Sledgehammer are “not shying away from what CoD is” for Advanced Warfare’s level design

Call of Duty: advanced, but not too advanced.

Do you remember ‘All Ghilled Up’? The thirteenth mission of the very first Modern Warfare, it stuck us behind the moustachioed upper lip of Captain Price. Moving to a hotel vantage point from the outskirts of Pripyat, it exemplified what we now recognise as CoD form: a breathless slide down a pre-dictated path.

The Advanced Warfare demo showed to press at E3 featured a level a lot like it – and developers Sledgehammer aren’t ashamed to admit that they’ve taken their cues from CoD history.

“We are trying to change things up, but we’re also not shying away from what the series is,” said co-founder Glen Schofield. 

Fellow Sledgehammer boss Michael Condrey likened the relationship of Advanced Warfare and Modern Warfare to that of Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan.

“Exceptional execution on the same concept,” he told Metro. “For me personally, All Ghilled Up is generally considered the best level in Call Of Duty history, so for you to say, ‘Hey, that’s like All Ghilled Up’, to me that’s a home run. That’s like saying maybe we’ve reached one of the best levels of all time again for Advanced, I love that.”

Sledgehammer’s level design process sees them blend something novel with the missions of the CoDs that came before.

“When we lay out the game, we lay out the whole thing,” explained Schofield. “We look at it from a pacing point of view, so okay, we’ve got the level but what time of day is it? What’s the location? What’s the colour palette? What are you doing in the level? And then we break that down into individual moments.

“We look at those levels and we try and do something new, but we also aspire to match the best that’s come before. So for you to say, ‘That level’s like All Ghilled Up’, that’s a great compliment.”

Are you happy to play All Ghilled Up one more time? Or are you hoping that exosuit or Kevin Spacey will provide something different?