Hands-Off Preview: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Call of Duty is one of Activision’s biggest franchises so it was no surprise that I got to see Advanced Warfare during my time at their booth. The presentation was held inside of a small theater which had big fancy leather cushions. After everyone took their seats (including Silicon Valley’s Kumail Nanjiani who was in attendance) and the demonstration started.
Two of the developers of the game talked about their vision for it. They’ve been working on it for the last three years and it contains all of the best parts of previous games. The game is also forward thinking since it’s set in the 2050s. This allows Sledgehammer Games to add in a bunch of cool new war tech. The developers say that the story is the most deep of the series and that they want it to have a lasting impact upon people. They claim that to them, this CoD is “a labor of love.”
After the developers said their piece, the video switches to in-engine footage of a military commander who tells us a bit about the graphics. He said something along the lines of “Look at how detailed my face is, my eyes can even dilate.” He also mentioned some specs which didn’t interest me in the least. After that things got started.
The presentation had two demos. The first one was the same one everyone got to see during the Xbox conference. The second demo took place on the Golden Gate bridge.
The Golden Gate battle was similar to the Seoul, Korea one; a lot of explosions and a lot of yelling. CoD specializes in over the top, “Michael Bay” style action and these demos had plenty of that. This demo also featured the Mitchell character but he wasn’t missing an arm which could mean that this took place before Korea or perhaps that he had received a synthetic one. During the battle against the enemy forces, we saw a lot of the same things from the first demo. Laser rifles, car doors used as portable shields, swarm robots, homing grenades… all of it.
What really stood out for me were the graphics. The demos we were shown came from a pre-alpha version of the game but it looked stunning. The demo we saw from the Xbox conference looked great, but this one was awe inspiring. I liked the way that the fog covered the bridge yet you were still able to clearly see everything. The litter of cars and pedestrians who were running where also nicely done.
Chances are that this CoD will also be released on last-gen consoles but I don’t know how they’ll be able to pull off these graphics in an effective manner.
It was a bit disappointing that we didn’t get to actually play this game but it seems as if the series will continue to give fans what they want. I do like the inclusion of fantastical technology like mechs, exo-suits and “smart” grenades and feel that these things could give the franchise a new lease on life. The exo-suit alone will make things different but all of the other stuff should be just enough to give this series a nice booster shot.