Call of Duty: Ad­vanced War­fare

Tak­ing a Sledge­ham­mer to all we thought we knew about CoD

PC GAMER (US) - - CONTENTS - Aoife Wil­son

Point, shoot, kill. Point, shoot, kill. Re­al­is­ti­cally, there are only so many ways you can change a firstper­son shooter’s ba­sic com­bat, but what makes a good FPS stand out—and stops an ex­hausted se­ries from stag­nat­ing fur­ther—is where you’re pulling the trig­ger and what tools you’re given to take con­trol of that space. It’s these two key ar­eas that Sledge­ham­mer Games, formed by Dead Space cre­ators Glen Schofield and Michael Con­drey, has fo­cused on in de­vel­op­ing its first solo Call of Duty ti­tle. With su­per­pow­ered soldiers, fu­ture tech, walk­ing tanks and celebrity vil­lains, this might just make CoD ex­cit­ing again. Tak­ing place in the year 2054, Ad­vanced War­fare puts you in the role of tier-one op­er­a­tors of a pri­vate mil­i­tary cor­po­ra­tion. These soldiers wear heav­ily ar­mored ex­oskele­ton suits that give them su­per­hu­man strength, the abil­ity to climb walls, cloak, and best of all, dou­ble-jump and even hover in the air for short pe­ri­ods of time. In the end, guns will al­ways be guns, but when a shooter fun­da­men­tally changes the way a player can tra­verse their en­vi­ron­ment, that’s when things start to get in­ter­est­ing.

At E3, I got to see por­tions of two of the game’s ear­lier lev­els: Col­lapse, which is set on San Fran­cisco’s Golden Gate bridge, and Biolab, a stealth-heavy in­fil­tra­tion

The demo showed how dif­fer­ent player move­ment can be, and a va­ri­ety of new tools

mis­sion that takes place in a Bul­gar­ian for­est in the dead of night. Col­lapse showed how dif­fer­ent player move­ment can be, with a squad of soldiers jump-boost­ing up and over de­bris while un­der heavy en­emy fire; and Biolab show­cased the wide va­ri­ety of new tools, like the ex­o­suit’s cloak­ing tech­nol­ogy, specif­i­cally de­signed to en­cour­age play­ers to take a more strate­gic, con­sid­ered ap­proach to­wards com­bat.

“That was ab­so­lutely the goal,” says Sledge­ham­mer’s se­nior devel­op­ment direc­tor Aaron Halon. “It was re­ally im­por­tant to us. Another as­pect was aug­mented re­al­ity. We started think­ing about how to have that ammo counter on your weapon in the real world rather than your stan­dard UI.” The best ex­am­ple of this in-game is the grenades; in­stead of hav­ing lots of dif­fer­ent kinds in your in­ven­tory, you now sim­ply have one uni­ver­sal grenade with an LED dis­play for dif­fer­ent op­tions that you can cy­cle through on the fly, in­clud­ing flash, EMP, frag, and threat, the lat­ter mak­ing en­e­mies tem­po­rar­ily vis­i­ble through walls.

It’s clear even from this early look that Ad­vanced War­fare is ben­e­fit­ing from be­ing the first Call of Duty ti­tle in Ac­tivi­sion’s new three-year devel­op­ment cy­cle for the fran­chise. It looks pretty, and the ex­tra time af­forded to the de­vel­oper has al­lowed Sledge­ham­mer to re­think and shake up the an­ti­quated, fa­mil­iar char­ac­ter move­ment— an over­haul that should make the game’s mul­ti­player re­veal worth watch­ing out for.

Fu­ture soldiers must not need to use the toi­let, or that suit is a lo­gis­ti­cal night­mare.

You might have ac­cess to ad­vanced weaponry, but so does the en­emy.

Ap­par­ently some time be­tween now and 2054 will see the abo­li­tion of wheels.

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