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Game Features: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Balancing Realism

Military Games

Game Features: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Balancing Realism

With so much development, star power and gameplay additions, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be sure to attract a massive audience.

With the introduction of so many futuristic technologies, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will tread a fine line between realism and science fiction.

by Patrick Feng

The Call of Duty series has prided itself on being one of the most realistic and authentic first-person shooting titles in video games since their first installment came to the fore in 2003. Covering conflicts such as World War II and the present-day conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, the series is now embarking upon warfare in the near-distant future, where major advances in robotics and digital technology play a key role in the combat efficiency of soldiers.

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PMCs At the Forefront

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare will be the eleventh installment to the series and the first developed primarily by Sledgehammer Games. Taking place forty years into the future, 2054, private military corporations (PMC) have become more powerful than the national militaries of the world, including the United States. Players will play as Mitchell, a former U.S. marine private, who joins Atlas, a PMC with the largest technologically advanced military in the world and owned by Jonathan Irons, who is voiced by Academy Award Winning actor Kevin Spacey. Irons declares war on the United States in a bid to change the balance of power in the world due to the country’s failure to spread democracy around world for over a century.

Based on the screenshots and trailer that have been released by the developers, soldiers are clad in powered exoskeletons. Other futuristic technologies are also featured, including cloaking aircraft, twin-rotor drones, hover bikes, “spider” tanks, scan-tron grenades, and special gloves that allow wearers to climb up walls. With the introduction of all of these advanced, futuristic technologies in action, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare is beginning to tread a fine line between realism and science fiction.

Treading a Fine Line

Although several of these technologies, most notably the powered exoskeleton, are currently being explored by several defense contracting corporations as well as military R&D, the developer’s assertion that the game is still considered realistic and relatable to the current, but rapidly evolving state of warfare seems rather fantastical. Given the popularity of the series and the almost uncompromising support of its hardcore fan base, the franchise’s perceived needs to justify and maintain the new game’s realistic features is almost rather hasty and unnecessary. Their consultations with military experts and defense R&D scientists are a known fact and the existence of some of these technologies has begun to appear in popular media.

At the same time, the reluctance to admit that Advanced Warfare has some science fiction elements and influence seems rather incredulous. Although it may be possible to have powerful exoskeleton platforms to assist in enhance combat performance in the future, one cannot help but think of the various mech-type games that are out on the market, most notably Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall. In the end, series fans and FPS gamers will be curious and glad that the series is taking a new direction in generating a fresh concept away from the current formula of World War II and Modern Warfare.

Is realism important? Yes, but at the same time it is perfectly fine for Call of Duty to mix in sci-fi elements into its future titles if it can keep the series fresh and innovative.

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