Call of Duty is back, baby -- at least back in the promo phase.
After a spot for the newest installment of the hit series "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" was leaked ahead of a planned May 4 "world reveal," Activision decided to go ahead and officially announce that the next installment of its major series will be released Nov. 4.
The promo sets the scene for the game -- a world where technology and warfare are inseparable and military contractors have an enormous amount of power. (We'll leave the political analysis to others.)
And, perhaps most exciting of all, the promo features the voice and digital presence of someone who looks uncannily like actor Kevin Spacey and acts like his "House of Cards" character, Frank Underwood. Actually, it's so detailed that it might be out of "uncanny valley" territory:
Activision confirmed that Spacey is a part of "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare."
As the Spacey stand-in shows, the graphics in the latest installment of Call of Duty look stunning. But the game will need to be very strong to fight off suggestions that the franchise, overall, is flagging. The last installment, "Call of Duty: Ghosts," launched in November. But it didn't sell as well as many had anticipated, which added to the sentiment that the franchise is getting a little played out and isn't as exciting as it once was. Call of Duty is still a major money-maker, but "Ghosts" sales were down compared to the same sales timelines for 2012's "Call of Duty: Black Ops II."
With "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare," Activision certainly seems to have pumped up the production values. And it appears to put a greater emphasis on story, a lack of which was one of the main criticisms about "Ghosts." Of couse, we'll just have to see what else they release as we get closer to the November launch date.