Call of Duty: Modern Warfare multiplayer design director Geoff Smith responded to the “controversy” following the reveal that not only killstreaks were back, but white phosphorous would be one of the rewards.
The “controversy” involved game journalist Nate Bernhardt and a number of other Twitter users claiming the game rewarded players for killstreaks by allowing them to commit war crimes.
Speaking with VG24/7, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Geoff Smith explained the White Phosphorous reward was an evolution of their EMPs, “For us it really kinda came out of the old EMP killstreak.” He added, “It’s really hard to convey this electromagnetic pulse that disrupts maybe your HUD. So it wasn’t like a set change or a mood change, the stakes had changed for us.”
Smith explained that the White Phosphorous reward “does a strip of damage, the smoke plumes come out, and there are just little hotspots of burning embers.” However, as animation director Mark Griggsby pointed out there is no specific burning animation for the effect, “When you’re in it you cough and you’re at half health, so it’s like a softener of things.”
As VG247/7 notes Smith and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare are not trying to make a statement about the devastating capabilities of White Phosphorous. He explains, ““Our game is more about two sides, that there is no good guy or bad guy, you play on either one. We’re just creating this playground to play on.”
He added, “I always felt like in the previous games that multiplayer is like the distant weapon fire that you hear a few blocks away from where the single player is.”
As we pointed out in our original article, Call of Duty has used devastating weaponry in the past such as nuclear weapons. In fact, Smith also notes the game has included them. He questioned why the inclusion of white phosphorous is generating so much buzz as opposed to the inclusion of nuclear weapons in the past.
“Maybe people are reacting to the photogrammetry, the more realistic visuals. Maybe if it was more cartoony would that be more acceptable?”
What do you think of this explanation, does it make sense? You can expect to see Call of Duty: Modern Warfare to be released for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC platforms on October 25th.