When Call of Duty Advanced Warfare first hit my hands, I was afraid of playing the campaign. Not to knock Ghosts, but the experience was rather bland and overall felt like a waste of time when I could have been online. Yet Advanced Warfare needed an update, so I jumped right into the single players, and boy I was happy I did that.
The game wastes absolutely no time throwing everything it has right into your face. The story is really fast paced (and yet keeps a decent length) to keep things movie, keeps the heart beating, and even intertwined real emotion into the story. This is Call of Duty, we haven’t had a story like this since probably Modern Warfare 2!
The opening sequences alone shove so many insane ideas into your face that you know it is truly a science fiction adventure. Personally I was a huge fan of Black Ops 2 for this very reason, and Advanced Warfare takes everything Black Ops 2 did and expands on it. Things are bigger, finite details fill in gaps, and everything you come across has some creative twist to it. This world is lively with insane tech ideas and it’s brilliant watching it all come together!
What I love about the single player so far is that it’s actually fun to play. A lot of Call of Duty titles get stuck in the typical ambush scenario and playing on Veteran leads to constant grenade dodging. So far in the campaign I’ve had more fun, and I’ve been finding new ways to play, especially so when you include the exoskeleton. That being said, I’m only midway through the story, so I want to play a little more before bringing down the final judgment on overall gameplay and story.
What we will do is jump right into the coolest new perk of Advanced Warfare, the exoskeleton. I’ll admit when I saw this I wasn’t too thrilled. Jumping around and other odd perks, why did it become so arcadish? And yet here I am absolutely loving it! The added benefit doesn’t really push things over the top like other games, and instead just simply adds a new fluent style to shooters. Things move more swiftly, faster, and you can get to new places in a more organic way. To me the simple inclusion of the exosuit and how it was utilized in the game has changed shooters in many ways. Combined with Destiny, I simply now expect a boost into the air when I jump, it’s a strange feeling.
With the new abilities, the team at Sledgehammer had a new problem. They needed to design levels, online and offline, that better suited this gameplay. They have done that nearly perfectly. Everything has multiple levels, everything has ledges or windows to jump into, and you are on a constant move of dodging and jumping. When jumping if you barely make it to a ledge, your character will still reach out and climb over it rather swiftly. This little perk is so very important to make this gameplay fun.
Online feels like a whole new monster. Is it such a dramatic change that the small crew “hating” Call of Duty will change their minds? Probably not, but any person that may have left during Ghosts will gladly come back to the series, that’s for sure!
Much like single player your exoskeleton has a ton of perks added in, and if anything it has a slight learning curve thrown at it. You can now jump super high in the air, you can jump through windows, etc… You don’t simply run and gun anymore, and climbing a ladder feels slow. This adds a whole new dynamic to every map because you are not safe anywhere. You could try camping a corner, but the guy could just leap into the air over your head, or dash past you very easily. Instead you are on the move, constantly alert, constantly afraid someone may drop down around you. As a play it takes some time getting used to as well. You can quick dash, jump and dash, and have a few simple perks to make the game more dynamic. At first you may be slower with it, but give it an hour or two and you will move fluently from building to building.
Online also has a cool change to loadouts. It is still pretty basic to the same thing, but perks and killstreaks have custom slots now. You can have two perks under the same category for example. With killstreaks a lot of the similar streaks are listed under one group, and you can raise or lower your goal by adding new perks to it. For example a standard UAV will be 350 points, but if you want to add things like disabling the enemy systems or faster tracking you can move the point total up to 400 or 450 etc… Then once you reach that goal, all those perks along with the streak will happen.
My biggest complaint online is that while Slegehammer fixed a lot of the issues I had with Modern Warfare 3, they left in the one major problem I had. There is almost always someone behind you! I don’t know if it’s spawning or the map design, but you always get shot in the back. I’ve made it through several instance where I’ve taken out whole teams because I was alert to my surroundings, but they just kept coming until I died. The gameplay is super fun, but when you die 3 or 4 times in a row because people keep getting behind you, it can get frustrating. Combine that with the slight lag some players get at times and you will get a little frustrated.
Yet the online is just as addicting as ever with the new added perks. It is super fun leaping over walls and over players heads. Or quick dodging out of danger. The maps are beautiful to look at and have all kinds of neat perks for players to enjoy. The game doesn’t feel as dull as Ghosts did.
Overall I do want to give the game a little more time, especially with single player, before I give a final say on it. I will say that so far the online is fun as heck and is totally worth it alone. The single player has impressed me, and that’s not common for COD. Another thing that isn’t common with COD? It’s actually worth noting the visuals in Advanced Warfare, it looks beautiful scenery wise. I will just say if you enjoyed MW2 or Black Ops 2, this game is totally for you!