Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Best of Gamescom 2014: Advanced Warfare Edition

After an effort last year that saw a once gargantuan franchise (And developer) struggling to innovate and carry the monolithic series forward, Call of Duty needs a revolution that can convince the world that COD still has plenty of oil in its tank. Sledgehammer have their work cut out for them, and with their multiplayer reveal showing yesterday at Gamescom, it looks like COD won't be going quietly. Here's our highlights from last night!
"Power changes everything" Advanced Warfare claims, and it may well do so thanks to additional firepower in the form of exoskeletons. Exoskeletons have a Deus Ex esque augmentation system, where you can choose between different abilities. While everyone can double jump, slam down into enemies and kill them, other abilities provide  much more helpful ally. Shield generates you a portable riot shield (Duh) for when you come under fire, Ping is basically a UAV in your pants, and the Trophy System makes a comeback, defending you from explosives. All of these abilities use energy, though, so staying in cover and recharging is essential.
For every serious mode in Halo 3, there were always one or two fun 'party' modes, such as Grifball. Advanced Warfare notices it's winning formula by adding a new mode called Uplink, a mix between said fan-inspired mode and a little sport they like to call Basketball. The goal is to get a satellite and throw it into your goal for one point, or boost jump through it for two. Holding the ball renders you defenceless, though, so the throwing mechanic becomes hugely important. As well as passing to teammates, you can throw it to your enemy, then take them out easily. Still, one new mode won't be enough, Sledgehammer have to think up a couple more to really impress.
While the 'Pick 10' system is upgraded to a 'Pick 13' to accommodate the exoskeletons, the real gem here is the ability to customise how many Score streaks you have. While 4 is the maximum, you can always eliminate one or two (Or all of them if you prefer) to make way for a more powerful gun, ability or grenade. Its great that Sledgehammer are taking the Borderlands/Destiny approach and handing over customisation almost entirely to the player.
Some may claim that I've missed out other additions, such as new maps, only the most impressive things have been listed here. In the maps' case, there's nothing really new to be excited about since maps have been interactive since Black Ops 2. While this isn't the revolution Call of Duty needs, this iteration should provide enough evolution to save the series from falling from grace. Still, we'll have to wait until November 4th to see whether Sledgehammer have done enough.
Stay tuned over the next couple of days for evaluations of Sony's, Xbox's and EA's press conferences, plus a preview of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

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