Sledgehammer on Advanced Warfare’s Future Setting vs. Black Ops 2, Story to Remain Open For Potential Sequel

With Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and its 2054 setting, developer Sledgehammer Games describes a tough time, in the beginning, defining what the games’s future really was and deciding how deeply it might dive into the world of science fiction.

Ultimately, the studio settled on a rooted and more gritty universe that Call of Duty fans could get sucked into. Sledgehammer co-founders Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield spoke to GameInformer about the process, as well as how it might compare to the future depicted in Treyarch’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

“I think Call of Duty resonates because it’s believable and relatable,” Condrey said. “And it’s always been one of the strengths of the franchise.”

Condrey explained that the drive to remain rooted, gritty, and relatable crystallized through their research in some of today’s most advanced technology. We saw some of that reflected in Advanced Warfare’s tech that we recently learned more about in greater detail, like the 3D-printer rifle that prints its own ammunition, as well as the plasma-powered rifle and the hover bikes.

“Some of the the things we found through research of what’s going on in the military today and around the world was more fantastic than even the things we were coming up with,” Condrey added. “And so I think that time period and that ability to keep it rooted means that our fans, ourselves – you know, it’s not that fictional leap to a science fiction world you can’t relate to.”

Aside from its alien influence, Condrey mentioned Peter Jackson and Neill Blomkamp’s film, District 9, as a point of great inspiration.

“Science fiction icons, we stayed away from,” Schofield added to the conversation. “So you won’t see the traditional mech. Even though that may happen, people automatically go, ‘Sci-fi.’ So, we’re kind of trying to stay away from that.”

However, Schofield hinted at some more unexpected surprises to come: “And then, as we get them into the game, and they start to believe the world, [we're] taking more chances by the end of the game.”

As you may remember, Treyarch’s Black Ops 2 also adopted a near-future setting similar to the one Condrey and Schofield describe in Advanced Warfare. Despite the inevitable comparisons, Schofield believes their take is different enough.

“We do talk with Mark Lamia [Treyarch studio head] and his designers and artists as much as possible, and that’s so that we don’t duplicate things,” he explained. “But I think we realized after the first six months or so when we had this huge amount of information and we had sort of a vision, that if we just kind of followed that and we used Sledgehammer’s style, that we will be different.”

“It’s almost like two artists create a landscape and one’s going to be so much different than the other and I think that there’s enough differences between the two that – I know there’s enough difference between the two that they both can exist.”

Shifting the conversation to the topic of a Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare sequel, Condrey and Schofield were asked if they would ever consider bringing the setting and story to a more fantastic place with more elements of science-fiction.

While their thoughts are still rooted in their current project, Schofield mentioned that “There has to be some thinking of not ruining the story and everything or the world so you can’t have another game.”

“We’re keeping it in a place where another game can exist,” he said.

Check out the full interview with Condrey and Schofield over on GameInformer.

Would you ever play a Call of Duty title developed around science-fiction elements? Maybe even aliens and outer space? Tell us in the comments!

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  • ROCKMONEY

    Call of Duty will always have the problem of wanting to change what isn’t broken.

    • dieger

      being stale counts as broken.

      • Mr_Trillionaire

        being stale counts as lazy,

        • dieger

          true

      • awkenney

        Call of Duty made itself stale by trying to widen and diversify its audience in order to rake in a large, annualized sum of money. COD doesn’t need to innovate. It needs to get back to roots. Activision could put remakes of COD4 and World at War out there today and it would last for many years so long as Activision continued to support it and didn’t create another MW2.

      • ROCKMONEY

        We all know the last few Call of Duty game were stale,repetitive, copy-pasted, etc. But remember that the suits at Activision only looks at numbers and from that standpoint why attempt to change that is not broken i.e. still selling millions of copies.

    • NuttyTheSquirrel

      Call of Duty will always have the problem of NOT changing what’s OLD AS FUCK and isn’t broken, but could be better.
      CoD needs to change pretty much EVERYTHING!

      • CoDforever

        You’re clearly a BF fanboy. First of all, they are changing in this game with Exo suits which obviously allow much more gameplay opportunities but drastically change map desgin

        • NuttyTheSquirrel

          I HAVE EVERY FUCKING COD YOU FUCKIGN IDIOT.

        • jj16802

          Wow, it’s the COD fanboy getting angry over someone else’s opinion. How typical.

          • Angelreborn96

            I love what you said. Preach

      • DanDustEmOff

        How can you even critisise CoD, when you run around trying to shove your cock up Dice’s arse. Given the current state of Dices latest Frostbite powered fps I would suggest that you take a more forgiving tone. BF4 changed very little between itself and 3 yet Dice still managed to royally fuck the game up.

        CoD love it or hate it, works. BF4 works sometimes… maybe… if they didn’t fuck the latest patch up… on a certain map… if the weather is nice. Dice’s latest offering is an appalling unfinished mess more akin to an alpha with finished textures than a fully released AAA title.

        CoD employs a different stratergy it evolves slowly over time but it always works. It does this because it has to half the community want change and the other half doesn’t, it’s a difficult line to walk. BF is trying to be the no1 fps so they need to try new things even if it means dying on their sword.

        • Angelreborn96

          Hey if I say I like bf4 more than cod ghosts am I fanboy too? VVV LMFAO. Gotta love kids now a days.

          • DanDustEmOff

            What on earth are you talking about. First I’m 33, second I never called him a fan boy or said that there was anything wrong with him liking Battlefield.

            My point is that he shouldn’t trash other games when his favourite game is such a mess. I shouldn’t even need to explain this to your retarded ass as it is clear from the original comment.

            • Angelreborn96

              My bad chill out. U are really freakin out over a comment I accidentally made towards the wrong person. So step down. I tried to delete it right after and it didn’t work. So chill out buddy

    • CoDforever

      Yo stfu you’re the same kid that said you’re not buying ghosts cuz its the same game now you’re telling you dont want it to change?

      • Angelreborn96

        Lol he called u a “kid” Rock. I bout had it with people now a days. Pathetic.

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  • Yethal

    Problem wiith call of duty isn’t the core concept of fast-paced infantry combat but the fact they’re doing it without much change and on the same engine for eighth time in a row.

    • Guest

      In my opinion, the core gameplay is fun, they just add too many crutches to the game along with less then stellar map design which can go hand in hand with bad spawning. And they need better hit detection

    • DanDustEmOff

      The ID tech 3 engine has powered evey CoD game not just the last 8 and will probably power this game too. The engine is not the problem ID tech 3 is John Carmacks greatest work. Game engines are not cars or toys. They can be upgraded and modified over time, they can evolve. A good engine doesn’t need to be thrown away and rewritten from scratch every 5 years. I would take an old ID tech engine that functions over a new Frostbite that doesn’t any day.

      • Yethal

        But there are flaws within it that were acceptable 15 years ago but not now. Like hitscan, like fps rounding, like run speed and jump height being dependent on fps like diagonal run and many many other things.

        • DanDustEmOff

          I find these minor issuses more than acceptable when compared with killer system crashes, one hit kill bugs etc that you get with Frostbite.

          • Yethal

            Crashes stopped occuring some time ago and one hit kill bug is dice being lazy and not upgrading their servers and has very little to do with the engine itself. Cod engine issues aren’t minor, they give clear advantage to the person with stronger computer. More frames per second = faster health regen, faster run speed faster killtimes (because of rounding) That is definitely not a minor issue.

            • awkenney

              Who is still playing COD on a PC? Like 3000-8000 people in Ghosts. There are more people still playing the various revisions of COD4.

            • DanDustEmOff

              Frame rates are capped so it offers no advantage at all. Most PC’s are more than capable of hitting the max frame rate on CoD titles up to BO2.

              Crashes on the scale that happen in BF4, shouldn’t happen at all in a fully released AAA title. I uninstalled in March six months after launch after a string of very severe crashes.

              I’m not saying CoDs perfect but it is and always has functioned reasonably well. Same can’t be said for BF4.

            • Yethal

              Well, BF4 had the shittiest launch ever, still it was EA’s fault (not pushing the release date back a few months) and not the engine’s. Framrates aren’t capped anymore in BO2 and modern warfare

            • DanDustEmOff

              BO2 has a frame rate cap of 200 fps last time I checked not sure about MW games but Ghosts is capped at 90. The blame for BF4′s failure isn’t all EA’s fault. It’s Dices product, they were tasked with making the game and they failed. The game is 8 months old and still has net code problems and tons of bugs and glitches rooted in the engine code. Hell Frostbite wouldn’t even work outside of its internal network when they began developing with it and they have been papering over the cracks ever since. So I don’t buy into the argument that Dice needed a couple of months. Dice are also the ones responsible for the god awful patches that came within the first six months not EA.

        • awkenney

          I’d agree with hitscan or anything that has to do with hit reg since MW2 on PC. My understanding is that this has always been a concern in COD on console because there they don’t have the ability to have dedicated servers where they are able to turn off the ping balancing and set the max ping. Unfortunately, by the time I was able to try COD4 and World at War on my PS3, the games were 50/50 hacked lobbies.

          • DanDustEmOff

            When he refers to hit scan he means the mechanic that determines how bullets travel not the hit registration. BF uses a physics based mechanic that allows for bullet drop etc.. Both methods have their pro’s and con’s.

            • Yethal

              I was reffering to both. Bullet drop isn’t actually that important in physics based ballistics model (like bf and arma) it only has noticeable effect on sniper rifles and vehicles. Travel time, or lack of thereof is much bigger nuisance.

            • DanDustEmOff

              In that case the hit detection in CoD titles makes the HD in BF look like it was coded by kids. I would rather have CoD’s simpler functioning method than BF’s more complex method until it’s perfected.

  • xbox rules

    Call of duty equals a money pit. Stupid people like me still buy it. Cod ghost was a let down for me and other people. The problem was they did to much with the mp

  • Guest

    Quit comparing BF to cod guys….. They currently both suck when they try to compete with each other over the past 2 1/2 years ,both should just build a game for their own niche, stay to their roots, and not cater to everybody

    • marpla78

      agree with you but they tend to go where the money is as a company should…

      • awkenney

        I wouldn’t argue that a business should try to design the game to sell. But they do need to look at possibly reducing the cost to develop Call of Duty so that it becomes easier to recover cost. Then it would not be necessary to cater to such a wide audience, and Call of Duty could do what it does best without diluting itself for the masses.

  • Izzo

    ACTIVISION = Let’s hire a studio to create a game and we’ll just slap a “Call of Duty” sticker on it…
    There you have it.
    COD died years ago.

    • DanDustEmOff

      EA = Lets hire a studio to create a game and slap a “Battlefield” sticker on it… Wait a minute, can we really trust Visceral… no we will overstretch Dice some more…

      Difference being Sledgehammer are capable of doing a whole game.

      • Angelreborn96

        Let’s just see. IW was capable of doing so too, but they fucked up big time.
        So now what? Are they gonna keep it like the original run n gun COD? Or change it to something outta this world and way fucking worse like Ghosts? The game with fucked up spawns, oversized maps? We’ll just have to wait and see, i was a huge COD buyer, played since COD4, they were all perfect until this Ghosts game. If AW is gonna seem like the same shit as Ghosts at E3 then I’m not even considering buying it.

        • DanDustEmOff

          For me BO2′s awful connection and match making killed CoD for me. I actually like Ghosts but I have lost a lot of interest since I started playing more and more on the PC. I will buy AW for the campaign if nothing else. However all this exo pew pew laser BS isn’t really the kind of thing that I want from a CoD game.

          If they can deliver a decent PC version that is fun and popular then I’m in again but I can’t see the PC community accepting what CoD has become, with all this micro dlc, season pass bs. Just give us mod tools and open the game up. The community will love that and embrace it as no AAA shooter offers that feature anymore.

  • Playmaker

    In the year 2025, the QS (quickscope) was perfected … the Sniper age began. Now it is 2054 … we will all soon find out if the technology to defeat the legion of Snipers has been found!!?? Or will the QS continue to dominate the competitive landscape??!!

    • awkenney

      Quickscoping hasn’t dominated the competitive landscape since Black Ops II. Maybe you should pay more attention to the competitive landscape.

      • Playmaker

        My question wasn’t serious.

      • bluegoon

        Fucking WOOOOOOOOOOSHHHHHHH!!!!

  • Curtis Smith

    i’m just about ready for another cod ww2 based game.. all this future stuff does nothing 4 me

  • BAMozzy69 .

    Personally I enjoy CoD games and have them all from CoD4 onwards (inc DLC). Whilst some have been better than others, they have all tried to move forwards and I can see the progression. I prefer the more modern to near future settings myself as they offer up more opportunity to be creative and inventive. The older settings stifle the creativity as they have to go for more realism – leave that to more Sim based FPS games! I think CoD has changed more than many other games – BF for example is still the same game just ‘prettier’ with its new engine but in essence it hasn’t changed much. I am not saying Change (or lack of) is a bad thing – too much can alienate its fan base – too little may make it feel stale.
    CoD4 looks and feels very basic and restrictive now. Ghosts allows much more freedom in terms of customisation and option. I actually find the Hit detection and spawns better than MW3 and really don’t miss the ‘death streaks’ of previous IW games. Some maps maybe quite large but we had large maps in previous games too (Bloc, Bog, Overgrown, Creek, Afghan, Wasteland, Underpass, Fuel, Underground, Liberation, Village, Outpost, Bakaara etc)
    Certain things will never change – at least I hope not. I expect an action packed and explosive SP, a 60fps, fast paced arcade style FPS MP, and some co-op type options too. Not many (if any) games offer the amount of game-play options in one package!

  • mixamax

    COD has no problems what so ever (except ghosts ofc) it’s the community! camper, kids, hackers, trolls and on, and on, and on…

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