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THE BIG GAME NEW CALL OF DUTY


THE EXOSUIT


Sledgehammer co-founders Schofi eld (left) and Condrey (above)


“If you develop for all platforms,


often it is the weakest platform that can be the constraint. “It is the inverse for us with


Advanced Warfare, where we have been designing for the highest resource, the highest- powered console generation. It has allowed us the freedom to think bigger and to go after new technologies.”


Adds Schofield: “When designers come up to me with ideas, the number one thing I end up saying most of the time is: ‘It’s not big enough, we can do better.’”


DUTY CALLS There’s plenty more for Sledgehammer to reveal before launch, but already the game is shaping up to be one of the most ambitious new Call of Duty episodes in its 11-year history. Will the franchises vast fanbase


appreciate the effort? Says Condrey: “There are so


many fans who are so passionate about this that good enough is not good enough. I’ll admit there have been times in the past on games I have made, and I am sure Glen will share this, where I ended up not being able to see the full vision because I just didn’t have the resources. Call of Duty has the opposite. It is all about making sure we deliver for our fans.” Those fans total in the millions


and are difficult to please. They’ve all got their own ideas as to what Call of Duty is. And there’s a vocal minority that will let it be known if they’re not satisfied.


June 6th 2014


Condrey continues: “One of the challenges of development is how personal some of the comments can be towards developers. I have to tell you that developers are the hardest working people that I have ever known. And everyone inside of Sledgehammer are pouring their hearts and souls into this thing. Their personal sacrifice in time and commitment is unmatched. I hope that this game is regarded as an amazing Call of Duty title, and that the team is recognised just for how much they wanted to build something special for the fans.” Despite how their words may appear on paper, Schofield and Condrey are by no means arrogant. But they clearly have faith in themselves and their team. I go back to that unnerving


Twinkle Twinkle Little Star promo for Dead Space. Just a few years later, movie icon Ridley Scott would go on to create a very similar trailer for his sci-fi movie, Prometheus. It’s perfectly possible that Scott stumbled upon the idea entirely by himself. Maybe he never saw the Dead Space trailer. Or perhaps, much like Activision, he too found the boys and girls who made it an inspirational, creative group. “Our last two games, Dead Space and Modern Warfare 3, both won best action game at DICE,” says Schofield. “Not too many teams can say that. We try and set benchmarks and that’s ours. Whether we win or not is immaterial. You just push yourself to be the best. We know that we are capable of greatness.”


32


The Exosuit will dramatically change how players move


ONE of the major new additions in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the exosuit. This suit allows soldiers to leap huge distances and – as anyone that played EA’s Titanfall will attest – this can significantly change how a shooter plays. Unfortunately for Sledgehammer, what started off as quite a unique concept has since appeared across multiple games and movies. “Just two months after Modern


Warfare 3 we developed the Exo, long before it was pop culture like it is now, before Elysium or Edge of Tomorrow,” says Michael Condey, studio head at Sledgehammer.


“Now you see it in Ted Talks,


and we read articles about 3D printed exoskeletons, which has really put the exoskeleton at the forefront of pop culture.” Nevertheless, game director Glen Schofield believes the popularity of exoskeletons can only benefit Call of Duty. “We didn’t want this to be science fiction. We wanted to keep everything rooted in research,” he adds. “We researched more on this game than probably the last five games put together. And when we see things like Elysium coming out, these are things that will help make our game more believable, and that’s pretty important for Call of Duty.”


One of the challenges of development is how personal some of the comments can be towards developers. Michael Condrey, Sledgehammer


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