Call of Duty: Elite

Call of Duty: Elite Preview - Offering You More Bang For Your Buck

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Project Beachhead has been a talking point for Activision behind-closed-doors for quite some time now. With it rearing its head during many investor conference calls for quite a while and even having its own studio behind it, Activision is hoping that this initiative will give its stock another kick in the right direction. We headed to London last week to check out the new piece of tech in action. Ladies and gents, let us run you through Project Beachhead, AKA Call of Duty: Elite.

Call of Duty: Elite is Activision’s new statistic-based application for Call of Duty that intends to bring the 7 million daily players together and enhance their Call of Duty fans' multiplayer experience. Available online, through your game and coming to mobiles the world over, Elite will give players the chance to enrich and expand their online service by offering players many new features that Activision hopes will unite the Call of Duty service.

At its core, Call of Duty: Elite allows players to access a ton of in-depth stats that span across every Call of Duty product from Black Ops onwards. Whether you want to know your kill/death ratio, your average XP per game, your form, how many times you finished in the top 3 players, your earnings per match, your accuracy with any of the game’s weapons, and so on, Call of Duty: Elite has you covered. Outside of that though, there are three core elements to the Call of Duty: Elite experience: connect, compete and improve.

With Call of Duty: Elite, Activision hopes to bring players together to ‘connect’ to other Call of Duty players in many ways. This includes joining and creating groups, where you can play with players who share a common interest, like X360A, photography or your local sports team, for instance. Being able to compare stats against friends and other players also falls under the ‘connect’ heading, as does watching and sharing videos with the millions of other Call of Duty players. It’s all about bringing players together.

The compete aspect of Call of Duty: Elite will allow players to participate in a whole variety of different ways and in some instances, will allow players to get involved to win some cool prizes – which will be region specific says Activision. Players then will be able to compete using Elite’s clan support, group vs. group matchups, leagues, clan vs. clan, but the lure for a lot of players will be the events that players can enlist in, with prizes like iPad 2s and more being offered. A few examples of the events on offer were for getting the best Semtex grenade stick kill, the best sniper headshot video – which carried with it an exclusive competition badge and $20 gift card for Starbucks – and for those that might not consider themselves talented enough to compete for such events, there will be events for those that might be more talented in other regions, like a photography event for the best themed screenshot.

Last but not least, the improve aspect of the core aspects allows players to analyse their recent performance, take advice from Call of Duty pros with video tips, detailed information on guns/perks/maps, etc. – even offering suggestions for perks and loadouts – and even giving things like heat-maps to see where you perhaps fell into trouble. Its intention is to help players, both new and seasoned, to be able to improve as a player which will also enhance their Call of Duty enjoyment.

Call of Duty: Elite will come in two flavours when it drops later in the year: free and premium, i.e. a monthly fee. There is no word on price yet, which Activision said will come later on in the year, or anything on whether there will be a minimum subscription period, but they briefly touched upon what players can expect if they pay for the subscription service. Such bonuses include leagues, clans and possibly more importantly, access to DLC for Modern Warfare 3 at no extra cost. Such things as the stats-based services will be available for free, for everyone. Activision was keen to stress that Call of Duty: Elite won’t be changing the Call of Duty boxed package and this new initiative is merely a companion to the overall CoD experience.

Activision’s aim with Elite isn’t to charge for Call of Duty’s online multiplayer. Nothing of the sort actually, as Activision reiterated that they would never charge for that aspect of the CoD, it’s merely to give something to those who are willing to pay to enrich their multiplayer experience. Even those who don’t pay still get access to a whole host of new options though. While it’s not as ground-breaking as Activision wants us to believe – after all, and Bungie Pro have been doing something similar for sometime now – it is a neat initiative for those who are long-term Call of Duty players or those that want to be. With prizes for competitions, clans, free MW3 DLC and more promised for premium subscribers, the potential is there for gamers to expand their Call of Duty multiplayer experience, but whether there’ll be any takers remains to be seen. At the end of the day though, whether players subscribe or not, the free aspects of Call of Duty: Elite is enough to entice and excite even the most anti-Call of Duty player, after all, you get a much more enriched experience for no extra cost. And who says that Activision was only out to take your money? This should suggest otherwise!

Call of Duty: Elite is coming this fall and will be an integral part of Modern Warfare 3.


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