The lights are on
Sledgehammer Games' Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (check
out our cover reveal) is not the first game in the series to move the timeline
into the future. However, the studio's 2054 vision of futuristic tech is more
deeply integrated into the gameplay than anything the franchise has seen before.
From the Exo suit to a rifle that 3D prints bullets, this is a glimpse into the
advanced weaponry and vehicles of Sledgehammer's solo, new generation Call of Duty
The hover bike is one of Advanced Warfare's most futuristic vehicles.
Sledgehammer referenced real-life vehicles like motorcycles and snowmobiles for
a grounded design starting point. The windshield is composed of smart glass,
allowing the UI to meld with others in the game. The angular armor, designed to
deflect enemy fire, shifts with the bike as it moves. Players ride the advanced
one-man bikes through the flooded streets of Detroit, fleeing from enemy forces
at high speeds.
Sledgehammer is tapping into relevant modern 3D printer
technology for this weapons inspiration, looking far into the future to see
what might be possible on the battlefield. Players load in a canister of liquid
matter and rack it by pulling back on the bolt. Once securely housed, the
internal computer begins printing ammunition on the spot. Players can see the number
of bullets created as a digital ammo counter increases. Sledgehammer is still
tinkering with the fire rate and power of the 3D printer rifle, but it should
dramatically reduce reload time.
Referencing D.A.R.P.A. (Defense Advanced Research Projects
Agency) experiments and public military prototypes, this plasma rifle is among
the more futuristic weapons we saw during our trip to Sledgehammer Games. While
we didn't see this portable rifle in action, other large energy weapons are on
display in Advanced Warfare's campaign. In the sequence leading to the attack
on the Golden Gate Bridge, players drive a high-tech SUV equipped with a turret
that fires blue blasts, devastating other enemy vehicles. This smaller plasma
rifle should be similarly effective against foot soldiers.
The Exo is the mechanical backbone of Advanced Warfare's journey
into the year 2054. In Sledgehammer's universe, the Exo began as a clunky
mechanical suit that became more elegant as technology and design evolved.
Modern-day exosuit prototypes are bulky and require heavy batteries to operate,
but these strength and agility augmenting suits become more sleek and versatile
in Advanced Warfare's future. The Exo allows players to jump higher, run
faster, lift heavy objects, and more. Players can even punch through doors to
initiate the dramatic slow-motion breach sequences from previous Call of Duty
games. Certain characters can also enter mechanical suits with moving plates of
heavy armor that quickly protect them (shown in the top image).
Tanks and Aircraft
Cutting-edge military vehicle design incorporates an array
of sharper angles. Consider modern military vehicles with angles on the
underside, which makes them better able to weather blasts from bombs or mines. Like
the hover bike, these angles help vehicles withstand explosions and projectiles
more effectively than a boxy design. Sledgehammer predicts the function of
military vehicles like MRAPs (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected), tanks, and helicopters won't change in the
future, but the form will continue to change. For example, the aircraft carrier
in Advanced Warfare is still recognizable, but Sledgehammer envisions a future
where all flying vehicles have vertical takeoff, which eliminates the need for
a runway. With that in mind, Advanced Warfare's aircraft carrier is littered
with platforms that rise up from inside the ship, allowing planes and
helicopters to be reloaded.
These are just a few examples into Sledgehammer's vision of
future military technology. Other technology will enhance the game world,
including civilians enveloped by smart glass technology, digitized street
signs, and more. Despite these electronic advancements, the game world is still
gritty and grounded in a way fans will recognize.
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