View Full Version : Advanced Warfare is the best Call of Duty in years, can it beat Titanfall and Destiny

09-11-2014, 10:46 AM
The wait is finally over. Three years ago, Sledgehammer Games began development on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, its brave new vision of the best-selling military FPS franchise. All the signs have pointed to something special; this is the first CoD to really embrace future tech - both in terms of the hardware seen in its storyline and the fact that development was led on next-gen systems - and it has the legendary Kevin Spacey in a starring role. But the game is facing more competition than ever - and that's a good thing for games.

In previous years, Call of Duty has had the November shop shelves all to its self - even EA's rival Battlefield shooter isn't going near it this time, with the latest in the series, Hardline, being pushed back until Spring next year. This year though, Advanced Warfare faces stiff competition from familiar faces and new entrants, all breathing new life into a genre which has matured over the last decade into the pinnacle of gaming, a true digital adrenaline rush.

There's the presence of Xbox One shooter Titanfall - made by former CoD developers, of course - and Advanced Warfare's Activision stable mate Destiny, which some feel will cannibalise the attention of CoD thanks to its immersive world and gripping online component, and has only been on sale for a few short months. Both games make a great user of verticality that you wouldn't see in older CoD games - especially the freerunning elements in Titanfall - but they're not alone in this.

While the jury is still out on Advanced Warfare's commercial fortunes - the game comes out today - we can safely put to rest any concerns about the quality of the title. Even in a franchise which is known for its high production values, Advanced Warfare impresses greatly; Sledgehammer was wise to lead on Xbox One and PS4, as the visuals on display here are jaw-dropping in their detail and complexity. If you were disappointed by Titanfall's occasionally last-gen visuals, then this should be just the tonic.

Taking into account that the CoD series began life as a World War II shooter, the jump into the near-future could potentially cause some issues for long-time fans. The good news is that the same intense action that has helped CoD sell in excess of 100 million units worldwide is still present and correct, but it is now augmented by some seriously cool future tech.

Exo-suits are the big draw this time around, and while they stop short of the massive, hulking mechs seen in Titanfall, they arguably have a more profound impact on the gameplay. You can perform moves such as super jumps, slides and dashes with your powered suit of battle armour, and this opens up all kinds of tantalising possibilities - both in single player and online.

CoD: Ghosts was a wake-up called for the franchise. It sold well but the critical reception was lukewarm; the general consensus was that a shake-up was required to keep the series relevant. Advanced Warfare represents that shake-up; it doesn't tear up the rulebook and skillfully maintains much that has made Activision's baby popular over the years, but at the same time it brings in enough new ideas to seem fresh and interesting - and, despite stern competition, should ensure that CoD reaches a whole new generation of fans as well as pleasing the stalwarts who have been along for the ride since the days of the PC original.