March 8, 2007 - PSP-owning history buffs should take note: a brand new Call of Duty is headed for the system next week with "Roads to Victory," and we wanted Activision to tell us about it. To get our answers, we approached Senior Producer Matt Powers for the full skinny and he was happy to oblige. It went a little something like this...
IGN: The storyline of Roads to Victory has been somewhat of a mystery. Which campaigns does the PSP game follow and who are the main antagonists?
Matt Powers: In Roads to Victory, the player will experience some of the major battles from the US, Canadian, and British campaigns. We picked battles and locations that would provide the most fun for the gamer. The player defends against the Axis throughout Europe as a member of the US 82nd Airborne Division, the Canadian Rifleman Corps and the British SAS Division. Players will liberate cities in Italy, storm beach heads along the coast, and advance their way through Europe, repelling -- and ultimately defeating -- German forces.
IGN: How important is the storyline here compared to the previous PC and console versions? Can we expect to see more cutscenes, back-story for the characters?
Powers: Our goal with Roads to Victory was to bring the player to the hot spots of the European theater in WWII. We wanted to make sure that players were thrust into the action and experienced all the intensity that one expects from Call of Duty. Roads to Victory follows different nationalities through the war and in so doing, brings the player a large variety of weapons, locations and action. We have made sure to incorporate all the "wow" moments that are staples of all Call of Duty games, and documentary movies that play between campaigns to provide the historical background for the action that follows.
IGN: The 82nd Airborne is famous for its assault on Italy and then later for its participation in Operation: Neptune. Are these all scenarios we can expect to see in Roads to Victory?
Powers: The team picked scenarios we felt were the most dramatic moments of the war. We had a ton of ideas for missions that had not been done before to allow players to experience new scenarios. Then, we started to whittle down to the best mission ideas to create a cohesive story. The game covers a lot of interesting battles that have a colorful history that many may not know about.
Once we had our mission list, we then started to pull out the moments in those battles that would translate into good gameplay. This was not an easy task since some real life battles featured a fair amount of retreating, which doesn't necessarily translate into compelling gameplay; so, we had to pick our moments carefully.
IGN: How much will being "Airborne" play into the gameplay?
Powers: The 82nd Airborne is the basis of our American campaign. The player will experience missions that are based around real Airborne operations. They will be dropped into hot spots throughout Europe to fight off the German invasions. Players will always be part of a squad, just as the Airborne are, when taking on missions.
IGN: How are the missions divided between the American side and the Canadian/ British scenarios and will characters from the three sides cross paths like they did in COD3?
Powers: The US missions have a solid pacing to them. You start out in Altavilla, Italy, where the fighting is fierce, but as the tutorial mission, you can get through fairly easily. You get to do cool things though, like snipe the enemy and call in air-strikes on Panzer tanks. Then you shift to a chaotic beginning in the next mission where you have to defend your position against an onslaught of ground troops. This leads to a night mission called Glider Crash where you and your squad have landed in enemy territory and need to regroup. It's certainly creepy at times, and when the skies open up with gunfire, it is very dramatic. This then leads to a mission where you are in a bomber and you need to protect your planes against the might of the Luftwaffe.
The British and Canadian campaigns will allow the player to be able to participate in many of the major operations that these two countries took part in during WW II. Players will be able to play the revered British SAS parachute regiment as well as the famous Canadian Rifle Corps. While we share the similar time frames for our battles in Call of Duty: Roads to Victory as in Call of Duty 3, we are an entirely new game with all new missions and campaigns.
IGN: Will the storyline play into the multiplayer at all?
Powers: The multiplayer game does not have a storyline behind it. Though we did take some of the settings and locations from the single-player campaigns and use them in multiplayer.
There are several different game modes designed to support 2-6 players. To stay true to the Call of Duty experience, we felt that this would be an optimal player count for online play on the PSP. We wanted to make missions that fit smaller number of players to keep the action and intensity as high as possible. The maps are designed for players to jump in and get straight into the action. The multiplayer game is designed for quick, on-the-go, gaming intensity which is great for handheld game play.
We have some really fun game types for multiplayer. We've got the classic Deathmatch and Capture the Flag, as well as Hold the Flag, where players will have to find a flag and then defend that position. There is also King of the Hill, another new game type (I'll leave this one as a surprise). The multiplayer game has been designed and tuned for quick action and reward.
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