Friday, 14 November 2014

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: PS4 Review

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare: PS4 Review

Platform: PS4
Released by Activision Games

It may be the eleventh outing for the Call of Duty series, but it’s this reviewer’s first time into the franchise – and what an epic introduction it’s proven to be.

This time though, there’s a futuristic element introduced into the franchise – but we’ll come to that in a moment. In the first person shooter set in the 2050s, you play Private Jack Mitchell, a marine corp veteran who’s heading into Seoul in a battle against the North Koreans. Along with his long-time buddy, Will Irons, your first job is to fend off the marauding troops and their attempts to break into Seoul.

Which all goes relatively well until your mate gets his arm jammed in a massive machine, and you lose your arm as you attempt to free him.

It’s here that the futuristic element of the game really starts to kick in – having powered through the streets of Seoul with futuristic gun drones floating in the air, you’re suddenly co-opted into a privately run company Atlas, headed up by a freakily realistic CEO played by Kevin Spacey – and given a prosthetic arm to boot.

From here on in, it’s into the (from what I can discern) usual Call of Duty business – missions, fights and plenty of shooting. But, Call of Duty Advanced Warfare also packs in one heck of a cinematic look and feel as well this time around  with cut scenes really resembling a kind of movie and graphic book element that lends a hyper-reality to the visualisation of both the characters and their surroundings.

There’s also a hyper-kinetic feel to the fighting as well – from frantic bursts of blasting gunfire around to taking down bad guys with floating stun mines, the weaponry is the big drawcard of the Call of Duty franchise. Never more so than with the inclusion of the Exo-skeleton which has been incorporated into the game play this time around and gives you the chance to leap into the sky and become a more mobile killer (as well as a more difficult to catch target). Short bursts lift you skyward and gradual power ups help you increase the capabilities of your gear which will prove vital as the campaign progresses and the story gets cloudier and murkier.

But it’s the multi-player element of Call of Duty that keep many engaged throughout the annual drops of the game – and there’s plenty of life left in that side of the franchise too. Deathmatches and capture the flag games will see you die a fair few times as well but once you get into the swing of it all, It's actually here that the fun side (as well as the occasionally frustrating side) kicks in - and you really get sucked into the COD world. Customisation has also helped - and the high tech equipment certainly gives you plenty to play with in all various modes of the game. Jumping and dashing thanks to the exo-suit also makes the pacing of the multiplayer more of a thrill too, helping you to avoid being a sitting duck and adding into the mix an element of unpredictability.

I think what's helped with this game - along with Destiny earlier this year - is that it's adaptive for you whether you're a seasoned Call of Duty pro or a first-timer/ casual player. The world submerges you and immerses you completely within - and that's largely due to the voice work done by the laconic Kevin Spacey and the protagonist, Troy Baker.

All in all, thanks to some top-quality acting, a cinematic yet epic feel and a game that's easy to dive into, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has finally brought me into the annual franchise in the best possible way.


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