EXO Changes Everything
A cinematic summer blockbuster spectacular delivered in videogame form. Call of Duty Advance Warfare advances the action of the game just enough to inject something new and fun while still maintaining the familiarity of the Call of Duty franchise.
Year in, year out I see the Internet haters comment on franchises such as COD and BF, where people's main criticism is 'more of the same'. Whilst this is an entirely valid comment, I'm not sure what people expect from a well-established franchise that sells millions of copies every year. If the formula is kept the same - people complain about repetition. If the formula is changed too radically - people complain that the game is no longer the series they know and 'love'.
This is where Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare get's the balance spot on without straying too far from the well-trodden path of the COD franchise, there isn't much wiggle room for a new developer to innovate. However, Sledgehammer games have found the gap and exploited it beautifully with the new movement mechanics of the EXO suit.
Make no mistake, the new changes in movement style results in a much harder FPS experience for the standard, casual gamer. The pace of the game is fast, and mastering the dashes and boots to effectively traverse maps and areas is difficult to become accustomed to. But with some persistence, the game becomes very rewarding, but most importantly FUN.
I find the word 'fun' to be the key one here. For me COD has not been at all enjoyable since Black Ops, with the disappointing Ghosts being the lowest troughs the series has seen. AW on the other hand, drags the series out of the muddy valley and at least onto the hillside of a peak, if not quite the apex.
Note this game is far from perfect. Still Activision have decided not to provide dedicated servers for the franchise, cue issues with lag, connectivity and the much-hate 'bendy-bullets' persist. Sadly, this seems to have become somewhat of a trademark to the COD series.
There are some odd implementations from the developer, which are being patched such as equipment that can only be used for a limited time, and incredibly hard to acquire camos but overall, many of the new implementations work.
You may have noticed that I have been almost exclusively dedicating my writing towards multiplayer here, however, I have completed the campaign and there's not much to say here. It's the standard story line of most COD and modern FPS games, with token missions and segments aplenty.
The game looks gorgeous visually, and the character performances allow you to become immersed in what has been, a coherent narrative. The "Advanced Warfare" also helps keep missions fresh, providing new toys to play with and experiences that aren't exactly identical to previous COD's.
The game as a whole looks nice, but this is to be expected of a AAA title nowadays. The sound and music are solid and fairly immersive; especially when in an intense battle online or solo.
In spite of the glitches, mild gripes and standard online issues COD: AW is a well-built FPS with a new edge for the series. Don't be fooled, this is not a revolution in gaming in any way shape or form. But it does what it says on the tin, it's Call of Duty, and all in all, AW is fun. For me this is the most important thing; after all, isn't that what games are meant for?