Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is 2014's entry to the long running franchise. While the single player campaign is improved on from Call of Duty: Ghosts, the multiplayer remains the same even with the changes by Sledgehammer Games.
A future war run by companies
The plot of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a standard action movie story that the series does so well. As a former US Marine, you join Atlas who are the biggest private military company in the world. Working as an operator you see how PMCs can function outside of the law. Armed with an exoskeleton that gives you extra abilities like a boost jump or enhanced strength, you have more tools to complete your tasks.
It's not until you realize the evil behind Atlas, that you try and put a stop to the plans by Jonathan Irons, president of Atlas. That's the single player campaign. It's possible to complete it within seven to eight hours and presents set piece missions like assassinating a terrorist or capturing a fleeing truck on the San Francisco Bay Bridge.
The multiplayer of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare doesn't change much compared to previous games. Core gameplay remains the same with the addition of the Pick 13 system for your loadouts. Recognizable weapons remain in the game where automatic weapons reign supreme against burst shot rifles. Sniper rifles are still hugely overpowered.
With eleven match types, there are enough to keep your interest for a decent amount of time. There are also matches that disable the exoskeleton and play like previous Call of Duty games. While there are some new match types like Uplink, you'll find most people playing the standard deathmatch, capture the flag, or domination matches.
If you're new to Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and COD's multiplayer, you're going to find it a little difficult to get your bearings. That's why Sledgehammer Games added a beginner combat school where you can learn a little about multiplayer. Unfortunately it doesn't really teach you that much.
Even though there was a lot of hype around the improved multiplayer, it doesn't feel any different. There are just small additions that don't dramatically change the gameplay.
Nothing out of the norm
If you've played Call of Duty before, then Advanced Warfare is nothing different. Most controls are the same. Even with the exoskeleton, the boost jump isn't actually available on every mission. There are two types of suits that you use and before each mission the game quickly shows you what abilities you can use.
The same control exists and the addition of different grenades types means you'll be switching on the fly. The game is easy to pick up in the single player campaign, but the addition of the exoskeleton in multiplayer does change your experience.
The biggest change and annoyance is that players are already claiming camping spots on most of the maps so expect to get killed during matches unfairly a lot.
Finally made for current gen
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the first game in the series using a new engine. Depending on what you're watching, the game looks amazing or just a bit above average. The main characters all have excellent detail, but as much as Activision pushed Kevin Spacey as a huge part of the game, his dialogue and acting don't always seem realistic.
The sound of the game is dramatically better and it's best played with headphones so you can hear everything. The voice acting by the rest of the cast is great and the set pieces in levels contain a lot of audio detail.
It's more Call of Duty
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare isn't a huge change from previous games. It's definitely an improvement, but since there are three different developers working on Call of Duty titles, you might not see the same quality next year.
If you're a fan, then you should get the game because you know what to expect. If you're new to the series (which would be odd), then the single player campaign is a great action movie experience, but prepare for a high learning curve in multiplayer.