When Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare was revealed, developer Infinity Ward talked to GameSpot about how its futuristic shooter’s story inspiration comes from war as opposed to sci-fi. Now, lead concept artist Thomas Szakolczay tells us that the studio wanted to recapture the feel and “grit” of World War II.
“We didn’t want [sci-fi] to be the focus,” he said. “We still wanted it to feel like war was happening and it was almost like we wanted to have the grit of a World War II game; that same kind of character development, that same progression of comradery, the same sort of visceral feel, but with the addition of space.
“It’s our origins and the best war stories were told during World War II,” Szakolczay continued. “There was a clear enemy and a clear heroic force and we just wanted to capture that again.”
Going to World War II stories to borrow elements and retell battles in a different context are some of the ways Szakolczay says Infinity Ward is using that inspiration to make Infinite Warfare feel like a military game. He told us the intergalactic setting was decided on early in development, and it would have been easy for the developer to go “really hardcore” towards science-fiction, neglecting that military feel it wants to communicate.
“We really had to rein ourselves in at all times, just so we made sure that it felt like a war game,” he explained. “There were points where it just wasn’t feeling military and we just had to check ourselves, go back to the drawing board, start redesigning stuff and then really identify what makes something feel like an authentic piece of military hardware.”
Szakolczay praised James Cameron’s Aliens for its ability to retain a military feel in a sci-fi setting, adding that he wanted to find a middle-ground between war and space in a similar way.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare releases November 4 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Special editions, which start at $ 80, include a remastered version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. It won’t be sold separately at launch, and if you preorder it on PS4, you can play the campaign right now.
At launch, the remastered game’s multiplayer will only feature 10 of the original Modern Warfare maps. Activision plans to release the other six by the end of 2016.