Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare | Game Review

The latest Call of Duty retains the series winning formula - and adds more action, more super-soldier abilities . . . and Kevin Spacey

Game Title: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

Publisher: Activision

Reviewed On: Xbox One

Available on: Xbox One,Xbox 360,Playstation 4,Playstation 3,PC

Fri, Nov 28, 2014, 14:02


The Call of Duty games are rarely compared to classy TV dramas, but it’s hard not to think of House of Cards while playing Advanced Warfare. Not only is Kevin Spacey on board, giving a predictably fun performance, but much of his dialogue echoes the political series. As Jonathan Irons, a private arms tycoon, he spends most of his time saying lines like: “We don’t sell policy, we sell power.”

Like the James Bond series, the Call of Duty is a dependable, utterly unstoppable franchise, strong enough to weather the occasional dud. And like 007, CoD can only evolve so much.

Shooters with a straight map and linear narrative obviously don’t have the depth, scale or possibilities of open-world shooters such as Far Cry or Borderlands. But what Advanced Warfare lacks in breadth, it makes up for in pacing and spectacle. And the set pieces are spectacularly well-crafted. Highlights include a hair-raising chase on top of vehicles on a Nigerian highway and sprinting between Greek buildings in the shadow of a sniper.

The first-person shooter experience is smooth, zippy and user-friendly, as always, and the addition of new tech is welcome. Exo-skeletons have a big part to play, and there’s a tingle of excitement at the beginning of every mission when you’re told what your super-soldier abilities will be (such as portable bullet-proof shields, jet packs or climbing suction pads). In this futuristic war of personal drones, lasers and x-ray vision, the grenades threaten to steal the show: They can reveal enemies, send electric shocks or act like homing missiles.

The campaign is like a big-budget, globe-trotting action movie (indeed, the Call of Duty series often makes Hollywood blockbusters look narcoleptic in comparison). And the multiplayer works well too, with a smart match-making system to pair you with the right opponents, and a welcome local multiplayer option.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare doesn’t deviate much from the CoD formula, but it’s the best of the series since Modern Warfare 3. Think of it like a cheeseburger. The new gadgets - like extra slices of bacon - don’t reinvent the recipe, but they add a lot to the flavour..