Immediately apparent from the first reveal trailer, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is going to benefit from a shiny new engine thanks to astronomical jumps in graphical fidelity over the past few years.
Some may argue that the Call of Duty franchise is long overdue for an overhaul on the visual side, and Sledgehammer games Senior Development Director, Aaron Halon, sat down with Examiner to explain how exactly new console hardware makes that job easier. Halon said,
You’re able to have a lot more processing power, so if you can push things on screen, like more special effects and higher-res textures.
Sledgehammer is trying new things, not only for them and the franchise, but for first person shooters in general.
"We’re doing a lot of things that are new with our characters," Halon explained, "We have simulated muscular features in the face called blend-shapes, and those are new."
In regards to what the new hardware allows games like Call of Duty to push to your screen, Halon mentions that the leaps in tech should go a long way to get across emotion and feelings of a character, without bluntly having the character say what they are feeling. Halon said,
Now I don’t need a character necessarily to say something to react, you can just see it in their face and fidelity picks it up.
This new horsepower allows Sledgehammer to put tech in to place that will truly change the way that you play and experience Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. "You’re seeing a level of fidelity in the faces and performances that you just couldn’t really get before," Halon described, "so that’s really exciting as a storyteller". This new tech allows the stories told and characters within the worlds of the franchise to react and seem more alive, similar to the emotional weight that the facial animations and stellar voice acting pulled gamers in to the world of The Last of Us.
If not immediately apparent, Halon and the team at Sledgehammer are thrilled to have these new platforms at their disposal, and hope to bring you some of the best performances and use of these tools possible. Halon expects the tech to push the way that games like Call of Duty pull players in, and with performances coming from the likes of Kevin Spacey, Sledgehammer looks to make a big step forward in the storytelling for the Call of Duty franchise. "We use performance capture, so in the case of Kevin Spacey, you’re his face, his voice, his body and it’s like a film. You’re really filming him and then we transpose him digitally into our world," Halon said, "All of those things are new and in my opinion make the game a lot better."