Call of Duty is one of the longest-running first person shooting franchises on the market. With the release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the series will hit its 11th primary installment, featuring a number of changes that alter the more traditional gameplay. That said, here are the most notable additions Call of Duty fans can expect.
Most Call of Duty games were developed on a two-year cycle. With two main companies working on the series, it was easy to have each studio release a new game every other year. When the new Call of Duty developer, Sledgehammer Games, was introduced into the mix, it marked the first time a Call of Duty title would have a three-year development span. This should result in a more polished game that has more of the features Call of Duty fans want to see in future installments.
Sledgehammer Games is best known for the original Dead Space. While Dead Space is a third-person shooter instead of a first-person title like the Call of Duty games, the company was asked to help with the development of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 after half of Infinity Ward’s staff left with co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella. That exodus gave Sledgehammer nearly two years of first-person shooter experience. Following the release of Modern Warfare 3, Sledgehammer began work on Advanced Warfare.
Unless you’ve been trying to avoid any and all information on the new Call of Duty, it’s a safe bet you’re aware of the fact that the game uses futuristic weaponry. Instead of throwing conventional grenades, players use a wrist-mounted launcher that fires grenades and other projectile weaponry like a slingshot. But what really sets the futuristic Advanced Warfare apart from previous Call of Duty titles is the addition of exoskeletons.
The entire multiplayer experience in Advanced Warfare was based around the new exoskeletons. However, they aren’t limited to just multiplayer. Exoskeletons factor into the story mode and can be used in co-op and other modes of play. For some, the addition of exoskeletons gives the game a Titanfall feel. The additional movement options the exoskeletons provide are similar to the movement capabilities of troops also remind us of that game.
Along with exoskeletons, each weapon has 10 customization options. With a larger array of default weapons compared to previous games in the series, the ability to have additional customization options adds more variety to your load out. While some weapons will still be more powerful than others, the ability to customize them means you can take a gun that would normally be less powerful and add custom options that mesh with your play style to create something that works extremely well for you. These aren’t just the normal attachments you could add to weapons in the past, you can actually change the attributes of your weapon to create something specialized for your play style.
Balancing weapons is always a tricky business, and with the addition of customizable weaponry, that becomes even more of a challenge. However, that’s one of the key elements to a three-year development cycle. The additional time not only allows Sledgehammer Games to come up with ideas such as the customization system, it also gives them the necessary time to balance it to make sure that weapons aren’t overpowered. Of course, internal testing will only get you so far, but this should be one of the most balanced Call of Duty titles to date.
There’s also a new loot system. While the old XP system remains, the new loot system adds an almost RPG-like element to the Call of Duty franchise. Destiny may be your first thought upon reading about RPG elements in an FPS, but that’s not the case here. The new loot system rewards players for completing specific tasks in game, as well as for time spent playing. Supply drops will come down and offer reinforcements, new gear or even new weapons and upgrades.
One of the final keys that separates Advanced Warfare from previous titles is the new lobby system. There are plenty of games that offer extensive customization, but rarely do players get the chance to show that off. In Advanced Warfare, players will be able to show off their characters in a new virtual lobby. Between matches, other players will be able to quickly and easily see all the hard work you’ve put into earning loot and leveling up your character. Think of it as ultimate bragging rights.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare releases for multiple platforms November 4.