Infinity Ward has sold us many things over the years - gravelly intros, gold-plated guns that reload slightly faster than the bullets they fire, opt-in airport massacres - but one place Activision's flagship Call of Duty studio has never dared venture is story DLC. The presence of the words "campaign extension" in recent Modern Warfare 3 DLC trailers was thus a bit of surprise, and we were eager to push creative strategist Robert Bowling on the subject when we spoke to him in January.
"The goal with these content drops is to do things we've never done before, really expand our horizons and our opportunities of what we consider DLC, because traditionally we've just done multiplayer maps," Bowling commented in an interview you'll read in issue 83, on shelves very shortly.
"So that's what we are looking at, how we can take different perspectives on different [campaign] missions, give more context to a mission by showing you pretext before it or after it. We're exploring everything. I can't give you a specific schedule on it, but that's the logic behind it."
The chance to play the likes of Mind the Gap from the other side? Colour our imaginations jump-started. And why stop at Modern Warfare 3? With Call of Duty: Elite now serving as an all-purpose access point for Call of Duty in general, now would be a fine time to unearth and remaster classic missions. Like "No Russian". You could play the part of a retired KGB agent who's suddenly and excitingly shot dead on his way to visit relatives in Cuba.
Happier in multiplayer? Never fear - Bowling's horizon-expanding doesn't spell doom for the time-honoured Modern Warfare map drop. Quite the opposite. Where the on-disc Modern Warfare 3 maps are smaller and simpler than their Modern Warfare 2 equivalents, the downloadable offerings will be larger and "more sniper-friendly".
"I think it has been successful in focusing what we wanted - very intense, fast-paced firefights, always keeping you in the fight - but we are looking to expand it, because you always want variety, you always want something different to what you've been experiencing," Bowling went on.
"Since people have been enjoying putting hundreds of hours into the smaller maps, now as we're moving forward we are looking towards expanding that out, giving you bigger, more sniper-friendly maps with longer sightlines, so that's what the content drops are going to be focused on - doing something you're not already doing in Modern Warfare 3."
"Liberation is definitely the first step in that direction," he added. "It takes place in a militarised Central Park, it is a wide open match, it's great for those big team games - Domination, Ground War - and it's all about snipers because of the huge sight lines. It's definitely the first step in opening it all up."
Your Modern Warfare 3 story DLC wishlists please, ladies and gentlemen. Here's a trailer for the forthcoming Overwatch map.