Review of Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare

December 9, 2014 9:40 AM

Pre-orders down 70% against the release only two years previous. Coming out after one of the most hated games in the series so far. People moving on to other franchises. A new studio making the game. There was a lot against the new COD. Did they pull it off?

Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the 11th installment in the long-running shooter series published by Activision, but is the first to be programmed by Sledgehammer Games. This is the studio’s first full game, having only previously helped with development of Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Before that, the duo who started the studio, Glen Schofield and Michael Condry, had worked for Visceral Games who are mainly responsible for the Dead Space franchise. This installment of the COD series is coming out after the last one, subtitled Ghosts, was almost universally reviled. It had the typical COD problems and offered absolutely nothing new. Some said that COD was dead and the Battlefield series was the new champion of first-person-shooters. Advanced Warfare had to be great. It was under a lot of scrutiny. Thank God then that it is great.

The COD games are, it can be argued, primarily designed purely for the multiplayer experience and have a single-player campaign almost tacked on as a way of attempting to add value to the package as a whole. This was certainly true of the previously mentioned Modern Warfare 3, which had one the of most dull, unexciting single player experiences ever burnt to disc. The same is not true of Advanced Warfare. In the story, set in the near future of 2054, you play as Private Jack Mitchell who goes from fighting for the United States Marine Corps to fighting for private military company Atlas, run by Jonathan Irons. Irons, played by Kevin Spacey, is very anti-government (which allows Spacey to perform a direct inversion of his character from television show House of Cards) and is under the impression that the world can’t protect itself, but he can.

call of duty

While the story is interesting and allows you to see various locations and partake in varied gameplay elements, it would fall flat if the game did not play well. This does play very well. The game is smooth and interesting. It builds in such a way that you need to see what happens on the next level. On Modern Warfare 3, playing more than one mission without stopping was a challenge. Here, it would not be unfeasible to sit and play the campaign all day. It really is that interesting. Of course, in true COD fashion, it has massive set pieces, but they don’t detract from the package as a whole, which has been a problem before. Here, you care about the story and the characters. This is due, in part to the graphics engine, which allows for some of the most impressive facial work seen in games ever. It looks next-gen, unlike Ghosts, which looked distinctly average and muddy.

As said before, the main reason for most people will be the multiplayer. The series high point for multiplayer was either Modern Warfare 2 or Black Ops 2, depending on your preference. Advanced Warfare manages to reach those types of heights. Whilst many people will complain about the addition of exo-suits, which allow players to have abilities like double-jumping and invisibility for a short time, most will find something here to enjoy. If you really hate the new abilities, you can play the classic playlists where those features are disabled. These new abilities do not feel overpowered at all. They will only be really useful when the player has had the opportunity to practice with them and mold their set-up to their style of play. The maps are varied and don’t fall into the typical COD errors of having too many places to hide. To be honest, camping seems to be very minimal. Also, the weapons are varied an there will be something to fit everyone’s style of play.

To sum up, Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare is exactly the game that Activision needed to release to keep the franchise alive and re-introduce people to the fun the COD can be. It shows that single player is still important and that a game can not survive on multiplayer only, which is point proven by the short-lived fun of multiplayer only Titanfall. It has enough variety and interesting moments to keep you grabbed. Basically, get it. It is the best COD since Black Ops 2 at least and maybe better. See you in the warzone.

4 stars