Sledgehammer Games partnered with Xbox to reveal the biggest Call of Duty multiplayer overhaul since Modern Warfare with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
First of all let’s address the white elephant in the room, it’s clear that Activision want to move past their lackluster previous entry as there wasn’t a single mention of 2013’s Call of Duty offering, Ghosts, and understandably so considering the poor optimization on PC and less than favorable reviews across the board it was clear that the series needed to evolve.
This time around series newcomers Sledgehammer Games have changed the nature of the title by adding a plethora of new abilities and features, the most predominant of which is the focus on utilizing all dimensions to include vertical combat. This is a real game changer as it essentially alters the gameplay dynamic from tactical military shooter to frantic arena carnage, only time will tell how seasoned veterans of the Call of Duty franchise adapt to these changes.
So called ‘Verticality’ is achieved through a new piece of equipment in the form of an Exo-Skeleton known as The Exo, remarkably similar in appearance to that worn by Matt Damon in the sci-fi movie Elysium, the Exo is a metal frame worn by you character that enables enhanced movements and capabilities.
If you have any history with other Microsoft titles Halo or Titanfall a lot of these mechanics will be relatively familiar, the Exo allowing for double jump or jetpack hovering maneuvers in addition to fast burst dodge movements. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has also introduced the slide feature to access those hard to reach places in style.
The Exo also gives the player the opportunity to assign one perk to gain access to specific abilities inherent to the suit, including abilities to deflect and disintegrate incoming projectiles, extended hovering, increased sprint and an optical camouflage.
Treyarch’s multiplayer feature ‘Pick 11’ from Black Ops II is making a return in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare with 13 customizable load-out slots this time around for a deeper skill management system offering greater variety in abilities and stacking. You can also alter plenty of aesthetics options including head, uniform, color schemes and gender. Another welcomed addition is the virtual firing range where players can test their new weapons and load-outs before entering the battlefield.
Speaking of Battlefield, similarly most maps and arenas in Advanced Warfare will include interactive events depending on the nature of the terrain, with the trailer showing a tsunami hitting an area near the Golden Gate bridge in Defender. There will be plenty of versatility in game modes from day 1 with classics Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy and Capture the Flag all making a return with fan favorite Hardpoint and 7 other modes.
With the move to the now current generation of consoles and teething problems of Call of Duty: Ghosts, the franchise was in dire need of a rehash and one that the fresh approach from Sledgehammer could well be able to deliver to stop this once well received series from going stale.