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A Step in the Right Direction

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    Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

    Rating: 4.0 – Great

    A Step in the Right Direction

    Intro: Call of Duty is one of the most renowned first person shooters in the video game industry. The game is most famous for it’s on-line PVP, which features a plethora of competitive and cooperative game modes. Every year, a new Call of Duty is released with relatively few adjustments to the formula. Advanced Warfare represents a changing tide in the formula of Call of Duty with the addition of the Exo Suit and the new features it offers.

    Story: Call of Duty has never really been well known for the single-player campaign. That does not mean, however, that it should be skipped entirely. Compared to previous Call of Duty games, Advanced Warfare offers a slightly deeper plot and more diverse missions. A character upgrade system has also been implemented, which allows you to enhance your game-play further. To unlock upgrades, you must complete Exo challenges, which are miscellaneous tasks like achieving a certain number of kills or finding intelligence.

    Should you not have an interest in playing the campaign for the story, the single- player mode also offers a chance to test many of the new Exo Abilities that are usable in PVP. A completely new selection of weapons is also available, which veteran players should definitely test before using them on-line.

    Other aspects of the campaign remained unchanged. Similar to previous Call of Duty games, the player spends most of the missions following a partner who constantly gives you orders that you must follow in order to progress through the mission. Some people may find this concept of constantly moving from point A to point B to be stale, but the constant action that the game throws at the player ensures that the campaign never gets boring. Lengthwise, the campaign offers roughly the same 4-6 hour length that most Call of Duty games have, but perhaps a bit longer.

    Exo survival takes the place of Zombies this time around. Players must defend themselves against waves of enemy soldiers and purchase upgrades for their Exo suits and weapons in order to stand a chance against the endless hordes. It has been leaked that a Zombies game mode will be offered as a DLC in the future, however. Sadly, the Exo survival mainly seems like a shallow excuse to fix more content into the game.

    While the story falls short in depth, the action packed missions make up for it with pure enjoyment. Every level features unique scenes and mechanics that place the player behind the wheel of some vehicle. A variety of mission locations and styles has also been incorporated. I believe that everyone who picks up the game, even if they are only playing for the on-line PVP, should give it a try.
    Overall Rating: 7.5/10

    Game-play: Advanced Warfare offers crisp game-play very similar to the past Call of Duty games. The biggest change to the game-play is the addition of the Exo Suit, which greatly increases player mobility while offering unique abilities, such as a portable shield for heavy action sequences and the ability to slow down time temporarily. The suit also allows the player to perform boost jumps and directional boosts for dodging around corners and cover. This creates fast-paced game-play sequences that are unlike any other games in the franchise. Many of the other game-play mechanics remain the same. Veteran players and new players alike should find that the game is very easy to pick up and play.
    Overall Rating: 10/10

    Graphics/Sound: I was blown away by the graphics of Advanced Warfare when I first loaded up the campaign. Call of Duty has always been admired for its visual effects, but Advanced Warfare takes it to the next level, especially on the next-gen consoles. The cut scenes look even better, with extremely detailed depictions of characters. All aspects of the environment have been polished so that nothing looks sloppy.

    The sound, however, is nothing really special. The soundtrack never really stands out, and remains largely bland. A common complaint amongst PVP veterans is the absence of enemy footstep sounds during on-line play, as well as the absence of sounds made by enemy Exo suits. It is currently unclear whether this will be adjusted in the future.
    Overall Rating: 9/10

    On-line PVP: Since this is the bread and butter of the Call of Duty franchise, I wanted to include a short section of PVP. The Exo suits adds a whole new level of style to on-line play. The Exo suit greatly increases player mobility, allowing you to boost around the map at fast speeds. Be warned, however, this pings your location of the mini map. Thus the boosting does not unbalance the game.

    The Pick 13 style of class building returns, and a large arsenal of weapons is available. Wild-cards, perks, and attachment choices have not changed much. A few new perks and attachments have been added, but nothing special. The multiple character system of ghosts and the squad point feature has been abolished, and items are unlocked when the player reaches a particular level.

    Many of the maps are clearly built around Exo suit movement. Lots of high ground has been included for players who use their boost jump liberally to take their battles to higher levels, while cramped interior spaces are located on the ground for players who don’t use their boost abilities as much. Players should be careful, as this means that you can get ambushed from literally any angle now. Overall, PVP is still a fun experience.
    Overall Rating: 8.5/10

    Replay Value: The campaign has almost no replay value unless you are an achievement hunter that missed something. All of the replay value is located on-line, especially for those who aspire to reach max prestige, which entails reaching the maximum player level several times. Eventually, the maps become boring, which is where DLC comes in. Players who are not serious about their on-line records probably will become bored with the game quickly.
    Overall Rating: 6/10

    Final Recommendation: Both new and returning players alike will find enjoyment in Advanced Warfare. The Exo suit offers a new twist to the classic game-play mechanics while still maintaining the balance that is important to many on-line players. I would not necessarily recommend buying the game if you are not a fan of on-line play, but otherwise it is an excellent addition to the franchise.

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