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What is Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare?

Available on Xbox One, PS4, Xbox 360, PS3 and PC
Call of Duty: Advance Warfare release date 4/11/2014

As the first Call of Duty title from developer Sledgehammer Games, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare certainly has the potential to be a stark change from previous entries. If you’ve seen the extended gameplay demo shown off during Microsoft’s E3 2014 press conference, then you’ll know there’s a definite shift to near-futuristic gadgets and frankly intense realism.

Beyond the Induction gameplay demo you’ve no doubt already watched countless times, we were able to see another gameplay preview video entitled Collapse to get a better idea of what the new COD has in store for us.

The game has been in development for over three years and Sledgehammer states it is intended to “represent a new era of Call of Duty”. As with Battlefield: Hardline, there’s a strong focus on storyline, with two and a half years of that development time spent on building the single-player campaign.

To help this, Sledgehammer games has used HD facial capture to create more expressive faces for its characters. Even though this is an early build for the game, it’s clear the detail that has been given to character creation. Skin and eye-shading make the characters look even more realistic than they did in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Pupils actually dilate according to the light conditions and other factors for the first time in a Call of Duty game.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

As for the gameplay, Advanced Warfare has taken the Call of Duty series in a new direction, adding new technologies to the standard weaponry. The base of these advancements are the soldiers’ exoskeletons which enhance their natural abilities, enabling them to jump higher, perform better, punch through walls and take more damage than ever before. There will be a variety of different suits available throughout the game as well.

Characters are able to launch themselves into the air, not only to traverse the maps quicker, but also to make it harder for enemies to shoot you when cover is scarce. The Advanced Warfare tagline seems to be “power changes everything” and we’d like to see how else the suit changes gameplay when we actually get some hands-on time with the game.

There was one aspect of the suit that could potentially become an issue. On the right hand side of the weapons’ new HUD is a fuel gauge. Now, we could be wrong here, but potentially it appears suits could run out of juice.

The new LED display on guns displays important information including ammo levels and weapon type, which would usually be presented in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. By integrating this into the actual character presentation itself it really adds to the realism of the game, despite the futuristic elements.

Of course, the enemies also have their own tech too. We spotted drone swarms pulsating in the arm like mechanical locusts which looked particularly formidable to tackle.

One of the standout pieces of new weaponary is the special grenades that pick up the heat signatures of the enemies, outlining them in flickering, slightly pixelated red lines that track them as they move. What’s great about these is that they don't affect your view of the world as it would with thermal imaging goggles in standard FPS shooters.

There are also laser weapons and we also spotted hybrid armoury and a hand-held blowtorch for accessing new areas of the map.

The new Call of Duty also seems to have some form of focus mode, slowing down action in a bullet-time style for precise shot-taking.

As with previous COD games, there's no shortage of cinematic moments even in the two gameplay demos we got to see, but there's a concern that it still feels very linear.

Most people of course aren’t going to be playing Advanced Warfare for the storyline. Unfortunately we didn't get to see how the changes and new tech will influence multiplayer action.

Hopefully, the power of the storyline, helped by the new addition of Kevin Spacey, plus the new range of weapons and exoskeleton mods will switch up the standard COD gameplay in single-player and translate well to multiplayer too.

First Impressions

Visually, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare really impresses and the new technological enhancements certainly add another level to the gameplay. It’s not going to break the COD mould, and there's always room for improvement. Sledgehammer Games is definitely going the right way to at least mix up the usual tried and tested formula.

Read more: E3 2014 News, Games and trailers

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