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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review - Press F to pay respect

gaijinkaiju

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Decided to replay Call of Duty: Advanced warfare recently. I really enjoyed it, in-fact I'd go so far as to say that it's probably my favorite Call of Duty considering that it's the only one I seem to replay periodically, compared to the rest which I play once or twice and then just forget about.

The story like every other previous cod is fine. As usual its nothing mind-blowing and serves more as a connective tissue between levels to keep the game moving forward, but what story is there, is perfectly fine. You join a pmc who turns out to be bad about midway through, then you end up fighting against said pmc for the rest of the game. The biggest issue with the story is that you have to suspend your disbelief and just play along with it. Somehow we supposed to believe that Iron's (the antagonist) is able to build and maintain the largest standing army in the world, on US soil and the government just lets them? What is the US government doing this whole time anyway? They let a terrorist group attack a nuclear reactor, let a pmc setup a refuge camp with seemingly free reign after the reactor goes boom and somehow they just go "eh, not our problem"? Is irons the president of Baghdad now? If not, the city really just doesn't seem to care about his soldiers running around shooting up the place, or him just letting drone swarms out, or him just releasing a bio weapon in the city. And the bio weapon is just the start of his war crimes, because somehow he is able to setup a prison complex (formerly "medical research") where they perform human experimentation, organ harvesting and production of a bio-weapon. Surely, just surely, NATO or the UN or really anyone would go "hey, somethings not right, we should do something about this" instead of letting him just have free reign to do whatever? It's not even until he destroys the golden gate bridge that they decide to do something about it. And speaking of the bio-weapon, that whole thing is just stupid. Somehow he was able to engineer a bio-weapon that wouldn't affect his own soldiers, but would affect everyone else. What about the civilians in Baghdad? And the tourists? And also, what happened to North Korea invading South Korea? The first mission of the game has you pushing back a North Korean invasion of South Korea but after that mission it's never brought up again.
If, however, you're willing to just go 'eh, whatever' and roll with it, then the story is perfectly adequate. In the roughly seven or so hours it'll take to beat, with the exception of one mission, it never really felt like the game dragged or slowed down. Even the two stealth missions went by reasonably quickly.

As usual the gunplay is serviceable. Whats on offer does the job, but there was really only one gun that stood out to me. The MK14 which is a semi-auto and was arguably my favorite weapon, to the point where I would actively look for it rather than being stuck with whatever the mission wanted me to use. For the most part everything else on offer does the job and does it well. The only other gun I really liked was the EM1, which was an energy gun that fired out a laser beam and didn't need to reload, but would overheat with extended use. The change they made to grenades this time was an interesting one. Instead of being able to pickup different lethal and non-lethal grenades, you get 'smart' lethal and non-lethal grenades who's mode you can change before throwing them. The lethal grenade can cycle between: Contact, Frag and 'Smart' which will just fly to wherever the reticle was pointed when you threw it. The non-lethal can cycle between: Flashbang, Emp (useless frankly) and 'Threat' which would highlight enemies within your proximity for a brief period of time. You also have Exo-suit abilities which were different for each mission, but honestly, none of them where particularly useful and so I basically never used them with the exception of the Cloaking ability which you needed to use. You get a bullet time thing, a riot shield, a stim that I think gave you brief health regen and something that made a noise but I could never figure out what it did, but assumed it was an emp or something similar. The Exo-suits also give you increased mobility, which I think was a first for the franchise. It's not much but you gain a double jump along with a dash to the sides and backwards which gives you a little more freedom in movement. They also feature an upgrade system where you can earn points by completing milestones (x number of kills, x number of grenade kills etc) and allow you to upgrade various stats i.e reload speed, run speed, grenade capacity etc. Interestingly these upgrades carry over between new games, which subsequently makes repeat play-through's easier

The enemies weren't particularly bullet spongy, with two exceptions. The AST guys who wear a mech suit and just eat bullets and hit like a truck. However if you hit them with an emp they go into a 'stunned' mode briefly which makes fighting them much easier. They also become alot easier once you get the grapple and can just kill them in one go. The only other time enemies felt spongy was the golden gate bridge mission, which was arguably my least favorite. The mission has you fighting across the golden gate bridge to stop a van, the problem with this level, in my opinion, is that there's way too much in the way of your objective. You've got cars that enemies hide behind, buses and signs that they can shoot down from and as you move closer to you objective, they begin to spawn all around you. You'll be getting shot from above, from the sides and from behind. And to compound the issue, for whatever reason, the enemies in this specific mission feel like they take alot more rounds to go down than any other level. It didn't matter what weapon I swapped out to, they just took way more rounds than usual to go down. That mission was the low point of the game and the sponges really dragged down the pace.

There's also the multiplayer mode, which I didn't play on this play-through and haven't played since it came out honestly, but I remember it being alright. The laser gun became my favorite weapon in multiplayer just because I found it fun to use, and because different versions had different colored beams You've also got a survival mode and zombies mode, neither of which I played because I just wasn't interested enough in them honestly, but I imagine they're similar to previous survival and zombie modes.

Overall, despite my issues with the story, I still really enjoy playing through this particular Call of Duty and really hope that one day we get a return to the Advanced Warfare world.
8/10
Pressed F to pay my respects
 
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