Sledgehammer are the first new studio to make a Call of Duty game in nearly a decade - and during the development of Advanced Warfare, they’ve done some thinking about what makes the series tick (and once the timer’s done, explode spectacularly).
“I think Call of Duty resonates because it’s believable and relatable,” said Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey. “And it’s always been one of the strengths of the franchise.”
Advanced Warfare’s edge-of-tomorrow gadgetry includes 3D-printed guns and plasma-powered hover bikes - but Condrey told Game Informer that they weren’t science fiction ideas.
“Some of the the things we found through research of what’s going on in the military today and around the world was more fantastic than even the things we were coming up with,” he explained. “And so I think that time period and that ability to keep it rooted means that our fans, ourselves - you know, it’s not that fictional leap to a science fiction world you can’t relate to.”
Sledgehammer co-founder Glen Schofield added that the studio consciously avoided “science fiction icons”.
“So you won’t see the traditional mech,” he said. “Even though that may happen [in real life], people automatically go, ‘sci-fi’. So, we’re kind of trying to stay away from that.”
Of course, Sledgehammer’s isn’t the only near future military setting in the Call of Duty multiverse. Schofield said that Treyarch’s designers and artists were in regular contact about any potential crossover with Black Ops.
“But I think we realized after the first six months or so when we had this huge amount of information and we had sort of a vision, that if we just kind of followed that and we used Sledgehammer’s style, that we will be different,” said Schofield.
“It’s almost like two artists create a landscape and one’s going to be so much different than the other and I know there’s enough difference between the two that they both can exist.”
Not a neither can live while the other survives scenario, then. In fact, Advanced Warfare was written in such a way that a sequel wouldn’t require any retconning.
“There has to be some thinking of not ruining the story and everything or the world so you can’t have another game,” finished Schofield. “We’re keeping it in a place where another game can exist.”
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is out on November 4. Kevin Spacey is in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Is that name enough to guarantee your participation?