Rumors of a new, third-person view in Modern Warfare 2 began to surface in the wake of a leaked gameplay video which showed the variable position camera in action. Infinity Ward turned those rumors into fact fairly quickly, but added that it had taken steps to ensure that the new view didn't give anyone an unfair advantage.
"Third Person is a new playlist mode in multiplayer," Infinity Ward Community Manager Robert Bowling explained. "So you can play your favorite playlists [or] game types, like Team Deathmatch just standard, or in Hardcore mode ([with] limited HUD and increased bullet damage) or in the new Third Person mode, which means you and everyone in the game is in third-person."
It's an all-or-nothing deal, apparently; everyone in third-person games will be playing in that mode and toggling back to first-person won't be allowed. "When you're in a Third Person playlist you can't toggle in and out, you're always in third-person," Bowling continued. "You can't toggle third-person view on or off in a standard game type either, people in third-person can't play with people in first-person, they're entirely different game modes. This is just another way to play the game."
Maybe I've spent too many years spent in the first-person perspective but, generally speaking, I'm not a fan of third-person views. Character control is awkward and I find my sense of immersion constantly disrupted as I struggle with the feeling that I'm watching someone else play the game. But like so many things these days, mine is a minority opinion, and news that Modern Warfare 2 will offer an external camera seems to be generating an awful lot of excitement. I don't see what the big deal is, but what about you? (Yeah, you.) Is this something you're really looking forward to?