I’ve avoided the Call of Duty games for some time now, for one simple reason – I was bored of them. I felt as though the series had been dragged out and stretched as far as the developers, and producers, could take it, and there was just nothing new being added to the games. Well, enough for me to warrant spending £40 odd on a game series that just didn’t interested me. To be perfectly honest, I haven’t loved a Call of Duty game since World at War – which was by far my favourite. I enjoyed Call of Duty 4 and Modern Warfare because it took the series into a slightly new direction – that direction being the present. So, that’s why my ears perked up a little when I started seeing the trailers, and gameplay, for Advanced Warfare.
My main qualm with the Call of Duty series of late is that the games change very little from title to title. If you were to hand me either Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2, Black-Ops, Black-Ops 2 or Call of Duty: Ghosts and tell me to play it, (were it not for the difference in graphics), I think I’d struggle to tell you which game it was. Advanced Warfare, however, is a different beast entirely. Just like the jump from WW2 to modern combat, the jump from modern combat to future warfare is, in my eyes, the revitalisation that the series so desperately needed. So, it was only a matter of time until I picked up Advanced Warfare and dove back in to the high-octane, exhilarating and slightly frustrating world of Call of Duty.
That time came this Christmas, when I decided to purchase Advanced Warfare for myself as a Christmas present to me – I had been a pretty good boy last year, after all. As with any First Person Shooter, the first thing I did was boot up the single player campaign. It’s not that I need to play the campaign to ‘prepare’ myself for the multiplayer, it’s just that I like playing the campaigns. I’m of the middling generation of gamers, where ‘story’ was first being developed and multiplayer, particularly online multiplayer, was something tacked on at the side. So, just like with Call of Duty 2 on the Xbox 360, or Medal of Honour on the PS2, I headed straight for the campaign.
Call of Duty campaigns are, in general, much of a muchness – always enjoyable but slightly unmemorable (asides for the occasional mission or campaign that roots itself into your memory). From what I’ve played so far, Advanced Warfare seems to be sticking to the same mantra… although it does have one of the most memorable opening missions since the D-Day landings on Call of Duty 2. It also has one of the most memorable bad guys, in the form of Kevin Spacey. Other than that, I can’t see the campaign revolutionising the story mode of the FPS genre – but there’s still time to be proven wrong, I’m not exactly that far in.
Advanced Warfare’s biggest overhaul can be found in its multiplayer. This is where the changes have realty come in to play. I’m still not sure if they’re good changes, however … but they’re definitely not bad. It’s really mixed up the multiplayer, which had become a little stagnant; and that’s a good thing. Although, it has switched up that classic COD feeling – it’s the first time that I’ve ever had to “relearn” how to play a Call of Duty game. I’ve been able to pick up and play a COD game since Call of Duty 2 on the 360, without any problems. Now, however, fifteen minutes into the game and I’m being boned from every angle – mostly by homing missile grenades (which I really don’t like). Still, I do like the fact that I’ve actually had to struggle a little with this game, because it shows that Sledgehammer Games are doing something different, and different is definitely good when it comes to Call of Duty, in my books at least.
Not only that, but there’s lots to look forward to as well. I still haven’t played the Exo-Survival mode, which I’ve been told is kind of fun. We’re also incredibly close to the release of the next DLC pack, which will feature a… you guessed it… zombie mode – revolutionary. Jokes aside, I love the Call of Duty zombie mode, even if it is getting a little tired. I think that the added boosts given to the players by the Exo-Suits will, hopefully, bring a new dimension to the zombie mode. But I guess we’ll see.
So, in all, I’m kind of glad that I bit the bullet and decided to purchase Advanced Warfare. It’s not the greatest game I’ve ever played, and it still isn’t as good as Battlefield (in my opinion, of course), but it sure is nice to sink my teeth back into a bit of COD, and it’s even more refreshing that this COD tastes a little different.