Day 3/4 and I have the campaign all but completed. As I keep forgetting to do every year, this time I remembered to play on Veteran. COD is not a difficult game by any means, Veteran can at least extend the length of the story. So after a lackluster Ghosts campaign how are we looking this time around?
The first thing that will strike you about the AW campaign is how familiar it all is. Of course it is. Sledgehammer were never going to be given a clean slate, as much as they have been clearly given a lot more freedom to reinvent than previous developers maybe have. The future tech in play as you wage war in the 2050s makes an obvious difference, though players of Black Ops 2 will notice more than a few similarities. Visually, the new engine is doing its job alright. It is quite ballsy on the developer’s part that the first appearance of their big coup, Kevin Spacey, is by way of in game graphics. We’ve all seen the publicity and trailers where an insanely accurate rendering of Spacey peers out at us from the video, but even in game things are all looking smoother and more realised than ever before in a COD.
By my reckoning I’m about an hour away from completing the story but up to now, unless some absolutely horrendous attempt at a plot twist unravels it all, I’m impressed at how coherent and indeed relevant it all it so far. Most importantly, there has been no set piece moment up to this point that wasn’t crucial to the story. Many COD titles in the past have been guilty of throwing in set pieces for the sake of nothing but spectacle. One in particular, Black Ops, was in fact guilty of including a moment that was absolutely pointless and indeed turned out to be a wild goose chase. All part of the story of course, but when it took as long as it did to finish on Veteran it was just annoying. Kudos to AW for finding some measure of balance between the old and the future.
I’m happy with the campaign at this stage, it doesn’t feel like a rehash (even in the action sequences) and somehow it puts a new enough spin on war. There are some vehicle based scenes, of course, and they are so far the worst but that’s just another of those COD tropes. In all, everything has been engaging and if there were no multiplayer I wouldn’t feel robbed for price, more than can be said for last year (and Modern Warfare 3 for that matter). The voice acting is solid throughout and Kevin Spacey of course nails it as Jonathan Irons. Best u can do is lost some small gripes below, with the saving grace of bullet points.
– The exo suit. Changeable to say the least. Survive huge falls? Check. Push cars? Check. One on one combat with a human? Nope.
– Why do we only have a grappling hook once when it would be so useful so many other times and surely wouldn’t impede the suit to include it.
– When are these people going to learn how to spot a traitor? Seriously.
– Multiple times it dawned on me that the advancement of some of the tech versus the primitive nature of others just doesn’t add up. You’ll know it when you see it.