The release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007 was not only a major moment for the series and publisher Activision, but the industry as a whole--it's proven to be one of the most influential games of the last decade. With three years of work going into this year's Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the game's developer is hoping to create something similarly special.
"We looked back at the history of Call of Duty, and I don't know if you remember when Modern Warfare came out, for those of us in the industry who weren't at Activision at the time, it really blew us away," said Sledgehammer Games co-founder Glen Schofield in an interview with Official Xbox Magazine. "To us it really ushered in a new era of Call of Duty," he continued. "It puts you in the shoes of a Tier 1 soldier, in the Middle East--it was realistic, the sound, the audio, the look of it was just unbelievable. We wanted to try and capture that same feeling in this game."
"We're really trying to usher in something pretty special here." -- Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey
It's easy to forget now, both because it's been the better part of a decade and because Call of Duty has been such a huge part of the industry ever since, but prior to Call of Duty 4, the series wasn't the big deal it is today. Of the series' early games, Call of Duty 2, in particular, was acclaimed for its take on World War II, but back then it was Halo that was still viewed by many as the predominant first-person shooter on the market. That all changed with Call of Duty 4, which moved the series to the modern day and established the franchise as one of the biggest the games industry has ever seen.
Schofield is arguably putting a lot of pressure on Advanced Warfare by bringing up what some feel remains Call of Duty's best game, but fellow Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey also has high expectations, as he said, "[W]e're really trying to usher in something pretty special here."
"The full three years gave us the time to develop the technology, to focus on the creative, to do the research, to really maximize the experience, and again to push this new generation, to get every last ounce of horsepower out of it, and not to be in any way constrained by tech or in terms of ideas, by the previous generation of hardware," Condrey said.
This is the first time a new generation of consoles has come along since Call of Duty hit it big, as well as the first time Sledgehammer has led development on a title. Last year's Call of Duty: Ghosts was released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in addition to last-generation systems, but Advanced Warfare is being built with the former more firmly in mind.
Its developer hasn't shied away from building up excitement for the game prior to this, either; we know it wants a Red Wedding-level moment, and, ahead of the event earlier this month, Sledgehammer said Advance Warfare's showing at E3 would be "incredibly special." Whether or not you feel it lived up to that claim, what we have seen does look promising, and we know the story (which took more than two years to write) is a point of emphasis.
Advance Warfare is scheduled for release on November 4 on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. (The last-gen versions are being made by High Moon Studios.) For more, check out our latest preview.
|Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX|
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