It’s that wonderful time of year again — the leaves are falling, the air is getting crisp and the hot cider is being made nightly — which means that it’s time to dust off your video game controller of choice for the upcoming video game release season. The typical late October-early November video game release schedule brings a new Call of Duty with it, and 2014 isn’t any different, as Activision and Sledgehammer Games are ready to release the highly anticipated Call of Duty: Advance Warfare. If you’re like me, you don’t listen to the naysayers and the doom-and-gloomers who claim that COD is on its way out, and you genuinely look forward to the new iteration every single year.
But Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare does bring a lot of new elements and a new style of gameplay to the franchise, and it may be difficult to keep track of all of the changes. If you’re still on the fence about whether to pick up Advanced Warfare because it might be TOO different than the COD that we’re used to, we’ve sorted out five of the most important facts you need to know about the upcoming game to help sway your decision.
1. It’s Actually Closer to ‘Modern Warfare’ Than ‘Ghosts’
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has remained the best game in the series since its release in 2007, and, in my humble opinion, Call of Duty: Ghosts was probably the worst we’ve seen in the franchise. And what is the general reason for Modern Warfare being awesome and Ghosts being less-than-impressive? Simple. Multiplayer maps! The multiplayer maps are what make or break a Call of Duty game, and Advanced Warfare has some of the best we’ve seen in years.
2. An Exoskeleton Doesn’t Make You a Robot
When Advanced Warfare was first announced, I was a little turned off to the idea of exoskeleton’s because I feared it would turn the franchise into Titanfall or Halo. But, I can thankfully say that Advanced Warfare doesn’t play like Titanfall or Halo; Advanced Warfare still feels like a Call of Duty game. The Exo Suit is intuitive, fun and creates more vertically in multiplayer — something the franchise needed. But while the Exo Suit is a fresh breath into the FPS genre, it doesn’t make you feel robotic nor does it completely change the way you play COD. You’re still going to get the same frenetic style of gameplay unlike any other game in the genre.
3. Manned Vehicles Make a Return
We haven’t seen manned vehicles in a Call of Duty multiplayer match since World at War until now. Sledgehammer has re-introduced vehicles to multiplayer with the introduction of hoverbikes. Granted, hoverbikes aren’t anything new in the FPS genre, as this year’s Destiny had them, and Halo has Ghosts. Still, these hoverbikes make getting from point a to point b feel less like a timely grind and speed up the gameplay so you’re always able to get right back into the action.
4. Kevin Spacey Is Great as Always
We’ve known since Advanced Warfare’s debut trailer that House of Cards actor Kevin Spacey was going to be a big part of the campaign. While that seems like an obvious marketing tactic, Kevin Spacey was meant to play this role. We’ve reached the generation of graphics where people actually look like whom they’re supposed to look like, and the COD Kevin Spacey looks exactly like the real-life Kevin Spacey. The realistically rendered character model makes Spacey’s character really come to life, helping Spacey’s character come off as believable.
5. There Are New Realistic Gadgets for You to Tinker With
Being that the game is set in the 2050s, we all expected laser pistols and light sabers for this year’s game, but that’s not the case. Instead, Sledgehammer has gone the more realistic route with their introduction of new weapons and tools. None of the new gadgets and weapons contained within Advanced Warfare feel unattainable, impossible or cheap. Sure, some of the technology is more advanced than the rest (I’m looking at you, infrared grenade), but they all fall within the realm of possibility for future warfare. Half of the fun with any Call of Duty game is finding the best weapons and gadgets to fit your own particular play style, and Advanced Warfare has provided a plethora of new war toys for you to tinker with.