For Infinity Ward, it's not just about eye-candy, it's more about gameplay sweetness.
There are many new features that will make Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 a worthy upgrade after two years of Modern Warfare 2. For one thing, it'll have full integration with the comprehensive Call of Duty Elite service
For gamers who love the first two Modern Warfare games, this third entry will feature even more polish on every facet of the game. Infinity Ward has hired talent from unlikely places to improve upon single aspects of Modern Warfare 3.
To improve upon the animations, for example, the company recruited the help of a Hollywood CGI animator who worked on the models used in movies such as Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, the Animatrix and Beowulf. For online level progression, Infinity Ward looked to the MMO talent pool to find a specialist.
Infinity Ward's executive producer Mark Rubin told an audience at a roundtable discussion at Call of Duty XP that the developer's focus is on gameplay technology. The developers have been further fine-tuning the sensitivity and acceleration of the thumbsticks for the console versions of the game.
For PC gamers, the good news is that dedicated servers are back. What won't make some PC gamers as happy is that Modern Warfare 3 likely won't be a showcase for the latest and most powerful video cards.
We asked Rubin if Modern Warfare 3 featured any significant changes over the engine used to power Call of Duty: Black Ops.
"There have been significant changes," he replied. "But the types of changes that we do are more on gameplay than on technology. We are not focusing on changes that have fancy names such as 'full screen ambient occlusion'. The changes we do can't be easily labeled. All our tech is gameplay-oriented."
We pressed for more information, such as if Modern Warfare 3 would take advantage of new graphic technologies such as those afforded by DirectX 11.
"We are still looking at things like DX11," Rubin answered. "It's one of the things our team is looking at, but our focus is all about gameplay, not about technology. We want it to be more about fun than anything else."
PC gamers who play Modern Warfare 3, DX11 effects or not, will still get a better visual experience than those on console thanks to high resolution textures.
As for PC platform-specific support for things such as Eyefinity and 3D Vision, Rubin said that those features are still undecided, but is something it is working on with AMD and Nvidia.