Gameplay of a canceled Call of Duty codenamed NX1 has leaked online, revealing an effort to release a futuristic game in the franchise from former Guitar Hero developer Neversoft.
Over the weekend, a Twitter / X account called @mangafigurines published two minutes of previously unreleased gameplay for what was reportedly called Call of Duty: Future Warfare, showcasing an explosive moon mission in low gravity conditions.
Fuck it, NX1. pic.twitter.com/KDPh6pwHxn
— Josh H. (@mangafigurines) January 27, 2024
The tweet, which has over 5.5 million views, saw a reply from Brian Bright, who was multiplayer lead on the game at Neversoft. Bright confirmed the footage is from NX1, and explained its origin. It turns out that after the acrimonious exit of Infinity Ward co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella and their formation of Titanfall and Apex Legend developer Respawn Entertainment in 2010, Neversoft ditched the Guitar Hero franchise it had inherited from Harmonix to make a futuristic Call of Duty game of their own.
“This mission was on the moon, some experiments with low g and was really about the team learning the engine,” Bright explained. “We were making GH games on our THPS [Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater] engine prior.”
Bright added that NX1 would have taken the place of Infinity Ward’s Ghosts, which launched in 2013 as a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One launch title. Neversoft had completed two or three campaign missions and some multiplayer work before NX1’s cancellation.
@mangafigurines followed up with another video of NX1, this one 10 minutes long.
That’s all folks 🤠 pic.twitter.com/7TOg7JgdjE
— Josh H. (@mangafigurines) January 29, 2024
Speaking of multiplayer, footage of NX1 MP also leaked courtesy of a Twitter / X account called @catgurlfriend. Again, Bright confirmed the legitimacy of the footage in a reply, saying the map on show is called Sandstorm, and the mode is Escort.
fuck it, NX1 multiplayer. https://t.co/wGRQlQjSMl pic.twitter.com/OSjycBusDl
— Internet Crush (@catgurlfriend) January 28, 2024
“We didn’t have much of an art team on MP at the time, so the level designers used mainly MW2 assets,” Bright explained. “This map allowed for Escort mode gameplay, where teams would push a large UGV through the map’s checkpoints. The UGV had a trophy system on it.”
There’s an early map list, too, which shows maps called Bin Laden’s Compound, Apartment, and Genk, as well as a number of legacy maps. “This map list was from early on in mp dev on NX1,” Bright said. “Most of these are test maps, we had four or so maps that were fleshed out in the standard modes and two we played Escort modes in. They are not on this list.”
Based on the weekend’s revelations, it seems Call of Duty could have gone in a different direction at the start of the last generation if Neversoft had successfully released its own mainline game in the franchise and Infinity Ward’s Ghosts was canceled or pushed back a year. Ghosts, it’s worth remembering, kicked off Call of Duty’s ill-fated foray into futuristic warfare, which continued with Advanced Warfare and then Infinite Warfare. Infinite Warfare, whose announcement trailer became the second most-disliked ever on YouTube, did so badly that Activision ditched any whiff of spacefaring and instead pushed the tagline ‘boots on the ground’ for 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII, which laid the groundwork for the hugely successful soft reboot Modern Warfare in 2019. Neversoft was eventually absorbed by Infinity Ward in 2014 to form a “super studio”, the Neversoft name, alongside NX1, consigned to the annals of video game history.
The weekend’s Call of Duty leaks don’t end with NX1. A Twitter / X account called Yuno posted footage of the canceled War mode for Treyarch’s Black Ops 4. War mode debuted in WWII as a multiplayer variant that was less about your k/d ratio and more about your ability to help the team progress across different phases of action.
oh it’s time to post cut cod content again? bet.
Here’s some prototype Black Ops 4 “WAR” gameplay by DJ Vahn himself from Oct 31 2016 https://t.co/YLVwUPYK7v pic.twitter.com/EdLN31yhHN
— Yuno (@mysticaIfrog) January 28, 2024
— Yuno (@mysticaIfrog) January 28, 2024
From the looks of things, there was at least a plan for a War mode for 2018’s Black Ops 4, but, like its campaign, it was scrapped before release.
Wesley is the UK News Editor for IGN. Find him on Twitter at @wyp100. You can reach Wesley at firstname.lastname@example.org or confidentially at email@example.com.
Credit : Source Post