Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Single Player

Nov 13, 2014 // 4 minutes

I like to think of the Call of Shooty Shoots games as being like B movies. They’re not very good but they’re just usually ridiculously silly to the point of being somewhat enjoyable. I wasn’t really expecting Advanced Warfare to be anything different and on some levels, it really isn’t. It’s still very much Call of Duty at its heart but with some neat little changes that I found enjoyable.

So, what’s different you ask? Hmm, I suppose first off, I was actually interested in the story. Put briefly, it ’s a story about what could happen should a PMC (private military company) become the largest military force in the world. Such a PMC would be, as its name suggests, private and as such, it would have no allegiance to any one government or nation. I don’t really want to say much more than that but you can probably guess where the story ends up going towards the second half without having much spoiled!

The biggest addition to the story that was touted by both Sledgehammer and Activision was the inclusion of Kevin Spacey. I can’t really say he was bad at all in his role, just that he was basically his House of Cards character without the accent so it wasn’t anything I didn’t expect. Oh, they also had pre-rendered cutscenes that play between levels and oh wow, some of the CGI is really amazing. There were at least one or two scenes where I genuinely thought they had just opted to record live action scenes! So, yeah, the writing isn ’t going to win any literature awards but it was a nice story with an interesting premise.

Gameplay! So, you’re still going to get your underlying Call of Duty experience here and if that isn’t your thing, not even a little bit, you probably aren’t planning on playing this title anyway and that’s perfectly fine. The major new addition is your exo-suit. It ’s easy to say that it’s just a “rip off of Crysis” since it has a similar feeling but the concept is slowly becoming a real tool which has just starting the earliest deployment as both a military tool and even as an industrial aid!

There’s a few different exos that feature in the game which switch depending on the sort of mission you’re doing with varying abilities. I quite liked the ability to dash sideways which doesn ’t sound like much at first but adds a lot of maneuverability when it comes to dodging enemy fire. The ability to jump tall heights * is also a welcome addition that lends itself well to providing vertical encounters that can catch you off guard if you ’re not careful. I won’t spoil them but I thought there were some really genuinely funny moments that are a result of the exos to both yourself and teammates since they can feel a bit overpowered when you punch someone who goes flying back across a nearby desk but it ’s all in good fun.

Something I noticed about the level design is that it feels less linear while still retaining a mostly linear structure. It doesn ’t feel quite like you’ve been lined up and are marching directly towards the enemy but rather, you may find yourself in encounters where you’re clearing the left side of a road carefully but there’s still enemies behind you on the right side of the road or perhaps you’ll be in a wide space with enemies and team mates all around the place in no real sort of formation which was disorientating but I really enjoyed it the more I think about it.

Oh and I almost forgot to talk about the PC port. For all you PC pals out there, you ’ll be glad to know thar the game ships with a variety of graphical settings. 25 in fact from your basic refresh rate and V-Sync to unexpectedly, the ability to toggle things like subsurface scattering, shader preload during cinematics and the number of dynamic lights. I was quite impressed with what was presented in comparison to all of the previous PC ports. Mind you, the maximum FoV was 90, if I recall correctly, for singleplayer but it goes higher for multiplayer.

I think probably the best way to sum up my experience with Advanced Warfare is that it does a good job of making you feel like an action hero in a movie a bit. You ’ve got pretty well defined set of enemies with obvious reasons why they’re considered evil, you’ll encounter some really nice looking environments which get blown up in pretty enjoyable setpieces and it’s all topped off at the end by being able to ride the big ol’ death machine that gets teased every so often and wreak havoc on the opposition. It’s of course not GOTY nor is it a huge reworking of the series but all in all, I think it was a pretty fun time. Heck, I ’d even consider replaying it which is probably a first for me.