Call of Duty:Advanced Warfare is out tomorrow, and by all accounts, it’s excellent – the first one in a long time to be fresh and exciting. We rather liked it, but here’s what other critics have to say.
Despite the familiarity, it’s been years since a Call of Duty campaign was as coherent and fast-paced as this one. Within the confines of its franchise, which has yet to make much room for a mature look at the subject matter, Advanced Warfare works with aplomb and, at the very least, plays its Big Dumb Movie card wisely. If you’re running out of bad guys, borrow some from Hollywood.
The last time Call of Duty had “Warfare” in its subtitle, it led to a well-received trilogy that deftly transitioned the series away from a well-trodden global conflict to modern-day combat. If the settings of today have run their course just as World War II did years ago, Advanced Warfare makes for a convincing foundation of futuristic yet relatable combat that is worth exploring and expanding further. The huge change in player mobility is less of a paradigm shift and more of an overdue retooling for an 11-year-old FPS franchise, especially in a year of mobility-focused shooters. Yet for all its predictability, Advanced Warfare is a deluge of action-film bravado, and it’s difficult to not be carried away by its tidal forces.
Still, these are small problems in a superb overall package, one that has me interested in Call of Duty again. For a future warfare title with drones and jetpacks, Sledgehammer’s success is partly to be found by looking to the series’ past, and by combining its own ideas with COD’s natural appeal it has reinvigorated the franchise.
Advanced Warfare doesn’t reinvent Call of Duty. It’s not the same dramatic shift that we saw when the series went from World War II to the modern era. Perhaps holding out hope for something as revolutionary as Modern Warfare was when it hit back in 2007 is foolish. Be that as it may, as someone who has been drifting further and further away from Call of Duty for the past few years, I can certainly say that Advanced Warfare’s mobility kept me interested much longer than Ghosts or Black Ops II has. It’s the best multiplayer the game has seen in some time and the whole thing totals up to a satisfying, if familiar experience.
For whatever minor missteps Advanced Warfare makes with its story, it more than compensates with vision and remarkable execution. The latter has never really been Call of Duty’s problem — Ghosts notwithstanding — but Advanced Warfare adds enough and moves far enough forward with its new abilities to feel like a risk. Turns out, that’s just what the series needed.
Multiplayer feels wonderfully fresh, thanks to the added agility of Exo Suit boosting. Sadly, though, co-op is unimaginative, and the story fails to satisfy when compared to previous installments.
Simply throwing a robot suit onto Call of Duty could have been a lazy path to making Advanced Warfare seem different from what we’ve played before, but the way Sledgehammer has integrated its enhanced abilities and choices into every aspect of how we fight went above and beyond. By designing the levels in the campaign, co-op, and multiplayer to facilitate those new mechanics, Advanced Warfare is granted a weight and importance that changes how Call of Duty feels in all three modes. This is a Call of Duty game to its core, but one that rehashes as little as possible while still retaining its strengths.
Sledgehammer Games have taken a huge risk by sending the series so far into the future. Some fans may feel left behind, but the simple truth is should they choose to ignore the title, they will be missing out. This is one of the better Call of Duties in recent years. It’s fresh enough to the point that it’s alien, yet it’s still Call of Duty underneath that futuristic surface
The general consensus is that it’s the best Call of Duty in years, and far better than the abomination that was Ghosts. That’s all anybody really wanted from this – but it looks like Sledgehammer has managed to over-deliver.
Last Updated: November 3, 2014