The Call of Duty franchise has been going on for over a decade now with a game coming out every year. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare hopes to add something new to a series that has been labelled as stale by many gamers for a long time now.
Ever since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare came out in 2007, Activision knew that they were on to a winning franchise. Instead of slowing down, the series started to come out every year.
The annual release of the franchise started to become stale for many gamers as sales for the series started to decline as the years went by. Last year's Call of Duty: Ghosts still sold well, but was the lowest selling and scoring game from the franchise in many years.
Sledgehammer Games has now come and revitalized the franchise as Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is arguably the freshest and best entry since Modern Warfare 2. The game adds tons of new features that will even surprise the most anti-COD gamer.
This is all thanks to the setting of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare as the game is set in the future. It's not quite like Star Wars just yet, but there are so many cool gadgets that you can use in the game that makes it feel fresh for the first time in many years.
Even though Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is still a first-person shooter at heart, it borrows a lot of elements from other games to keep the gameplay not so repetitive and boring. For once, the campaign is actually fun to playthrough.
There are moments in the campaign you can pilot many cool vehicles. This includes a tank and even a level where you get to pilot a fighter jet. Not to mention the exo-skeleton that you get to use brings in loads of new abilities that have never been seen in COD history.
There is a jetpack of sorts you can glide in the game. It acts as a booster to help you reach higher places. It doesn't last very long, but it's fun to fly around like a monkey.
The only thing I didn't like about the jetpack is when you are playing the game during online multiplayer. It's still fun to use, but very hard to shoot at other people when they are jumping all over the place.
One of my favourite new gadgets in the game is a grappling hook. Not only can you use it as a tool, but you can use it against enemies too. There is an awesome stealth level in the game where you can use the grappling hook to kill enemies from afar. It's kind of like being Spider-Man as the grappling hook shoots out like his webs can.
The main campaign is very fun with the moments I described above, although at times it still feels repetitive. The one thing I didn't like about the campaign is that there were too many explosions. It's almost like watching a Micheal Bay movie. One explosion is cool to see, but to see so many explosions in just one level gets tiresome very quickly.
The story in the campaign is quite impressive thanks to the addition of Kevin Spacey. Spacey assumes the role of Jonathan Irons who is the founder of a private military organization called Atlas. The main character (Jack Mitchell) works at Atlas, although slowly finds out Irons isn't as noble as he seems to be.
The single player campaign is a decent 6-8 hours long. Far more substantial than the 4-5 hour campaigns in other COD games. It is arguably the best single player experience since the first Modern Warfare game.
In terms of multiplayer, Advanced Warfare is fun as always. The online experience is the same COD gameplay, you've come to expect apart from a few twists here and there. Sometimes the levels have environmental hazards you have to avoid such as a tsunami or volcanic explosion just to name a few. Also, the jetpacks allow you to move around levels at a faster rate than ever before as I mentioned previously.
The great thing I like about the COD series is that they don't alienate splitscreen gameplay. You can still play the multiplayer mode offline, and you can even add in the A.I. to act out as bots. It's a good way to practice just in case you're not really good at playing against real-life players.
The only feature I didn't find to be very fun is the co-op mode called "Exo Survival". Here you are just fighting waves upon waves of incoming enemies trying to survive for as long as you can. This mode is still available for you to play both offline and online. It gets repetitive and boring after a while. I preferred the Spec-ops mode from the Modern Warfare games as they were more objective-based.
Graphically, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is without a doubt the best looking game in the entire series. It is one of the prettiest games I have ever played on the Xbox One. The game also rarely lags as it's mostly a smooth 60fps no matter what mode you play the game in. Even during splitscreen multiplayer, the game still looks beautiful.
The level design is also gorgeous thanks to the futuristic setting. There is one level set in Antarctica which looks amazing. Even the architecture in the multiplayer maps looks great too. Sometimes you think you are playing Killzone: Shadow Fall or even Halo as the design is similar.
Overall, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a bright spark in a franchise that needed a makeover. Call of Duty: Ghosts put the series several steps backward, while this game does the opposite of that. It's the freshest and most innovative Call of Duty game since the first Modern Warfare game. Hopefully next year's game from Treyarch learns a thing or two from Sledghammer Games.