In latest installment of ‘Call of Duty,’ soldiers battle villain Kevin Spacey

By Glenn Chapman, AFP

SAN FRANCISCO — The newest installment to blockbuster video game ��Call of Duty�� hits the streets on Tuesday, pitting soldiers of the future against a Machiavellian villain played by actor Kevin Spacey. Activision Publishing set out to reload the multi-billion-dollar franchise, bringing in studio Sledgehammer Games to put its spin on the title and taking advantage of advanced capabilities in new-generation PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consoles. ��We’ve really approached this game differently,�� said Activision chief executive Eric Hirshberg. ��We’re shaking up the formula in several ways.�� Sledgehammer modified mechanics of playing the military shooter game by adding ��exoskeleton suits�� that give characters super-soldier abilities. A ��riveting new story�� was woven into the game, along with ��an iconic new character�� played by Academy Award-winning actor Kevin Spacey. Special gear was used to capture Spacey’s movements, expressions and more to create a realistic virtual version of him playing the part of Jonathan Irons, a private military contractor intent on ruling the world. ��It’s been a lot of fun working with the team to bring Jonathan Irons to life,�� the Academy Award-winning actor said in a release. ��The technology is truly remarkable and unlike anything I’ve done before. I’m excited to see where this goes.�� Spacey has been quoted saying ��Call of Duty: Advance Warfare�� is likely to become the first video game he ever plays. Future Soldiers

The game is set in the year 2054, when a private military corporation run by Spacey’s character is the dominant power. Players take on the roles of soldiers with advance combat abilities due to exoskeleton suits and other equipment. ��From the endless research and thousands of production designs, to our incredible focus on the narrative and amazing attention to detail – we’re taking nothing for granted,�� said Sledgehammer co-founder and game director Glen Schofield. ��Call of Duty connects with the fans on such a deep level, and crafting a new vision for the next generation has been so inspiring for us.�� Versions of ��Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare�� will be available at stores starting Tuesday priced at US$60 each. Copies of the game have been tailored for the latest Sony and Microsoft consoles as well as for personal computers powered by Windows software.