It surprised precisely no one when Activision last month revealed plans for yet another game in the publisher's popular Call of Duty franchise, though until now details have been kept just beyond our line of sight. Now new scans lifted from the latest issue of the UK's Official Xbox Magazine have confirmed earlier rumors that the series' fifth installment, apparently dubbed Call of Duty: World at War, will be handled by developer Treyarch, and that the game's previously teased "new military theater" will again drop players behind enemy lines in a battle for the Pacific during World War II.
According to the article, Treyarch aims to "explore the darkest corners of WWII," giving the military shooter more of a survival horror flavor by "tackling darker themes" and pitting players against a "new, seemingly alien fighting force." Activision has yet to officially announce Call of Duty: World at War, though it seems clear that we'll be trading in our guided anti-tank missiles for submachine guns sooner than we'd like.
The original Joystiq article can be seen here
It all takes place in the Pacific theatre (and partially in Russia's advance into Berlin) says OXM, which all in all was a much grittier and darker conflict that the one in muddy Belgium fields.
Treyarch has had a full extra year over CoD3's development to make World at War - and it's using the excellent CoD4 engine, which is plenty of reason to be excited.
"This is a scarier Call of Duty than we've ever seen," Treyarch head Mark Lamir says in the mag.
To help simulate the Japanese's different style of warfare, Treyarch has completely re-tinkered the enemy AI in World at War. Instead of taking cover and flanking in traditional European battle strategies, the Japanese hide in trees, sneak through the overgrowth and scrabble, katana in hand in violent suicide attacks.
"We figured out early that the Imperial Japanese fought in a different way that was full of suspense," creative lead Rich Farrelly tells OXM. "From that point we started to skew the game in that direction."
Excitingly, for the first time in Call of Duty's campaign 4-player co-op is supported over Xbox Live - and it supports meta game perks as in CoD4's excellent online mode.
The original Gametab article can be seen here