Treyarch talks Call of Duty: World at War co-op and AI

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In an interview with Trecharch’s Mark Lamia, new details were revealed about Call of Duty: World at War, explaining how implementing realistic Japanese WW2 strategy and introducing co-op to the Call of Duty mix were large undertakings.

“We’re introducing a new enemy, the Imperial Japanese Army, which uses new and different tactics,” said Lamia. “And for the first time ever in the Call of Duty series, we’re introducing co-op.”

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“This is the first time the franchise has gone into the Pacific theater, and the Imperial Japanese Army was a vastly different enemy than the Germans in the European theater, so we had to design a whole new type of combat and tactics,” he explained. “The Japanese will banzai charge you, ambush you, climb trees to snipe you, and run, crawl, or climb anywhere imaginable to kill you.”

When it came to building the AI for the Japanese in World at War, the team had to rethink basic enemy strategy and tactics to make the characters fit into the time period and environment.

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“There was a point, when we put some great-looking Japanese character models in a Pacific environment with standard Call of Duty AI – and it just didn’t work for us,” said Lamia. “It looked great, but the enemy didn’t “fit,” and the scenarios didn’t feel like they should. We realized we needed to focus specifically on Japanese tactics in order to realize this new enemy. It took a few more months for this to come together, but when it did, it helped crystallize the game. It was around that time that… the game took on a grittier tone.”

Call of Duty: World at War is set to release this fall for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

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