This year’s COD is Exo-llent…
This year’s Call of Duty surprised me, last year I was saying that they needed to mix things up to stop the series from becoming stale, and it seems they’ve actually done something this time. Advanced Warfare still feels like a standard COD game, but now it’s enhanced with the use of the Exo Suit, this year’s new gadget in which you can use abilities like double jump, hovering, shields as well as slowing down time and the introducing of new grenades that show enemy position in a bright red light, as well as Smart Grenades that will fly off towards your target.
The campaign follows the story of Private Jack Mitchell whose arm is lost in a battle, then while attending the now infamous “Press X to pay your respects” funeral is approached by the leader of the world’s largest PMC group “Atlas”, played by a very convincing Kevin Spacey as Jonathan Irons. The plot itself is as you would expect, there’s a few twists you see coming a mile off and it’s full of typical Hollywood cliché moments, but Spacey’s performance as well as his motion capture work is nothing short of breathtaking.
The campaign is 15 missions long and I thoroughly enjoyed it more than the past few campaigns, the Exo Suit really opens up the game and even makes Veteran a lot easier with all the upgrades, there’s also hidden Intel as usual, which gives an insight into Iron’s mind through monologues and a few cutscenes.
Multiplayer contains all the modes you know and love, but they are improved so much with the addition of the suit. But for those who for some reason don’t like using it so much, you’ll be happy to hear that there are classic playlists too. The maps that come with the game are the best I’ve seen in a long time, it’s actually a multiplayer that I can be good at for once. Mostly because even though it plays like COD, it also borrows from the likes of Halo, Crysis and especially Titanfall.
There’s a 4-player survival mode as well, which pits you against waves of AI across a number of maps. You get points from each round, which you can save up and use to upgrade your Exo Suit and your weapons, but some perks wont unlock until a certain round…so you have to decide whether to save the points till then, or spend them on ammo. It’s a nice mode; my highest attempt is Wave 64 and hope to beat that soon.
The guns handle like in any other COD, the only issue I have is with the grenades. You have to hold down the LB/L1 or RB/R1 button to hold the grenade and then you have to tap X/Square to change it to the desired grenade you need, which takes too long…especially when you need to get your EMP ones for drones.
Visually, Advanced Warfare is stunning. It runs smoothly at 60fps with no noticeable drop in framerate, it looks more or less identical across PS4 and Xbox One…which is obviously good news for X1 fans since Ghosts didn’t pan out at the same resolution, the PS4 version runs at 1080p, while the Xbox One version does too…but only for the campaign, the multiplayer drops the resolution to 1360×1080, but it’s not that noticeable and as I said, is a much bigger improvement over Ghosts.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare feels both familiar and fresh at the same time. It has a decent, yet predictable campaign, great acting and superb motion capture from legendary actor Kevin Spacey, as well as both modern and classic multiplayer modes and a 4-player co-op mode. It adds up to one helluva package and one that I hope to see them expand on with the much-rumoured Zombies DLC. Let’s hope it’s soon, but there’s plenty to do till then…