Activision’s behemoth first-person-shooter, Call of Duty – has taken a huge leap forward marking another change of direction for the title since Ghost’s launched with the Xbox One last year. In what started as a World War II game fast evolved in a Modern Warfare, which then led to a Black Ops operation and a covert Ghost’s mission. Now four changes later and perhaps a more natural progression from Modern Warfare is Sledgehammer Games first solo entry into the franchise with Advanced Warfare. Despite talks of a potential Modern Warfare 4, in the very early stages of Sledgehammer Games direction, Glen Schofield, (general manager and co-founder of Sledgehammer Games) confirmed to thisisxbox at Eurogamer ’14 that a more future technology driven adventure was always on the cards and the way forward following their joint effort with Infinity Ward on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. We previously had hands-on multiplayer sessions with Advanced Warfare at both Gamescom and Eurogamer this year and rate the title as the best Call of Duty in years!
It’s been no secret that thisisxbox rated the previous two Call of Duty titles in the franchise less favourable than we had hoped for, but Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare brings the franchise to life again with an action packed story driven adventure true to the Call of Duty roots with over the top plot lines and building crashes a plenty. It’s certainly no walk in the park and leaves enough surprises to raise a few eyebrows all in glorious next-gen visual quality. By that we mean a million miles apart from what Infinity Ward deemed next-gen with Ghosts, because Advanced Warfare looks and plays as you would expect a true next-gen title to gleam and shine from start to finish. All before we even get to the improved Multiplayer a little later on!
The best I can say about Advanced Warfare in terms of the campaign mode is that it really follows in the tradition of the Call of Duty greats; Modern Warfare 4 had following tanks and Ghillies in the Mist, Black Ops had all the psychological mind games and following the tank – and you guessed it, Advanced Warfare also has following a tank, shooting enemies in oncoming vehicles and a whole load of past campaign traits in a new futuristic skin. I’m not really implying that the game is a copy and paste job of all the best bits from years of Call of Duty, because it is an entirely new story centered on a whole new form of military never before experienced in any Call of Duty title. The direction of the game is more corporate setting and a war with money and power at the forefront, but everything a hardcore Call of Duty player from its very early days would definitely appreciate the return of an action, all guns blazing, storm the streets game as with Advanced Warfare where the fate of the world is on your shoulders. The first Call of Duty title to feature a main characters journey from start to end, the campaign is nothing less than epic!
Combined with both the campaign and multiplayer element is the exo-skeleton abilities; a mechanical outer body skeleton suit that delivers a host of benefits to its users. From cloaking, double-jumping, shielding, to powering up, speed running and more, the exo-skeleton is another massive leap for Call of Duty in that it now brings the game right up to date with popular uses that feature in other games. Albeit in a different form, but double jumping, cloaking and shields have long been in many past-gen titles like Halo, and already a familiar trait with Titanfall on all platforms. It’s a real positive enhancement and aids with gameplay to bring Call of Duty once more at the forefront of first-person-shooting by evolving with the gaming trends.
Multiplayer must now be the single most important aspect of Call of Duty having (what is assumed) the largest first person shooting fan base in the world with over 125 Million players across the globe! That is an almighty number of people to please, and Sledgehammer Games have done a grand job at delivering a spectacular Multiplayer to match the campaign. With thirteen multiplayer maps available before DLC packs start dropping down in 2015, the theme is very futuristic with Bio Labs, high rise parks, drone facilities, prisons and the roof tops of Greece all just some of the highly detailed maps to shake your guns at! Familiar Call of Duty playground territory is still rife with Free-for-All, Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy, Domination and Kill Confirmed as some of the popular modes from past titles make their return. New modes such as Uplink and Momentum are modernised favourites of Capture the Flag, and the old WAR mode respectively. In Uplink the aim is to carry a centralised Satellite Drone to your own teams Uplink (think basketball) and in Momentum, if you can remember WAR from Call of Duty 3, and World at War – it’s now been revived for Advanced Warfare. Momentum is a fast paced game of Capture the Flag with enemy killing sprees gaining momentum points that result in faster flag captures! If you’re not all that familiar with the game type it could easily be compared to Domination, but only one flag at a time can be captured.
Whilst it has been more than ten years since Call of Duty gamer’s battled it out online with the original Xbox console, the game needs no introduction in how to play online as the world over must be aware by now of running around a map with a weapon of choice and gaining the most kills or points. The basis of Advanced Warfare multiplayer is exactly the same as Call of Duty from its early days, but the customisation choices that can be made is welcomed step into the future. Create a Class from Black Ops (remember the Pick 10?) is back with a Pick 13 options from Primary Weapons, Secondary Weapons, their Attachments, Three Perks, Wild Cards, Score Streaks and Exo Abilities. As the Exo Skeleton Suit makes its entry into Call of Duty, so does a varied range of abilities that can be applied to your online multiplayer experience such as Shields, Cloaking, Health Stimulation, Hovering and Speed Boosting which might already be familiar from the campaign gameplay. The Exo Launcher improvements are modernised grenades and feature Frag, Stun, Semtex, EMP, Smoke and dangerously deceptive drones!
As Sledgehammer Games first original Call of Duty title, it is a complete world away from our first Call of Duty next-gen outing in Call of Duty: Ghosts in the absolute most positive way imaginable with true next-gen visuals. The whole Multiplayer experience of Advanced Warfare is every bit an enhancement, or so it feels like from Modern Warfare 3 and the game is likely to appeal more to the fans who appreciated the thrills and action of Modern Warfare games in comparison to the more suspenseful Black Ops titles.
Here’s to the future for Advanced Warfare and let’s hope a sequel doesn’t tarnish the brilliance now set in stone.
[rprogress value=90 text=”ThisisXbox Score 90%”]
[xyz-ihs snippet=”XboxOne”][xyz-ihs snippet=”Pegi18″]