Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Preview of Call of Duty Elite

Call of Duty Elite
While you would think that any news about Call of Duty would be focused on the upcoming Modern Warfare 3, Activision has just released details about something that you probably weren't expecting, Call of Duty Elite. Back in February Activision announced that the company was forming Beachhead Studios, a completely wholly-owned development studio charged with the task of working on Call of Duty products. Many people speculated as to what these products were going to be. Is the team working on DLC, new games or something we haven't thought of yet? Well, it seems that it was the latter with the latter being Call of Duty Elite.

Call of Duty Elite is something that Activision's Bobby Kotick has long hinted at as being the biggest moneymaker, subscription fees. Call of Duty Elite is a subscription program set to take advantage of the success of Call of Duty: Black Ops as well as the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Now before you go getting your panties in a bunch, Chacko Sonny from Beachhead went into great detail in order to point out that Elite is not a way to charge players to play Call of Duty online.

Elite is being touted as a "new connected service that brings together the worldwide Call of Duty community in ways we never could before." The goal of Elite is simple: "to enrich the multiplayer experience." To put it very, very simply, Call of Duty Elite is not a game, it is a service. There are three pillars to the service: Connect, Compete and Improve. Activision fervently believes that Call of Duty Elite will become a huge part of online gaming as well as connected entertainment for the company. The Call of Duty games represent a large majority of online players for both the Xbox 360 and the PS3. These games also represent a ton of gamers that Activision is hoping will sign up and subscribe to the service.

Activision recently held a pre-E3 event where Treyarch's Dan Bunting and David Vonderhaar took the stage to discuss Call of Duty Elite. The two showed off the differences between the Combat record in Call of Duty: Black Ops. The service tracks pretty much every single stat you can possibly think of in the game and pumps it into the Elite service as charts, graphs, heat maps and other stuff. Call of Duty Elite is meant to work as a learning tool in order to help you improve as a player. It is also supposed to be used as a tool to help you meet new players and give you a new way to compete with challenges and actual prizes. It is a completely decked out look at your career with Call of Duty that comes with multiple sets of multiple stats, a new showcase for your game videos, a way to track and compete with others and a lot more.

If you are somebody who loves reviewing your game stats, seeing where you excelled, seeing where you made mistakes and tweaking your game based on that, then Elite is going to blow your mind for the rest of your life. There is also a tutorial service with Elite that breaks down every weapon and piece of equipment in the game. This even comes with video insights on the proper use of certain weapons. There really is a ton of information in Call of Duty Elite. Another good feature about Elite is that you will be able to access it from anywhere. You can get it on your computer, laptop, tablet or even on your smartphone, basically anything with a web browser.

One thing that Elite is doing is allowing you to join groups which can literally be based on anything you can muster up in your mind. Have an obsession with Cthulhu? Type it in and join a group of avid Cthulhu fans. Can't get enough pistachios? I'm sure there is a group for that as well. And if you can't find a group, then make one yourself! Groups in Elite are also tiered just like real army units. Groups of 1 to 10 players are known as a Platoon, 100 is a Regiment, 1,000 is a Battalion, 100,000 is a Brigade and 1,000,000 is an Army.

Groups not enough for you? Then how about you form or join a clan? Elite offers incredible clan support similar to the kind you would see in an MMO. You can organize tournaments between your clan members as well as a lot of other stuff in the clan system. Clans also allow you to take part in all the challenges Elite has to offer. A lot of these challenges offer real-world prizes as well like unique game badges, belt buckles, t-shirts, iPads and even a custom Black Ops Edition Jeep. Challenges range from things like Best Kill screenshot or hitting the top of the leaderboards. New challenges are constantly incoming, more so then the wimpy ones already featured in Black Ops.

You are probably still wondering about the subscription fee I mentioned earlier, aren't you? Well, the good news is that a lot of the stuff in this service will be free for users at home, at least for a little bit. However, Activision is offering a Premium Membership version as well. What exactly the paid subscription grants you has yet to be released and neither has an official price tag. However, Activision has stated that the subscription fee for Call of Duty Elite will be "Less than any other comparable online service for gaming or entertainment." Call of Duty Elite is set to be released this November on the same day as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Check out the video below for a little more information on Call of Duty Elite.

Source: G4TV - Call of Duty Elite Hands-On First Look

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