Guns, Video Games, Rap Music, and Sumo Wrestling: Coverage of the Call of Duty XP 2011 in LA

The Call of Duty XP event took place over the Labor Day weekend, with publisher Activision making some huge announcements regarding their next money maker game, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.

The event, of course, was filled with gaming tournaments, major announcements regarding Modern Warfare 3, sumo wrestling, paintballing, and rap music. It was one wild weekend, and Activision surely gave all of those in attendance a little something to remember.

After the jump, check out the highlights of the first Call of Duty XP event, without the con funk, long lines, and $150 admission fee (which all went to Call of Duty Endowment, a non-profit foundation created by Activision Blizzard to help find employment for U.S. military veterans).


Every year the Call of Duty series returns with a new take on a familiar (and successful) formula. During the event, Activision revealed new details with the newest iteration of the series' multiplayer mode. Is it enough to draw in new players, and will it keep the game fresh for long-time fans of the game?

The most notable change to Modern Warfare 3's online multiplayer mode is the addition of strike packages. Instead of giving players a universal bonus list for kill streaks, Modern Warfare 3 will now group kill streaks into the various categories; assault, support, and specialist. By selecting one of these skill packages, kill streaks are awarded for players depending on their play style. Some players may prefer going in gung-ho and shooting everything up, whereas others may want to be more of a support. These strike packages will hopefully create a wider range of players, and is a step forward in an attempt to create more cooperation for the online multiplayer. Although they don't change the gameplay too much, it's a great alternative to the typical “guns-a-blazing” style of gameplay.

Streaks are also tallied in a different manner as well. For example, while assault characters will lose their streak when they downed, support characters will not. As long as players assist with kills, follow objectives, and play by the rules, they will be awarded with streaks.

Although Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer is nothing groundbreaking compared to the past iterations of the game series, it's supposed to be the most balanced Call of Duty title to date. MW3 takes a successful formula, adds new weapons, maps, streaks, modes, and refines the gameplay that millions of gamers love.

The unveiling of the second “Find Makarov” short film, subtitled titled “Operation Kingfish,” was shown during the event. The short features the origins story of Soap and Price, and the events of the film take place between Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare 2. Check it out below:

The Call of Duty Elite service was also detailed during the event. If you're one of those hardcore CoD players who buys every single piece of DLC and map pack, this service is made for you.

Although the basic service is free to use, the premium membership is $50 a year. Don't dismiss this service because of the price, there are very good reasons to be a member of Elite. Players who purchase the annual premium membership will receive every piece of downloadable content for Modern Warfare 3 for the entire year. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg estimates that this will include over 20 pieces of content total, including map packs, Spec-Ops missions, additional game modes, and more. Elite members will also get this content “first and faster,” Hirshberg says.

Players will be able to subscribe to Elite via XBox Live Marketplace and Playstation Network Store. Activision may also sell Elite memberships at retail stores, as well. A one-year membership to Elite will also be included in the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3: Hardened Edition, Activision confirmed.

A winner was announced on the second day of the Call of Duty XP Million Dollar Tournament, and OpTic Gaming took home the first prize of $400,000. Infinite is left with the second prize, a “measly” $200,000. Taking home hundreds of thousands of dollars for playing a new video game over Labor Day weekend? Not too shabby.

Of course, each of the two nights ended with a concert from Dropkick Murphys and Kanye West for the first and second night, respectively. Dropkick Murphys put on an amazing show, blending Celtic folk music and punk rock. Kanye West appeared during the closing night of the show, and made his first public performance since the release of his fifth #1 album, “Watch the Throne.”

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