The lights are on
What new ideas the game brings to the table and how well old ideas are presented.
How good a game looks, taking into account any flaws such as bad collision or pop-up.
Does the game’s music and sound effects get you involved or do they make you resolve to always play with the volume down?
Basically, the controller to human interface. The less you think about the hunk of plastic in your hands, the better the playability.
Flat out, just how fun the game is to play. The most important factor in rating a game.
After years of modern warfare, the latest Call of Duty takes you to a terrifying future just a few years away. Drones fight wars, harmonic pulses identify targets behind walls, and death is casually doled out from afar on tablets. Call of Duty: Advanced warfare feels like you’re screening 10 summer blockbuster films at the same time as you maneuver through a fantastic set of backdrops that range from Seoul, Seattle, and a futuristic Abu Ghraib. With serious tweaks to some elements of core gameplay, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare feels like its own special surge forward while maintaining the gunplay that makes the series fantastic.The story sees your friend killed during a mission, and his father (played by Kevin Spacey) seeks to create a world where such reckless deaths will be avoided – a world shaped by his paramilitary corporation. Spacey’s character is almost a cut-and-paste job from his House of Cards persona, and it’s suited to the role, but the performances still end up feeling one-dimensional and hammy. Even so, the story tackles the issues of totalitarianism, fascism, and war on a slightly more cerebral level than prior iterations of the series; there’s a lot more going on here than taking on “the terrorists” out of some forced patriotic narrative. Still, the campaign plods to a predictable conclusion after about seven hours.You fly, drive, head underwater, and participate in a string of missions in a variety of distinct and interesting levels – always welcome in the shooter space where things blur together as you take out hordes of identical enemies. The action stays constant, interspersed with horrifying (or wonderful) lessons regarding the tech you use to complete your tasks, and you rarely rely on the same powers or technology twice. There’s nothing quite like painting a room with a harmonics pulse and watching all the targets drop, or using your grappling exo suit to snag unsuspecting guards during a stealth mission. Some of my favorite moments involved an extended sequence commanding a drone to back up my team’s insertion, running from a new-age take on the traditional bell tower sniper, and crawling back from beyond death under the icy depths.
I wasn’t the best shot with the HBRa3, but once I found an elite version of the weapon in a supply drop I was tempted to learn it, and I enjoyed doing so while wearing some hot purple gloves and green shoes. If you find something you don’t like or can’t use for another 20 ranks, you can cash it in for XP. These supply drops are truly the secret sauce, as they provide a reward loop on top of the already pervasive progression system that lies at the core of Call of Duty multiplayer. Coming off of a bad round, there’s nothing like busting open your supply drop and hearing “Elite!” when some new gear pops out.All the classic multiplayer modes are available, like Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed, but you’re also free to try some of the new modes, the best among them being Uplink. It’s essentially capture the flag with one flag and two basketball nets, and watching someone go in for a dunk and get processed with a laser beam is great times. A co-op survival mode is perfect for players shy about going right into competition, or those looking to set records on how many waves they can handle.Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s single-player campaign is a ridiculous summer movie romp with sobering visions of the future of weaponry. Bring popcorn, because the real fun begins with the multiplayer, where the wealth of customization options should have players coming back for game after game.This review pertains to the Xbox One version. The game
is also available on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC
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