So, there it is then. The new trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Except, it’s a franchise that’s now basically synonymous with creating its sequels using “ctrl + V” shortcuts, so how much of it is really new? It’s not a series in its death throes, by any stretch of the imagination, and even middle-of-the-road reviews for last year’s Ghosts couldn’t stop it from selling $1 billion worth of units in just 24 hours. But overall – compared with the previous Black Ops 2 numbers – sales were down.
However, even worse than the franchise’s dwindling value (an Activision employee’s head just exploded at this concept), it’s now seriously lacking something more – credibility. The game, no matter how many of people buy it, is now basically just a laughing stock. A forum punchline. A crappy meme.
Question is, what can be done about it? Well, the poor old developers (although there are about 30,000 of them or something) only get a year to turn out a brand new game, and after 13 straight titles it seems like they’ve truly run out of steam. Let’s not forget that one of Ghosts’ genuine, developer-discussed, new features was fish that swam away if you got too close to them during underwater sequences. You know, like they had in Super Mario in 1996. Oh, and there was a dog with a camera on his head for a few levels, too.
So, I think we’re all in agreement something needs to change. I mean really change. And if you’re all out of ideas, what’s the next best thing? Borrow from others, of course. Watch that trailer again before you proceed and let’s see if we can’t pick out a few “new” ideas from Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare that seem a bit too familiar.Next
Okay, let’s get the most obvious comparison out of the way. And even before we do that, the most obvious fault: Advanced Warefare is just an utterly terrible name. But ‘advanced’ the war is, and with that seems to come the idea of a mechanical exoskeleton. And to be clear, the above image reall is from Advanced Warfare, not Titanfall. So here we are at a fascinating juncture.
The developers of the original Modern Warfare leave Activision for EA, to create an advanced shooter involving mechanical suits. The remaining development team for the Modern Warfare game struggle to stay relevant and so create a new sequel involving mechanical suits, which they call Advanced Warfare.
So, with EA sitting pretty on original rival Battlefield, and now Titanfall, it’s almost as if Activision ordered their developers to directly combine both those game’s unique selling points into one mega-rival of their own. Obviously they would never do that, of course, and I’m sure developer Sledgehammer had complete creative freedom. They just happened to come up with futuristic mechs and jetpack soldiers purely by coincidence, right?Previous Next
2) Battlefield 4
Yes, Battlefield 4. The clue was probably me spelling it out for you in the previous page. The EA/Activision rivalry is hardly one of quiet nobility, and it’s no secret that EA is slowly turning the tables – thanks mainly to DICE’s ridiculously high-end software. For every skyscraper that completely collapsed or dam that burst in Battlefield 4, a window would break in Call of Duty. In Battlefield 4 you could hijack a jet, fly it into a hapless enemy, parachute out at the last second and gently float down as it tore a massive crater into the earth. In Call of Duty, throwing a grenade into a room won’t even tip a chair over.
Destructible environments are heavily hinted at in this new trailer though, and frankly, it’s about time. Whether or not it will actually come into fruition is still mere speculation of course, but I’ll bet a fistful of ones that they do. That might also explain the new piece of expendable cover that a soldier deploys at one point, which is definitely not made of tinfoil.Previous Next
3) Star Wars: Episode I Racer
I bet if I let you stand there for 50 years listing the games you thought would be in this article, the N64′s Star Wars: Episode I Racer would never crop up. But look at that screenshot above and tell me that isn’t pure LucasFilm. I mean LucasArts. I mean Disney. God, I don’t know. But look, whatever it is, it’s a space opera floaterbike.
The horrifying point of this is that it seems to confound my worst fears about a new Call of Duty game: on-rails driving sections. Quite what the developers seem to think about player’s enjoyment of these sections remains a mystery, and jumping a giant chasm in a Ski-Doo was just about the limit for me – so having to fly a bloody Podracer around to escape some neo-terrorist in a heavily scripted action sequence would probably be the nail in CoD’s coffin.Previous Next
On top of hulking exoskeletal suits, there also appears to be some allusion to a slightly more skintight one-piece. I suppose I could quite as easily have substituted Vanquish for Crysis here, but frankly, the former is just miles better and I fancied talking about it. The jist is the same though: wear it and be super fast, or super strong, or super handsome, or whatever.
It appears to imbue the particular soldiers in Advanced Warfare with the ability to punch through cars and the like, so either way I’m all for it. Who wouldn’t want to punch through a car, after all? Will it make it remotely as ingenious and exciting as playing through bullet-hell bang-fest Vanquish? Again, we don’t know yet. But I’m certain it will easily match it on the explosions-per-second scale, which Micheal Bay assures me is much more important.Previous Next
Okay, bear with me on this one. It may sound a little bit insane, but think about it for a second. It appears that the main character’s of Advanced Warfare are now able to spring about West coast America, scale scenery, and generally do that weird ‘hanging in midair’ pose that has become synonymous with Sucker Punch’s generic badass.
These faux-parkour elements seem like a bit of a no-brainer addition to the CoD franchise, especially when considering my very first bullet point on this list. Will it stack up to make the game fun? It’s a tough question, more so as I’m struggling to name a fun Spider-Man video game. Maybe slowly climbing up the side of a building will just be another of those scripted single-player facets and not make it into the multiplayer (read: main) section of the game at all.
One further observation that immediately strikes you is that all this way into the future, beanie hats are apparently still very much in fashion. Invest.Previous Next
6) Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Gruff, faceless soldiers using highly advanced military tech to covertly take out a shady militia? Not even I can decide which game I’m currently describing… Future Soldier and Advanced Warfare are hardly poles apart by name alone, but watching the trailer for the latter leaves you with a more than potent whiff of ‘seen it all before.’
The heavy reliance on unmanned drones, the emphasis on cover, walking tank-turret, the invisibility camo. It’s all there, and it’s all Tom Clancy. Future Soldier was actually a delightful little game, too, and managed to bring something a little different to the usual by-the-numbers warmongering of shooters today. Emphasis on the word ‘little,’ though. It wasn’t exactly a revolution of the formula, but it was one of mankind’s biggest leaps when compared with, say, downloadable content that allows Snoop Dogg to announce your kills – which scientists recently confirmed was indeed the most ridiculous thing ever to have occurred, ever.Previous Next
Is this a screenshot from Bungie’s seminal Halo: Reach? No, you idiot, it isn’t. It’s a screenshot from the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare trailer, a game that’s five years newer. So what’s going on here then? I mean, just how advanced is Advanced Warfare? Surely it’s not the 538 years ahead that Halo is? I’m pretty sure one of the cars I saw in the trailer was a Honda Civic.
No doubt that Halo was revolutionary and endlessly playable, but can Sledgehammer really recreate that just by aping the futurist aesthetic? Maybe they’re going to go one better and introduce space combat! Oh, no, wait… they already did that in the last game. Seems like they really do have nowhere left to turn when an ostensibly realistic military shooter gives a NASA astronaut an AK-47, just in case.
But it’s that eagerness to jump the shark just to sell that makes me think that maybe a Halo-esque game might not be that far off the mark. The last game wasn’t afraid to introduce aliens into its longevity-adding arcade multiplayer, why not add it into the main storyline either?
In fairness, though, it does have Kevin Spacey in it, so it will probably be amazing. You’ve seen House of Cards, right?
What do you think? Seen it all before, or an exciting new direction? Let us know below!Previous