Meta-review: Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

call-of-duty-advanced-warfareThe annualization of Call of Duty has been nothing but fuel for fodder when it comes to hardcore gamers and their fight against franchise fatigue. I’ll admit that I too have punched the COD punching bag my fair share of times, arguing that the series had grown too stale, repetitive, and safe that I was no longer interested in its offerings. True to that sentiment, I all but rejected last year’s game, Call of Duty: Ghosts. Certainly sales have reflected such sentiment. Ghosts sold significantly less than the year prior’s Black Ops 2, and if analyst projections are to be believed, this title is already set to sell an even lower amount. In the face of such criticism and lagging sales, Activision and game developer Sledgehammer Games are hoping to encourage a reinvigorated community by upping the star power (Academy Award Winner Kevin Spacey), and by moving the franchise into the near future with exo-skeleton technology that allows for a mobility far removed from Call of Duty’s traditional mechanics. Whether these additions will boost sales is yet to be seen, yet on the review side, the game appears to be getting great, if not stellar ratings. Check out what critics are saying about the gaming juggernaut:CallofDutyAdvancedWarfare_KevinSpacey

Game InformerCall of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s single-player campaign is a ridiculous summer movie romp with sobering visions of the future of weaponry. Bring popcorn, because the real fun begins with the multiplayer, where the wealth of customization options should have players coming back for game after game. (9/10)

PolygonAdvanced Warfare shows what the series needed most was risk. But it might be too much to ask for that to change too. For whatever minor missteps Advanced Warfare makes with its story, it more than compensates with vision and remarkable execution. The latter has never really been Call of Duty’s problem — Ghosts notwithstanding — butAdvanced Warfare adds enough and moves far enough forward with its new abilities to feel like a risk. Turns out, that’s just what the series needed. (9/10)

Giant Bomb: Perhaps holding out hope for something as revolutionary as Modern Warfare was when it hit back in 2007 is foolish. Be that as it may, as someone who has been drifting further and further away from Call of Duty for the past few years, I can certainly say that Advanced Warfare’s mobility kept me interested much longer than Ghosts or Black Ops II has. It’s the best multiplayer the game has seen in some time and the whole thing totals up to a satisfying, if familiar experience. (4/5)

Joystiq: Despite the familiarity, it’s been years since a Call of Duty campaign was as coherent and fast-paced as this one. Within the confines of its franchise, which has yet to make much room for a mature look at the subject matter, Advanced Warfare works with aplomb and, at the very least, plays its Big Dumb Movie card wisely. If you’re running out of bad guys, borrow some from Hollywood. (4/5)

I wonder what Frank Underwood would think of those scores:


Follow Tom on Twitter @thomaskagar

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