Swarms of insectile drones swirling like a black river through the sky. Soldiers who can leap dozens of feet in the air and thunder down unharmed. Lobbed grenades that pause at the apex of their arcs like giant hornets before diving to discharge their deadly payloads.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare looks like a blockbuster science fiction movie–Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers without the aliens–but its creators say the game’s pedigree is grounded decidedly in science fact.

Call it speculative fiction then, a semantic distinction that writers like Margaret Atwood find helpful to distinguish between improbable tales of galaxy-gallivanting starships or time-traveling police boxes, and other more speculative stories, parables or potboilers that deal with near-future scenarios extrapolated from existing cultural or technological developments.

That’s not Lost‘s smoke monster you’re seeing in one of the more arresting video touts for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare; it’s weaponry “based on designs that we can see or know is going to happen very shortly,” says Sledgehammer Games’ CEO Glen Schofield.

TIME spoke with Schofield and studio co-founder Michael Condrey recently about the technology employed in the studio’s upcoming military-themed shooter. See for yourself in the video interview above just how close we are today to the sort of tricked-out weaponry you’ll get to play with when the game ships for PC, PlayStation and Xbox consoles on November 4.

Write to Matt Peckham at matt.peckham@time.com.

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