Beast Mode comes to new Call of Duty game. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will be featured as a villain in the video game "Call of Duty: Black Ops III."
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will be featured as a villain in the video game "Call of Duty: Black Ops III."
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ESPN's Sam Alipour wrote a featured story on Lynch's latest venture for a June 22 eSports issue of ESPN The Magazine. The plot revolves around augmented human soldiers going up against un underworld boss and his mercenaries in Singapore. The game is slated for a Nov. 2015 release.
Lynch now has the honor of being the first professional athlete to be featured in a "Call of Duty" game, per ESPN.
The Seahawks running back told the team's official website on June 9 he has been playing "Call of Duty" since his college days at the University of California. Lynch told ESPN he likes playing it so he can keep in touch with his friends and release some stress.
He went through a motion-capture process which enabled the transfer of his likeness to the game, per Seahawks.com.
When Alipour wrote a timeline about Lynch's appointment at the Activision Motion Capture Studio in Los Angeles, Treyarch studio head Mark Lamia said Lynch would be a perfect fit for one of their characters.
"For Marshawn's role, we needed an imposing figure," Lamia told ESPN. "When we learned he's a huge fan, we thought it'd be awesome to have him inside our game."
Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg agrees, per Alipour.
"Marshawn Lynch is the perfect match for 'Call of Duty,'" Hirshberg says. "I mean, he's a guy who fills stadiums, crushes competitors and has a Beast Mode. What could be more COD than that?"
Lynch showed some apprehension when Lamia and Co. had him sit on the light stage and cyberware scanner. He thought these posed as health risks.
When Lynch got on board the cyberware scanner, he asked if it actually causes brain damage, per ESPN.
"Am I gonna leave this thing with brain damage," Lynch wondered. "Or is this gonna make me smart?"
Afterward, Lynch stood on a circular platform where a photographer took photos of him from every possible vantage point. He wanted his video game version to possess all of his distinct features.
"He better have dreads, gold teeth and my distinctive walk," Lynch told Alipour. "Then people will be like, 'Oh, that's really Beast Mode right there!'"
When the photo shoot is done, the game's developers created a grayscale rendering of Lynch which made him appear naked, per ESPN.
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"What the hell is this?!" Lynch asked. "Am I playing a stripper?"
The new Call of Duty features Marshawn Lynch and a new "Pete Carroll mode" where the game won't let you shoot when enemies are a yard away— NOT SportsCenter (@NOTSportsCenter) June 9, 2015
A stagehand then gives Lynch two plastic handguns and a plastic rifle. Lynch did not have any scripts for the acting job he did for "Call of Duty." He had to improvise on each and every move.
"This is hard," Lamia told Lynch. "You really have to act."
"I got you, boss," Lynch hollered back.
"Once the take was done, director Adam Rosas told Lynch he's "a one-take wonder," per ESPN.
That afternoon, Lynch went to Treyarch Studios in Santa Monica for a hands-on demo of the game. Lynch competes against 11 in-house game testers, unfazed at their "Call of Duty" expertise, per Alipour.
Lynch's team promptly sweeps the opposition in two straight games.
The Seattle running back told Alipour he's proud of his latest venture in the video game industry.
"I've been in the Super Bowl, movies, music videos, Madden," Lynch quipped. "But to have your own character in Duty is, I mean, it's almost like you arrived."
The ESPN The Magazine eSports issue will be released on June 12, per Seahawks.com. The full gallery of Lynch's shoot for "Call of Duty: Black Ops III" can be seen here.
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