We look at Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s single player campaign, which is certain to blow you away from start to finish, even if the ride isn’t as long as you’d like.
For the better part of the last decade, first person shooters have been focused more and more on their multiplayer modes. This makes sense because it’s where their loyal fanbase is, and it’s also the mode that keeps being played in the year it takes the publisher to come out with the next iteration. This has sparked a whole range of online only multiplayer shooters, but it’s also true for the two biggest franchises in FPS gaming: Battlefield and Call of Duty. Battlefield evolved from multiplayer roots whereas the earlier Call of Duty are more single player oriented – but they follow a similar formula. There’s a relatively short single player mode full of over the top action that can rival many Hollywood blockbusters – and then there’s multiplayer, which is the real heart of the game. Our focus, however, is on the single player portion of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Not just because we happen to not be very good at multiplayer shooters, but also because we never stopped loving the adrenaline-filled rollercoaster that is the campaign mode.
In Advanced Warfare’s campaign, we fast forward to 2054 where a Private Military Company called ATLUS now controls the most powerful military force on the planet – resulting in a shift in power. Storytelling plays a much bigger role this year than it did during previous iterations, as individual missions are tied together effectively by painting the story arc using a combination of cutscenes and in-game developments. A major force in this regard is Kevin Spacey, who plays the role of ATLUS CEO Jonathan Irons. Spacey delivers his usual intensity – which became apparent when the first story trailers for the game emerged and thankfully lasts throughout the campaign.
The game’s length is no doubt a sore subject for some. The game will take the average player about six to seven hours to complete if you’re not looking to blaze through everything in a speed run. But even if you don’t do that, many will still consider this a ‘short’ game. However, look at this like the equivalent of a major Hollywood blockbuster and you’re getting amazing value for money. Aside from the talents of Kevin Spacey, who also lends his likeness to the game, you’re also getting convincing voice work throughout – including Troy Baker’s voice for your main character.
The heart of the story is about a shifting power balance between nations and (military) corporations, and it offers interesting parallels with current world events in its story development. The game may be set 40 years into the future, but it’s these subtle nudges that make the line between futuristic weaponry and current day events a thin one. The game also stays interesting because different weapons and gadgets become available for different parts of the game. If a mission asks for wall-climbing tech, that’s what you get. If you need to go in silently, you get audio muting devices or even a cloaking shield.
This adds diversity to the game and keeps things fresh and exciting throughout the campaign. It may not be as long as Fallout or The Witcher, but for sheer explosive ‘edge of your seat’ action Call of Duty Advanced Warfare more than delivers. The fun might be over all too soon, but it’s an epic experience and one of our favorites so far this holiday season.