So how do we start yet another Call of Duty preview? Well let's start with the big news... One can't preview this game without acknowledging that we have a new development team working on the franchise - Sledgehammer Games. Somewhat surprisingly the companies entire history since forming in 2009 has been based around Call of Duty.
When the company first formed they starting working on a third person entry in the franchise, a game which the team spent up to eight months developing before being moved to Modern Warfare 3 when Infinity Ward had their little implosion with Jason West and Vince Zampella's departures (and a considerabe number of staff). After the success of that game Sledgehammer started working on their own Call of Duty title, and Advanced Warfare is the result.
These really are next-gen visuals.
Set in 2054 Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare takes place in a plausible future in which technological progress and today’s military practices have converged with powerful consequences. In this carefully researched and crafted vision of the future, Private Military Corporations (PMCs) have become the dominant armed forces for countless nations outsourcing their military needs, redrawing borders and rewriting the rules of war. And Jonathan Irons (played by Kevin Spacey), the founder and president of the world’s largest PMC - Atlas Corporation - is at the center of it all.
Harnessing the power of next-gen platforms, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare brings players into the battlegrounds of the future by boasting a new hi-tech, advanced arsenal and ability set, arming players with all-new equipment, technology, perks, and vehicles like hoverbikes and highly specialized drones. Players can also choose between standard ammunition and an all-new class of directed-energy weaponry that enables totally new gameplay dynamics. And with exoskeletons delivering a massive force multiplier and unprecedented tactical freedom.
Taking cover from enemies.
Like all previous Call of Duty titles before it Advanced Warfare has a single player campaign mode (and who knows, perhaps one day there will be a co-op mode), for a large number of players it's the multiplayer modes that generates the most interest, and longevity for the title. So what do we know about the multiplayer in this game? Well it will include female soldiers, and ermm, oh in a single screenshot showing a Capture The Flag match result (for a 6-on-6 game) we see the two teams named Atlas and Sentinel - the first is the main PMC in the game, and we suspect the second is a competing PMC. Expect to hear more in the leadup to release.
As with previous games in the series we can expect plenty of DLC and map packs to be released in the months following launch and a Season Pass is pretty much a sure bet too.
Expect future tech in Advanced Warfare.
We must point out that Sledgehammer Games are focused on the PS4, XBox One and PC versions of the game while the port to PS3 and XBox 360 is being handled by High Moon Studios - so we expect the newer consoles to push boundaries that will be hard for the last-gen machines to match. The game runs on an all-new in-house engine which includes new rendering, animation, physics and audio systems and is the first game in the sereis since Call of Duty 2 to use a new engine.
Sledgehammer Games have developed a gorgeous looking game in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
As you can see from the surrounding screenshots, and certainly the video below this is a fantastic looking title with much higher levels of detail, and many more particles then we've seen in previous titles in the series. The game even uses an advanced facial capture system for animations - the same one which James Cameron will reportedly use in his upcoming Avatar sequels. The series has always been a stalwart for hitting 60fps, thus providing a super slick experience and we hope Sledgehammer Games manage to achieve this in Advanced Warfare.
As we say every year, there is no doubt that this latest Call of Duty will be a big seller. We do hope, however, this years title pushes more boundaries then Ghosts which was hamstrung by a quick development time, and did little to push beyond the last-generation title. At least with Advanced Warfare it appears that Sledgehammer Games have been able to push the PS4 version to new heights.
Below is a 9-minute "Induction" Gameplay video which shows off a section of the game. Prepare to be impressed...
And below is the initial "Reveal" Trailer which came out just before E3 2014. It focuses on Kevin Spacy's character, and is pretty impressive too.