Infinity Ward’s Jacob Minkoff, the design director behind the recently announced Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, discusses some innovations found in the upcoming game.

Fans will be forgiven if they believe nothing has happened in the video game industry since the announcement of Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare mere hours ago. After weeks of speculation regarding the next Call of Duty game, developer Infinity Ward and publisher Activision unveiled the next step in the storied FPS franchise that has become synonymous with multiplayer combat in shooters.

There is certainly some familiarity present within the current screenshots and details available for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Infinity Ward has already suggested that Infinite Warfare will feature the same kind of linear narrative that has characterized the Call of Duty series since its inception, and it didn’t take long for the developer to confirm that Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare would feature a Zombies Mode either. That doesn’t mean there won’t be some innovation when it comes to Infinite Warfare‘s single player structure, however, according to design director Jacob Minkoff:

“As the captain of the UNSA Retribution, which is the carrier that [players] command, you can order it to go and engage in different missions in a non-linear order…[which] will also reveal optional elements of the story.”

While Minkoff’s quote might not seem like a particularly important comment for a franchise that hasn’t exactly made a name for itself on its stellar storytelling, it’s actually big news. While Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare won’t feature aliens, it’s pretty clear that Activision, who also publishes Bungie’s Destiny, has learned a few things about player progression, item incentivization, and the increasingly popular loot systems that have come to be ubiquitous in big FPS releases lately. Minkoff indicated as much in another interesting statement:

“We are telling a linear story, but along the way…attacking [optional] targets of opportunity will reward you with various items and progression and loot elements that will help you to accomplish the next main mission.”

That Infinity Ward is looking for ways to freshen up a series that has its roots in the early 2000s should come as no surprise. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare looks like a title that will be more modern in a number of ways, from Infinity Ward’s decision to include “progression and loot elements” to Activision’s recent deal with Sony making Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare DLC available for early access on the PS4.

call of duty infinite warfare gameplay activision

Of course, in the end, the newest instalment in the increasingly long line of Call of Duty games will have to perform well in both single player campaigns and multiplayer skirmishes to live up to some of its most popular predecessors. If the recently revealed Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare screenshots are any indication, the game will look very pretty – but it remains to be seen if those looks will be backed up by enough innovation like the new and seemingly important side missions discussed today.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare will be available for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on November 4, 2016.

Source: IGN