While we saw a level from Call of Duty Advanced Warfare at Microsoft’s press conference, I was treated to two more levels from the game behind closed doors at E3. In development at Sledgehammer Games, the latest Call of Duty propels the franchise into the future, with players donning mechanical suits known as exoskeletons, or ‘Exo’s’, as the game team refer to them. Exo’s give players the ability to double-jump, scale walls and cloak on the whim and more, while also shaking up the traditional Call of Duty gameplay up a notch.
Player’s assume the role of an advanced solider in a private military corporation. Breaking with previous games, there is no switching between characters or flashbacks – Advanced Warfare features a singular, chronological campaign. In the first level we were shown, our character, named Mitchell, is chasing an enemy down a busy highway. Our car crashes, and we have to pursue on foot across a bridge. Bogged down by enemies and drones, our character employs his double jump ability to reach higher vantage points and defeat enemies on walkways.
As well as your exosuit, a new feature in Advanced Warfare allows players to select their grenade and toggle it to one of several options, including an EMP, a deployable shower of light that reveals enemy locations, or a smart bomb that automatically lands on your enemy when thrown in air. In the midst of futuristic grenades and weapons doing off all around, we eventually capture our target, but not before he releases several drones that latch on to the bridge support beams and explode. We are then treated to one of Call of Duty‘s signature moments, as the bridge collapses beneath your feet and you have to scramble to safety.
The second level we viewed, titles Biolab, tick’s the stealth level box, as you infiltrate an enemy compound. Pursued by an enemy helicopter, your character powers up his cloak ability, making him completely invisible. Even though you can bypass the guards, the enemy possess technology such as scanners and drones that can detect you, even while cloaked, so staying behind cover is still essential. A number of guards in heavy mech-like armour with mounted chain-guns troop past, and even though we stay hidden, I almost wish we could have seen these creations in action. Things quickly go pear-shaped, and the group commandeer a prototype tank to blast through waves of enemy soldiers and vehicles.
Of the two levels I saw, nothing straying too far from the Call of Duty norm, with traditional stealth and vehicle segments breaking up the shooting. I was excited, however, to notice a improvement in visuals, and no see where the futuristic setting takes the series. The potential that the exosuits may have on multiplayer also provides some interesting food for though, although we will have to wait for this information to be revealed later on. Call of Duty Advanced Warfare will be released on PC, Xbox and PlayStation systems on November 4.