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VICE’s “Superpower For Hire” Documentary Looks At The Rise of PMCs

Earlier this week, VICE and Activision dropped a teaser for their documentary covering the rise of Private Military Corporations (PMCs). The entire documentary, titled “Superpower for Hite: Rise of the Private Military” is available today for viewing.


Sledgehammer Games’ upcoming shooter, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, focuses on a future where Private Military Corporations have risen to power, becoming the dominant armed forced for nations all around the world. VICE’s documentary takes a look at the this new modern world of mercenaries, the rise of the PMC.

“Vice takes an unprecedented look into the shadowy industry of Private Military Companies. For the past two decades these private companies, like Black Water, Aegis and G4S have silently consumed military operations around the world, doing everything from back end logistics, protection of government VIP’s and diplomats to actual combat duties. In this documentary we explore the origins of this industry, their rise in the war on terror and their future operations around the world.” 

Watch the entire 14-minute documentary after the break.  Read more »

Have Your Gamertag Featured in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Fans can head over to the official Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare website to enter for a chance to have their gamertag featured in Sledgehammer Games’ upcoming shooter.


Developer Sledgehammer Games has opened up a sweepstakes giving four lucky players a chance to be a part of Advanced Warfare and have their gamertags featured in-game when the game ships on November 4th.

“Over the last three years, the team at Sledgehammer Games has worked to deliver a truly immersive experience in Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare€“ putting players in the boots of a Tier 1 Operator of the future. We felt like there was no better way to thank the loyal fans of the franchise than the opportunity to include your gamertag in the game. From all qualified entries, we will pick just FOUR gamers to have their gamertag featured in Call of Duty®: Advanced Warfare. When the game ships Nov 4th, the world will get to see your gamertag in-game. It’s that simple, and we can’t wait to feature our fans in the game!”

Essentially, all you have to do to enter in the sweepstakes is head over to the sweepstakes page and fill out the required information. At this time, we’re not entirely sure as to where the gamertags will show up in the game.

Players in the United States can enter over here. [UPDATE] The sweepstakes is also open for players in the United Kingdom (see here), Germany (see here), and Australia (see here).

Advance Warfare’s Multiplayer is “Pretty Revolutionary” Says Sledgehammer

During an interview for the latest issue of Official Xbox Magazine, Sledgehammer Games said that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer will be “pretty revolutionary” and discussed a few of the features that we’ll be seeing when the game comes out this November.


Founders Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey talked a bit about how Advanced Warfare’s gadgets and innovations will change up multiplayer and the way it is played.

“We’ve got heavy weapons, which is sort of another new class, verticality through the boost jump – you can imagine what that does to the multiplayer experience,” said Condrey. “And then cloak, super-strength, and then off-the-controller changes, like the exo-boost and the exo-slide.

“We’ve got a really great combo now with the boost jump and then a lethal slam from above,” he continued. “We feel like it’s a pretty fundamental change to the second-to-second combat, as well as the broader linear experience that you see in campaign.”

For the first time, multiplayer is getting a major change with the addition of the exosuit, providing players with all new combat and maneuvering capabilities, which according to Condrey, will be “revolutionary” for multiplayer gameplay.

“The shotgun is a close quarters weapon. A short ranged, broad angle weapon like the shotgun is pretty ineffective against a player who can boost out of the way really quickly, right? So there are a lot of really interesting and unique challenges and opportunities, and I think when we talk about MP in more detail you’ll get to see that, but the variety that the new controls and the exo bring to gameplay is pretty revolutionary.”

Although Sledgehammer Games is adding their own touch to the series, they are also making sure not to stray from the most popular aspects of previous online components.

“We know that there are some fundamental things we have to do with Call of Duty,” observed Schofield. “There are a bunch of weapons that people will always gravitate to, so we have to bring those forward into the future.”

“What we do is we look at an AK47, and in 50 years it hasn’t changed a heck of a lot, so for a future version, we’ve changed it as much as you would in 50 years. Others we’ve looked at, and they’ve just changed fundamentally in those 50 years, so we’ve made those adjustments as well – we’ve said ‘OK, that’s changed a lot’.”

For more, check out the entire interview on OXM.

Advanced Warfare Multiplayer Will Be Playable At Gamescom 2014

Fans attending Gamescom in Cologne, Germany will be able to play Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare multiplayer during August 13 to August 17 for the first time, MLG has revealed.


MLG’s Chris Puckett announced this news during today’s MLG eSports report. Furthermore, Puckett also mentioned that “the gameplay is much fluid and much faster” and that it “puts more emphasis on skill” than other Call of Duty games. Take a look at the entire eSports report video after the break.

Essentially, this probably means that Sledgehammer Games is prepping up for the multiplayer reveal and that it will be happening shortly before Gamescom. Stay tuned!  Read more »

Sledgehammer Games Celebrates Fifth Anniversary, Promises “Surprise” on Thursday

During this week, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare developer Sledgehammer Games is celebrating their fifth anniversary as an independent development studio with publishing partner Activision.


Five years ago, developers Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey formed Sledgehammer Games, and in celebration of their fifth anniversary, the studio have planned a week of special activities, which they are calling “Hammer Week.” On the official studio website, Condrey and Schofield wrote:

This week marks a huge milestone in the history of Sledgehammer Games. Today, we celebrate our 5-year anniversary as an independent development studio with our publishing partner Activision. From the beginning, we’ve set out to create a unique studio founded on the values of hard work, transparency, and a culture that empowers developers to do the best work of their careers. From day one, we set a singular goal – to achieve excellence in everything we do.  Read more »

Former Call of Duty Developers Form Brand New Studio

Former developers from Activision’s Infinity Ward studio have gotten together to form a brand new studio and are working on a brand-new next-gen first-person shooter planned for a 2015 release.


Reload Studios, the new development studio, is headed by five industry veterans, including four former employees of Infinity Ward, the studio known for the popular Modern Warfare franchise, and more recently, Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Reload Studios is founded by James Chung, who previously worked on the popular Activision franchise and Taehoon Oh, who had been part of the development of six different Call of Duty games.

Pete Blumel, a producer who worked on the Modern Warfare series and Call of Duty: Ghosts, and Hougant Chen, who also worked on multiple Call of Duty titles are also part of Reload. Also with them is Nik Ranieri, an ex-Disney animator who previously worked on The Little Mermaid and other famous Disney films.

“Reload Studios, a video game development studio led by veterans of the best-selling and critically acclaimed “Call of Duty” franchise, announced its formation today. Led by co-founders James Chung and Taehoon Oh, Reload intends to produce immersive interactive experiences for the emerging virtual reality and mobile markets, as well as traditional consoles,” reads the studio’s press release.

“When I first saw what the latest round of VR devices could do, I realized these were not just peripherals but brand new platforms that could transform the way we experience, interact with and create media,” said Chung. It was the perfect time to follow my passion and bring together the most talented people I know under one roof to form a development culture that promotes creativity and collaboration.”

Taehoon Oh added, “People are always looking for something new. Just as smartphones changed the way we live our lives, I am sure VR will change the way people experience media content. As a game developer, this realization compelled me to become part of a new team that focuses on developing VR content.”

Reload Studios is already at work on their first-person shooter title for VR, mobile devices, and next-gen consoles, and they are planning to release it sometime next year. For more information, check out their website.

Source: IGN

Kryptek Camo Patterns Will Feature in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Kryptek updated their website earlier today with an images suggesting that their camo patterns will be featured in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.


For those who don’t know who Kryptek is, here is their mission statement: Kryptek provides combat proven features and designs in ultra high-performance technical and tactical outdoor adventure apparel. Kryptek products are continuously tested and proven in austere combat environments and extreme hunting conditions. Constant improvement and feedback is implemented into future designs with the end-goal of providing our products to outdoor adventurers who demand the utmost in quality and overall performance in their gear.

For the most part, the banner mentions that Kryptek’s patterns will be available in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Activision has apparently partnered with the company to bring these exclusive camos to their upcoming game. Kryptek’s patterns can be seen on their official website, although, it has not been confirmed which camo patterns will be available for use the game.

Behind the Scenes of Advanced Warfare’s Sound Design

During the latest Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare developer video, Sledgehammer Games takes you behind-the-scenes with Audio Director Don Veca to talk about the game’s sound design.


The development and delivery of sound is a strong focus in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Sledgehammer Games Audio Director Don Veca details an audio intelligence system that makes virtually every impact and explosion sound unique.

Don Veca previously mentioned that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare “is going to be the best sounding and certainly the best mixed game ever.” Take a look at the video after the break.  Read more »

Analysis of Advanced Warfare’s E3 Demo Suggests Frame Rate Problems

Digital Foundry posted an analysis of the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare E3 single-player demo and it seems to suggest much-improved graphics on Xbox One, but also some problems in frame rate.


Following their analysis of the gameplay demo, Digital Foundry has come to the conclusion that Advanced Warfare is Call of Duty’s biggest technological leap since Call of Duty 2. For Xbox One, there appears to be a minimum 50 percent jump in pixel count, suggesting 900p display on the platform – a major improvement from Call of Duty: Ghosts’ 720p setting. Digital Foundry does mention that such fidelity comes at a price.

Essentially, according to Digital Foundry, Advanced Warfare’s frame rate occasionally drops to the 40fps range to the 30’s. For the most part, the numbers seem pretty “uncharacteristic,” with performance barely reaching 60fps during the opening pod landing scene. Although, make sure to keep in mind that the footage was taken on an early build of the game and prior to Xbox One’s major XDK update, allowing the studio access to the new 10 per cent allocation of GPU bandwidth.

Take a look at frame-rate test in the video after the break. Also, you can see Digital Foundry’s entire detailed analysis hereRead more »

Sledgehammer Says They Would Never Mislead Players About Call of Duty Graphics on Xbox One

During an interview with OXM for their latest magazine issue, Sledgehammer Games said that they would never mislead players about Advanced Warfare’s graphics on Xbox One and that all the footage shown so far was actually on Xbox One, not on high-end PC.


“We’ve always had a commitment to delivering at target spec,” Condrey told OXM. “We’re not a studio that’s just going to go out and show off some flash in the pan, high-end PC demo that we’re never going to be able to put on a console.”

“We worked very closely with Microsoft throughout the whole three years to understand where they were going and stay right in parallel. As [co-founder Glen Schofield] said, nothing’s effortless, but Microsoft was a great partner to Call of Duty.”

Furthermore, the co-founders mentioned that the game’s improved visuals are all thanks to an extra year of development and for being given the opportunity to focus solely on next-gen development.

“We really have to thank Activision, not just for the extra year, but for the singular focus,” observed Condrey. “Three years to get to next gen. The current gen game – and there’s more news to come about that – never got in the way of our ambitions, it never stopped us from being super-creative about taking full advantage of the next-gen hardware.”

“It decoupled us from worrying about having to do a split-platform year, like titles had to last year. So that was really refreshing, and gave us some freedom to really go after this one.”

Source: OXM

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