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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare PreviewE3 2014 Coverage » Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Preview

So there’s a new Call of Duty game happening this November? Gee, who saw that coming?

Activision has this habit of sometimes oversaturating the market with a good idea, such as what happened to Guitar Hero. Call of Duty has seemed to have gone that route by Black Ops 2, but the publisher wants to try to use this franchise perhaps just one more time to see if they can still captivate the audience--not like the audience was going anywhere as it is; plenty of people still play plenty of CoD every year. Instead of going back to wars of the past, or fictional wars of the present, Activision and Sledgehammer Games want to fight a war of the future. This means a fictionalized setting, sci-fi weaponry, and some rather nifty gadgets we definitely don’t have in the present time. And dammit if it doesn’t look to be a complete blast.

There is nothing really that innovative in Advanced Warfare. All of the abilities they showed off at the presentation, I’ve seen before in other games: cloaking devices, jet boosts, tagging grenades, and smart grenades. I’m sure everyone can name at least 2-3 shooters that have many of those perks. This is necessarily a bad thing as long as it is done well, and from what I saw at the show, it’s all done very well.

Ever since Modern Warfare hit the scene, the single-player campaign for Call of Duty has dropped by the wayside in terms of importance compared to the multiplayer modes. Sledgehammer wants to bring back a riveting story to their Call of Duty game, so they only focused on the single-player in the presentation. They didn’t even mention a snippet of what we could expect in multiplayer, if anything was new, if they changed the perk system, nada. As I am a story gamer who loves a great shooter, I perked up like a poor college student hearing about free food when the reps emphasized they wanted to craft a really great story for their Call of Duty game.

Since the E3 press conference trailers showed action sequences, the presentation only consisted of a stealth sequence to prove that the game is not entirely pew pew pew. In this demo, two of the main characters survived a helicopter crash behind enemy lines, so they have to quietly and stealthily maneuver through the enemy territory to meet up with the rest of their comrades. While the two could kill patrols, it had to be done quietly, and often it was best to just go around and avoid everyone. It was all made far easier thanks to their cloaking abilities and their supply of grenades that mute sound, perfect to implement before breaching a post and shooting everyone inside.

In many ways, yes, this sounds like just another Call of Duty game, but the new toys give hope that they can breathe new life into a series that is getting a teensy bit stretched thin. I’m now excited about a Call of Duty game for the first time in years, so it’s possible that means something at the very least.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is set for November 4, 2014 for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

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