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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Takes the Fight to a Plausible Future

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Takes the Fight to a Plausible Future

At last week’s PlayStation E3 Press Conference, Activision unveiled the latest footage of forthcoming shooter Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Blasting through Earth’s atmosphere, the new gameplay reveal shed some more light on developer Infinity Ward’s bold new direction for the franchise.

We caught up with Senior Art Director and industry veteran Brian Horton after the show to learn more about how the new environment is reshaping everything, from straightforward traversal to throwing grenades.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Takes the Fight to a Plausible Future

“One thing that we wanted to do was take the Call of Duty recipe we know so well and find an opportunity to expand the mechanics and attempt some visual things we’d never done before,” said Brian of Infinite Warfare’s setting.

“So the challenges around that are: well, what does that look like?” he continued.

“So we took a tact in which we imagined a merger between NASA and the navy: you take the navy elements with the military aspects — things like battleships — and you push that into space with a NASA aesthetic and that fusion created what we think is a very plausible future.”

Brian was keen to emphasise how important it was to go beyond straightforward science fiction tropes and create something which felt like a future reality we might one day encounter. We were keen to find out how he and team struck a balance between striving for something grounded in a convincing reality while also creating a gaming experience that was ultimately fun.

“If you get too wrapped up in what is absolutely, scientifically correct, you nerf some of the core principles of what makes a great Call of Duty game,” he says.

“You have to stretch and squash and work with the facts to get what you really want from the experience. So, we do take some licences with the science — this is a mass-market product after all, like an action movie — but we really want to make sure we’re not going into laser beams and aliens.”

“We always start with the things that we know and then we’ll start to extrapolate and ask: what are those fantasies you have about space? What can I do in a zero gravity environment, for example?

Call of Duty: Infinite WarfareCall of Duty: Infinite Warfare

“And you start to think, zero gravity is slow to move around in, so I’m going to need something that will allow me to get through this space quickly — and that’s where the grappling hook came from.

“I can chose a location and zip to it or I can use it to grab an enemy and pull them towards me. That grapple mechanic is — for us — pushing toward the boundary of science fiction, but you can still imagine someone engineering it.”

From there, Brian talked us through several of the weapons showcased in the trailer, including the gravity grenade, which creates anti-gravity pockets that can temporarily suspend enemies in the air. His enthusiasm for the new tech he and his team are creating is clear — once he started talking gadgets, he didn’t want to stop:

“Regular grenades can be a little challenging in zero gravity, so we created a seeker grenade. When you throw the grenade it has its own weapon propellant which zooms towards the target and blows it up. We have adapted some of those classic weapons, like grenades, for the environment.

“We also introduced another new tool which is this little spider bot. So instead of throwing a grenade, you toss this guy out and he homes in on an enemy, attaches to them, and explodes.”

From where we’re sitting, we can hear the rumbles and explosions of the behind-closed-doors presentation being screened to journalists in the next room. We have to ask how that’s possible in space — it’s a vacuum, how do you handle sound?

“So we did some research to see if we could simulate sound in space, because in military application the absence of sound would actually be very detrimental. You need that feedback — explosions, bullets whizzing by you — to know how to react. And it matters as a player too.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

“In the game, there’s a way your suit can simulate those sounds and impacts through photons so that you have a tactical awareness of your environment. We’ve dampened the sound a little, but it’s still there to make sure the player has a good time. This is actually not science fiction either — it’s actually very plausible.”

Keeping that plausibility front and center seems to be a core of what the team at Infinity Ward is trying to achieve. What really impressed us was the amount of time the team has put into researching realistic solutions to the challenges the new environment provides and we can’t wait to see how these will play out in the final game.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare launches across all regions on November 4 — pre-purchase the Legacy or Digital Deluxe Edition and play the Modern Warfare Remastered Campaign 30 days early on October 5, only on PS4. Check it out on PlayStation Store.

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20 Comments

  • *Watching the gameplay at E3* Wow what is this game? Mass Effect? Titanfall? New IP? Damn that looks good.

    *Moment realises it’s cod* Damn this game looks crap with all that flying

    • Well, what do you expect from this series that is, once again, nothing more than just the Land Before Time sequels of FPS games?

    • TrueAssassin86x

      I laughed so hard at the haters when that happened they got trolled by Call of Duty LOL

    • dangerdude4427

      This comment basically proves that if Infinite Warfare didn’t have “Call of Duty” in the title then people would love it alot more. NOW HOW IN THE WORLD DOES THAT MAKE SENSE!? Even if it was the exact same game, just because the title was a different series that means it’s bad. No it doesn’t, people are just cconstantly coming up with excuses to hate this game and say it looks bad. Your reason is not relevant what so ever in any situation at all. That’d be like saying you love the color red and someone then adds white and makes it pink and you say you automatically hate it because it’s not red anymore. Even though pink is just a different shade of red and you can make it back to your definition of a shade of red by adding black. It is the exact same thing but altered the slightest amount which in your opinion makes it awful.

  • ShadowAccel

    So, it’s a new pseudo-Halo I can play on PS? Kewl!!! 1

  • If you buy Modern Warfare for $80 this game comes free

  • In PVP, will we be “boots on ground”, as in movement without jet packs/boosters? I don’t mind the added sci-fi element, just don’t want the gimmicks to interfere with my fun in PVP.

    • From what i have heard its boots on the ground for multiplayer without exos.

  • Well the gameplay did look like i was playing star wars the clone wars or something like that

  • Kantankoras

    Now, I’m all for Sci-Fi, and this trailer had me sold from day 1, but call a spade a spade, Activision. You guys watched BSG on repeat and thats how we got here.

    I literally thought it was BSG until I saw they were not Vipers. Don’t take this the wrong way, this is the closest I’ll be to a great BSG so I’m not hating, but don’t act like we’re dumb. Your ‘process’ for developing a plausible future is the one the BSG team took over a decade ago.

    You’re going to steal at least credit the originals!

  • MW3, BO2, ghost, AW, BO3 all I am seeing is its getting worst and worst. I could spend more time playing MW3 rather than BO3. This time I think I won’t be getting COD game. It’s keep getting sucker and boring. What I am hating most is guns. They change guns like they see it as future guns but thing is they look aweful and most in BO3 basically look same but curved different Way with different stats. Activision running out of imagination!

  • PanTheMan16

    Look on the bright side, people: Only 2 more years until Treyarch announces their next game. Hopefully, they will do what most of us wanted/expected last time and make another older-war game (doesn’t have to be WW2. Could be WW1, could be Vietnam. Heck.. it could be Civil War.)

  • I really don’t understand the negativend reactions to this game. I’m not a fan of the series, it’s just not my thing, but I just might make this the first Call of Duty EVER that I preorder.

    It looks amazing.

  • I was impressed by the E3 demo, but the only COD game I have completed to date is COD4 – Modern Warfare. The rest I play a bit, and then I get into the multi, and then I bore of it within 20 hours or so and I never go back to finish the campaign.

    With COD4 – Modern Warfare, I never even tried the multi.

    So that leaves me wondering if the same thing will happen again. Each time their trailers look great, but the campaign store just don’t engage me. The style of story telling and characters and plot even the Kevin Spacey one, just did nothing to keep me playing.

    I would love for this new one to be one that I can enjoy like I did Modern Warfare, so that if I purchase it, I don’t feel like I paid $80 for a PS4 port of Modern Warfare.

  • OneManArmyAndres

    Call of duty: Imminent Failure 2016

  • SteveNenA2015

    Will I’ll be getting the legacy pro edition. Also battlefield 1 deluxe edition. Currently playing overwatch and doom… So see you guys in the game lobby…

  • t_headshot_t

    I don’t understand all the hate. Would you really prefer Battlefield 1 in which you would usually get lost in large scale maps, rarely encounter enemies, shoot ugly weapons and pilot crappy planes over this awesome and smooth shooter that’s got a campaign with RPG elements, a good story and a zombie mode? not to mention the Multiplayer.

  • Can’t wait WoW

  • Will it have zombies? Not Exo Zombies but Tryarch Zombies.

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