Friday, 24 April 2015

Advanced Kevin Spaceyfare

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Platform tested: PlayStation 4

I'd forgive you if you have lost track of which Call of Duty was the last in the series. So a deep breath then for the mainline Call of Duty series;

Call of Duty (World War 2 setting, a strong alternative and competitor to the Medal of Honour series),
Call of Duty 2 (WW2 again, famous for it's debut on Xbox 360),
Call of Duty 3 (WW2 once again, you bored yet?!),
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (starts the huge trend of modern war setting, multiplayer levelling for shooters),
Call of Duty: World at War (WW2 is back...zzz...AGAIN! Violent, gritty and kind of great),
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (modern warfare is not forgotten! Multiplayer goes bananas, and spoils the formula from CoD4 for me),
Call of Duty: Black Ops (cold war, Viet-fucking 'Nam and a tiny bit of WW2! Incredible mutiplayer, rectifying all the problems with MW2),
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 (modern war'ing is back for some more! You basicially destroy all of Europe in this one),
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (cold war 80's and futuristic war setting!),
Call of Duty: Ghosts (current gen d├ębut and sort of modern war setting in the ever-so-slight-future) and now, BAM(!):
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare (futuristic setting again, because flying cars are cool).

Out of breath? You should be. This is the first game in the long shooter series that's made by Activison's Sledgehammer games. It has a future setting. It has mechssuits. It has guns you have never heard of. Technology you have never seen. And Kevin Spacey. Kevin fucking Spacey.

You may be thinking: the guy writing this clearly doesn't like this game. Well, you'd be right before I played it, and you'd be wrong after I finally did! You see, I actually liked the previous game, CoD Ghosts. I liked the setting, the graphical upgrade on my new PS4 and I felt it was fairly varied. I just didn't get the hate. Sure it did nothing new, but I felt that way about all the CoD games since Black Ops 1 mixed it up a little! So when Advanced Warfare emerged I was struck with awe when everybody started praising it. The same people that hated Ghosts. I just didn't understand why, for me it was just the another CoD game. Luckily when I dig into AW, it actually renews itself enough to feel fresh. Fairly fresh that is.

AW feels more current gen than before, the graphics have had a big bump, especially when it comes to character faces, details in the environments and lighting. All while retaining the famous smooth 60fps. AW dares to go an extra few yards by slightly opening up the levels too, though it still feels familiarly like a corridor shooter. It really is a game that could have dared to put a few free roaming levels into the mix, but hey, it's a small step in the right direction.

The game is about a huge company industrializing war and giving the player a second chance after being wounded in a war against North Korea in the opening level. What you get from the company, Atlas, run by Kevin Spacey (who looks just like the real actor, but slightly faring into uncanny valley) is a mechsuit. This suit lets you have abilities that go far beyond human nature. You can slow everything down in typical Matrix fashion, jump from huge heights, lift incredibly heavy things, climb metal surface etc. The game even gives you points to upgrade the suit after each mission, based on kills, headshots, grenade kills and intel items you have found. It's nice to see these new ideas and I always enjoy being able to upgrade my character.

I would have maybe enjoyed the game even more if it actually let me choose the types of mechsuits I wanted for each mission and thus letting me find a route trough a map that suited this particular suits fighting style. But I guess we'll have to wait before they make such drastic changes to the formula and it then needs to be more open it's level design. Luckily though, each mission varies a lot in both visual environments as well as tasks you must perform. I would have personally enjoyed a few mission playing all on my own without the far too chatty soldiers fighting by my side, but the mission variety is, as usual in a CoD game, very good.

I've also played the multiplayer to a smal degree, though no extensive testing at all. I would say it's definitely one of the more difficult CoD games to compete with online. Well trained players and CoD veterans take benefit of the mechsuits and keep jumping around and attacking you from every possible location. Beginners to genre or series may want to try another game before this one, as it' easier to play without the danger of enemies jumping in from anywhere above and benefiting from the more "super natural" powers this game gives the players.

With such a huge list of games released in the series, it's getting more and more difficult to recommend one Call of Duty game over the other. It definitely is a game to buy for this generation and not the downgraded last-gen one, I've hear they're downgraded quite aggressively. So for current gen owners it's probably the best CoD for either your PS4 or Xbox One. If you want a cheaper alternative, and more "down to earth" setting. Then last years CoD Ghosts still is good game to play in my humble opinion.

All in all AW, and similar to the rest of the CoD series, is a safe bet for a fun playthrough in singleplayer with precise and fast controls and gameplay that has withstood the test of time. There's also a ton of hours to be spent in multiplayer if that's your thing. It's a safe buy, that perhaps feels a little too familiar for each year passing.



+ Plus points

  • Offers, somewhat, new ideas for the franchise.
  • Graphically built for the new generation, looks sharp.
  • Sound seems is more detailed and beefed up.

- Minus points

  • Still rather restricted A to B corridor type levels.
  • Very scripted.
  • Mech suits are mandatory chosen for you.

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