Even though it was supposed to be shown on Sunday, the next Call of Duty ended up being revealed this morning around 3 a.m. thanks to a leak. There’s no doubt that what has been shown so far has been impressive. Instead of playing off the concepts of the previous games in the series, Advanced Warfare looks to nudge the series in a new direction that seems (for the franchise) more abstract than we’ve witnessed before. When viewing the trailer and combing over the supplementary information released to us, however, we couldn’t help but feel a “been there done that” pervading everything. And now we know why; Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare rips-off Elysium.
Now before you start hammering angry comments about how different Elysium is from Advanced Warfare, know that we don’t mean in plot. Elysium was a (rather good) story of a an average construction worker who is thrust into the role of hero after suffering a horrible accident. Advanced Warfare, on the other hand, seems to be about PMCs taking over the world. So, yes, they’re far removed in basic plot, but that’s not where we’re taking issue; instead, the general theme seems to be lifted from Neill Blomkamp’s film.
The most noticeable concept is of course that of the powered exoskeleton. The exoskeleton plays a huge role in Elysium allowing Matt Damon’s character Max Da Costa to go toe-to-toe with ruthless villains. In Advanced Warfare, the exoskeleton is also clearly playing a huge role, seemingly mounted to the protagonist of the game. Of course, the concept of an exoskeleton wasn’t invented by Elysium (and in fact will be used in the upcoming Edge of Tomorrow), but the way they are utilized against a gritty backdrop is quite similar. Even the box art takes design cues from the film:
Call of Duty Advanced Warfare:
More still, there’s a moment in the trailer (and we assume game) that rips-off Elysium nearly shot for shot. One of the coolest moments in the latter was when villain Kruger was attempting to hunt down Da Costa and triggered an explosion on an armored car with a tap of his wrist from a flying ship. Practically the same thing happens in Advanced Warfare, with a soldier triggering an explosion on a tank with a tap of his wrist from a helicopter. Even the way the camera is oriented is practically the same.
Another similar design cue is that of the drones. The new drones in Advanced Warfare look quite different from how they appeared before, with a more sleeker robotic look.
Take a look:
Look familar? That’s probably because the basic design was in Elysium:
Of course, the drone in Advanced Warfare has a giant gun and scope on it that removes it from Elysium’s drone, but the basic design of a smaller, circular drone with rotors in the middle is quite similar.
It’s not just in design where we see similarities either. Kevin Spacey’s character Johnathan Irons seems quite similar to Jodie Foster’s character Defense Secretary Delacourt in Elysium. Both are elitist, suit-touting, threatening antagonists. Both want to cleanse a world on the brink of chaos while attempting to become the leader of a “safe” new world they’re orchestrating. Taking over failing third world countries and cleansing the world of detractors seems to be the general theme in both properties.
We have a lot of faith that Advanced Warfare will be a strong title. We were fans of 2013’s Ghosts and this looks to move the series in an exciting new direction. What we can’t deny, however, is the similarities the game shows so far to other properties, specifically Elysium. Yes, it’s removed from that film, but there are similarities that are hard to overlook. It worries us that the game won’t be as original as it first seems and instead crib ideas off of past properties. Only time will tell, but if they introduce Sharlto Copley as the game’s next antagonist, you’ll hear from us again.