With the unparalleled success of the Call of Duty series, the number of players demanding that the franchise embody the best and most cutting-edge tech has only grown with each yearly installment. With next-gen now in full bloom, Activision looks to silence those demands in the form of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The developers at Sledgehammer Games are in charge of the series' first bona fide next-gen entry, and the latest developer diary shows that visual advancements, technical improvements, and highly-detailed performances are top priorities.
The gameplay footage shown at E3 2014 confirmed that the next-gen consoles would be used to up the graphics noticeably, but this developer diary shows that the benefits of increased hardware aren't all so easy to spot. Specifically, the ability to create characters that are more nuanced - and yes, prettier than ever.
The story, writing and performances of the CoD series have tended to be outshone by the action and spectacle, but Advanced Warfare is taking the plot more than seriously. That fact was made abundantly clear when Kevin Spacey was revealed as the game's antagonist(?), and the shift to a single protagonist shows the team's commitment to telling a more focused narrative. And next-gen is - according to Sledgehammer - making that task a bit easier.
The developers haven't been quite so revealing about the story of Advanced Warfare just yet, with most of the emphasis being placed on the futuristic gadgets and weaponry that are taking the Call of Duty series even farther into the realm of science fiction. This video keeps up the trend - specifically highlighting the Exosuit - but promises graphics that don't just capture an actor's performance like never before, but blur the lines between animation and live-action.
Whether or not it's wise to set the bar so high, fans are likely to be convinced on the graphics of everything else in the game alone. But with Sledgehammer's leadership cutting their teeth on the Dead Space series, there is certainly potential for a strong story driving the events in Advanced Warfare. If it's better looking than CoD fans are used to, all the better.
What are your hopes for Advanced Warfare? Is it the story, characters, and performances that you're hoping to see improved, or is some next-gen combat and tech what you most crave?
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare releases November 4, 2014 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
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