‘Call Of Duty: Advanced Warfare’ Review

In the week since launch day, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has had the internet alight, with many praising the game’s story while others lament over its multiplayer. Analysts have even gone as far as saying the franchise itself peaked with Black Ops 2, and this new title will see a drop in sales of about 40 percent compared to Ghosts.

So has Call of Duty peaked? I’m inclined to say yes. Yes, it has.

The Good

Kicking the single-player campaign off with a bang as the U.S. Marine Private Jack Mitchell in a tense, large-scale battle in South Korea was a welcoming change from some of the slower-paced starts of Call of Duty games prior. The next-gen graphics look incredible, despite not technically running at full 1080p on my Xbox One console. (It runs instead at a dynamic 1360×1080, but always at 60 frames per second, so gameplay is quite smooth)

The game puts you in the mechanically-enhanced boots of the aforementioned Private Jack Mitchell, who after suffering a terrible injury in the first mission joins Atlas, the world’s largest private military corporation. The company is headed up by Jonathan Irons, both voiced and modeled by the phenomenal Kevin Spacey.

The campaign is stellar, aside from only a few moments when the game seems to try to force emotion into characters that I just had a hard time caring about. The action is steady, the pace is good, and overall, the feeling is akin to some of the better Hollywood action flicks seen on the big screen. That feeling is emphasized by the unbelievably great performance of A-Lister, Kevin Spacey.

Any review of a video game based in the near future would be incomplete if it didn’t mention the gadgets, and Advanced Warfare has some doozies. Most notable among them is the Exo Suit, which your character wears at all times in both the single and multiplayer experience. The Exo Suit offers unique and customizable abilities, such as double-jump, a quick dash in any direction to avoid bullets, and the obligatory super-human strength. There’s a uniquely satisfying feeling when you punch a guy in the chest and his body ragdolls backwards, almost like being Superman. Additionally, the tactical and lethal grenades have selectable modes that offer a pleasant change from the standard offering of explosives in previous Call of Duty games.

The Bad

With the implementation of the Exo Suit and its abilities, multiplayer is leaps and bounds ahead of where any previous Call of Duty game was able to take us. However, despite the level of verticality the new abilities add, Call of Duty multiplayer is still Call of Duty multiplayer, in that it is what it always has been. The overall experience is nothing new to the genre or even the franchise. Levels are all still small, frenetic run-and-gun maps that don’t make the most of the Exo Suit, and don’t provide anything that hasn’t been seen before time and time again. It’s very much still run, shoot, lob grenades, die, respawn, lather, rinse, and repeat.

Worst of all for the Exo Suit is that despite being brand-new to the world of Call of Duty, it is utilized in an almost identical manner to Titanfall‘s Parkour Kit. In fact, the entire time I was playing Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, I caught myself looking at my HUD for a countdown clock alerting me when I could drop a Titan into the fight. Perhaps it’s due to Sledgehammer Games, who made Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, being a sister company to Respawn Games, who created Titanfall, and both games partnering with Activision.

Is it worth it?

In short, yes. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare provides enough new experiences never-before-seen in any Call of Duty game to warrant stopping by your local game retailer to pick up a copy. The campaign alone is worth $60 and bears enough action to call for at least one additional play through. Xbox One owners like myself may take a little warming up too since we do have Titanfall, but for PlayStation 4 owners, this is a no-brainer. Pick up a copy today.

What are your thoughts? Leave them in the comments below.