Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is going to be big news come November 4th. No surprise there, but could this year’s title be a game changer for the series? As enjoyable as COD has been in recent years, there’s no denying that recent entries have played things a little safe and not attempted to push any large scale changes. Well, apart from seeing a dog take down a helicopter, which was all sorts of stupid, or awesome, I’ll never be able to decide. So, unless the series is going to feature a cat taking on a submarine there will have to be other ways to get us psyched for the new game. Thankfully it would seem there are quite a few reasons; here are seven of the best.
Maybe it’s because we’re addicted to Netflix’s House of Cards here at Dealspwn, or maybe it’s because everything’s better with Spacey, but seeing Frank Underwood’s face here is kind of a big deal. COD’s stories have been gaming’s definition of ‘throwaway’ in recent years, but attaching a big name like Spacey to the project hints that maybe something interesting is going on behind all the explosions and bullet storms. Fingers crossed it’s a bit more natural than his awkward plug for a PS Vita in House of Cards though.
The new ability-packed exoskeleton is the biggest change we’ve seen to the Call of Duty series yet. Ok, the Crysis games may have got there first, but the extra agility now implemented into a slick Call of Duty engine is all sorts of hot. The additional strength also allows you to tear off car doors for impromptu cover. Super strength, double jumps and grapnel hooks are exciting enough, but we really can’t wait to check out the speed dodge strafe moves. Call of Duty crossed with Crysis 3 and Vanquish? Could something that awesome exist?
The exoskeleton is set to evolve over the course of the campaign thanks to multiple upgrades available via a skilltree, a first for the series that’s been content to essentially hand you a gun and leave you to it. Don’t worry about maxing out the abilities early on either as you’re looking at a minimum of two playthroughs to reach the exoskeleton’s full potential.
2054 is a proper future setting
Black Ops II fibbed a little with its promise of a futuristic setting as it was a bit too ‘near future’ for our liking. The technological innovation offered by setting the game in a very advanced 2054 is much more appealing. The E3 stage demo was packed with cool touches that made the game stand out from traditional shooters. Grenade modes can be changed via a neat switch that allows you to swap between the regulars like frag, EMP and flash. Better yet, Smart grenades change course mid-air to home in on a target and Threat grenades highlight enemies through cover. We definitely spotted a laser gun too, which looks (and sounds!) like a true weapon of the future. Hoverbikes (hopefully with no on-rails nonsense) should be a lot of fun too. Will they be as cool as Destiny’s though?
Sledgehammer aren’t working on the last-gen port
When Ghosts released last year, it felt a little like the dev team were being pulled in two directions as they had to develop the game on two generations of console. Sledgehammer is working exclusively on the PS4/PC/XO version though, with someone else handling the PS3/360 ports. Hopefully this means we’ll see a significant leap in the fancier version and we can begin to feel we’re getting genuine next-gen games.
We’ll be there at Gamescom next week when Activision finally lifts the lid on the new multiplayer and given the changes to how the single-player game is going to handle, it seems natural that the multiplayer will feel very different, probably with an injection of speed and a greater emphasis on vertical battlefields. If they really want to compete with EA’s Battlefield series though, we’re hoping to see vehicles make a much needed return.
Dead Space influence
In order to change the mood of the game from time to time, the developers will be using their collective experience from their time working on the original Dead Space to include an aspect often missing from war games – fear. War is scary, even if you’re tooled up like Batman wanting to make a dint in Superman’s super-smug chin. Reports on a stage called Aftermath sees you wading through an abandoned flooded refugee camp in Detroit, with a heavy emphasis on atmosphere rather than shredding waves of enemies to bits. Things are set to get a bit Isaac Clarke when cautiously clearing out dark buildings full of eerily lit corridors, just waiting for an attacker to leap from the shadows. Sledgehammer co-founder Glen Schofield worked wonders on trouser-ruining moments with Dead Space and it would seem he’s ready to bring some of that foreboding atmosphere to a series more known for being proud to be loud.