Sledgehammer’s art and animation departments are determined that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare look like something off the telly.
That approach goes beyond the hiring of television’s Kevin Spacey – though he does make a cameo here in a spandex suit covered in balls. They’ve employed new performance capture tech, and tried their darndest to make the game look photorealistic.
“We’re shooting with a whole new performance capture technology”, says animation director Christopher Stone. “This involves capturing the actual expressions and muscle shapes of each character’s face.”
Stone follows that with a claim that Kevin Spacey can “bring a performance to the table without saying a word”, and suddenly we’re introduced to the alarming possibility that Spacey might play his CoD role mute, communicating only via a series of morse code desk knocks in cutscenes. But nope, there he is a few seconds later, monologuing:
Art director Joe Salud says Sledgehammer did “whatever it took” to make the game look as “photorealistic as possible”.
“[That]s the first thing the gamers are going to notice when they see our facial performances,” he enthused. “They’re going to wonder, like, ‘That looks like it’s on TV’. And then realise, ‘Oh my god, it’s a game. That’s crazy’.”
Does Advanced Warfare look crazy in the art and animation department to you? At very least, we can expect an end to cutscenes copied from Modern Warfare.