Set to be released, of course, in time for the run-up to Christmas on the Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, Call of Duty: Advance Warfare has a new lead developer, Sledgehammer Games, and is the most significant development in the franchise since Modern Warfare, several instalments ago. Although the creators have been careful not to disenfranchise hard-core fans and this is noticeably the same game, there is enough newness to the way it is played to add a real freshness and new experience. The acid test will be how the mass world of fandom reacts on the game’s release but for my money the tricky task of striking the right balance between familiarity and newness has been accomplished with aplomb.
The first and most noticeable difference is the introduction of the ‘exosuit’, which makes gameplay far more vertical than has ever been the case before. For gamers familiar with Titanfall the exosuit works in a similar way to the jetpack in this game. You character is able to scale heights at far greater speeds than ever before opening up vertical layering to the game’s terrains. It doesn’t go quite to the extent of Titanfall but certainly adds a new feel to moving around. It also adds a significant range of other new movement capabilities such as feinting, sliding, rapid dashes and a highly entertaining air-to-ground slam in hand-to-hand combat scenarios.
The range and combination of weaponry has also been significantly upgraded in Advance Warfare. Even individual weapons come with a significant range of modes and functionalities which are unlocked as you progress through the game and there are also custom options. The level of your weaponry is mainly tied to the amount of time spent playing which is a clever adaptation which adds a level of parity benefiting less skilled players. This spirit of inclusivity extends to a new mode designed as an easier intro for new players, minus the kill cams, score boards and trash talk chats which meant that new players were until now forced to endure many gruelling hours of humiliation before reaching any kind of basic proficiency in the game.
Key to this new instalment of CoD is the intensified level of customisation opened up to players. Advanced Warfare is likely to reinvigorate CoD multiplayer and the new ways to move, attack and defend will give experienced players something new to gain expertise in. Likely to be the Christmas gaming hit.