As seems to be in vogue these days, I have decided to split my opinion on Call Of Duty – Advanced Warfare over a few days, hopefully with a finished piece good to go by Friday when I have finally got a good spin at the online aspects of this latest entry in the billion dollar franchise. Unfortunately, launching the game yesterday took a little more out of my day than expected so I got to play a grand total of…one match. I’ll work with what I can I guess!
The first issue of contention I have to raise is that the supposedly seamless operation of purchasing a retail copy of an Xbox One game, going home and playing it is still far from fully realised. I had read of others experiencing issues with the digital copy and the pre loads so I was hoping for smoother sailing with my disc version, alas it was not to be. I am yet to have a single game outside of Forza 5 allow me a straightforward install procedure and allow me the privilege of this famous “play while it installs” option. Unfortunately, AW is no different. In with the disc at 1am this morning and, as expected, and update is available. Listed as a 250MB download, no big deal even with my appalling 5MBS line speed. Well, an hour later as I sat watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead, that longed for notification pops up. Except it wasn’t what I was hoping for. “Installation started” arose to greet me and it was at roughly 50%, half an hour later when I was finally allowed to play the title. Honestly, I wouldn’t care if it weren’t for the “play while it installs” feature being so heavily touted per-launch of the One.
Anyway, enough complaining over things out of the game’s hands. Booting it up I knew I wouldn’t have time to go near the campaign in any big way so I defied my traditional convention and headed straight for the multiplayer. First things first, this game looks gorgeous. I’m playing on a three year old full HD display at this point and I have never seen a sharper well rendered image in a game in my life. We’re finally in the “next gen”. I decided to hop straight into some Team Deathmatch, not giving classes and such much of a looking over. Once the match started (which took absolutely no time at all) the COD tropes are all still there from a control perspective. Like Black Ops 2, the future setting allows for everything to look different stylistically yet still carry on much the same effect ie the new fangled grenade launcher coming from a mount on the player’s arm, it’s still a frag at the end of the day. My biggest concern ahead of release was that the booster and jet packs would cause even more rage inducing quick kills than COD already but I have to say, apart from giving you a small double jump aesthetic, not much is that different. It is also clear that the jet packs and vertical combat could wind up being incredibly fun and satisfying once you get the hang of them. Titanfall and Halo players should be right at home here. Also did I mention you can choose the Classic Playlists option? Not a jet pack in sight.
The game I played took place in what appeared to be a hotel rooftop and as others have noted already, I was delighted to see a distinct lack in camping spots. There are still nooks and crannies to hide out in, but few if any have the level of cover previous COD titles have inexplicably included. I ran and SMG class for most of the game, switching to a Sniper class towards the end when I was well and truly taking the piss. It all felt fluid and slick to me, like the game Ghosts was trying to be but never could with a mid generation release. For the first time in two years, I’m looking forward to playing a COD game some more this evening, not a bad return to begin with if you ask me.
Image courtesy of streetdojo.com