E3 2014: CALL OF DUTY: ADVANCED WARFARE PREVIEW
The Call of Duty franchise goes in a unique new direction for the latest installment: the future. For the latest installment of the first-person shooter series, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. At E3 this year, I was able to sit in on Activision’s special behind-closed-doors, first look preview of the game, which depicted two levels from the single-player campaign mode in the game. The presentation opened with an introduction video with Sledgehammer Games co-founders, Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey. Schofield and Condrey discussed their goals for making Advanced Warfare, including getting Kevin Spacey to play Jonathan Irons. Another special E3-only video was shown, featuring one of the game’s main characters introducing the world of the game. The segment highlights some of the features of the new-gen technology and new graphics for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The character models demonstrated that the pupils of the eyes of the video game characters are able to dilate.
The first gameplay video for Advanced Warfare was a repeat of the mission shown at the E3 Xbox Media Briefing, the Seoul, Korea mission. You appear to be playing a future soldier in 2054 named Mitchell. Mitchell and his team have a rough landing in their high-tech drop ship, but they manage to get out before the pod careens out of a skyscraper. The team then makes its way down to the streets. This is definitely Call of Duty, but it’s a much different looking Call of Duty than we’ve seen before. The sky is filled with swarms of enlarged, insect-like drones that move like the machine Sentinels of The Matrix films. Mitchell and his team use new advanced weaponry to head toward their target, an advanced air ship. Mitchell’s comrade sets the bomb in the ship, but his arm gets trapped. Mitchell is helpless to save his friend, and he’s caught in the radius of the explosion. The debris from the explosion hits Mitchell and leaves him with a severed arm. Mitchell’s commanding officer finds him in the battlefield and gets him out.
Interestingly enough, the second gameplay video again features Mitchell. The sequence takes place in the year 2058. However, Mitchell appears to have both arms again. Advanced cybernetics? Is there tech in the 2050s that can clone human limbs? Mitchell and his crew pursue some fugitives, and the battle eventually hits the Golden Gate Bridge. Some drones destroyed the cables of the bridge. The structure breaks in two, sending Mitchell and his comrades toward a possible watery grave. The action sequences and cinematic events in the game look massive in scale and scope. Unfortunately, the developers did not show the mecha suits in action for this demo.
Unfortunately, there was not a playable demo for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare available this year. I like the new setting and that Activision is trying something new with the franchise. The new future premise looks interesting; but the demo did not provide any relevant or important details for the story or main characters, specifically Jonathan Irons. The new-gen visuals look great. I love the designs of the future tech, vehicles, weapons, and exo-suits. I’m encouraged that Activision is extending the development structure for the games, so Advanced Warfare will have additional time for extra polish. According to Activision, the exoskeletons that the soldiers wear provide additional special abilities. However, the presentation did not include much of those abilities in action aside from the jetpack boosts. Other than that, this still looks like Call of Duty with a fresh coat of paint. My hope is that elements like the exoskeleton, mecha suits, and the hover bikes will offer something different that gamers have never previously seen in a Call of Duty game.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be available on November 4 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. Per Activision, current generation versions for Xbox 360 and PlayStation are in development.