Speculation has run rampant the last few days as the annual announcement of this year's Call of Duty installment prepared for release, with cryptic social-media promotions from developer Infinity Ward seeming to tease everything from another sci-fi inflected sequel to an open world "persistent shooter" in the vein of Destiny or The Division - with gamers worldwide waiting to see in the medium's defining modern Western franchise would take things in a new direction.
Now, we have our answer: The trailer has dropped for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, revealing that the long-lived first person shooter series is heading into outer space.
The trailer is light on plot but heavy on hardware, revealing a continuation of the franchise's signature amber-hued, lens-flare saturated visual scheme will leap forward in time once again to a future where near-Earth (at least, though some shots seem to be set on non-Earth planets) space travel is common enough for the military to have units at the ready when big trouble goes down. The specifics are unclear, but like many recent installments of the series the scenario looks to involve elite soldiers scrambled into action by a cataclysmic attack.
Along with the expected hallmarks of modern video-game trailers (guns, explosions, a remixed classic rock song - David Bowie's "Space Oddity," this time); players are afforded quick glimpses of new gameplay elements that will presumably figure in the main campaign but also function in the online multiplayer modes widely seen as the series' main focus and chief selling point by now: Robotic squadmates look to play a part now, along with giant suits of powered-armor which could mark Call of Duty's attempt to borrow a well-received gimmick from fellow shooter Titanfall. Other scenes showed players shooting from and (possibly) piloting space-aircraft, potentially suggesting that dogfighting in space will be part of the gameplay.
Of particular note is what looks to be a continued focus on an international cast of characters: Several scenes in the trailer highlight a female soldier wearing the flag of Lebanon on her uniform shoulder, while a British flag is visible on another. While the series has always taken a more global focus than is often assumed, the post-9/11 thematic material that weighed heavily on the storylines starting in the Modern Warfare era has led to Call of Duty being (fairly or not) widely associated with nationalistic themes and jingoistic attitudes toward warfighting; which could explain the desire to highlight a diverse, globalized future setting.
The new game will launch on November 4, 2016 and will be available at standard rate and in both Legacy and Deluxe Editions - preorders of which will include Call of Duty Modern Warfare: Remastered, an HD reworking the title that kickstarted the modern era of Call of Duty games. ScreenRant will bring you more details on Infinite Warfare as they become available.
Source: Call of Duty