Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Killing the Streak, Preview

Another year, Another Call of Duty but this time Around we really Aren’t expecting Activision be playing yet more whore games. not Convinced? then read on…
 rest assured, you oh so weary and increasingly cynical gamers. the eleventh iteration of the Call of Duty franchise will not be the result of yet another turn of the rusty crank or churn of the development drum. it won't be hyped with artificially intelligent fish or an ever so ridiculous german shepherd, and it won’t be amboozling you with multiple characters or confuse you with a needlessly complex narrative. though still CoD by name and first-person shooter in nature, it’s going to be
something altogether different yet (reassuringly?) familiar.

set some 40 years into the future but based firmly on extrapolations of current experimental technology, if it weren’t for its branding Advanced Warfare could most probably pass itself off as being from a brand new franchise, though one that has a great deal in common with the metal gear series. Check out its mixture of robotics and super soldiers and how Kevin spacey plays Jonathan irons, the Ceo and founder of a global private military company allied to no one in particular. “Atlas has the single largest standing military in the world, but we answer to no country,” he
explains in a recent trailer. give him an eyepatch, bandana, ice hockey hair and a lot of awkward dialogue and he could be the original snake big boss.

 “Leaping soldiers will be abLe to deliver punches so powerful that they can knock their target back 30 feet”

like their weapons to at least partially resemble any currently available as well as those who weren’t interested in the likes of Titanfall. though to suggest that sledgehammer has decided to emulate respawn’s new sci-fi enterprise is to also suggest that the developer has access to time travel wizardry or at least a reliable network of spies. Development began three years ago, when Titanfall was in pre-production, and the first elements to be worked on were jets used to provide the ability to perform heavily boosted jumps, not walking mech tanks.

this initial foray into a world of concepts never before seen in CoD has since been extended. so while we haven’t seen that much actual in-game action, it has been made abundantly clear that Advanced Warfare’s future warriors will not only be able to leap to the top of buildings in a single bound; with thrusters equipped, they’ll have even greater control and be able to take to the air and thrust backwards so as to get behind whoever or whatever has been following them. sideways thrusts seem possible, too, so if there’s one word we’d use to describe what we expect from a lot of the game’s combat then that would be “bouncy”. Another would be “thrusty”, if such a word existed. They’re not words that Titanfall can claim as its own, of course, as some shooters have been bouncy if not thrusty for years. Unreal Tournament came out in 1999.

This isn’t a Metal Gear and so it isn’t at all related to Snake Eater’s Shagohod despite blatant similarities.

Joining this ability to hop like a heavily militarised human-shaped flea comes an ability to scale walls using special boots and gloves, and so climb like a heavily militarised human shaped spider. Then there’s the very Just Cause-like grappling line that also makes navigation around the game’s environments much more interesting, as well as more complex. Such tricks also further underline the project as one not being afraid to add equipment that totally alters how multiplayer matches could play out, and how players will have to learn to predict the movement of enemies that have the potential to dramatically change direction in three dimensions.

You have to wonder why tiny robo insects like these aren’t just flown onto foreheads before exploding, really.

If such equipment comes across as being overly fantastical then consider how Sledgehammer has been paying close attention to where real military technology is actually going. Strength enhancing augmentations are in the works, though we fail to be convinced they’ll be even half as impressive in action as the ones that will be on display come November, when leaping soldiers will be able to deliver punches so powerful that they can knock their target back 30 feet. Many other gadgets and perks were considered, but since dropped. Liketeleportation grenades, for example, which were worked on but since they’re likely to never leave the pages of comic books they were binned.

One major part of the series that has made a heavy appearance since Call of Duty 2 has also been shown the door the game’s engine. We’ve heard such a claim before, as Call of Duty: Ghosts was similarly supposed to be based on all-new code for an all-new generation, so you’ll be forgiven for finding that your scepticism chip has started to glow white hot. Well, although some lines of programming will remain (after all, a COD game that plays in many ways like a COD game will need to use a lot of COD logic) we’re reasonably convinced that when Sledgehammer claims to have built a new engine from (mostly) scratch, it can be believed. Why? Because you can see the new facial technology in action already and you can hear the improvements in the audio. Forget how Kevin Spacey’s eyes can look as cold and emotionless as a shark’s and look for the improvements in the skin and in the muscles, as well as the overall performance.

  “If It weren’t for Its brandIng, advanced warfare could most probably pass Itself off as beIng from a brand new franchIse”

 But Call of Duty isn’t, or at least shouldn’t be, about such cinematic splendour, right? Then appreciate the thick swarms of countless bug like drones that make a handful of AI fish seem even more unexciting than they were when they were used to help explain how Ghosts would differentiate itself from what had come before. Pay heed to the particle systems and the lighting, the explosions and the destruction. We’d certainly be a lot more impressed if we’d seen buildings crumble piece-by-piece having been struck by the heavy munitions of a player actually playing, rather than in a cut-scene, but then such an addition would not only ape where we hope Battlefield 5 to be heading it would fundamentally alter the core COD experience that, like it or not, brings in a billion dollars every year.

Advanced Warfare is going to be something altogether different yet still (reassuringly?) familiar and that’s worth mentioning twice. Its heads-up displays won’t clutter the screen, since most information will be placed onto weapons. Its combat will be evolved with a greater degree of movement, while there will be new weapons to master. And its core technology will be better suited to show off modern games consoles.

Had Activision instead ordered the creation of a new intellectual property and called it Cyber Soldiers we doubt that many would complain about the same-old, same-old and would instead rightly criticise such  a lame name but still be impressed with its potential to revitalise a genre.

We’re still expecting a first-person shooter that follows many well worn paths, but also one that totally justifies genuine excitement and a refreshing lack of negativity.

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