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This year's Call of Duty will return 'back to its roots', according to Activision

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Since the release of Advanced Warfare in 2014, Call of Duty has gradually morphed into a fantastical sci-fi shooter, straying far from its heritage as a series (vaguely) rooted in history. But after three sci-fi instalments, it looks like Activision is finally done with the setting. Which makes sense, since Infinite Warfare seemed to trigger sci-fi fatigue among the most vocal Call of Duty fans.

And it's not just a gut feeling either, because during an earnings call today Activision's senior vice president of investor relations Amrita Ahuja admitted that Infinite Warfare "wasn't the success we planned". For some perspective, one tracking company claimed in November that the game had sold 50 percent less than its predecessor Black Ops 3 at launch.

So naturally enough, 2017's instalment will change tack. "In 2017 Activision will take Call of Duty back to its roots, and traditional combat will once again take center stage," Ahuja said.

What is "traditional combat" exactly? I'd hazard a guess it's combat without double-jumping and invisibility cloaks and stuff like that. Sledgehammer Games is developing this year's instalment, their first since Advanced Warfare, and some hints the studio dropped earlier this year point to a return to the 20th century.

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.