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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Havoc DLC and weapon balance patch released

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The first batch of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC is now live on Xbox platforms and with it comes a brand new update which will hopefully fix a variety of bugs.

The ‘Havoc’ DLC contains four new maps, one new weapon and the highly anticipated exo-zombie survival mode, which looks bloody fantastic. You can grab it right now if it sounds like your sort of thing for £11.59 on its own or £34.99 if you decide to pick up the season pass instead.

If that isn’t enough, Sledgehammer Games’ have just released another game update that comes in at a staggering 1.7GB, it’s given some guns a much needed nerf as well as fixed a variety of other map/spawn/gamemode issues.

Full patch notes below or on the Call of Duty blog.

Xbox 360 Specific:
Challenge Updates:
•Added new Supply Drop Daily Challenges.

Broadcaster UI Updates:
•Addressed rare issue with eSports Broadcaster HUD disappearing.

Ranked Play Updates:
•Addressed issue where Join Session in progress in Ranked Play was still active.
•Addressed issue where players were dropping multiple divisions after a match in Ranked Play.
•Addressed rare issue with wins counting as losses in Ranked Play.

Game Update: Xbox One / Xbox 360

In-Game Updates:
•Adjusted the center point of some sniper scopes.
•Fixed a rare crash issue when switching profiles for guest users.
•Fixed a rare crash issue when using camos on a weapon.
•Fixed the sound of the SAC3 with the Suppressor Attachment to not play in stereo to all players on the map.
•Various matchmaking and connectivity improvements.
•Fixed issue where announcer’s voice ignores the in-game option to disable it.
•Fixed a rare issue when the Riot Shield would not be selected when changing classes.
•Various adjustments to the Riot Shield; including model popping up at random, mantling onto, jumping off from, and interaction with grenades.
•Fixed an exploit of rapidly firing a bolt action gun while sprinting.
•Adjusted the time limit expiration for Red Baron gear after challenge has been completed.

Weapon Balancing Updates (Note: Adjustments affect base weapon and all loot variants):
•HBRa3: max damage range increased
•AE4: reduce recoil, increase number of shots before overheating
•EPM3: reduce recoil
•Tac-19: max damage range increased, reduced spread when using Gung-Ho

Security and Anti-Cheat Updates:
•Added security updates and features.

UI Updates:
•Fixed a rare issue when Supply Drops would not open.
•Adjusted kill feed speed.
•Adjusted UI of Exo Abilities descriptions for better readability.
•Fixed an issue where the default player was not always being displayed properly in the Virtual Lobby.
•Fixed a rare issue where the player is unable to sign into their Call of Duty account if connection is interrupted.

Clan Updates:
•Added confirmation window when kicking a member from a clan.
•Fixed a rare issue where Clan Wars Bonus XP was not being awarded.
•Fixed an issue where clan members could see your presence even if you were set to appear offline.

Store Updates:
•Fixed various issues with players not having access to the AE4 with the Season Pass.
•Fixed an issue where an item was not being marked “Purchased” in the in-game store after installing.
•Improvements to the in-game Store UI and purchasing.
•Game will no longer prompt a player to install Atlas Gorge if they already have it.

Emblem Updates:
•Fixed a rare issue with emblems on a second profile that’s signed in a guest.

Scorestreak Updates:
•Removed skull HUD element from System Hack Scorestreak UI effect.
•Adjusted the score value the System Hack Scorestreak.
•Adjusted the view of the XS1 Vulcan Killcam.
•Fixed a rare occurrence of the Goliath Drop Pod getting stuck after colliding with an air-based Scorestreak.
•Fixed a rare occurrence of the Orbital Care Package getting stuck after colliding with an air-based Scorestreak.
•Fixed a rare issue where a player could become “invisible” when calling in a Scorestreak.
•Fixed a rare issue where a players HUD would become blurry when using a co-op Scorestreak.

Ranked Play Updates:
•Adjusted Ranked Play restrictions to include Exo Stim and Exo Cloak.
•Improvements to party matchmaking.
•Fixed an issue when quitting a match in a promotional game where it wouldn’t update correctly.
•Fixed an issue where there was an excessive penalty if a player quits after playing several rounds in a multi-round match.
•Added Ranked Play Division icons in-game to replace existing rank icons and text in scoreboard.

Game Mode Specific Updates:
•Adjusted various spawning logic for Capture the Flag game mode.
•Adjusted various spawning logic for Momentum game mode.
•Fixed issue where the CTF flag was unresponsive to players that were on top of the flag when it spawned.
•Fixed an issue with the CTF flag not returning if a player was standing on top of the spawn point.
•Addressed rare issue where CTF flag was not being returned immediately.
•Fixed issues with planting the bomb after attempting to swap weapons in Search and Destroy.
•Adjusted dynamic event timing in Search and Destroy & Search and Rescue.
•Adjusted various spawning logic for Uplink game mode.
•Uplink Satellite Drone now freezes when round timer ends.
•Adjusted passing distance for the Uplink Satellite Drone.
•Fixed an issue where going out of bounds on certain areas of the map would cause the Uplink Satellite’s physics to behave strangely upon reset.
•Randomized loadouts to survivors in Infected.

Map Specific Updates:
•Fixed an issue where players were able to exploit certain objects to go Out of Map.
•Fixed various Out of Map exploits across different multiplayer maps.
•Fixed an issue where the Uplink Satellite Drone could get stuck in blue barrier on the Detroit map.
•Adjusted Warbird flight path on Atlas Gorge.

Exo Survival Updates:
•Updated various Exo Survival system mechanics and bugs.
•Fixed a UI issue where the “Reviving” progress bar was not being displayed while under the effects of a “System Hack.”
•Fixed problems caused by the player disconnecting the controller before the class selection menu pops up.
•AI will no longer target a player while in the class selection menu.

Single Player / Campaign Updates:
•Fixed various lighting in the Single Player campaign level, Captured.

 

Advanced Warfare – meet the KillCameraman Randall Higgins

There’s tongue in cheek trailers and then there’s Call of Duty trailers – this time the team at Sledgehammer are dressing up their Havoc DLC announcement trailer with an amusing look at just who is behind the Kill cams of COD.

Randall Higgins is the man, the KillCameraman and he gets himself into some rather amusing situations in order to grab those kill cams. Of course the main attraction is a look at the Havoc DLC – the first DLC pack for Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.

Available to download from January 27, the DLC includes four new maps, bonus weapons and Exo Zombies – the new co-op mode that could almost be a stand alone game.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Banhammer Incoming

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Sledgehammer Games’ co-founder Michael Condrey has taken to the companies official blog to address an ongoing and increasing problem that is affecting Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare community.

Michael Condrey has detailed that players who partake in what is known as ‘reverse boosting’ will soon be clobbered by the mighty metaphorical banhammer.

If you’re not quite sure what reverse boosting is, let me give you a semi-detailed explanation: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare uses a skill based matchmaking system which overall leads to fairer and more equal matches taking place but unfortunately, some players are abusing this system by intentionally killing themselves/feeding the enemy team, forcing their ‘skill rating’ to go down, ruining the experience for everyone.

In other words, if you play like an ass and ruin other players experience, just so you can play against people worse than you, a ban will most likely be heading your way very soon. Always great to see a company continue to support its game and remove toxic players from online play.

 

 

What makes a good “Twist”?

Given the content of this article, it should be clear from the get go that this is going to be a spoiler heavy article. I’ll be sure to mention the name of a particular game IN BOLD before giving away it’s twists to give enough time for you to hit the emergency close button should it need to be utilised.

Everyone loves a good twist right? A turn in the tale that nobody (save a few smart alecs) saw coming. If I were to pose you the question of “what are your favorite gaming moments?” I’m sure that there would be a few good twists in there. The same can be said of TV shows and movies.

Like all good things however, they can turn sour when used too much. Both the first Saw movie and The Sixth Sense had big twist endings that were very popular. So in an attempt to recapture that particular lightning in a bottle, the rest of the Saw series, plus a lot of M. Night Shyamalan’s later movies, followed in suit with big shocking reveals in the final reel. However, they were usually criticised for feeling forced, unnecessary and simply being a twist for the sake of a twist.

This brings up a few questions: What makes a good twist? Are there set rules or parameters to follow?

Lets take a look at one of my favorite twists (from one of my favorite games) of all time as a case study. STAR WARS: KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC. You play as a simple soldier in the republic who eventually becomes a Jedi. Your masters marvel at your skills and you’re set out on a mission to save the galaxy. So far so basic. Just past the halfway point, however, you come face to face with Darth Malak, the enemy of the game, who reveals that you are actually Darth Revan, the evil Sith ruler whom people have been talking about the entire game and was thought to have died years ago but has had their memory wiped and their connection to the force severed.

Knights of the old RepublicA massive twist you didn’t see coming? Sure. However, simply being unexpected isn’t enough to leave a lasting impression. Learning about your past changes the way you look at everything. You can start the game form the beginning and see characters reacting differently and what their hidden agenda could be. I even started behaving differently, why shouldn’t I? I’m not some nameless Jedi anymore still trying to find their way in the galaxy, I’m Motherloving Darth Revan, the Sith Lord who single-handedly brought a galaxy to it’s knees!

There is a slight parallel between KOTOR and THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK in the impact their respective twists have on the story. Upon learning each twist, you almost expect, or at least wouldn’t be surprised if the hero should suddenly decide to turn evil, either to take revenge on the Jedi masters trying to manipulate you or to join your once thought dead Daddy to rule the galaxy together. Hell, an alternate ending to Return of the Jedi was going to have Luke putting on his father’s helmet and assuming the role of Sith Lord. The best of twists aren’t just pieces of information withheld from the audience, they affect perceptions and viewpoints.

Lets move even further from video-games for one moment. Look at GAME OF THRONES. The reasons I love the twists in this series so much is that they almost act like tonal check-points. No matter what happens, no matter what you’re told, you’re always expecting the same thing to happen right? Ned Stark would weed out the corruption, Cersei Lannister would be killed/driven from King’s Landing and the good guys would win. Which of course doesn’t happen. Though even after Ned gets a sudden pain in the neck, you expect the Starks to rise up against the Lannisters and avenge him. Of course they would, that’s essentially what the show is about now, right?….. right?

Time and time again these twists in the tale keep cropping up to remind us that no, this is not how the world of Westoros works. Simply being good isn’t a protector from evil. It forces you to view the show and it’s characters differently and realise that the unwritten rules you were previously following don’t apply here.

My point is that the twist has to be more than a nice decoration to hang on the wall, it fundamentally changes your viewpoint, maybe even your character. Going back to KOTOR, I had one friend who choose the light side, then changed their mind after realising they were already a Sith Lord. Even I, goody two-shoes whom I always play as, found myself yelling “I’m Darth Revan, watch your tongue or I’ll pull it out” at stupid Sith disciples trying to hassle me on Korriban.

Conversely, I’m always a little surprised when people talk about how great the twists in BIOSHOCK INFINITE, and to a lesser extent, BIOSHOCK are. I simply don’t understand the realisation that Elizabeth is your daughter and you also being Comstock are such shocks to the system. Unexpected, sure, though I just found myself shrugging, saying “Oh, OK sure”. I would actually argue that having Booker find out about Comstock earlier may have actually added more weight to the story and give Comstock some necessary presence, as he mostly comes off as just another bad-guy. No need for hype and drama, Booker could have just been informed of it earlier.Comstock_Statue

Bringing it up as a huge twist at the end simply didn’t accomplish as much. What does it add to the narrative? What does it change? For me it only brought up questions; why doesn’t Booker remember having a daughter? Wouldn’t seeing a girl with half a pinky missing be an obvious clue? While I’m sure that some flowchart, audio log or a convenient case of memory loss easily explains away a lot of the plot holes, that just feels more like a plaster added to remedy the problem later.

Woops, this is starting to sound more like a rant on Bioshock, wasn’t intentional I swear! The point I was trying to make is that the twists in Bioshock Infinite don’t really seem to change anything. At the end of the day, they don’t matter. Like in THE VILLAGE when it turns out that they are living in the present day as opposed to 200 years ago, who cares? Even in Bioshock, does realising that you’re Andrew Ryan’s son really matter? Sure, learning about Atlas’ deception is interesting, although I’d like to bring up a side note at this point; “hypnosis” in and of itself is not a twist, it’s a cheap device. This was also an issue I had with the ending of OLDBOY, whenever they need something explained, they wave it away with hypnosis.

Playing Bioshock a second time and hearing “Would you kindly” is certainly quite fun and the way it interacts with the level design is well done as you literally have no choice in the matter, but at the end of the day, it’s still hypnosis and as such is quite cheap.

It may be strange to call out convenient memory loss and hypnosis when just a few paragraphs ago I held up KOTOR’s twist as a prime example of a twist which essentially consists of both these things, which I suppose is a fair point. I was all set to write an arbitrary list of rules that twists must follow, but I suppose the most important rule has already been stated; for a twist to be effective, it must change our view of the characters, the world, the setting or all of the above. Otherwise, you’re just telling us stuff we didn’t know.

Look, I get it, twists are fun. They get us talking and they leave a lasting impression, but it’s hard not to feel that after a while it has almost becomes a money grubbing, bean counting tactic to gain publicity. CALL OF DUTY 4: MODERN WARFARE had a jaw droppingTeamplayer_shepherd_magnum twist in it’s nuke scene and the reaction was so positive that for it’s sequel CALL OF DUTY: MODERN WARFARE 2, they had even more, bigger twists, even when they made no sense in terms of story or design. Sure, wait until after an intense battle sequence before having the General suddenly show his true colors and murder you after AN HOUR OF PLAYING THE SAME SEQUENCE OVER AND OVER AGAIN I HATE THIS LEVEL!

Ahem, sorry. To conclude, a ground shaking twist is not a means to an end. Like everything else in your arsenal, it’s a tool. A tool to be used, or not, to the best of your abilities, to best tell your story, whatever it may be. Oh, and by the way, Rosebud was his sled.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Exo Zombies Teaser Trailer

Untrained and unprepared, four Atlas employees must survive a horror unlike any other. John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan, and Jon Bernthal star in Exo Zombies, coming to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare DLC in 2015.

The first chapter of Exo Zombies is included with the Havoc DLC pack or as part of the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Season Pass. Get the Season Pass for access to four exciting DLC packs at one great price, each delivering a collection of new, thrilling multiplayer content, bonus weapons, and more.

Zombies have long been a popular part of the Call of Duty franchise since Treyarch introduced the survival based mode in Call of Duty: World at War, way back in 2008. Now almost six and a half years later the Zombies get all mod-cons and futuristic…

…some may say DEADLY!

Create some Havoc with Call of Duty’s Early weapon DLC

Buy the Season Pass. Get instant access to the DLC 1 bonus weapon – AE4 Directed Energy Assault Rifle and custom weapon variant – AE4  Widowmaker Directed Energy Assault Rifle. At least that’s what the Havoc DLC Early Weapon Access Trailer tells us… take a look below then lock and load for some pew pew laser action in Call of Duty Advanced Warfare.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Call of Duty Advanced Warfare gets a huge update

Would you believe it’s been a month since Call of Duty Advanced Warfare launched? Doesn’t time fly when you’re shooting your buddies online! Sledgehammer have been pretty active in addressing issues and bugs as quickly as they are discovered – now they are preparing to drop the biggest patch to date in Advanced Warfare’s short life.

The patch addresses weapon balancing, emblem problems, improvements to lobbies, exploits, spawn problems, connection issues and tweaks to Sledgehammer’s anti-cheat system – this is just the quick run down of the patch notes, for a more concise list of the improvements and fixes coming to Call of Duty Advanced Warfare this week be sure to swing by the community page on callofduty.com.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Biggest Entertainment Launch of the Year

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Activision have announced that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the biggest entertainment launch of the year, beating not only all other video games, but also the biggest movies, music and books launched in 2014. This is a familiar story as has happened in the past with other previously highly anticipated editions of Call of Duty.

“Since Activision created the Call of Duty franchise in 2003, franchise revenues have exceeded $10 billion in sales worldwide, far exceeding box office receipts for such household movie franchises as Hunger Games, Transformers, Iron Man and Avengers, combined,” said Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard. “Advanced Warfare is the biggest entertainment launch of 2014 in terms of revenue, surpassing all movie, music and book launches this year.”

“We poured our hearts into making Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare an epic ride and we are pleased with the performance,” said Eric Hirshberg, CEO, Activision Publishing, Inc. “Sales and engagement are up through the first week compared to last year. Season Pass sales are up, as well. The game has been very positively reviewed and the response from fans has been tremendous. We believe Advanced Warfare will be the most successful game of the year and we thank our fans for making it the biggest entertainment launch of the year.”

Activision also confirmed that Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the highest-selling digital launch in console history according to Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and internal Activision estimates.

Engagement for Sledgehammer Games’ newest entry to the franchise is based on statistics from the first week after launch according to internal estimates, with gamers playing more than 370 million online matches in its first week of release and levelling up over 200 million times in Advanced Warfare online multiplayer mode.

Whilst specific sales information was not provided for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, we’re sure it sold shit-loads and no doubt Activision will reveal the millions in due course.