I don’t like Call of Duty. For years I’ve watched the annual iterations come and go, occasionally dipping my toe in but ultimately not being able to really get into it.
Earlier this week however a surprise copy of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare arrived, it was surprising because I was not expecting a copy and because when I started it up I couldn’t believe how good it was!
1. The storytelling
Shooters have a horrible history for their ability to tell engaging stories to the player. Other the the Bioshock series (the original and Infinite in any case) I cannot think of a shooter that I have been keen to play through the campaign of.
Advanced Warfare though is incredibly engaging and I’m finding it surprisingly difficult to put down. At the end of every mission I keep considering turning it off to have a break but once the cutscene starts I need to know the next plot twist, as I watch it I feel the need to see the next level and to experience what the gameplay will be like this time.
2 Varied gameplay that works
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare starts every level with a quick glance at that mission’s Exo suit. Depending on the style of mission that exo suit is different and dramatically effects how you play. Every level that I’ve played so far has been very different in feel and most have included to really exceptional moments of high action that are fantastic fun to fight through. From fighting on the roofs of spending cars, racing through flooded streets on hover bikes and attacking Camp David to rescue a besieged President they never let up.
3 The actors
This is very closely tided to reason 1 but the acting throughout is top notch. Unsurprisingly Kevin Spacey is incredible to interact with. As a Game of Cards fan I’ve missed him scheming and manipulating people so it was great to play a game where you get to see him at work.
Troy Baker is, as always, incredible with his voice work and matches up against Spacey confidently and convincingly.
The graphics are also worth noting here as the likeness of look and movements of characters (particularly Kevin Spacey) is unbelievable.
Taking a leaf out of Titanfall’s book (still the greatest shooter to control) Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare gives you a powerful exo-suit to wear in the single and multiplayer aspects of the game that allow for some really interesting methods of attacking situations.
Most suits allow for a powerful double jump, this makes a particular impact in competitive multiplayer as it finally allows Call of Duty to properly have vertical maps.
Some suits allow you to climb up walls, create portable shields, slow down time… The variety is really impressive and makes playing again and again far more interesting than it has before.
5. The multiplayer
Call of Duty’s multiplayer is always THE reason most people pick it up and this year I can really appreciate why. The player customisation has always been an important aspect of the game and the exo suits really make this year’s customisation options stand out.
Being able to not just change the loadout of your gun and perks but also change how the game plays for you makes the game seem more like a role based shooter than it has been able to before.
Both the competitive and cooperative game modes are really well serviced by the new customisation options and the system in place to reward you for playing is a sharp as ever. Always rewarding you for playing with some interesting new update that makes you keen to jump straight back in a try it out.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare had not appeared to be a game that I would of been interested in playing but this year’s changes, though minor at first look, combine to produce a really, really impressive game that looks as though it will keep me coming back for more for quite some time.