Call of Duty has finally washed its hands of the far future, ejecting from Infinite Warfare's glistening cockpit and plunging headlong into the barbed wire thickets and bullet-churned foxholes of the 1940s. But given that Call of Duty is already the War To End All Wars, reshaping periods and places to fit its own, ageless and perpetually revisited strain of corridor shoot-out, what does a return to World War 2 actually mean in practice? The resumed brownification of video game visuals aside, it means the end of the series' brief, torrid love affair with powered exoskeletons and cybernetic enhancements, initiated by Advanced Warfare in 2014. Exosuits remain the fashion elsewhere - consider BioWare's Anthem, in which mechs surge like dolphins through the foliage of a collapsed Earth - and it's possible that 2018's Call of Duty (Black Ops 4, presumably) will bring them back into play. But Sledgehammer's decision to clear the table of cybernetic enhancements is a pivotal moment for a trope that has given rise to some powerful experiments.
6th November 2015
13th December 2014
15th December 2014
11th November 2014
10th November 2014
10th November 2014
7th November 2014
4th November 2014
3rd November 2014
31st October 2014
Activision Blizzard has launched a film and TV studio, entitled Activision Blizzard Studios, to make shows and movies based on its popular video game franchises.
The first of these will be an animated Skylanders show entitled Skylanders Academy. It will star Justin Long (Drag me to Hell) as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale (Phineas and Ferb) as Stealth Elf, Jonathan Banks (Mike from Breaking Bad) as Eruptor and Norm Macdonald (Saturday Night Live) as Glumshanks. Harland Williams and Richard Horvitz will also play supporting roles.
Activision Blizzard Studios is also planning to make Call of Duty films and possibly a TV series. According to its announcement, the studio "envisions a series of Call of Duty feature films as well as the possibility of television adaptations."
It is the end of an era: on 3rd September, five years of Xbox timed exclusivity for Call of Duty comes to an end.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's final DLC, Reckoning, has been detailed prior to its 4th August release on Xbox Live.
I think it's fair to say that Bungie has had an interesting time of late. First, there came the controversy over the Taken King Collector's Edition making certain content unavailable to existing players without purchasing the game a second time. Then came a cross-promotion with Red Bull, asking players to purchase special promotional cans of the energy drink to access an extra mission in The Taken King expansion.
UPDATE 01/06/2015 7.15pm: Here's a new trailer of Exo Zombies' Carrier episode, featuring loads of playable Bruce Campbell.
Johnny and I recently attended the third annual Call of Duty Championship, which brought together 32 professional gaming teams from across the world to compete for a slice of a $1 million prize pool. What struck me most about the event, the third of its kind I've attended, is how much it has changed and evolved in a relatively short space of time.
Amid all the April Fools' Day shenanigans there are some actual goofy discoveries that just so happened to be discovered upon this most ridiculous of days. One of these is an incredibly obscure Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Easter Egg that lets you defeat zombies with exploding hamburgers.
A headteachers group has threatened to report parents who let their children play 18-rated games to the police and social services for neglect.
UPDATE 30/03/2015: Denial eSports have been crowned 2015 Call of Duty world champions.
UPDATE 30/03/2015: The first trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Ascendance DLC has gone live. As seen below, it shows off a new enemy: a zombie in mech. Oh dear.
UPDATE 26/02/2015 7.34pm: The PC version of Havoc has been delayed until 3rd March, Activision has announced.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's first DLC pack came out this week, bringing some friends along with it. In Havoc's Exo Zombies mode, you can blast away as John Malkovich, Rose McGowan, John Bernthal and Bill "Game over man, game over" Paxton.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is banning players who deliberately kill themselves to "reverse boost" their levels.
Gaming analyst group NPD has revealed the top 10 highest selling games in the US retail market.
The first DLC pack for Sledgehammer's first-person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare launches on 27th January, Activision has announced.
Disney's all-conquering animated movie Frozen was the UK's best-selling entertainment product of 2014.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the UK's Christmas 2014 number one.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare sales are roughly 27 per cent lower than those of last year's Call of Duty: Ghosts - at least as far as retail copies go in the US.
As reported by Street Insider, Piper Jaffray analyst Michael Olson noted this decline based on figures from stat-tracking company NPD. According to its November report, Activision sales fell 22 per cent in November, with Advanced Warfare facing a 27 per cent decline year-over-year with the previous Call of Duty.
"This is disappointing data following first week Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare sales showing a year-over-year increase," Olsen said. "NPD data does not include digital copies or international sales, which, if included, would lessen the year-over-year decline, but we believe this data suggests potential for Q4 revenue upside is now very low. "
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's multiplayer portion is free to play on Steam this weekend.
Just how much of a generational leap are the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 delivering in terms of the holiday season's hottest games? That's a topic Digital Foundry aims to explore this week as we return to some of Q4's biggest titles, stacking the current-gen versions up against their last-gen counterparts. Are they still good games, worthy of consideration if you've not upgraded? And just how much that is new and exciting is being delivered by the new wave of consoles?
Built for PS4 and Xbox One hardware, Sledgehammer Games' new Call of Duty engine births a much-needed tech revolution in the series. Top-end features like enhanced motion capture, subsurface scattering, and a physical-based approach to lighting all make the cut. It's a surprise, then, to find Xbox 360 and PS3 versions also on the shelves - but does the culling of these features leave the core gaming experience intact, or is the end product a very different game?
There's an argument that, while the new wave of games consoles has handed in some exceptional graphics, in many ways the gameplay feels as though it hasn't moved to anything like the same extent. Looking at Advanced Warfare on PS3 and Xbox 360 allows us to put the theory to the test. The results aren't always pretty, but the basic framework of Advanced Warfare still demonstrably holds together. Judging by the first few campaign missions, PS3 and 360 owners are given the same core level designs set in Seoul and Africa, with the same set-pieces involving drone swarms and trundling mechs, and even the same segments of cinematics. Backing that up, we're looking at a 60fps target too - a staple for the series - but with mixed fortunes on the PS3.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's "biggest title update yet" is now live on PS4 and Xbox One, Sledgehammer Games announced on its forum.
The new patch will be applied to PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 "soon."
"We've included weapon balancing tweaks, fixes and improvements for emblems, improvements within the Player Lobby (including a new way to view your Armory), map exploit fixes, spawn improvements, connectivity optimisations, improvements to our anti-cheat measures, and even more," the developer said.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Exo Zombies mode will be included in the game's first DLC expansion, Havoc, due this January.
Activision is blocking some Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare YouTube videos it believes promote exploits and cheating.
I've been thinking a lot about guns for the past few weeks. More specifically, I've been thinking about bullets, and how many of them we spray into the digital ether at this time of year, when the big beefy action games turn up on schedule for the Christmas market.
We're going to be reading - and indeed, probably writing - a lot about PC optimisation over the next few days, but for every negative, there tends to be a positive, and we wanted to show that key developers are pushing the boat out to bring us some decent PC work. When we looked at the computer version of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in last week's Face-Off, we were impressed with the ease with which we could attain the 'proper' Call of Duty experience - 1080p at a highly consistent frame-rate with lavish quality settings. A typical enthusiast gaming PC - featuring something like a Core i5 quad-core processor paired with a £150 graphics card like the GTX 760 - is capable of excellent results.
Activision and Sledgehammer Games have released a patch for the PC version of first-person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that's designed to improve online connectivity.
Many players have experienced problems while playing the game online across all formats: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, including lag, so hopefully this update will go some way to improving matters.
Elsewhere, there's a fix for Prestige reset issues.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare sold more copies during its launch week than last year's Call of Duty: Ghosts in the UK, according to official sales figures from Chart-Track.
But that claim comes with three major caveats.
Firstly, Ghosts did not launch on Xbox One at the same time as the other versions - that version arrived in the UK a week later.
Every year, Call of Duty gives me an existential crisis. Every year I review the new entry in the series and, every year since Modern Warfare, it's been more or less the same game, barring a few surface changes that only the dedicated fanbase will notice.
How do you define quality in a series like this? I wrestle with this question every November, a personal Autumn tradition now as familiar as Halloween and Bonfire Night. This is a series where the bar has been set high, and consistently met in terms of mechanical competence, but with diminishing returns where creativity is concerned. At what point must the score begin to drop? Is a good game still good after it's been remade ten times over?
At this point, the odds of there being a catastrophically bad Call of Duty game on the core consoles are minimal. Even last year's relatively unpopular Ghosts was solid enough and sold millions. Much as Nando's isn't about to forget how to cook chicken, and Starbucks coffee will always taste the same regardless of what extras get poured in, Activision's many studios know how to make Call of Duty just how you like it. It's less a game franchise at this point, and more a machine of polished predictability. You know what you're getting, and for many that's the appeal.
It's still Call of Duty, but how fine it looks. On all formats, Advanced Warfare brings the generational leap we wished we had seen in Ghosts - one that benefits not only PS4 and Xbox One versions but also the maxed-out PC release. Post-processing ingenuity, a rebuilt lighting model, plus the use of best-in-class motion-capture tech make this the most photo-realistic entry yet. But while each version has its advantages, exactly what improvements does PC itself bring to the table and what hardware does it take to run?
First off, let's address some unfinished business on console; namely the resolution issue. For campaign only, a majority of the gun-toting action runs at 1360x1080 on Xbox One, while PS4 charges in with a full 1920x1080. However, courtesy of a dynamic frame-buffer, there are specific areas designed to render at a full, true 1080p on Xbox One - given the head-room. For example, the interior of a besieged Atlas control room runs at this lower rate in the Fission stage, while the bus-hopping set-piece, closing the Nigeria level, runs at the full value.
The transition itself is never obvious. But after sampling as many static shots we could find, we've yet to encounter any horizontal pixel-counts in between 1360 and 1920. Advanced Warfare may briefly flick past intermediate numbers, but in practice the game is mostly rendered at one of these two resolutions; the higher mode kicking in when it can be afforded. It's unlike the dynamic model as seen in the likes of Rage or Wipeout HD - where pixel counts scale across a range of middle values based on the on-screen action.
Sledgehammer's first-person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare blocks PlayStation 4 Share Play.
Share Play is one of the PlayStation 4's most eye-catching features.
Having touched on Advanced Warfare's campaign yesterday, it's perhaps the multiplayer mode that represents the bigger hold over the Call of Duty series' fans. After seeing the PS4 struggling to hold 60fps at points in solo play, and with Xbox One's image quality diminished by its dynamic resolution, one question remains: does the single-player mode's performance profile have any bearing on online competitive play?
Right off the bat, we can confirm that while we do see the Xbox One version creeping to a full 1920x1080 resolution in the campaign's less taxing scenes, the same is not true of multiplayer. When pixel-counting screenshots gleaned from all 13 available stages, the 1360x1080 resolution is a constant fixture. Even with non-intensive, small maps featuring no players on-screen, the Xbox One refuses to increase its native frame-buffer dynamically based on load. Meanwhile, the PS4 remains locked at full 1080p, just like its campaign counterpart.
By matching shots at spawn points, the impact of this resolution differential is clear to see. A cut-back framebuffer on Microsoft's hardware causes foliage elements - grass, trees and so on - to appear aggressively filtered and upscaled, while the PS4's visual make-up remains crisp and defined throughout our testing.
UPDATE: Reports are coming in that people are having problems downloading and installing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare on Xbox One, too.
After a spell in development lingering at 882p and 900p pixel-counts, it's now confirmed that the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare uses a
">dynamic scaling model
- rendering at resolutions between 1360x1080 to the full 1920x1080, depending on the intensity of the in-game action. As announced by Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey during a Reddit AMA, this marks a stark upgrade over the console's 720p delivery in Call of Duty: Ghosts, bringing it much closer to the crisp, native 1080p image enjoyed on PlayStation 4. But with its resolution in flux, just how well does image quality fare on Microsoft's platform in comparison? And just as crucially, how does performance hold up between the two?
It looks like Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's zombies mode is downloadable content.
The Xbox One version of first-person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare outputs at a resolution of at least 1360x1080, developer Sledgehammer has said.
The future, it seems, is now. When Modern Warfare impressed upon the world the grittiness of combat, its pin-sharp shooting smartly muddied by the sociopathy of its soldiers as they went about their wetwork with the glib efficiency of plumbers, its dust settled across an entire generation of shooters. Call of Duty moved on from one extreme to another, ending in a tangle of late Brosnan histrionics that reached a nadir with last year's Ghosts, while elsewhere the war has moved on to far-fetched sci-fi fantasies such as Titanfall or Destiny.
UPDATE 31/10/204 8pm: Sledgehammer Games studio head Glen Schofield has acknowledged the leak with the following tweet: "Nothing I can do about it now. But yeah it sucks. Imagine you're playing and this comes up- you'd be psyched up, right?"
This sounds about as close to confirmation as you can get without it actually being an official confirmation. So everybody try to act surprised when the Zombie Mode is officially announced, okay? These devs worked hard on this.
ORIGINAL STORY 31/10/204 8.05am: It looks like Sledgehammer Games' first-person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will include a zombies mode after all - if a leaked CGI trailer is to be believed.
Sledgehammer Games co-founder Glen Schofield has spoken out about a recent leak of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that saw a number of unannounced details revealed ahead of the game's official release next week.
How's your expensive solid-state drive working out? Got 55GB spare? Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will need it.
As played at this year's Gamescom and EGX on Xbox One, multiplayer in Advanced Warfare is a very different beast to the work-in-progress Seoul campaign mission shown at Microsoft's E3 event. Set across a broad rotation of maps, from the snowy Biolab complex to the futuristic gloss of Defender, it's clear changes were needed to boost multiplayer performance above the variable 30-60fps seen in solo play. But in the visual sense, what has changed in order to hit the all-crucial 60fps target, as demanded by the series' competitive players?
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be a Cross-Buy affair on PS3 and PS4, Sony has announced.
Sledgehammer Games added character persistence to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's Exo Survivor mode because of the feedback to the survivor mode in Modern Warfare 3.
Activision has revealed Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's four-player co-op mode, Exo Survival.
Glen Schofield is a tank of a man. The kind you'd expect to make floorboards quake, the type of person you'd conjure up in your mind if you were ever asked to picture the talent behind Call of Duty; strong, direct, American. And he makes his entrance into Sledgehammer Games' presentation theatre on an oversized scooter, playfully crashing into colleague and studio co-founder Michael Condrey, waving to the room with the sunbeam smile of a children's entertainer. Maybe he's not quite what you'd imagine of a Call of Duty developer after all.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare brings a lot more to the franchise than Kevin Spacey, so Activision released a seven minute video detailing all the additions this latest installment brings to the series' multiplayer.
Call of Duty fans will get a special in-game reward for Destiny when they pre-order COD: Advanced Warfare at GAME.
This year's Call of Duty game will not release on the Wii U console, Activision has confirmed to Eurogamer.
The limited edition Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare 1TB Xbox One pack will be exclusive to GAME in the UK, the retailer has confirmed.
Priced at £429.99, the bundle will be available from 4th November.
It is currently the only way you can get a 1TB-sized version of the console (and one coloured by custom COD decals, too).
Microsoft used its Gamescom 2014 briefing in Cologne to announce three new bundles for its Xbox One hardware, including a new ceramic white model being made available to the public for the first time.
If you pre-order Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare you can play it a day before its official launch.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's marketing tagline is "power changes everything". That's not just about Kevin Spacey's all-conquering private military corporation in the game's story. It's about the multiplayer, too.
It's done! The live report from today's event in Cologne.
Activision has noticed an industry-wide downturn in video game pre-orders, previously thought to be the best indicator a publisher has for demand.
There is, as you would expect, a season pass for sci-fi first-person shooter Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Today Activision announced that the season pass includes four DLC map packs that will eventually be sold separately, as is Call of Duty tradition.
Meanwhile, there are three Advanced Warfare Collector's Editions, ranging from £70 up to £100.
Greetings, Eurogamers. Hopefully the height of summer isn't distracting you from the serious business of watching videos about games. We've even heard that modern mobile phone technology lets you watch these videos while also being outside in the sunshine. We'll believe it when we see it.
Full frame-rate trailer. We recommend Google Chrome or the latest Internet Explorer for the smoothest playback.
PS4 and Xbox One launch title Call of Duty: Ghosts arguably didn't do enough to show the next-gen difference. Even with tricks such as dynamic lighting and tessellation to show for the generational leap over the last-gen releases, the Xbox One's flat 1280x720 output remains a sore spot in image quality comparisons - and while the PlayStation 4 hits genuine 1080p gold (once patched), frame-rate issues and tearing stand at odds with the fluidity of earlier games on Xbox 360. But more important than the basic rendering metrics is the feeling that Ghosts iterated upon the existing formula as opposed to offering an authentic next-gen vision for the series. With the full unveiling of Advanced Warfare at Microsoft's E3 conference, do we now at last have a sign of true progress in the Call of Duty franchise?
Microsoft has opened its E3 2014 conference by showing off new footage of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and confirming that once again the series' DLC will launch on Xbox One first.
No mention was made of exactly how long the game's add-ons will be Xbox-exclusive, but previous entries in the series have been awarded around one month's lead time on Microsoft's platform.
Set in Seoul, the glimpse of gameplay shown showed a team of commandos survive a helicopter crash only to be attacked by a swarm of killer robots. Players progressed using a car door as a riot shield.
I detect more than a bit of Dead Space in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - and I'm not just talking about the Ishimura reference. But to Sledgehammer co-founders Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield, who while at EA-owned studio Visceral created the science-fiction horror series, this doesn't seem like a thing.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is going to be a bit different than previous CoD games for one reason: you'll be outfitted with a slick cybersuit will allow you to boost-dodge, climb with magnetic gloves, jump unrealistically high, hover in mid-air, and enable optic camouflage.
Perhaps Sledgehammer Games is making a technological statement with the reveal of its first solo Call of Duty title. The recent release of the new trailer - brought forward in the wake of an unexpected leak - is all gameplay, captured from the Xbox One version of the game. This may come as something of a surprise bearing in mind that last year's COD was at the centre of the Resolutiongate debate, running at just 720p on the new Microsoft console, compared to the native 1080p of the PS4 build.
UPDATE: Amazon has updated with product listings for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and has versions down for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
There's no listing for a Wii U version at this time, however. Last year's game, Call of Duty: Ghosts, did launch on Nintendo's console, courtesy of Treyarch's Wii U team.
ORIGINAL STORY: Activision has released the debut trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the next game in the gargantuan first-person shooter series.