A brief interaction between Sledgehammer Games’ Michael Gondrey and a fan elaborates on what Activision meant by ‘back to its roots’ when talking about Call of Duty 2017.

This week, Activision seemingly rejuvenated interest in the Call of Duty franchise by announcing that the next entry in the series “would go back to its roots.” Of course, since the official unveiling for Call of Duty 2017 is still a ways off, Activision didn’t want to say too much beyond that, just like it did when talking about Destiny.

It was that one morsel of information, though, that seems to have stuck with Call of Duty fans and left them excited to know more. And now a member of the Sledgehammer Games dev team has come out to share a small follow-up detail regarding this year’s entry.

In response to a fan question on Twitter, Sledgehammer Games’ head Michael Condrey played coy by saying that the next Call of Duty will be set “on the ground.”

Obviously, this could mean many things, but considering last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare took players into space and had them doing battle on various planets, it’s a fair assumption that COD 2017 will be set on Earth. Moreover, where Infinite Warfare combined traditional first person combat with space dogfighting sections, it sounds as though the next Call of Duty will not be borrowing that concept.

What has fans more intrigued, however, is the thought that “on the ground” also hints at a more traditional play style for the next Call of Duty. For the past few iterations – dating back to Advanced WarfareCall of Duty has offered a more futuristic version of soldier movement, giving players access to abilities like a boost jump, a boost slide, and even a wall run. It’s a change that, on the one hand, helped keep Call of Duty fresh for some, but pushed many traditionalists away.

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Considering that, some are reading Condrey’s comment to mean that Call of Duty 2017 will do away with those types of movement options, and keep players literally on the ground. But if this year’s game is a continuation of the Advanced Warfare storyline and sub-series, one has to wonder how Sledgehammer Games would pull it off. Perhaps fans will be thrust into a situation where technology has failed, and they will have to use more traditional forms of combat. That could keep in-line with Advanced Warfare and stay in the near future, while eliminating some gameplay elements that have turned fans off.

There is also the rumor that Call of Duty 2017 is set in Vietnam, which would presumably be set on the ground and would take the series back to its roots, so to speak. Of course, this is all speculation, but with Battlefield 1 finding more success among the hardcore shooter fans by going to World War 1, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Call of Duty employ a similar shakeup. However, quotes like “back to its roots” and “on the ground” can be interpreted many different ways, so it’s best to wait until the official reveal before getting too excited.

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