Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s Gamescom footage is rather dull

12 Aug 2014  by   Tim McDonald
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call of duty advanced warfare spacey

Warning: no Spacey in the footage below.

Everyone! There’s new gameplay footage for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, courtesy of the Xbox conference at Gamescom! It’s a bit rubbish!

I’m sorry. I unapologetically enjoy the Call of Duty franchise (with the exception of Call of Duty: Ghosts) but I’m finding it very hard to rouse any interest in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and this latest gameplay video hasn’t done much to help. There’s not even any Kevin Spacey to help.

This latest video is from the level “Collapse”, with our lantern-jawed heroes shooting their way across the Golden Gate Bridge. It opens with a car chase, which looks sort of impressive in the Michael Bay sense of “things moving fast” and “stuff exploding” being impressive, until you realise that it’s a sequence that will be predicted on holding down accelerate and occasionally waggling the vehicle left or right. Then it’s into a scripted car crash, and then naughty soldier men pop up and you have to shoot them.

On the plus side, there are some neat gizmos. There are hovering homing grenades that bob towards their targets a drunk in a tugboat, and a lovely little sonic ping that highlights all enemies in the area through terrain. On the downside, it’s still very, very Call of Duty; even on a level as linear as a bridge it still finds the time to tell you what to do. “Mitchell, engage your boost,” shouts the gruff NPC you’re presumably following for most of this game, telling you exactly how you’re meant to get over the

I’d like to repeat that. You’re on a bridge, which is one of the most linear structures man has ever built, but the game specifically mentions that you have to use your new exoskeleton boost ability – which lets you jump quite high – to get over the obstacle blocking your path. So much for any sense of freedom. This is quickly followed by an “in the interests of time” cut to later in the level (which is still about shooting men on the bridge) and then it’s into another scripted sequence. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, everyone.

No remote-controlled dogs, but there is a wonderful moment with the protagonist fucking up a car for no good reason. Apparently, you can rip the doors off vehicles to use them as impromptu shields – which is quite good! Except that there’s nobody shooting at him when he does this, so he throws it away almost immediately. A brief moment of unintentional levity in an otherwise gruelling seven-minute slog through man-shooting and scripted explosions in a single, entirely linear environment.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is due out on 4 November this year, and for my sins, I’ll probably be reviewing it. You can sigh at the new gameplay footage below.

Also: does anyone else find it ironic that the game’s tagline is “Power changes everything” when Advanced Warfare looks almost identical to the last seven games?

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