Few video game franchises have ever reached the success and popularity of the juggernaut that is Call of Duty. Year after year, new titles in the series are released that continually further the first-person shooter genre as a whole. The newest Call of Duty title, Advanced Warfare, was on full display at E3 2014 and from the press demo shown behind closed doors, it is clear that this will be the biggest and best game in the series to date.
The E3 demo began during the first stage of the campaign, ‘Induction’. From the first moment of the presentation, the visuals of the game stood out. Advanced Warfare’s HD facial capture technology creates for some of the most lifelike and expressive human animations ever seen in a video game. In all honesty, it takes a few moments to truly take in just how impressive they are.
Each soldier seen in Induction is equipped with some form of mech-suit technology and the battle that wages in the streets of Seoul is explosive to say the least. The level opens with a thunderous crash and a city in utter chaos. Smoke and fire are everywhere, all represented with gorgeous graphical effects that draw the player’s eye to them, making digesting the chaotic war scene no small task.
Solider move about, taking full advantage of their boosters to reach extraordinary heights and mitigate dangerous falls, showcasing the technology of Advanced Warfare in a meaningful way. Hulking mech-suits rumble down the street, each footstep booming with menacing danger.
As the presentation moves through Induction, the sound design of Advanced Warfare takes center stage. Amid the battlefield, each and every sound heard carried weight with it, making the fighting come through the television screen with shocking reality. Explosions, firefights and futuristic drones are commonplace sights throughout the level, bringing the game’s futuristic themes to life.
In combat, the grenades of Advanced Warfare steal the show with their various electronic switches for different uses. In one instance, Mitchell – the player character – uses a grenade’s alternative function to allow it to hover mid-air as it seeks out a target.
Shortly thereafter, the presentation switches from Induction to a Bio Lab facility in Bulgaria. Advanced Warfare continues the series’ tradition of global-spanning missions and varied locations.
The second mission opens as soldiers are chased by a helicopter and a sniper. The rifle reports echo with astounding clarity, once more bringing the sounds of war to real life.
As the soldiers begin to advance on the lab, they don stealth cloaks, turning invisible at the drop of a hat. The team utilizes synch-tech to allow fellow cloaked friendlies to appear on their HUD. The team advances amid drones hunting through the stage, stopping only once an enemy squad rolls up. Unable to see the player’s team, Advanced Warfare’s visceral stealth kills are put fully on display.
Furthering their advance, the team drops their shields in order to recharge and reuse them, making timing of the utmost importance in order to avoid detection. Additionally, Seekers scan the area, their pale blue light scanning about looking to picked up on the stealthed soldiers.
After taking advantage of a new tool to repel down great heights, the team advanced from the jungle into the base proper, where their cloaks are perfectly suited for the tight hallways and corridors.
The demo continues through the lab, culminating in shootouts and the team eventually climbing into a hover tank, known as the T740 which is equipped with missiles, guns, shields and anti-air EMP blasts. Traversing in the tank, the environment is used to team’s advantage, blasting trees apart to take out large numbers of foes.
As the tank approaches a futurist helicopter, the demo comes to a close. After such a harrowing escape in the tank, there is no denying that Advanced Warfare is a treat for the senses.
Stunning visuals, explosive gameplay and an engaging story are all expected from a Call of Duty title these days, but after seeing the E3 demo of Advanced Warfare, there is no doubt that this will be the new standard to which FPS titles are held.
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