Infinity Ward’s Lee Ross on Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Rave in the Redwoods
On January 31, the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Sabotage DLC will hit the PlayStation 4, with content for the Xbox One and PC not far behind. Sabotage will give us four new maps: Noir, Renaissance, Neon and Dominion, a re-imagining of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 classic, Afghan. It’s also giving us the next chapter in the zombie story that started with Zombies in Spaceland. This time around we’re heading to a camp in the woods in the 1990s. Rave in the Redwoods will see the return of your favorite characters, Sally (Sasheer Zamata), Andre (Jay Pharoah), A.J. (Ike Barinholtz) and Poindexter (Seth Green), but in very different roles. Willard Wyler (Paul Reubens) is still looking for the perfect kills for his film and the gang will have to fight the mysterious Slasher to survive. We recently got a chance to chat with Lee Ross, Associate Project Director at Infinity Ward, to learn all about the gameplay, the story, the weapons, the Easter eggs, the soundtrack and the surprise guest star in the game, director Kevin Smith.
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brianowens.tv: Tell us about Willard Wyler’s big plans and how the characters have changed this time around?
Lee Ross: Willard Wyler is still looking for his magnum opus. He’s still looking for the ultimate death scenes. He’s hoping that this is the film, Rave in the Redwoods being probably one of his goriest films ever made. He’s hoping that this is where the four protagonists will meet their demise and he’ll ultimately get the final scenes that he’s looking for. The four characters are returning from the original film Zombies in Spaceland, and they’ve made this jump into the 1990s, into this new set of archetypes. So the familiar faces and names that we’ve come to know and love from Zombies in Spaceland, A.J., Sally, Andre and Poindexter; they’re now going to be shoved into these roles that kind of mix them up and make them feel like fish out of water, so to speak. So Poindexter being our nerd character played by Seth Green, he’s jumping into the role of a raver. So all these sort of sensibilities he had in Zombies in Spaceland, where he was telling the group – he was a big fan of Willard Wyler’s work, and he could kind of tell them, “Oh, I know what to expect from Zombies in Spaceland,” but he’s kind of losing himself a bit here in Rave in the Redwoods, because he’s falling into that archetype of that raver. So he’s really into the perk candy
brianowens.tv: Of course I have to ask you about Kevin Smith. How did that all come about and did he have a lot of say in how his character was used?
Lee Ross: Well, it certainly came about because we’re huge fans of Kevin Smith. He definitely fits the time period perfectly for us. He’s a really interesting character. He’s a hero that you don’t expect to be a hero, and I thought that that was a really interesting contrast, coming from David Hasselhoff in Zombies in Spaceland, where you kind of expect him to be the hero, to be the savior. But Kevin is that character that you don’t necessarily expect to see him wielding a gun and taking on zombie hordes. We thought there was an interesting contrast between those two characters. The thing about working with Kevin is, we wrote really interesting dialogue for him, but of course, we allow every actor that we work with to bring their own charm and their own personalities. So some of the creation that we had from Kevin was altering some of the dialogue and some of the lines that he felt fit his character and his persona a bit more. He definitely wanted to bring little bits of things that he might have said in some of the various films that he’s been in and TV shows and whatnot, so for us, it was really finding the range of what his character was going to be like and what kind of story we were going to tell for him.
brianowens.tv: The design elements from the ’90s must have been a blast to work with. Is there a design element you’re particularly proud of?
Lee Ross: Well, that’s like picking my favorite kids!
brianowens.tv: I’m assuming you have plans for the next one already?
Lee Ross: Absolutely! We are way ahead of the curve, more than our fans tend to think we are. We’ve got quite a season planned for people who come along for the ride with zombies this year. We’re definitely far ahead of curve and thinking about things people don’t think we’re thinking about quite yet.
Are you guys excited for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Rave in the Redwoods? Do you think you found all the Easter eggs in Zombies in Spaceland? Let us know in the comments. Rave in the Redwoods as well as the rest of the Sabotage DLC will hit PS4 on January 31. Xbox One and PC will get the pack shortly afterward.