Infinity Ward, the developers behind the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, have revealed new details on their unreleased project designed to be a ‘Halo Killer.’
Prior to beginning work on Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the devs were split into two teams each focused on two completely different projects. One was a World War 2 game and the other was a sci-fi shooter.
Speaking with Game Informer, Multiplayer Design Director Geoff Smith said this sci-fi game was intended to compete directly with Microsoft’s Halo franchise.
“All my friends were playing Halo, and I couldn’t convince them to give CoD 2 a try,” Smith said, noting that the team was proud of its work on the game. “I was like, 'Well, you’re this really cool spaceman who’s shooting stuff. It’s really hard for me to convince them to be cool with, like, a wooden gun with, like, a pot on your head.’”
With Halo being such a dominant title and leaving its mark on the FPS landscape, Infinity Ward wanted to challenge it.
“We didn’t know if we were going to be able to do a modern game… It was a moment where we really wanted to take down Halo really bad, and we wanted to create a Halo killer. Part of the studio went off and was working on another game to do that,” studio art director Joel Emslie said.
While some of the team was working on the World War 2 version of Call of Duty 4, the rest started designing a ‘Halo Killer’ prototype. However, splitting the team ended up being a bad decision.
“The whole Infinity Ward experience is what we make is the sum of the parts, like all the components work together,” Emslie explained. “When you had components missing, it threw the whole thing off balance, and that’s why it was realized pretty quickly, thank God, and they brought everybody back together, and then we dug into Modern Warfare.”
With the team back together, Modern Warfare was born and the FPS landscape would once again be altered.
“It was only really when we went to modern that you felt cool,” Smith said. “I think there’s a little something there where you feel cool playing, like you kind of put yourself in the situation.”
Infinity Ward wasn’t the only team trying to beat out Halo. The PlayStation exclusive Killzone had been dubbed a ‘Halo Killer’, but never saw much success in competing against Master Chief.
It’s crazy to think about an alternate history were Infinity Ward put their resources into a ‘Halo Killer’ instead of Modern Warfare. In a way though, the team did end up killing Halo, as Modern Warfare would go on to out-sell Halo 3.
Modern Warfare will make its long-awaited return when it’s released on October, 25, 2019.