Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
For me, the Call of Duty series peaked in 2007 with the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. But I had been skeptical, having been a mad fan of the series so far, and being worried that taking the series to the modern battlefield was going to destroy the game. The single player campaign was a solid, engrossing story that spanned the world, and even a bit of history. What’s better was that the online play was fluid and fun. More importantly, it was well balanced and you never played a game where you felt that the opposition had been given too many advantages.
Put simply: It. Was. Fun.
Since then however, the series has grown rather stale, and I had jumped ship to that other modern military shooter, but this series too has long since seen it’s peak. What modern military shooters needed was something fresh to make them interesting again. What they didn’t need was to be set in the future, where exoskeletons give you super human abilities. It was looking like new boys on the block, Sledgehammer Games was about to turn Call of Duty into the new Halo.
This was not going to be good, not for someone who detests Halo as much as I do.
But I decided to give it a chance, and I’m glad I did. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has that something fresh and reinvigorating that the series needed. This near future military shooter, where the worlds most powerful military force is a private army for rent run by none other than Kevin Spacey (well, actually his character’s name is Jonathan Irons, and is played with a solid Francis Underwood vibe).
How you end up in his private army, I’ll leave up to the game to tell you, but once you get that exoskeletons strapped on, the game kicks it up a few gears and things get fun.
Advanced Warfare is still a Call of Duty game at heart, but the limited abilities of the exoskeletons give you options, from taking a different approach to flanking the enemy. In one mission, you’re approaching an aggressive force that have you funneled into a kill zone, but see that balcony up there. Yes, that one. Your exoskeleton suit will allow you to jump up there and lay down suppressing fire, taking out the enemy and allowing your squad to move forward. Your exoskeleton can have three enhancements per mission, and in one of my favorite missions, it’s used to quickly and quietly traverse a large property and back in a mission that is all about stealth.
Yes, stealth as in no guns blazing. And this something else that gives Advanced Warfare it’s fresh feeling. The pacing is set up just like a film. It’s not all bam, bam, bam, there are slow periods as well as the tried and tested maelstroms that players are more familiar with.
This along with a story that hints at the believable will draw you into the game in a way not experienced since 2007. You’ll travel the world, see destruction on a large scale, but you’ll care about what’s going on, and will be eager to follow the story rather than blindly shoot your way through each mission.
And it’s a hell of a lot of fun. For at least the first three quarters of the game. To be brutally honest, the single player experience does get a little bogged down and repetitive towards the end, but the ride their is so good, you’ll fight on through to the end just to see if you are right.
And then there is the multiplayer experience. This is where I was expecting to get my arse handed to me on a platter, repeatedly. The new gameplay style of being able to make super jumps and such, had given me visions of being dead meat, being stuck in the mud of old school FPS thinking, and gameplay. And sure, in the first couple of matches I was so dis-orientated that I spent more time re-spawning than playing.
But then I started to get the hang of it, started to play on maps for the second and third time, started killing more that I was being killed. And then I became addicted. I couldn’t stop. This was the Call of Duty I used to love.
All the usual online modes are their, along with a couple of brand new modes. The zombies however are not present, but are rumoured to be part of the DLC plans.
I’m not sure if anything will ever replace COD4 in my memory as my favourite FPS of all time, but if any game could, it would be Advanced Warfare. The game is visually stunning, is chock full of variety, uses future tech in a restrained way to enhance gameplay, and remembers to put fun first.
This is the first Call of Duty in a long time that will appeal to more than just Call of Duty fans. This will bring the jaded back into the fold.
Reviewed on: XBox One
Rating: R16 Violence,offensive language and content that may disturb
Reviewed by: Jonathan