Earlier today, Activision and Infinity Ward held a live stream that gave millions of Call of Duty fans an all-access sneak peak at the next game in the highly renowned franchise. Hosts Geoff Keighley and Justine Ezarik were joined by CEO of Activision Publishing Eric Hirshberg, the Execuctive Producer from Infinity Ward Mark Rubin, and the writer of the game Stephen Gaghan to talk about some of the behind-the-scenes development of the game and dish out some new gameplay footage.
According to Eric Hirshberg, everything that was revealed during the live stream was coming to viewers before E3 because Activision and Infinity Ward thought that the majority of the franchise’s fans won’t be able to make it to the big event. “If they can’t come to E3, we can bring E3 to them.” Hirshberg said at the beginning of the stream.
Once the gameplay footage of the confirmed underwater level “Into the Deep” started rolling, it was obvious that this game is undoubtedly, breathtakingly gorgeous. In fact, the graphics were so spectacular that the underwater cinematics were almost eerily realistic. Mark Rubin stated that the graphics were running on next-gen specs, but the footage that was shown has set the bar pretty high—but hopefully not too high—for what gamers can expect from other studios once the PS4 and Xbox One joins the Wii U.
What immediately stands out from the gameplay footage is how connected every aspect of the game seems to be to a ghostly, haunting image. From the music to the choice of the world’s colors, the world of CoD:Ghosts is completely shrouded in beautiful darkness. Some new experiences await players, like the now famous companion dog whose name has been revealed as Riley (a shout out to the Modern Warfare games). But Riley isn’t just a part of the main cast—players can control him with the aid of a communication system that somehow connects the protagonist’s intentions with the dog’s actions. In the gameplay footage, Riley is shown to have an incredible amount of melee capabilities as well as being able to create distractions and lure enemies into the player’s firing range. Also, in “Into the Deep,” combat takes on realistic elements such as bullets being restricted by the density of water and enemy sonar systems that detect movement. These life-like elements were also featured in later gameplay footage. For instance, when the player shot one enemy near an open window, the enemy rolled backwards through the window. This realistic gameplay seems to have been enhanced with live-action motion capturing visual effects as seen in some of the behind-the-scenes clips. Other than these new elements, a lot of the combat is still standard course for first-person shooters, albeit an enhanced and much more beautiful iteration. The combat still requires the same tact and careful aiming of the same kinds of firearms that games before it have needed, along with the usual stealth and covert operations.
Now, a lot of people have been quite vocal about being sick of first-person shooters (although that doesn’t seem to stop millions and millions of sales…), but if this sneak preview is true to what the game will eventually be this isn’t just another first-person military shooter. From just the few minutes of gameplay footage the story of the brother protagonists and even Riley seem to be taking on a more serious role in this main campaign that emotionally goes above and beyond what even the Modern Warfare games were capable of. Bits of dialogue that happens throughout the gameplay footage alone alone is tinted with such an emotional tension and a sense of ever-present camaraderie, loyalty, and brotherly love that it was easy to get emotionally invested in such a short preview. Even the player’s praising of Riley after every attack or distraction makes you think that their connection is really or worry about the adorable pup getting hurt in combat. It’s good to see that not only are next-gen games going to possess absolutely mind-blowing specs, but the stories will also be something that gamers can connect with at an almost movie-like level of experience.