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'COD: Advanced Warfare' three year dev cycle benefits discussed by Activision

'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare' Screenshots for PS4, Xbox One, PC-slide0
Photo courtesy of Activision, used with permission

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” is not only the first game from the series solely developed by Sledgehammer Games but also the first made on the new three-year development cycle. Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg discussed some of the benefits the title will receive for the PS4, Xbox One, PC and last-gen platforms during a financial earnings call on Tuesday.

“I think, first and foremost, is visual and graphic fidelity and polish,” Hirshberg said when asked what about “Advanced Warfare” will stand out in a Seeking Alpha transcript. “I hope you'd agree that you're seeing, even in the reveal trailer, a different level of graphic fidelity than we've had in the past. And it's our true -- first true next-gen -- pure next-gen development where we have access to the new hardware throughout the development process, unlike ‘Ghost’ which was cross-gen.

“Second, it's allowed us more time for experimentation, creativity and iteration in the development process,” he continued. “So that led to things like us adding some of the first new mechanics in core gameplay in the franchise in a long time, things like boost jump and exo strength and new mechanics, which we have also had time to test with our players to make sure that they resonate and will create a compelling and balanced gameplay. IGN, I think, just ran an article talking about 11 game changers they were perceiving just from picking apart the reveal trailer frame-by-frame. So there's a lot of new ideas in it.”

“And then third, it allowed us more time to put more emphasis on story and character. And you could see that in the trailer, too. We hope that the villain character being played by Kevin Spacey soon to become iconic. And also, you're seeing really state-of-the-art facial capture and animation. That's a full performance capture technology that we revealed last year at GEC. We've got some great acclaim from the 3-year cycle. It allowed us the time to move that from an R&D effort into real gameplay,” he concluded.

“Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” takes place in future where Private Military Corporations (PMCs) have become the primary military force for nations across the globe. Spacey plays Jonathan Irons, the found and president of the world’s large PMC – Atlas Corporation.

Players take on the role of soldiers in the PMC and utilize powerful exoskeletons and advanced armory and weaponry to combat different threats from the new ways to wage war. Experience earned in the single-player will reportedly transfer over to the multiplayer as well.

“Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” will be released Nov. 4, 2014. The PS4, Xbox One and PC platforms lead this time around for Sledgehammer Games with a currently unnamed studio handling the PS3 and Xbox 360 ports.