Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
What is it?
I'm sure by now that I don't need to explain what Call of Duty is but just to be on the safe side it's a Modern Military Shooter (MMS). Advanced Warfare as you can probably guess is set in the near future and revolves heavily around both future tech and Private Military Contractors (PMCs). Personally I'm pretty certain that this entry in the series also serves as a potential season 5 maybe season 6 for House of Cards. The biggest question about Advanced Warfare is whether or not it's a step forward for one of the more stagnant franchises or is just another Call of Duty game?
As with all Call of Duty games you have but one name that will be shouted, barked and screamed at you throughout the campaign and today that name is Mitchell! Anyway, you and your bestest bud in the whole world, Will, are out on a mission in North Korea and inevitably shit hits fan and your friend dies and you have your arm crushed as well as all your future military dreams. At the funeral you meet Wills dad Johnathon Irons aka Kevin Spacey as Kevin Spacey who feels this is the best time to ask you about your career plans for the future and in turn offers you a place at ATLAS, his own personal PMC and even hooks you up with your own bionic arm.
After joining ATLAS and going to war with the terrorist group KVA for whatever reason ATLAS emerge victorious and become the biggest and most powerful PMC in the world as a result, it's about now that the cracks begin to reveal themselves and once again shit hits the fan and by now you can probably predict what happens for the rest of the game, if not I'll remind you once again that Kevin Spacey is in this game and owns the largest PMC in the world...so yea.
Call of Duty isn't exactly known for it's innovation given the fact that they've used the same formula since the original Modern Warfare so you know what you're getting when you buy into it, shooty shooty deathbang boom. Credit to Sledgehammer (the developers) as they've definitely left there mark on this game with some of the additions they've made and frankly some of them are pretty bold given the effect they have on the multiplayer, and god help you if you change that and feel the wrath of a bunch of angry kids.
Since we're in the near future of 2054 then we're going to need some appropriate future tech so without further adieu I present to you, the EXO-Suit!!! *Fanfare applause fireworks women fainting* The EXO-Suit is your one stop shop to go from man of the land to man of the land wearing a bit of a metal frame on your body, what does this do I hear you cry well let me tell, the EXO-Suit allows you to super jump, super punch, super kick, boost from side to side and many more things. The suit also comes with a built in grenade launcher because it's 2054 and who wants to be throwing grenades in this day and age? Nobody! Throwing is for chumps! If you're going to throw something then make sure it's one of the new Multi-Grenade, this allows you to switch between flash, stun, threat and even an EMP with a flick of the wrist. I'll stop the sales pitch gimmick now I promise.
Okay so you can see they've tried to spice up the usual formula with these additions but this is Call of Duty and change is frowned upon so even though with things like a mech-suit section you'll still have to go through the motions and nods back to All Ghillied Up from Modern Warfare with the usual "hey follow me but only when I say so and HEY DO YOU REMEMBER THAT MISSION WASN'T IT GREAT?!?!HUH!". Yes I remember the damn mission and it was great the first time but just stop making me replay it!
I think after the huge disaster that was Call of Duty: Ghosts we were all a bit apprehensive about Advanced Warfare when it came to the PC port but surprisingly Sledgehammer really pulled out all the stops with this one and delivered a solid PC port with one of the more in-depth graphics options menus I've seen recently with things like supersampling and shadow preloading for the beefier PCs out there.
The textures are decent enough and while it's by no means Crysis 3 it's a vast improvement over Ghosts, though at this point that wouldn't take much. Shockingly Kevin Spacey looks better than every single thing in that game, I mean lets face it if you've paid him to be in your game you better make damn sure it looks like him.
Audio is a huge part of games for me but I can honestly say that I couldn't even remember if this game had music because it's just so forgettable, it's not like Call of Duty is known for it's epic memorable scores but it's still disappointing to come away from a game and not want to listen to the soundtrack (for me). The sound design is the same stuff we've been hearing since Modern Warfare really, it's not Battlefield levels of commitment but it's serviceable at least.
I'd like to make a plea to Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer and Treyarch, please for the love of god either stop using the same voice actor to play the only English guy in every game or just stop putting an English guy in your games. I'm sick to death of hearing the same gruff Ross Kemp style southern bloke playing the same damn character every damn time! Spice things up a bit, use a pure blood northerner or something, or a Geordie! Imagine the scene, you're following along on a stealth mission waiting for patrols to pass like you do and all you can hear through your speakers is "Wai-aye pet it's just ooover errree haawayyy".
One of the main questions I had when playing this game was "am I going to have to wait 3 more years to have jetpacks again?", this is definitely the most fun Call of Duty game I've played for years and it's the EXO-Suit mechanics that make it that way because when you add things like strafe-boosting and verticality to your multiplayer maps it makes the game feel fresh and new. The problem for me is that when the next Call of Duty comes out in November and it's from Infinity Ward I'll have no desire to play it because odds are it won't have these fun new mechanics and most likely won't be future based.
I like the near future idea but I wish they would have gone further with it, I'm sick of assault rifles, why can't we have something a bit more interesting, it can't be for the sake of realism because we've got bloody mech-suits, my guess is that this game was meant as a proof of concept for the next one and hopefully by then they push it further, I want lasers and railguns already.
Like I've said previously this is absolutely a step in the right direction and even managed to breathe some new life into the franchise, sadly they're still using the same basis for all their campaigns, let's be honest when has a story involving PMCs not ended in betrayal and blood, it didn't work in Metal Gear Solid 4 and it didn't work here. Overall it's a solid game and while I know people only really buy these games for the multiplayer if they continue to ship a singleplayer campaign with it then it has to stand up on it's own as an experience. If you want the newest multiplayer and aren't afraid of change then definitely pick this up, it's not perfect and we're still waiting on dedicated servers because lets be honest we need them because peer to peer hosting is just stupid, but it's still enjoyable which is an achievement for Call of Duty at this point, though I definitely wouldn't pay full price for it.