A few thoughts on Advanced Warfare's campaign and Robo-Spacey.

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GunstarRed

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Edited By GunstarRed

I was lucky enough to receive my copy of Advanced Warfare in the post this morning, so I did what any sane person would do and sat in the same spot for about seven hours and finished the campaign.

First things first. This is a Call of Duty campaign, no amount of mech suits and double jumping can hide that. This is pure, follow-this-dude (Or run ahead of the dude... or dudette! and hope they catch up with you.) left trigger, right trigger Call of Duty.

What it isn't is the soulless bore that was Ghosts. I'm not going to tell you this is high art, it's still point at stuff as huge stuff explodes, but there is an attempt at storytelling here. With Troy Baker in the lead and a couple of others that round out your team of super duper PMC friends.

The Exo Suit seems to be a pretty huge focus, but they only ever give you variations in the campaign. You don't always have the same abilities, such as a shield or a double jump and on occasion they give you a fancy Batman-esque grapple which is super fun and is put to good use during one of the less actiony stealth levels. There's also some light progression with you unlocking points to put into various things like reload times and damage reduction. It's a nice inclusion, but doesn't really alter the game in any way.

I think it's an absolutely stunning looking game, from the incredible cutscenes (not ingame) to the environments and really rather good faces. It's a real stunner in places and not a single framerate drop during my entire playthrough, despite a couple of hitches in cutscenes.

And I guess that brings me to Kevin Spacey and the story. He's used to good effect although his story arc is as predictable as they come. It kinda makes sense that the first few missions had me feeling pretty uneasy about who I was working for. It is a fun romp and the fact that some effort has been placed in making you at least care a little about the characters in the game is nice. Gideon, your British pal is good fun and the hard as nails Illona is cool, I'm definitely glad to see a female as one of the core group of badasses. It is definitely weird seeing robo spacey spout some pretty crazy shit, but he fits the part very well. It doesn't seem gimmicky in any way, and Troy Baker is as Troy Bakerish as he gets.

If there's one main complaint it's that it leans heavily on quick time events, moreso than any other Call of Duty I have played. And some of them are a pain. I missed a bunch of them as the icon for doing so isn't always apparent as it's white and small. The QTE's do however lead to some spectacular sci-fi action movie nonsense, and some of it is pretty absurd/insane/improbable.

So, it's a fun time in that big dumb action movie kind of way. I might see if I can play a bit of the MP or Co-op later if this headache I seem to have gained from not moving from the same spot without and food or drink goes away. It's pretty noisy. I'm not certain but the bodycount in this one seem to be waaaay beyond past installments.

Edit. Some of the finest images I captured from the game.

I always knew Bono was evil.
I always knew Bono was evil.

Look how happy this family is.
Look how happy this family is.

Best movie ever!
Best movie ever!

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Corevi

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Is the final boss Spacey in a giant Exo suit?

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GunstarRed

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Corevi

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recroulette

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I always play these games for the story first, and this sounds pretty good. Can't wait for Monday

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evilrazer

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I was a big fan of call of duty, but have stopped playing after MW3. Should I buy or rent Advanced Warfare later just for the campaign or will I be disappointed, just as I was when I spent $60 on MW3?

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noboners

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#6  Edited By noboners

What system did you get it for?

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GunstarRed

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@evilrazer: If it's hard for you to to justify full price for any other modern Call of Duty's single player campaign, then you'd probably feel similarly about this one. Most people know what they're getting at this point. It's definitely much, much better than MW3's. But I doubt you'd get any real replay out of it unless you enjoy the nightmare that is Veteran or hunting down intel (why do they still have this?????) in these games.

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GunstarRed

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Humanity

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#9 Humanity  Online

I really enjoyed COD4, MW2 and Black Ops - at which point my interest somewhat dropped off and I haven't bought one of these since. Would you say this is a good point to jump in? I mostly stopped playing because of series fatigue but I always really enjoyed the cinematic nature in which the levels unfolded.

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Corevi

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#10  Edited By Corevi

@humanity: You should play Black Ops 2 if you want a really fun campaign. It shouldn't be hard to find for cheap.

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GunstarRed

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@humanity: It's definitely the most cinematic of these games, mostly down to the pre-rendered cutscenes. It also feels like it treads its own path, it doesn't feel like a bunch of levels trying to recreate the developers favourite action movies. The heavy emphasis on QTE's really makes some of those action sequences stand out (notably one on a bridge and another in high traffic)...provided you don't mess them up.

The last one of these games I really enjoyed was the first Black Ops and it's probably better or at worst on par with the campaign in that game.

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Humanity

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#12 Humanity  Online

@corevi said:

@humanity: You should play Black Ops 2 if you want a really fun campaign. It shouldn't be hard to find for cheap.

I often thought about that since I really liked Black Ops - especially that one level where you're on the boats and that Rolling Stones song comes on sticks out in my mind. Surprisingly those Call of Duty games don't fall in value! Also I guess I was waiting for the next evolutionary step in Call of Duty, and I assumed Advanced Warfare was it.

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#13  Edited By conmulligan

How is the mobility? I know they're very different games, but I found it kind of frustrating to get into Destiny after spending a lot of time with Titanfall, purely because it was missing some of the things like mantling that made Titanfall such a joy to move around in. It's cool to see Call of Duty head in this direction too, but whenever I've seen it in action it comes across as awkward and rigid.

Incidentally, does anyone know when the review embargo is up?

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Corevi

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Incidentally, does anyone know when the review embargo is up?

Monday at midnight most likely.

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conmulligan

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@corevi said:

Monday at midnight most likely.

Yeah, that seems likely, but who knows how all this day zero bullshit plays into things.

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GunstarRed

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@conmulligan: It's not as good as Titanfall. The double jump is a bit boost-ier I dunno how else to explain it, but it's definitely fun to keep jumping in the air and firing down on dudes. The levels themselves don't really require a lot of fancy mobility so I'm curious to see how it fits into MP.

You can also dash from side to side by clicking the left stick to the left or the right. I didn't really use it, I actually found it awkward to use so I didn't bother with it. There's no super boost stim running or anything. Sprinting is just like any other Call of Duty.

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Sackmanjones

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#17  Edited By Sackmanjones

Is it actually 7 hours long? Cause that is way longer than most other games in the series and may just tip me to get it.

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SpaceInsomniac

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#18  Edited By SpaceInsomniac

@sackmanjones said:

Is it actually 7 hours long? Cause that is way longer than most other games in the series and may just tip me to get it.

Yeah, that's probably the case. I'm pretty sure that the developer said something about the campaign being longer this year. I had my doubts, but this seems to confirm it.

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valitiney

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Zombies?

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Mustainium

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Thanks for the impressions.

Quick question, does Troy speak during gameplay, or only during cut scenes?

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7 hours doesn't seem that long to me. How long was MW1? That felt long enough. MW2 was way short on the other hand. I was kind of hoping AW would be closer to 10 hours.

They've made a lot of the customization for this one. How varied is it? How distinct can you make yourself?

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csl316

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I'm intrigued by this one more than any in a while. Maybe I'll get it as part of those buy 2, get 1 free deals coming up.

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colourful_hippie

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What are the environments like? Are they at least bigger instead of being linear, maybe wide, straight lines?

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GunstarRed

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@sackmanjones: Seven or eight. I never got stuck and aren't entirely sure what time I started... so possibly 7.5, possibly 8. It definitely feels a little longer than most of these games.

@valitiney: Not sure, I couldn't get into a game of the co-op. I think it's a bonus round in that mode though.

@mustainium: Now that I think about it maybe not? Most of the talking during gameplay is done by your mates. He might say some stuff, but I don't remember anything during gameplay.

@penguindust: I've only played about 90 mins of the MP, and there's a bunch of armour pieces, but it's a twitch based FPS game so you barely see any of that stuff. You seem to unlock most of that stuff from supply drops, I got a fancy future-helmet which is pretty cool, like something out of Mass Effect.

There's a bunch of male and female faces to choose from if that's your thing.

@colourful_hippie: Some can be pretty wide, but mostly pretty typical of Cod games. There's a lot of variety, and one in particular in the snow is absolutely gorgeous.

As for the MP. It's Call of Duty. even with the enhanced mobility it's pretty much the same style of gameplay. You die, you spawn, you die, you spawn. It's funny, it's not like Titanfall at all. There's something a little jerky about trying to double jump onto a building. There isn't that flow of double jumping to edges, grabbing them and continuing to move that Titanfall has. In fact I found it a little awkward to double jump to higher places, although that skill probably comes with time. Most people seem to use that added mobility to elevate themselves to higher camping points... sigh.

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Yummylee

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#26  Edited By Yummylee

@gunstarred: So... a solid 4/5 I'm guessing? Also, does it have any driving segments? And if so are they better or worse than the driving in Watch Dogs?

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GunstarRed

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@yummylee: I don't know, it's fun and all, but it is what it is. There's no huge surprises and for as impressive as it all is it's nothing that you've not seen before. The campaign itself... a strong 3? I just don't know. I'm sure some will love the hell out of it.

As for vehicles... There's four of them.

A hover bike that is pretty much steer around things exploding around you.

A hover tank which is pretty much follow a path and make everything around you explode

A Jet plane which is you steering around canyons while spamming rockets to make everything explode.

Annnd a bit in a boat that requires you to dive underwater every so often... You mostly just steer around corners as things explode around you.

Or five if you include...

The mech suit... which is basically EVERYTHING IN YOUR PATH EXPLODES AND DIES AND STUFF!

So yeah, probably better than Watch Dogs.

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AcidBrandon18

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I ended up pre-ordering Advanced Warfare so I could get a shader in Destiny..........

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Feels cool to be excited (or at least interested) in a Call of Duty game again! Been buying all the games on autopilot since 4, but man... Ghosts broke me. Ended up trading it in for Battlefield 4 after two days. Haven't been so pumped to throw in one of these since MW2, probably.

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Honkalot

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Thanks for the early impressions. Hope it's different enough to feel new.

Though I'll probably wait a year for a seriously dropped price. I liked Black Ops 1, thought that was the only game in this series that was not a 95% carbon copy of a previous iteration.

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jiggajoe14

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They are changing your abilities throughout the game? So you don't always have the ability to double jump? Or am I reading that wrong (I'm probably reading that wrong)?

You don't always have the same abilities, such as a shield or a double jump and on occasion they give you a fancy Batman-esque grapple which is super fun and is put to good use during one of the less actiony stealth levels

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@gunstarred:

Bummer, silent in-game protagonists are such a slight annoyance, thanks for responding though.

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ripelivejam

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I ended up pre-ordering Advanced Warfare so I could get a shader in Destiny..........

brad is that you

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Any offline multiplayer modes with bots?

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GunstarRed

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#35  Edited By GunstarRed

@honkalot: If anyone is expecting something drastically new they're going to be disappointed, but I feel they change things up just enough. If you're going into it expecting to be able to climb up the sides of walls like Spider-man from the trailers you're going to be bummed to find out you do that like three or four times in the whole game after a button prompt.

The grappling hook really changes the way you can move about though, but it's not something you have for the whole game.

@jiggajoe14: You can't always double jump, but it makes sense in the places you can't.You will know on the missions you can because it will give you a big fat reminder in the middle of the screen. Everyone can always double jump in MP though. @megalombax: I think you can play the co-op mode with bots... the little of that mode I played I didn't really care for at all though.

Edit- I had a check through all the menus and there's no offline bots.

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Corvak

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Getting a Call of Duty campaign is like buying a ticket to a James Bond film at this point. He's gonna go in, piss off the villain, shoot a bunch of dudes, save the world and kiss the girl at the end.

You know it's basically the same thing every time, but also that it's going to be mostly good - but like Bond won't shatter your expectations in the cinema, CoD isn't going to blow your mind about video games.

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newmoneytrash

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I've only played about the first five missions of the campaign but it's a lot of fun

This is my first Call of Duty though so I didn't really have any expectations going in

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#38  Edited By BradBrains

@gunstarred said:

@corevi: I wish.

you almost had me super exicted about a COD game. so close

(im not a cod hater. im one of the few that plays just for the campaign every few years)

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Humanity

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#39 Humanity  Online

I've only played about the first five missions of the campaign but it's a lot of fun

This is my first Call of Duty though so I didn't really have any expectations going in

Oh man, your first Call of Duty is always the best. Take in man, this is something special you'll never get to experience again.

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jackgb

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I think the last mission is amazing. Going from Edge of Tomorrow suits to Starship Troopers suits is AWESOME.

I got deep into the multiplayer for all the games from 4 to Black Ops, but I'm a sucker for the campaigns. I really want to see what Sledgehammer can do with the extra time, but, like Jeff, I'm worried that the next two years are going to be disappointing. I like Treyarch's work, and I think Black Ops is seriously underrated and Black Ops 2 is the best campaign in the series from a mechanical standpoint, but all of the future tech in Black Ops 2 looks totally quaint in retrospect. The dessicated corpse of Infinity Ward already put out probably the worst or second-worst game in the whole series last year. Hell, even Sledgehammer is going to have trouble since they PROBABLY can't use Spacey again.

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Brake

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I just finished the campaign on PC. I really don't like the QTEs. I kept messing them up. Sometimes I could have sworn I hit them and then seconds later I died. I think I ended up dying more by QTE than by gunfire.

There was a funny moment in the end when you chase Kevin Spacey. The game told me to: Hold "Unbound" while sprinting to slide. I guess crouch wasn't bound to anything by default? I used "Change Stance" to crouch through the entire campaign. Also, when I temporarily bound it to C it didn't work for some reason. I had to switch to my 360 controller to get through that section. Weird stuff.

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glots

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The stealth section Jeff compared to the one in Modern Warfare (assuming it was the house/mansion one) didn't work as well for me and the part without gun also turned out to be a tad lackluster, but despite those, I quite enjoyed the campaign.

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GunstarRed

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@glottery: I assume he meant the part where you're recharging your battery and following the dude around. I wasn't entirely sure what part he meant as nothing in the game really reminded me of the original MW.

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