Call of Duty: Space Wars. Orbital Ops, maybe. Post-Modern Warfare. Space Warfare? Probably not that one.
Whatever the name might be, there have been rumours and suggestions of a space-based Call of Duty for several years and it seems increasingly likely that this year's Infinity Ward release might be that game. I hope the moon explodes in at least one mission.
Whatever the name might be, there have been rumours and suggestions of a space-based Call of Duty for several years, and developers Infinity Ward are expected to release the next game in the series toward the end of 2016. The studio have been talking about the possibility of heading into space since 2013, when (now ex) producer Mark Rubin said, "Everything's on the table...If we think that it'd be cool to have a battle over Jupiter, sure. Why not?" Welcoming the New Year, Infinity Ward talked about "new heights", with an astronaut taking centre stage in their celebratory image.
Sure, that's a model from Ghosts, which featured scenes aboard an orbital station, but it fits neatly with continuing rumours of a further leap toward the stars. This morning, Eurogamer report that industry source Shinobi has repeated details that tally with other reports the outlet has heard independently.
There have been denials that space would be the right place for Duty to Call as well. Dan Bunting, multiplayer director on Black Ops III, has said that a space-based game might happen but he doesn't seem entirely keen on the idea:
"The way that we approach the creative on our game? I don't think we’re ever going to reach a point where we just completely ignore finding authenticity...There’s an element of Call Of Duty as a brand that’s very gritty, it needs to feel believable. Even if it’s not real it needs to feel like it could be..."
This is a scene from Black Ops III.
As to whether Call of Duty in space is any more or less exciting than Call of Duty on Earth, I can't rightly say. I'd hoped Blops III would be something of a breath of fresh air, with its plasmid-like powers and full-on sci-fi take on cybernetic war, but despite some intriguing and wild ideas, I thought it was still hamstrung by the series' formula for the most part.
If Call of Duty: Star-Spangled Star Soldiers were simply to use Jupiter as a gorgeous backdrop to the usual killstreaks and multiplayer mayhem, it might reinvigorate the series' visual direction (which has often been one of its stronger features), but I don't think the new setting would be justified. Give me something like Shattered Horizon with all the pomp and polish of a CoD game and I might be tempted to play for a while though, plunging friends and foes into the deep dark of space by severing their ties to an orbital platform. A space-based FPS game should play with physics in ways that make me gasp in horror as I lose all sense of direction and realise that 'down' doesn't really exist, and cackled in delight as some poor bastard spins slowly into the abyss, trying to get one final headshot even as he fades from view.