Modern Warfare 3 'oscar mike' with multiplayer, limited edition Xbox

Modern Warfare 3 is set to launch in November. In the meantime, Activision has revealed a whole lot about the latest game in the Call of Duty franchise.

Modern Warfare 3 is scheduled to hit shelves in November. Here, a still from the latest title in the Call of Duty franchise.

Call of Duty XP, a conference of sorts for hardcore Modern Warfare fans, opened up in Los Angeles last night, and judging by the early reports, this thing is a zoo – paintball recreations of popular MW maps, panels on zombies, multiplayer gaming sessions, performances by the Dropkick Murphys and Kanye West. And along with all the noise has come a flurry of reveals and leaks about Modern Warfare 3, which is scheduled to hit shelves in November.

Among them: The appearance of a new "hardened" edition of Modern Warfare 3, complete with "unique disc art, a collectible steel case and a 100-page field journal packed with Call of Duty sketches and diagrams," and one year of membership in Call of Duty Elite. This from the folks at Wired, who got their hands on some photos of the "hardened" kit. No word on price. (Activision has apparently declined comment.)

More official is the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Xbox 360 bundle. According to USA Today, the $399 limited edition set includes a specially-patterned Xbox with a substantial 320GB hard drive; for that four hundred bucks you'll also get a copy of the game, of course, and a set of plastic avatars. (Here's hoping that someone made a plastic statue of Ghost. Or at least Roach Sanderson.)

But the biggest buzz is around the new multiplayer on MW3, which got a major unveiling at Call of Duty XP. Developer Sledgehammer has helped develop a "Kill Confirmed" mode – a kind of team Deathmatch mode, centering on five kill streaks. (The Guardian has an impressively exhaustive run-down of all the new Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer details, if you've got the time.)

"My two cents is that this multiplayer version is a lot more fun, the maps look cool, the graphics look better, and the touches such as final slow-motion death of the last player killed in a match are much better now. It’s a big improvement upon last year’s multiplayer for Call of Duty Black Ops," writes Dean Takahashi of Venture Beat.

Lastly, in the midst of all these rumored or confirmed addition, there is at least one deletion – that of the long-reported third-person Modern Warfare title. "We came on board to make a third person action adventure game, in the Call of Duty franchise, and we were working on it about six months," a rep for Sledgehammer told GameSpot. Alas, it is no longer.

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