With Call of Duty: Black Ops III around the corner, speculation on the next Infinity Ward title is about to run rampant. In a previous article, we determined that Call of Duty: 2016 will most likely be Ghosts 2. The next question to tackle is the existence of “advanced movement” in the future title. In case you haven’t played a Call of Duty game in a while, let me explain what that is…
What is “Advanced Movement”?
Before Sledgehammer Games threw us a curve ball with Advanced Warfare in 2014, CoD was so simple. Six guys on one team, six guys on the other, both teams run into the middle of the map and start slaughtering each other. Ahh, good times.
Nowadays, everyone is strapped up with thruster packs and mechanized exo-skeletons that make them jump and boost and fly around the map. Gunfights aren’t won with surprise and accuracy anymore, they’re won by mastering movement controls.
Essentially, “Advanced Movement” is extravagant, larger than life movement; it’s more “science fiction” than realistic.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the first to kick off the movement trend with exo-suits. Exo suits enabled players to launch quickly into the sky with double jumps, crush enemies below them with a boost slam, dash to the side and backwards while on the ground, and knee slide faster and longer than a human normally could.
The exo impacted the “create-a-class” system of multiplayer, giving players the extra abilities to be used on command. These abilities included speed bursts, brief invisibility, and integrated “trophy systems” that repelled enemy projectiles. Many perks provided added bonuses to the exo suit as well, including the “Blast Suppressor” that silenced the noise made by boosting and dashing.
Call of Duty: Black Ops III
As if playing a game of follow the leader, Treyarch releases Black Ops III in eight days, with even more outlandish movement opportunities. Wall running, thrust jumps, and power slides top the list.
Advanced movement in Call of Duty: Black Ops III is “justified” by a thruster pack that each character supposedly wears. Players can thrust up into the sky, going higher the longer they activate the ability. Additionally, soldiers become parkour experts as they run along walls while retaining full weapon control. The thruster pack can be used to chain movements together, so a player can jump between two walls, vault over a few objects and power slide all while keeping momentum.
Boots-on-the-ground is a term going around the Call of Duty community lately. To put it plainly, this is a term used by players who would see the series return to a state where advanced movement is entirely removed from CoD.
Personally, I don’t think this is possible. At this point, Activision needs to roll with the punches and pray to God that advanced movement works out. Now that they have begun the risky business of reworking an entire franchise with the movement trend, they have no chance of return. It’s one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations.
Here’s the skinny: Call of Duty was starting to get repetitive. Sure, the different developers brought some fresh new things to the series, but every year was practically the same and the community was starting to grow restless. In order to protect their position at the tippy-top of annual video game sales, Activision decided on the reckless route of advanced movement to draw in more fans, and started digging their own grave.
Many core Call of Duty players immediately left the community with the announcement of advanced movement. For some people, it’s simply too much. Let’s take a look at some pros and cons of advanced movement.
- Faster Gameplay
- More Amusing Situations
- Increased Create-a-Class Options
- Extra Abilities
- Less Realistic
- Drastic Alteration on Classic Style
- Harder to Master
- No Longer a Casual Game
It would’ve been a hard decision to choose between advanced movement and classic style for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, as both sides have, or would have, strong communities and loyal fans. But it’s too late to dwell on the past, so let’s look to the future.
Advanced Movement: A Product of the Setting
The chances of a classic “boots-on-the-ground” Call of Duty in 2016 are probably slim-to-none. However, I don’t believe we’ll be flying around with jet packs on our backs either. I’m guessing we’ll be somewhere in between.
Advanced movement seems to be a product of the setting in both Advanced Warfare and Black Ops 3. Where older CoD titles have been set anywhere between 1940 and 2025, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare took a huge leap into the 2050s, and Call of Duty: Black Ops III is set in 2065. The campaign of Call of Duty: Ghosts ended just before the year 2030.
Although each of the different developers set their stories in opposing universes, they tend to stick to a time-based template.
For example: Black Ops II and Ghosts were both set around 2030, and each featured extremely advanced weaponry, but no crazy movement. Likewise, Advanced Warfare and Black Ops III are set in 2050+ and do feature exo-style movement.
With regards to this foggy template, Ghosts 2 shouldn’t have advanced movement in the form of exo or thruster technology.
The End of CoD: Ghosts Will Influence the Setting
This goes without saying…
As mentioned above, the end of Call of Duty: Ghosts sees our enemy defeated around the year 2030. Then it turns out that he’s not so defeated when he kicks the protagonist’s teeth in and hauls him away for a quick brainwash session. Post credit scenes reveal the hero to be trapped in a cage in some sort of jungle.
Essentially what the player is supposed to get from the ending of Call of Duty: Ghosts is that Rorke (the bad guy) is going to torture and brainwash the protagonist of the first game to help him in defeating the Ghosts once and for all. When will this take place? In Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 presumably next November.
Rorke isn’t a very young guy, so he’ll need to work quick if he wants to get his revenge on the Ghosts while he’s in his prime. If the original game ended in 2030 and it takes, let’s say, ten years to brainwash Logan (the protagonist), then the game will take place around 2040: 14 years before the first mission of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Let’s be honest, exo-suits couldn’t have been invented overnight, so there’s a good bet that they are off the table in Ghosts 2.
But Are Mechanized Advanced Movement Opportunities the Only Way?
Activision cannot return to a classic “boots-on-the-ground” Call of Duty title. It simply isn’t in the cards. When the publisher made the jump to advanced movement, it made a boost jump. The community isn’t ready to get back to the ground, despite what some fans have to say. Once boots hit the ground, players are going to give up on the franchise because they’ll find it too slow, or boring. So what’s the solution?
Since we just decided that mechanized movement is off the table, we’ll need something a little more realistic. Something like parkour.
The very real sport of parkour has actually been taking the video game industry by storm for quite some time. Assassin’s Creed, Uncharted, Tomb Raider, Mirror’s Edge, and even Super Mario Bros. all feature parkour. What does Mario do? He jumps on bricks. Parkour. By that example, the entire genre of platforming falls under the parkour web.
I firmly believe that (even though it’s a different developer) the inclusion of wall running in Call of Duty: Black Ops III is to test the waters for a full-fledged parkour-centric Call of Duty: Ghosts 2.
Without relying on advanced technology to propel our heroes through levels, I think free running will be used for rapid mantling, brief wall running, wall-to-wall climbing, and knee sliding. I’m not saying anything outlandish like backflips with 80lbs worth of gear on your shoulders; though perhaps this may be possible if players elect to carry less equipment? Players will move faster on foot than they have in any previous Call of Duty game, and focus will be on continuous movement over cover-based gunfights.
The idea is advanced movement, but within the range of standard human capabilities. Because the year would likely still be around 2040, there aren’t any thruster packs, but perhaps there is still some sort of performance-enhancing equipment.
Of course, this is all speculation, and we won’t certainly know anything until sometime in 2016. For now, leave your ideas on my theory, or speculation of your own, in the comment section.
Don’t forget to check out the first Call of Duty: 2016 speculation article where I determined why CoD16 will be Ghosts 2.