Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Review


CoD AW_Riot_Gun Blazing_1407753670.jpgI HAVE not truly enjoyed a Call of Duty since the legendary fourth installment; that has finally changed.

In the driving seat as lead developer for the first time, Sledgehammer Games have taken the solid mechanics of CoD and instead of leaving them to stagnate have thrown them out of an aeroplane and into a giant ball pit.


The narrative of the campaign will interest only the simplest of people, four or five rough-faced soldiers take on bad guys and half-way through a Private Military Company turns out to be evil; M.Night Shyamalan eat your heart out.

The dialogue for the most part is equally as dull, though Kevin Spacey is outstanding as Jonathan Irons, a carbon copy of his Frank Underwood character from Netflix’s House of Cards; intimidating yet charismatic.

It is also worth commenting that the facial animation and character models are second to none, transcribing Spacey’s acting prowess straight into the game; here, cut-scenes are easily mistaken as real footage.

The game-play introduces us to the exo-skeleton and all the perks that come with it.
The exo-skeleton grants extra abilities such as boosted double jumps, super strength and even the power to become (mostly) invisible.

Yet these abilities are purely contextual or mission-based in the single-player, they do not truly come in to their own until the multi-player.

Missions are still nothing more than getting to point B or following someone.

The exception is a later mission where the protagonist loses the use of one arm and so spends the entire stage unable to reload, this adds a certain amount of strategy to an otherwise unthoughtful game.

Overall the single-player is good looking and functional, it is not why this is a great action romp.

Missions are still nothing more than getting to point B or following someone.


This is where all of the toys that were teased to the player in the campaign are presented as shiny little modifiers to unlock, equip and generally play around with.

The class creator is similar to the ‘pick ten’ system that debuted in Black Ops 2, it is now a ‘pick 13’ system, allowing for the new exo-skeleton abilities.

Despite the increase in unlockable content, the class creator is far less intimidating than that in Ghosts: the countless unnecessary perks have been stripped away (leaving the only ones of any use), kill streaks are now customisable with their own abilities, gun variety has never been so diverse and the newly introduced exo-abilities fundamentally change the way combat is approached.

All of this leads to the ability to create a class that suits the player’s needs perfectly.
In-game, CoD has never been this intense.

Everybody has a jetpack that allows double jumps, dashes and more (depending on the selected exo-ability).

This adds verticality to the mix and makes every rooftop a valued point of defence or offence.

A focus on speed may deter snipers, though they should consider that an ability to become invisible or see through walls always keeps long distance combat viable.

In-game, CoD has never been this intense.

In addition to the standard unlocks, the player is frequently rewarded with ‘supply drops,’ these are reward packages containing variations of guns, gear and bonuses; all in three bands of rarity.

Opening a ‘supply drop’ is reminiscent of finding loot in Borderlands or Destiny, though without the dependency on it; instead it is just a satisfying perk that keeps the game-play interesting.

For the most part, the maps are fantastic, incorporating the new methods of movement.
Many also include environmental hazards such as tsunamis or an eruption, there are even kill streaks unique to certain maps.

Unfortunately there are some that are perhaps, too complex, such as one called ‘ascend’ which is a maze of walkways, staircases and dark corners, all in the dull midst of a monsoon.

Frame rate is generally sturdy, though there was a rare drop from 60fps on PS4.
The servers are also very reliable, I am at prestige one and have only dropped out of four games.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the first true update to the series in seven years. The mechanics that series die-hards love remain intact while a heap of refreshing new ideas and colourful unlockables keep it exciting.

+ Ultra-real visuals and lighting
+ Kevin Spacey
+ Constantly unlocking things
+ New and empowering game-play

– Boring script
– Unoriginal missions
– Marmite maps


Try if you like:
Call of Duty

Developer: Sledgehammer Games, High Moon Studios, Raven Software
Publisher: Activision
Platforms: PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows
Reviewed on PS4


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