In filmmaking they say that the experience is 50% picture and 50% sound. In video games that might not necessarily be true, but sound is still very important.
Further echoing that point, the latest behind the scenes video for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare focuses on exactly that: sound design. Considering this is a franchise literally built on bombast, it’s pretty safe to say that sound is one of the key pieces in Call of Duty‘s formula.
As Audio Director Don Veca explains in the video, Sledgehammer Games is looking to create a uniquely dynamic experience with Advanced Warfare. That means gunfire, gun hits, and explosions — if all goes according to plan — shouldn’t ever sound the same moment to moment.
Of course, there are pre-recorded sound pieces that will sound the same, and for those the audio team has tried to keep things rooted in reality. Obviously, with Advanced Warfare taking players to the near future the audio team was working with some sound effects that just don’t exist in the real world, things like hoverbikes, mech suits, and the like. But they found ways to incorporate familiar sounds and layer them with new ones, in order to create a unique aural experience…or at least that’s what they hope for.
For the past few years now, the Call of Duty franchise has honed in on a sound that, while familiar, doesn’t necessarily draw too much attention to itself. It’s what you might call serviceable but not memorable — and certainly not on the level of the Battlefield franchise.
Ultimately, though, sound is but one piece of a larger puzzle, especially for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Here is a series that was on the ropes last year, struggling to stay relevant, but is now seemingly finding new life thanks to a bona fide next-gen graphics engine, an intriguing near future set-up, and a new developer. Whether all those pieces will add up to something special, however, is yet to be determined.
What do you think of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s sound design (what you’ve heard so far)? How important is good sound to you?
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare releases November 4, 2014 for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
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