When the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare reboot was unveiled earlier this year, campaign director Jacob Minkoff told us that there’s been a conscious effort to build a game that’s “more intimate, more mature, more gritty, and cinematic.” Don’t expect every aspect of the game to follow that realistic approach, though. For example, there are the Tamagunchis.
If you were born in this century, Tamagotchis were a line of handheld virtual pets that relied on their owners for food and care. If you didn’t feed your digital buddy, it died. Modern warfare’s Tamagunchis work pretty much the same way, except instead of food, this little guy just wants you to keep killing in multiplayer.
“This little thing on your wrist, every time you get a string of kills, it goes, ‘Ya-ta!’ and it makes a little noise, then you look at it, and it evolved out of an egg,” art director Joel Emslie tells Game Informer. “Tamagunchis are fed by the player’s performance in multiplayer. It’s just this little active wristwatch thing.”
It’s just an optional cosmetic, but there are consequences for frivolous Tamagunchi use, as Emslie notes. “If you don’t take care of your Tamagunchi, it will rot and die.”
That’s a goofy little addition, and one that would probably not raise a lot of eyebrows in a normal Call of Duty year. Yet with this campaign’s focus on gritty realism, and the spillover effects onto multiplayer, it’s all a little weird. Is that Tamagunchi going to be gobbling up the death that results from those White Phosphorous killstreaks?
We will, at a minimum, see how the tonal dissonance plays out when Modern Warfare launches on October 25.