset the Tactical Sprint. Operators begin sliding more quickly, slide farther, and can shoot in Tac-Stance while sliding. You can also ADS while sliding. The speed penalty for successive slides has also been decreased.
- Jump higher, faster, and ADS while jumping more quickly. Reduced slowdown when landing from a jump and reduced sprint-out delay after jumping.
- Toggle on Tac-Stance for a hybrid of hip-firing and ADS, granting faster strafe and movement speed with a penalty to accuracy.
- Use the ‘Stim’ Tactical item to give yourself a short movement speed increase to help evade an encounter.
Call of Duty: Warzone Operators have a base health of 150, allowing players to react and reposition during skirmishes.
A new chapter of Warzone represents an opportunity for the return of some of the most-loved User Interface updates that Warzone has had over the years.
Classic Mini-Map: The classic minimap that includes red dots will return, offering similar intel to the one available in Multiplayer, giving players something new to consider when building their Loadout with suppressors.
Weapon and Loot Rarity: To help players loot up in the heat of combat, weapon and loot rarity has returned – including a unique colour for ‘Custom Weapons’.
Dedicated Ammo Slots: Players will now be able to carry each ammo type in dedicated inventory slots, and can still use the Backpack to carry more in excess if they wish.
Quality of Life Updates
It wouldn’t be a new chapter of Warzone without a suite of improvements to the core gameplay, and importantly this upcoming year will carry forward ALL the current Quality of Life updates to Warzone.
Gas Mask Animation: The Gas Mask is now automatically worn when equipped into your Loadout. It can be manually unequipped and stowed away in the Backpack or dropped in moments when battling in the closing gas.
Dedicated Pistol Sidearm: In certain situations, such as swimming and climbing ladders, the player will now always equip a dedicated pistol sidearm to be able to engage in armed combat to keep fights fair and balanced at all times.
Updated Contracts: Contracts are now easier to find in the world thanks to a new Laptop item, combined with all new rewards and smaller Quality of Life improvements to each Contract type.
Improved Circle Pacing
The density of Urzikstan warranted a need to revisit the pacing and sizing of the gas circles, so with the upcoming Warzone experience you can expect a faster-paced Battle Royale to get to the action sooner.
Modern Warfare III Equipment: To celebrate the new experience, Call of Duty: Warzone will come complete with a spread of new Lethals, Tacticals, Field Upgrades and Killstreaks cherry-picked from Modern Warfare III.
Horizontal Ziplines: In addition to the vertical ziplines Operators can use to reach the top of buildings or other high objects (known as “ascenders”), new horizontal ziplines are also featured in the map. Cross to adjacent buildings more quickly or reposition from a disadvantageous situation with this new way to traverse the structures across Urzikstan.
Drivable Train: The train is now controllable for the first time; Operators can make the Train travel forwards, backwards, or stop the Train outright. This “moveable” POI will have a Buy Station and UAV Tower, as well as a handbrake in the rear carriage (known as the “Caboose”!) giving it the potential of being a core aspect of a player’s strategy throughout the match – especially if the circle closes on it...
New Champions Quest: While saving the details for the community to discover on their own, a new Champions Quest is confirmed for Urzikstan as an in-season update, a highly challenging but rewarding task reserved for the most elite squads.
Warzone-Exclusive Perks: The new chapter will come with Perks that are only in Warzone and have been built and balanced for the Warzone experience;
- Shrouded: Drops a Smoke Grenade automatically when downed.
- Combat Scout: Pings an enemy when they are hit with a bullet.
- Irradiated: Move faster and take less damage when in the Gas.
- Resolute: Increases movement speed when damaged.
The Return of the “Big Game Bounty” Contract: A fan-favorite Contract from the past returns, where the player with the most eliminations in the match is marked and the reward is an Advanced UAV – a potential game changer.
The Gulag was a breakthrough feature for Call of Duty: Warzone, allowing players the opportunity to test their skills and get the chance to return to the match. New Gulag features include:
Ascender Overtime Finisher: Replacing the overtime flag capture is an exfil Ascender positioned in the middle of the map. Be careful: The enemy Operator can fire at you as you’re zipping up for the exfil!
Gulag Public Event: Public Events may also occur within the Gulag, such as Cash Grab (more money on the floor) and Locked & Loaded Weapons (AMG + SMG loadout with full armor), helping the victor by bringing back some much-needed items into the match.
NVG Gulag: As an in-season update, the Gulag will occasionally go dark, equipping Operators with night-vision goggles for a fun new twist on the Gulag experience.
Call of Duty: Warzone Launch Content
While Urzikstan represents a brand-new map for Call of Duty: Warzone, the game will also support Vondel and Ashika Island in the following Playlists:
Battle Royale (Urzikstan, Vondel)
Resurgence (Vondel, Ashika Island)
In a special announcement, in partnership with our friends at High Moon Studios and Beenox respectively - we are also excited to announce the return of Fortune’s Keep and Rebirth Island in 2024, with more details to come next year.
20th Anniversary Daily Login Rewards
With the upcoming Modern Warfare III Beta, there’s never been a better time to jump into Call of Duty. To celebrate the game’s 20th anniversary, earn daily login rewards for a whole week starting today, featuring cosmetics like the Classic Captain Price Operator Skin and more.
Vault Edition Exclusive: Soul Harvester Tracer Weapon Blueprint*
Also at Next, we introduced the Vault Edition exclusive Soul Harvester Tracer Weapon Blueprint, featuring an eye-catching design that fuses the aesthetics of Dark Aether energy with the sinister allure of black chrome. The blueprint comes equipped with tracer rounds and custom death effects that allow you to slay your enemies with style. The Soul Harvester will be available starting October 17 in Modern Warfare II and Warzone, and comes to Modern Warfare III on launch day (November 10th).
You’ll find the blueprint useful in your quest to capture Souls as part of an in-game event during The Haunting. Monsters and agents killed with the Soul Harvester will drop bonus Souls which can be redeemed for rewards in The Haunting events tab.
And when Modern Warfare Zombies launches on November 10th, the Soul Harvester will come equipped with the Dead Wire ammo mod giving every bullet the chance to stun and damage the undead hordes with electricity.
Play the Modern Warfare III Beta, Starting Right After Next
Now’s your chance to play Modern Warfare III Multiplayer during the Open Beta, featuring the maps and several of the new weapons and Operators seen during Next. Plus, if you have preordered the Vault Edition, you get to use the amazing FATE Weapon Vaults and Nemesis Operator Skins, including some incredible-looking skins for Makarov, Price, Soap, and brand-new operator, Warden.
This post will be updated throughout the day, showcasing all the latest information revealed at Call of Duty: Next.
Follow along and watch the event online – with a chance to earn in-game rewards for tuning in.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare III is published by Activision. Development for the game is led by Sledgehammer Games, in partnership with Infinity Ward. Development for Modern Warfare Zombies is led by Treyarch, working closely with Sledgehammer Games. Development for Call of Duty: Warzone is led by Raven Software with Sledgehammer Games, Beenox, High Moon, and Activision Shanghai. Additional development support for Modern Warfare III provided (in alphabetical order) by Activision Central Design, Activision Central Technology, Activision QA, Activision Shanghai, Beenox, Demonware, High Moon Studios, Raven Software, and Toys for Bob.
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