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Headscratchers / Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

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     Fireproof Heroes 

Gideon's plan to destroy the rocket by going underneath was suicidal. When the launch was about to start, rather than bail out, they pushed forwards. Herein lies a few questions about how they survived...

  • How did Gideon and Mitchell not get incinerated by the exhaust of the Manticore rocket? The AST is not sealed (since the pilot's face is exposed), let alone airtight, and even if it was, the heat of the exhaust would turn the inside of the suit into an oven.
    • On that note, even if the ASTs are heat-proofed (heat shielding and all that tech), that is still upwards of 2000 Kelvins from a liquid fuel thruster. The ceramic exhaust port is built specifically to withstand that temperature, but it would still be like standing inside a furnace. Not to mention the fact that the floor is going to be 2000K+ and thus the suits feet are going to be subjected to that with every step. In short, they must have been wearing some heavy duty Plot Armor in order to survive for that length of time, let alone able to get to the base of the rocket to disable it. Which is another point entirely.
  • How were they able to destroy the rocket's engines without blowing themselves up in the process. Last time I checked, rocket fuel was made from Hydrazine and Nitrogen Tetroxide, which make lots of nitrogen gas and steam from the reaction. Said gases are going to be extremely hot, and should have made the immediate area unbreathable if the person could survive the heat. The destruction of the thrusters would not have caused a shutdown of the engine, but would have instead caused the gases to become more chaotically distributed, lessening the thrust but injuring Gideon and Mitchell.
    • Not to mention the ammo they were using. Doesn't rockets, and 40mm bullets stop working at those temperatures, the former detonating under such conditions.
  • Futuristic wizard did it.

     Ilona's X-Ray Vision 

  • How did Ilona see the KVA truck that rammed Mitchell before it rounded the corner. Can Ilona see through buildings?
    • She's ex-Spetsnaz. That's all you need to know.
    • She probably heard it coming. In a situation like that, screeching tires generally equals "something else coming to kill us."
      • Except there were no tire squeals until after the truck rounded the corner, or any other audio cues giving it away (e.g. honking horn, engine noise, etc.).


     Trusting a Terrorist 

  • There's less than 30 seconds between when Ilona reveals Hades' recording to Mitchell and Gideon and their getting arrested, and the only supporting evidence she has is a verbal assurance that it's Atlas' encoding. Gideon and Mitchell have, at this point, worked for Atlas for years and are standing in the middle of a pacified Middle East, courtesy of Atlas. And, furthermore, they're on a first name, let's-have-a-drink basis with Irons! Why on Earth would they believe a terrorist over their boss so quickly? And for that matter, why would Irons immediately ambush and hold his top operatives at gunpoint before even trying to lie that the recording's a fake?
    • Gideon obviously isn't fully convinced. Plus, Mitchell was there with Ilona when they took down Hades, and saw Hades hand him the chip with his dying breath. Mitchell would have a little more reason to believe Ilona, and Irons' sudden arrival cemented it. I do admit that Irons definitely jumped the gun by trying to arrest Ilona and Mitchell right off the bat, though, though he probably panicked at being found out.
      • The problem with that is that that's not "jumping the gun" at all. You are in the headquarters of the largest corporation with the largest standing military in the world, and suddenly, someone's making mysterious calls, having clandestine meetings in deserted corridors, and using a scrambler on the property. That could be corporate espionage (sounds pretty minor, except they'd be stealing designs for incredibly deadly weapons or creating ways to defeat Atlas systems. You don't want either of those falling into the hands of terrorists), or that could be an infiltration by one of the cells of the very terrorists you've been trying to defeat, planting a dirty bomb (look at the stuff modern day terrorists can rig up, and now imagine what they can do in with the tech seen in-game), and there are reporters there. Sending in two MP's is disproportionate, but because it's a surprisingly small measure, rather than an excessively large one. A team of five would have been within reasonable parameters.
    • Also, she says that it isn't forged because it used Atlas' own encryption. Thing is, the very fact that Hades has it proves that (unless someone in Atlas just found the footage and decided to sell it on the black market or something) Hades has someone inside Atlas who could give him the film. Thus, her argument for how it couldn't have been forged shows that it could have been forged, because if he has someone who can get him something that had to come from within Atlas, because of its apparently impossible to replicate encryption, he has to have someone inside of Atlas, who could have forged it using Atlas' encryption. If anything, it should have them worried that there's an operative inside their company.

     The Origin of Hades' Evidence 

  • Hades' footage of Irons raises so many questions. First of all, where did the footage come from? Ilona said it was "...coded and encrypted in our own algorithm.", so does that mean it was taken with Atlas cameras? If so, why was it recorded to begin with? If it was just for the record, why weren't the damning parts edited out, or better yet, why wasn't the entire recording destroyed? How did the KVA acquire the footage? If it was the KVA that recorded it, how did they set up the multiple cameras needed for this 3D recording without anyone noticing, and how did they get their hands on an Atlas encryption for the footage? Finally, why did Hades wait four years to finally reveal the footage? Why not reveal it immediately and ruin Atlas' reputation and credibility, undermining the only military that stood any chance of stopping him? Why not give it to STF? It would be much more likely to reach the right people in their hands than in the hands of Atlas employees who would be much more likely to declare it a forgery rather than actually check its authenticity.
    • Consider the fact that the KVA is not as well-equipped or funded as Atlas forces and there may have been a point were they had little to no funding and had to rely on more low-profile operations as opposed to their more recent, ambitious ones like Fission. There is no proof that they couldn't have any eyes and ears within Atlas, who would stand to be a patron of advanced technology (their opposing ideal) and therefore someone they should keep an eye on. Take note that the technologist in the footage told Irons that the KVA told him about their plans. It would be necessary, then for the KVA to find out what happened to the outsider who knew one of their key operations. Since Irons never told anyone about the attacks, they believe the technologist did not live to spread the info and so they went on with their plans and Irons began preparations to take advantage. This would explain why the video is Atlas made, because a KVA spy would have to know standard Atlas procedure. Finally, what makes you think the KVA knew about it for four years? Maybe it was that hard and complicated for them to get the information. Maybe they knew that people would hardly believe the very terrorists that caused said bombing and that people would just think they were shifting the blame. Oh, and please try not to assume that the KVA is knowledgeable of all clandestine task forces like Sentinel, because they would be more concerned with keeping mobile and operational and aware of Atlas operations against them.
      • There is a hint in-game that the KVA only got the tape recently — when the fake Hades is speechifying to his financial backers, you overhear him mentioning that he is trying to blackmail Irons with the tape and that he will demand that "payment be made in two days". If the blackmail attempt is that recent, that explains both Irons' sudden urge to kill Hades now now now even if it requires invading a sovereign country on his own authority, and also strongly implies that Hades hasn't had the tape very long (because if he's interested in blackmail, he has no reason to sit on it for any length of time before trying to use it).
      • Thanks for throwing that in, I had similar hunches during Santorini. It still puzzles me, though, that Mitchell had a camera recording during the mission in Traffic when he rips a guy out of the car; so maybe something similar happened when Hades gave them the data. After all, filming the moment Hades dies is good proof that Atlas delivered their promise, which is just as good as delivering his body. And what would stop Irons from implementing a 'turn a camera on remotely without letting Mitchell and Ilona know just so you could hear Hades' last words' feature into their gear?
      • That's probably how he knew that Ilona had the video.
    • Hades has something that apparently had to come from within Atlas, meaning he couldn't have forged it since the encryption would have been different. Only, that argument doesn't work. If he has something that had to have come from Atlas, then it's possible the terrorists have someone on the inside, who may have access to the algorithm and could have constructed the forgery inside it. So, her argument that it can't be a forgery only shows that it could have been a forgery, and they should watch who is messing with the cameras from now on.

     AST Design Flaw 
  • Why design a suit that turns the wearer into a walking tank but leaves their face exposed to bullets, shrapnel, and other battlefield hazards? Granted it's a very small part of the face, but when I see Atlas soldiers with helmets that completely encapsulate their head (like the Atlas recon helmet), I can't help but wonder why they don't equip the AST with a similar helmet.
    • The AST is apparently intended to be worn over a standard exo. It assumes you're already wearing a helmet. (Also, the opening of "Terminus" has you operating an AST underwater, implying that either an AST normally has full airtight integrity or else that you can wear one while wearing a sealed suit beneath it). In both sequences where your AST has an open faceplate under fire, its either implied or stated flat-out that your suit is damaged.

     Biological ICBM 
  • Of all the delivery systems for a bioweapon, why pick an ICBM? A bioweapon is its own delivery system, via infected persons and animals. Granted, we see that MANTICORE is (somehow) instantaneously lethal, so that rules out spreading it via inoculated carriers, but an ICBM is the last method of delivery you'd ever want. An ICBM experiences very extreme temperatures in flight, varying from extremely hot (air friction and the heat from its engines) to very cold (the stratosphere). Both of these extremes would be enough to overwhelm the environmental control systems in place and kill the agent in question. Creating an environmental control system strong enough to survive the temperatures involved would require a bigger ICBM, which would change the temperature's a losing battle. And any one of Irons' scientists could have told him this. So why pick an ICBM?
    • Remember when they first used Manticore? they deployed it with drones. The ICBM doesn't need to carry the bioweapon; just all the drones that contain it which are released high up and scatter. Maximum spread. Also if your going to make a bioweapon you don't want it to spread any further then it needs to, or else you risk losing control. Which Irons does not want.
  • Another concern regarding the ICBM delivery method was that Atlas evidently planned to hit all of their targets with a single missile. Even with MIRV warheads, that seems like a huge stretch for engaging targets spanning the entire world.

     Atlas Logistics 
  • I understand that the Atlas force in Antarctica arrived so quickly because they were dropped from a space station, but where did the helicopters and tank come from? Does Atlas have bases in Antarctica? The Antarctica Treaty forbids military activity there. Does the treaty not apply to privately owned militaries? If they do have bases there, why, and why would the STF bring down the plane somewhere where Atlas forces could reach it by helicopter in just a few minutes?
    • Antarctica was the only place they COULD bring it down, other than the ocean (which risks destroying the plane entirely without discovering what Manticore actually is). That was the plane's flight plan, and Sentinel had to come up with and execute their plan in a very small window of time. As for the tanks, it's possible that they were orbital dropped too. The helicopters might have been dropped and then assembled on the ground (I'd think they'd be too fragile to drop ready to go) or could have been flown in during the time that Mitchell, Ilona and Cormack were in the crevasse. Besides, given everything else Atlas does, it's not too far-fetched to think that they might have broken a few international treaties, especially if they aren't signatories by virtue of not being a proper "country." The real question is why Irons had to bring all the stuff to his house in the first place, given that he was moving it to Argentina immediately afterwards.

     Pain or no Pain 
  • At first I thought Mitchell was incapable of feeling pain in his prosthetic since Hades drove a knife through it and Mitchell didn't even grunt or flinch, even when he yanks it back out. But in the level Captured Mitchell screams in pain when Irons smashes it with a socket wrench handle, and Mitchell does some grunting when he cuts it off in Terminus. So can it feel pain or not?
    • It appears that he does feel some pain when it's damaged (presumably electricity getting back into his nerves when it shouldn't). The Hades example was probably him just ignoring it through a combination of a massive adrenaline rush and having just been slammed into a wall by a car, numbing him.
    • It also wouldn't be out of the question for the phantom limb sensation to have something to do with it.
    • He can probably 'feel' the limb (else it would be useless for a lot of things). I would imagine the reason it hurt when Irons smashed it was that it was yanking on the non-prosthetic parts of him in a way it wasn't supposed to except in extreme circumstances. The grunts while cutting it off may have been more from the effort - IIRC, your other arm is hooked around the railing to keep you from falling off, so you have to exert effort to keep it flexed while hauling the prosthetic up into cutting distance.

     Atlas Lives? 
  • At the end of Terminus, Gideon expresses his belief that Irons's death and the fall of New Bagdad won't be the end of Atlas, presumably because as a corporation they have some sort of succession policy, unlike the KVA. The problem is, the KVA had an ideology to rally followers around. Atlas had a profit motive and Jonathan Irons's vision of the world. With him gone, is anyone really going to step up to continue a fight against practically every nation in the world? I would think that a lot of Atlas survivors would be jumping ship.
    • First, whenever a CEO dies or steps down, there's usually someone waiting to replace them. Second, while they were ultimately inhumane, Iron's goals of technological progress and peace through world domination would appeal to at least some people (twisted as their idealism may potentially be).
    • It helps that Atlas is probably capable of actually fighting the entire free world to at least a draw. The situation isn't ideal, but it's nowhere near bad enough for Irons's successor to give up the fight.
    • Atlas, according to one of the briefings, has a bit of a stranglehold over many countries' resources thanks to being hired as security for them. That's quite a bit of leverage to at least keep a country neutral if not bring them over to their side. Someone without a 'nation-states are obsolete' mindset could also find plenty of countries or even groups within countries that hate the West or simply want to change the balance of power in their favor, much like all those side missions in Black Ops 2, if you fail them all, show China changing the balance of power in the region in their favor.
    • Without a unifying leader and coordinator, it's likely that divisions of Atlas might just break off and go rogue, or Atlas subsidiaries in some countries might be forcefully nationalized. They won't simply fold up shop and disappear as a terrorist group would, but they are not likely to be the same world-spanning entity.

     Final Push? 
  • At the end of the game, only Mitchell, Gideon, and Ilona are immune to Manticore and can stop Irons. They only have two AST mecha suits and three choices to give them to. All three of them are complete badasses, but Mitchell just had his left arm destroyed by Irons and is currently the least effective of the trio. So why was Ilona left behind as support? She would've had a better chance at stopping Irons than Mitchell would have.
    • Well, Mitchell seemed capable of operating all the weapons of the AST with only one arm. If Ilona takes the suit, Mitchell is effectively out of the fight, but if Mitchell takes the suit then Ilona can still contribute.

  • In the bonus wave of survival, which features zombies, Gideon gets grabbed out of the evac by a zombie which presumably jumped up to grab him. Problem is, pausing for a brief second reveals that the zombie is a U.S. Army soldier, without an exo harness. So how the hell did the zombie leap up to grab Gideon?
    • After the player boost jumps onto the Warbird, Gideon fires at some zombies who are boost jumping. Right before the camera turns away, you could see that one zombie jumps up without being shot. This one may have managed to make it onto the Warbird. I suppose it climbed to the other side, and when the Warbird was steady, it lunged and pulled Gideon.
    • Then again, they were coming from multiple directions, so one without an exoskeleton could have jump onto the Warbird while neither the pilot nor Gideon were paying attention.

    Self-replenishing 3 D Printed Bullets 
  • Wouldn't the IMR also have to add propellant and primer to the bullets it's making for itself? Isn't that dangerous to keep those sorts of things together in the printer's material reserve so close to the combustion chamber of the rifle? The reason caseless ammunition is uncommon is because cookoff causes rounds to go off before they hit the chamber, imagine just having the parts of caseless ammo but contained in a homogenous bulk.
    • As long as the reserve material was sufficiently insulated from the chamber and barrel, cookoff shouldn't be a problem. As for ammunition cookoff, while this was a problem faced by early caseless weapons, such as early G11 rifle protoypes, this problem was solved by simply using propellant mixtures with a higher ignition temperature. More modern designs, such as the Voere VEC-91, eschew traditional gun mechanisms in favor of electronic ignition, allowing the use of propellants with an even higher ignition temperature. It's not so far fetched to say that such technologies might see more widespread use in the future.

    Mitchell's Extraction 
  • When Mitchell and Ilona escape from the Atlas headquarters, how did Sentinel know they needed their help right then? Were they tracking their movements inside the compound and knew they were about to be compromised? Since Ilona insisted that Gideon and Mitchell go dark before she discussed the contents of the storage drive there was no radio scan that could have picked up what they were going to talk about.
    • Cormack mentions that Sentinel was formed right after the mass KVA attacks, and while initially an anti-KVA organization, they quickly found evidence suggesting Atlas was involved. If they had been investigating Atlas for the past couple of years, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility that the Sentinels had surveillance in place in and around Atlas' headquarters.
    • In fact, it's most likely that Sentinel knew that Mitchell and Ilona would need extraction because they were monitoring Atlas's communications. Irons and his security team moving in to capture Mitchell and Ilona right when Mitchell and Ilona went dark for a private meeting about something was probably the red flag they were waiting for. In fact, given the One Degree of Separation that Mitchell shares with both Irons and Cormick, he'd make an ideal surveillance target, being someone close to the Big Bad and familiar to the Big Good.

    Advanced Warfare Exosuit 
Looking at the design for the Exosuits in Advanced Warfare, I'm having a hard time seeing how their version of the Exosuit augments the warfighter's ability to do anything. I get that their running, multi-directional movement, jumps, leaps and descents are augmented by the usage of air jets, but anything else, makes no sense.

In Elysium, the exosuits are bolted directly into their user's nervous system and musculoskeletal structure. Combined with additional augmentations, the Elysium exosuits bolster their user's physical performance to such an extent that they can accomplish superhuman feats, like ripping the head off of a Droid, to punching large indents in reinforced metal structures and shotputing a crushed enemy into a wall. Visually, we see that the exosuits in Elysium have hydraulic actuators to show what's helping boost their abilities.

In Advanced Warfare, their exosuits outside of multiplayer, are much more barebones, and look more like a supportive frame, then something that's supposed to be a powered exoskeleton. I'm not seeing how they allow for their users to do a lot of things. I can see how the punches and kicks are augmented, judging by the back structure of their exosuits(which works fine against Human targets), but punches that dent armoured windows and overhand blows that crumple the front part of a crashed truck, would mean that the operators themselves are augmented, since striking materials that hard without any structural reinforcement to the bones and muscles, would mean that they'd fuck up their limbs in the process.

I don't recall them ever mentioning that the warfighters, both military and private military; are augmented in any manner. In Elysium, we have the supplemental material to go by in those regards, but nothing for Advanced Warfare.

  • Exo suits have gloves built into them, that's how they can punch metal without breaking their hands. It's a it's a bit tough to see but you can see it in some shots.

    North Korea as a threat? 
  • How the hell was North Korea able to mount an actual invasion against the South with all the technology at their disposal, not to mention all the technology they had? Their entire military now has what's exclusively outdated, obsolete Cold War equipment. How can they have exosuits, drones, and other things? Where would they get the infrastructure to build those things, the research to figure out how to build them, and everything else?
    • A corporation like Atlas modifying and updating their resources?
      • North Korea have a long story of getting Western and South Korean illegaly. Also like the IRL version they could copied them afterwards.

    What Happened to the Airships? 
  • In Induction, the Marines arrive over Seoul in massive airships, deployed to the ground in Drop Pods. These airships are promptly never seen again, and in fact, in Armada, it seems the Navy is limited to ocean-bound ships. In Throttle, our heroes insert into Baghdad via fighter jets, which badly stretches the suspension of disbelief regarding all the things these soldiers are trained to be able to do, especially given that otherwise this would serve as a sort of Book-Ends for the first mission.
    • We do see the airships above the staging base outside New Baghdad just before the US assault. Maybe Atlas had too good air defences for them to get close enough to use their pods. After all they were dropping in an allied country at the start and North Korea probably doesn't have the same toys as Atlas.

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