What is next-gen? It’s a question publishers like Activision have no doubt wrestled with privately, all the while presenting a united front of mo-capped waterfalls and dynamic dog-fur in Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Just in time, though, they’ve nailed it. Next-gen is Kevin Spacey, resuming his role as House of Cards’ Frank Underwood in everything but name and Carolina drawl.
He’s the chief antagonist of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Sledgehammer’s “labor of love” and first solo CoD, which a leak suggests is out on November 4. Here are the h-whys and h-whats of their take on near-future combat.
Spacey’s character runs a private military group that has betrayed the US government, as Tom Clancy has led us believe they are wont to do. Here, Spacey takes a long and comprehensive poop over the head of Western-installed democracy in conquered states.
Gosh: it looks like CoD finally has a compelling villain, and not just a vague Eastern European accent attached to an even vaguer ideology.
Advanced Warfare’s backdrop appears to build on the dronetastic near-future of Black Ops 2 - but adds a couple of extra hoverthings to its hover-roster. That exosuit looks like fun - but past form hasn’t led us to expect a freeform approach to features like scaling buildings.
“It’s great to finally be live,” said Sledgehammer studio head Glen Schofield this morning. “Thanks for waiting. Advanced Warfare is a labor of love, biggest and boldest thing we’ve ever created.”
Sledgehammer Games helped finish a floundering Modern Warfare 3, and its founders have Dead Space pedigree - but this will be their first solo project released in the wild to date. They now join Treyarch and Infinity Ward in a new three-studio annual CoD cycle.
Do you dare to hope the new system will yield results? From us, it's a tentative h-yes.