I’m normally a rational person. Really, I am. I put my pants on one leg at a time, I avoid reality TV at all costs, and diligently delete my internet history. But I did something not too long ago. Something that I’m deeply ashamed about. Something that I did in a haze of alcohol and Youtube-induced delirium (thank you, Achievement Hunters).
I pre-ordered, and subsequently played, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare for the Playstation 3. (I’m poor and a generation behind. Whattayagonnado)
Many of you have been where I am now. I know that I am not alone in my shame-gaming. The games keep coming out year after year for a reason. That reason? Gamers keep shoveling money in the publishers’ faces. This round, I was a shoveler.
I haven’t been in the past, though. I’ve never actually bought a Call of Duty when it was first released. Played them, though? Sure. I’ve had roommates and friends whose copies I have played, so I’m pretty well-versed in the series, but this is the first time that I’ve purchased a new CoD game when it first came out. And pre-ordered it, no less! I worry for myself.
But let me explain. Though I have no excuses, I do have reasons for my actions.
Some spoilers ahead! (But they are Call of Duty spoilers, so you could probably guess them. Also, the game’s been out for a while, so, uh…enjoy this timely review!!!)
First off, the ad campaign did an excellent job of making the game look like an immense amount of fun. It looked fast-paced, action packed, and tremendously exciting. It looked like it didn’t take itself too seriously, and sucked me in. Whoever ran the campaign deserves a raise.
Secondly, Kevin Spacey is in the game. Kevin Spacey is great. House of Cards, Seven, K-Pax, American Beauty, Moon…Dude’s world class. A game that went after that A-grade talent and captured his likeness so well is one that gets my attention.
Third, the game isn’t just a Call of Duty game. It’s now moved into the realm of science fiction. And I know that past games have dabbled, but this game truly just goes for the whole sci-fi, laser gun, jetpack, DNA weapon, cyborg, hover bike territory. As a sci-fi nerd, this was very appealing to me.
So those are the reasons that I pre-ordered the game. And you know what? My only regret is that I actually did pre-order it. I try to stay away from doing that because it rewards companies before I know whether they should be rewarded or not. Do not do this. I try to avoid it, but I was suckered in this time.
But again, that’s my only real regret. The game is fun, though it does have its problems. The campaign is exciting, though predictable. The multiplayer is also enjoyable, but has raised my blood pressure quite a bit. This is all par for the course when it comes to Call of Duty, but that’s not the worst thing in the world.
The campaign is pretty tight, but has more than its fair share of “follow this person and shoot what they tell you to shoot.” However, there are a couple stand-out part. One is a great segment where you employ some stealth to try and achieve a goal. The nice part about this segment is that it gives you a little more room to find a way for yourself. It slowed you down and made you think some. You don’t have to follow a linear path, but can move around the area and discover your own preferable method. It really was fun and felt fresh to the franchise. I wish there was more in the game. As it is, other times when I tried to tackle obstacles in a creative way, I would often die with a message about staying in the battlefield sprayed across the screen. I just wanted to flank these fools and murderdeathkill them, is that so bad?
As it is, the highlight of the campaign is Kevin Spacey. While definitely gimmicky, the man is a great actor and does bring something to the story by having a much more palpable antagonist. He’s a presence throughout the entire adventure and his performance does help to make this story something more memorable than previous ones. Interestingly, I also the passing thought that this game is a little more subdued than previous installments, but then I remembered the speech that Spacey’s character gives to the UN and then he uses a weapon that kills anyone not in an Atlas DNA database and all the walking tanks in the game so…yeah, not so subtle. But anyways, Kevin Spacey is badass and the campaign is fun, if thoroughly familiar Call of Duty.
Then we get to the multiplayer. The life force of any Call of Duty game, the multiplayer of this installment is really enjoyable. Not too dissimilar from previous games, but the addition of the exo suits make this experience stand out from the rest. Adding the ability to double jump gives the matches a whole new dimension, quite literally. Now, not only do you have to worry about in front, behind, and from the sides, you have to take into account above and below you, as an enemy could drop down or pop up at any time. Previous CoD games never had me worrying about tracking enemies through the air, but it is a constant occurrence here, and the game is all the better for it. Also, using the exo suit to dodge or double jump reveals your location on the mini-map, so you need to be aware that others can see your movements, another aspect I enjoyed. It additionally features the option to play matches that don’t have the exo suit, which I’m sure purists will enjoy.
All in all, I’m really enjoying my time playing this new Call of Duty game. Do I sometimes wish I’d never laid eyes on the damn thing? Sure, it’s Call of Duty. Gotta expect some level of rage-inducement. But it’s fun, the leveling up is addicting, the sci-fi elements are dynamic, and killing with my friends online is never not a good time.
Now, in all seriousness, someone needs to make a Star Wars first person shooter like this and they can have all of my money. Maybe Battlefront 3 will do that for me? One can only hope.