Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's multiplayer will be playable for the first time at Gamescom in August, and according to Sledgehammer Games, it'll be quite the surprise.
Speaking to OXM as part of an interview published in our latest issue, on sale now in the UK and US, the developer's co-founders Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield hinted at how Advanced Warfare's new gadgets change the flow of combat online. "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 went on. "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."
Thanks to the exo-suit - which can be upgraded at the end of each mission - the new Call of Duty's story theoretically allows for a wider array of tactics than its predecessors: you might, for example, use the suit's manoeuvring capabilities to get the drop on an enemy, or pluck a door from a nearby car and use it to shield your approach. All of these abilities can be called upon in multiplayer, too.
The consequences for well-trodden COD multiplayer strategies will be "interesting", Condrey went on. "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."
Sledgehammer has been careful, however, not to utterly break or discard the most popular aspects of prior 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'."