Going in to a game with little to no expectations is one of the best things you can do. It’s hard to do that with Call of Duty games, as they are constantly hyped or constantly bashed. There seems to be no middle ground and it’s a shame. As the new Advanced Warfare isn’t the best Call of Duty to ever come out, but it’s far from the worst as well. It manages to change up the combat just enough to make it feel somewhat unfamiliar. This may be because I have not played a Call of Duty intensely since Modern Warfare 2, but this version has managed to push it to a new level. While it’s not a perfect game, it definitely should reel in some of the older crowd back in for a bit.
We won’t be going over the Single-player here as it will have it’s own standalone review. This one is all about the online mode! It’s online does just enough to make people return. The jet packs and your Exo’s abilities do enough to change up the way you play. The cloak is one that really does it, a sit allows you to be virtually invisible for a short duration, but if your enemies get up close they will more than likely see you. The exos somewhat act like a perk, but asides from that there really aren’t many perks to be had.
What does remain rather impressive is that in all the years, in all of the installments, the kill cam has always remained inaccurate. It’s rather impressive as it almost is never accurate in the kills. What’s new to this installment as well is another annoyance, the melee inaccuracy. I can’t tell you how many time sit has not worked for me. I have stood directly over someone as they lay motionless, attempted to melee them, and nothing. Making it somewhat as inaccurate as the kill cams, it’s an impressive addition to the game though.
The biggest issue aside from that is that the maps have returned to almost the same size as Modern Warfare 3. Which I hated, but the maps a lot better done here. There are more ways to go, more ways to jump, and more places to get shot in the back from. It’s not as terrible a sit would be in a normal Call of Duty, but I still think bigger maps would have made the game a lot better. I admittedly get angry at this game 90% of the time, as my guns never seem to work and said anger is also aided by the inaccurate kill cams. That needs to be the next thing addressed really, as I believe 8 games have had kill cams and they are still annoyingly inaccurate. The maps though are very different from previous installments because they don’t feel the need to be big with the movement being so different. You can traverse a lot differently this time around and it’s rather exciting.
While some people may call it a Titanfall rip off, it doesn’t come off that way to me. As the Goliath is significantly different than an actual Titan and it feels that way. It feels much more vulnerable in that sense as well. The biggest issue might not be that it’s a rehash, it’s a clone, or any of that. The biggest issue is that the game suffers from a seriously lack of options when it comes to online. The game does have a good amount of customization options for your soldier. It’s not anything to rival RPGs, but it feels like more than in any of the previous installments. With a good amount of preset characters to choose from you also unlock articles of clothing as well. You can make your character look somewhat unique and that somewhat surprises me. Luckily for us, the emblem system is back as well. I have yet to see a penis or a swastika, so that’s a victory… but I am sure I will come across one here soon.
The online does just enough to pull players back in. It’s new traversal system has done this outdated and rehashed franchise a real service as older players will find out. You somewhat have to actually learn how to play the game all over again as things really have shifted the play in to a different direction. Is it the best Call of Duty ever made? No,I feel like Call of Duty 4 was and still is the best. The biggest issues with this one though are the map sizes, the inaccurate melee and kill cams, the lack of perks, and the lack of dedicated servers. These are all problems that have persisted in the franchise for a while and they really need to end. While Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare isn’t the best FPS or Call of Duty, it’s definitely more than I expected.
The most unfortunate thing for users is the season pass has returned to the ridiculous price, $50. Even Activision doesn’t take it seriously as it is advertised as “4 DLC Packs 1 Great Price*” which to me indicates that they do not believe it’s a great price, because it isn’t. Just like in previous games, there are overpowered guns as well, this was expected.It doesn’t seem quite fair that zombie players will have to purchase the $50 season pass just to get more of a taste. It’s also somewhat unfair to only include 13 compact maps and then charge $15 for packs of 4.
Additional Review Notes:
Jon Ireson, Editor-In-Chief discusses the campaign portion of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare:
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s campaign mode attempts to put the powerful emotion and cinematic intensity of Hollywood Action films back into the COD franchise, and to its credit nearly succeeds entirely. Acting is good at the start but then Kevin Spacey’s character begins to feel at times like he’s over-reacting which feels fake. This is because, without giving away any major spoilers, the plot twists way too soon. The game starts out with a relate-able Kevin Spacey that players can almost understand the genius of before fearing his army Atlas’ horrifying destruction. We don’t get to hear that side of his character out long enough though to really seal the bond to this story mode, which in its own right is full of spectacular moments that make you feel fully alive and as if you’re an awesome hero in a real-world setting busting caps in fools for the greater good. Once Spacey’s character goes over the edge though, it doesn’t feel the same. He seems like a raving lunatic and it leaves you feeling much more disconnected from the game since it no longer feels like a real-world setting.
As far as gameplay goes, things are vastly improved over old campaigns. The aspect of ranking up in a story campaign are finally realized in Advanced Warfare. The game has changed, and changed enough to where it actually matters. Exo Suits come with abilities as Chris has described above and in the campaign they are given a piece at a time based on your performance as well as the mission at hand. Watching which parts of the suit are live by a diagram of your spine flashing before a mission helps add to the immersion a bit and is a nice touch for campaign mode as well. Musically and visually the game’s campaign flows with its gameplay properly. Sledgehammer Games might have had a hard time proving themselves to me, but this campaign was worth giving them a chance. It’s awesome.
Lots of vehicle driving, unexpected moments, Michael Bay level explosions and rapid moment-to-moment happenings, and did we mention 60 frames? Yeah, that’s a thing you might want to know about. It’s still 60 frames per second, thank god. Veteran mode is a bit too easy, making me feel like more of a challenge should have been offered off the bat. Graphically everything looks excellent on the Xbox ONE, especially when we consider this is a new game engine based on the foundation of old COD engines. Old COD engines of course, have been heavily modified versions of Quake and id engines from the golden days of shooter gaming.
Sledgehammer Games really went all out with improving the code though. This game’s animation and rendering system are solid and as next-gen as it gets. After seeing the launch of Call of Duty Ghosts and reviewing the game at a 6 it’s easy to see that Advanced Warfare is a much higher quality game in terms of Co-Op, Multiplayer, and Campaign modes.
Exo Challenges in Campaign as I mentioned above add a great deal of engagement to the player in addition to the rich storytelling found in Advanced Warfare. For those that are reading this and know nothing of the plot, players are inducted into a private military corporation / army called Atlas and given a cybernetic second chance at the soldier’s life. The chance of a lifetime if you ask me…
Parting notes before I let Chris come in with his Final Verdict on Advanced Warfare; there’s a very good variety of enemy behavior in this game when compared to past COD’s. This is easily the best COD campaign we’ve seen in recent years. Shootouts while mid-freeway and incredibly action-packed moments help prove that this game stays true to its classic arcade style shooter roots and core. The cinematic quality of Advanced Warfare successfully keeps Activision up to date with other major AAA publishers putting out more emotional and film-like content such as Sony. The trend for a more emotionally rich game industry focusing on video games as an art medium doesn’t have to come at the cost of awesome action, fun gameplay, and replay value. Thanks Sledgehammer and Acti for showing us that.
I think this is only half of a revitalization of the series, it is fun and can stand on its own two feet, but the pre-existing issues are what continue to hold back the series. Whether this be the fake promise of dedicated servers, small maps, overpowered guns, or a rip off for a Season Pass, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare isn’t a bad game, but feels like it needs more value to it.
Overall Score: 7.5 / 10
RGN Rating: Bronze Game
Developers: Sledgehammer Games
Available Now On: XO | PS4 | 360 | PS3 | PC
Played On: Microsoft Xbox ONE
Review copy info: Two physical copies of the game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20141112 and was last modified on 20141112 .