It is that time of year again…Christmas is coming and we are starting to get the games that are released at this festive time of year. Call of Duty happens to be one of those titles and as regular as Santa himself, we have Advance Warfare. The latest game in the franchise has been done by Sledgehammer Games; the same team that give us Modern Warfare 3. So without any further delay, let us grab some guns and start shooting and blowing stuff up.
Developer: Sledgehammer Games, Raven Software
Genre: Action, FPS
Release Date: 04 November 2014
Xbox One version is being reviewed.
Thanks to the publisher for the review copy.
The last few Call of Duty titles have been ok but they have lacked that something that made them great. Ghosts was the last one and while it was ok, I didn’t enjoy it and also being the first next-gen release it was always going to be a bit hit-and-miss. This year’s effort is the third attempt at bringing a futuristic feel to the franchise and after Ghosts I was concerned that this might be another churned out title to jump on the money train. But I can honestly say this was not the case and Sledgehammer Games did bring the fun factor back to the aging series.
You begin the game as a soldier, Jack Mitchell, who is deployed on a mission with his fellow squad marines. While the mission is a success, things go wrong and you are wounded. His injuries mean that Jack can’t be a marine; he goes and joins a private company Atlas Corporation, run by Jonathan Irons (portrayed by Kevin Spacey). They provide him with advanced tech that enhances his skills as a soldier and makes him stronger than the average marine. After engaging in a sort of tutorial in the form of shooting ranges and a simulation of a rescue mission, you begin the taking parts in the missions with all your new tech enhancements.
The fundamental gameplay is the same that it has been since 2003 which seem to work well. For those who loved the Call of Duty games like Modern Warfare and Call of Duty 3, this is the game for you. The biggest improvement that makes this game is the new Exosuit. The original suit is pretty bad-ass as it is, but as you progress you unlock two other variations with some great features. The first one is the assault exosuit – which gives you the ability to jump and glide using the built-in jet boosters. The second – features a fold-up riot shield, instant health regeneration and an overdrive power-up, which enables a slow down of time – basically the bullet time effect used in various games. There is a third, but as you all know from my reviews I don’t do major spoilers, so I will leave it for you to discover for yourselves.
The Exosuits are supplemented by the use of very clever grenades. Yes you heard right, clever grenades. These are not your standard-issue explosive devices. You got EMP ones, that allow you disable drones and enemy finder explosives that reveal the location so that you can shoot them through walls. There are many other advanced weapons available, but again I won’t spoil them all as otherwise there is no point in playing the game. The part where you learn to use them is fun in itself and probably the best bit of the weapons tutorial.
The campaign part of Advanced Warfare is impressive and built upon the mission style from previous titles in the series. There is the big assault and rescue the VIP missions to name but a few, just designed more for the exosuit. Advanced Warfare is very much like Modern Warfare was; a big, action packed movie with the difference being that you can play it. You got some great chase sequences involving running, jet bikes and a cool looking mini-speedboat. So on the action front, this game really rocks.
The multiplayer mode can be best described as every good part from previous Call of Duty games has been thrown in. You have various modes as well as the classes system. The class is customisable right from the start and is a new twist based on the ‘pick 10’ system first seen in Black Ops 2. You have three extra points that can be used, so making this the ‘pick 13’ system and adds to the mix UAV’s and care packages. The unlocking of weapons and perks are very much different from Ghosts; as now they are achieved at a steady pace and in a certain order.
You have the multiplayer modes that you expect to be there. There is Team Deathmatch, Domination, Kill Confirmed, Hardpoint and Search & Destroy to name a few. There is also a co-op mode called Exo Survival, which puts you and 3 players into a battleground where you must survive waves of attacking enemies. Graphically the game looks absolutely stunning. The details to the characters are just unreal, as is the environment. At certain points in the game you can be forgiven for thinking you are playing a movie and not just a game. Kevin Spacey character looks just like the Hollywood actor himself. Audio is also something that seems to have had a next-gen makeover too. As well as the usual kick-ass score, the gunshots and explosions are the best I have heard.
Call of Duty Advance Warfare is probably the best title in the series since the Call of Duty 2 and 3 and the Modern Warfare games. Unlike last year’s offering, Sledgehammer Games have brought the fun back into the shooter by adding the exo suit and a good single player campaign. After Ghosts I was unsure if I would like a Call of Duty game again, but I can honestly say that I enjoyed Advance Warfare and hope that next year’s offering is as good as this one. Any fans purchasing this won’t be disappointed.