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Call of Duty Advanced Warfare PS4 reviews

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review  April 17, 2015 – 07:34 am

By the time I finished Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's single-player mode, I wanted to return to Seoul, South Korea, the setting of the game's first chapter. This mid-21st-century metropolis is awash in ultra modernity, to a degree I haven’t seen since visiting the economically prosperous version of Tokyo in the 1980s. It's the perfect futuristic backdrop to introduce Advance Warfare's new movement abilities, which are granted by the soldier-enhancing exosuit introduced in the campaign. And when you first bear witness to a flying giant snake made up purely of small drones roaming the streets of Seoul, you know this is new science-fictional territory for Call of Duty.

Sledgehammer Games crafted an opening that does everything a great first chapter is meant to do: it welcomes you with big-budget bravado, offers control tips without excessive hand-holding, and establishes the tone of the campaign. “Welcome back to Call of Duty, ” the first chapter seems to say. “Let's show the other games how to make a proper entrance. And while we're at it, let's test your subwoofer with the bass of an explosion and the vibrations of slow-motion melodrama.” This is an introduction that kicks off the wartime journey of protagonist Jack Mitchell, played by Troy Baker. He begins as a U.S. Marine, but after a catastrophic event during his first mission, he joins Atlas, a private military corporation run by the generically named Jonathan Irons, who is played by a realistically-rendered Kevin Spacey.

It's never been easier for a Call of Duty campaign to justify the series' traditional chapter-by-chapter globetrotting. When the services of the Atlas Corporation are sold to the highest bidder, every country is fair game. That said, Mitchell's story isn't as clear-cut as it seems; he isn’t simply a Marine-turned-mercenary who travels where Irons tells him to. His tours offer a smattering of memorable missions, including a fast-paced intra-city manhunt through Santorini and several pulse-quickening escape sequences. Even Kevin Spacey’s boastful tour of an Atlas facility is a pleasurable golf-cart ride on rails that wouldn’t feel out of place as an EPCOT Center attraction, albeit one with a lot of killing machines in the background.

Aside from the positively imaginative two-chapter tutorial that kicks off the campaign, the one mission that leaves a lasting impression is a tense stealth op that prominently features a grappling hook. This tool is notably exclusive to the campaign, and when you discover its capabilities beyond traversing man-made structures, you can see why it was omitted from the multiplayer. The myriad locales work not only to minimize monotony, but also serve to showcase the talents of Sledgehammer’s art team in war-torn urbanity, dark forests, and sun-drenched deserts. Advanced Warfare's visuals come nowhere near the exquisite detail of the Metro Redux shooters; that would likely kill the game's 60 frames-per-second smoothness, which would be sacrilegious to the series.


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