Monday, November 10, 2014

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - "Impressions"

If you have been following my rants about the latest CoD release you'll know that I've had some mixed opinions this week. These opinions which favor, and insult the game for it's features continue to evolve as I type. Unlike most of the CoD games I've played in the past this was by far the most frustrating of them all due to it's complexity, and failed functionality. Taking a different playthrough path than what I usually do in a CoD game I opted to go with the game's Campaign from the start. I found for the most part that the Campaign was brilliant in delivery, but that it contained a few design flaws that sometimes would hinder my progress. Things like the lack of distinct objective direction, and the poorly crafted enemy/ally ID system really made the playthrough aggravating at times. Other than those issues the campaign was certainly the best the CoD series has ever seen, in my personal opinion. On the flip side, when it came down to multiplayer delivery though things got a bit messy, and half-assed.

In CoD:AW's multiplayer you will find that both the classic style of play, and the newly enhanced exo style are available from the start via the playlist selection menu. While I'm more of a traditional CoD player the exo jumping mechanics did capture my attention enough for me to stick with them for a few days before sampling the classic playlists. For those of you who haven't already played CoD:AW, or don't have a clue in hell as to what I'm blabbering on about CoD:AW has equipped the soldiers with exo-skeletons (Tom Cruise's 'Edge of Tomorrow' rip-offs) that enhance their in-battle abilities. These abilities range from boosted jumps, to accelerated dodging, and even life ending air stomps. You can even b*tch slap another player so hard they go flying through the air with the greatest of ease. This might all seem cool to you, and in a way it is to me too, but the fact is like any new gaming experience it all takes some getting used to.

Aside from learning, and getting used to the new exo gameplay mechanics you'll find that the game also has you enduring a fair share of issues. Among these issues you'll find what seems to be some sort of implemented lag compensation that once again benefits those with bad connections, or forced bad connections while giving players with decent connections a flash of the middle finger. Along with the unfairness of the lag you'll also find that not all guns, or loadout options will be beneficial when compared to others within the game. Starting off you'll have a bare minimum of weapons, perks, and scorestreaks available for equipping. These starting offerings do little to help the player win, and in turn makes the gamer think that the game sucks. As I've learned though the gameplay is governed by who has the best equipment, and who can combine said equipment with the proper loadout extras. Once you can grasp this point you can start getting those positive k/d scores that you'd hoped for from the beginning.

One thing that I did like about Activision, and Sledgehammer's latest CoD was the supply drops that you randomly earn in matches. These loot crates will gift the player three varieties of rarer weapons, and items which can easily turn the tide in your favor. The 'Enlisted' weapons, and equipment are low tier rares, the 'Professional' are a step up from that, and the 'Elite' are the best rare weapons you can possibly get. The unfortunate thing about loadouts, and equipment though is that the accompanying scorestreaks really don't make a big difference in your match outcome. People have rightfully complained that scorestreaks are too hard to get point/kill-wise, and do not really benefit the player using them, because of certain perks that nullify the intended scorestreak use. In the end it's all about the weapons, and equipment you are packing, and your ability to spot your enemy before the spot you. This of course brings me to the map related issues ...

Maps in CoD:AW are designed solely for roosting, and camping. Unfortunately the worst sorts of players know this. As you are running & gunning (if you choose to play that way) you will be hard pressed to spot everyone within range of your soldier, and figure out which are enemies, and which are your allies. In a situation where you can be picked off from multiple vantage points in a single area it is imperative that you are able to spot threats, and spot them fast. The trouble with doing so though lies with the fact that you have to look both high, and low now unless you are playing in the 'Classic' playlists. This along with the threat of roosters, boosters, and campers makes playing a multiplayer match rage inducing.

As it stands CoD:AW is a disappointment on so many levels, and to so many players. Things could have been designed better, and certain features could have been avoided altogether. I do give Activision, and Sledgehammer credit in that they are listening to players' complaints, and working on patches, but I honestly don't think you can fix a game as broken as this one is. The fact that spawning is a major issue with no easy resolution due to the fact that players can now make leaps, and bounds across the maps in record time using shortcuts, and whatnot really makes fixing the issue at hand an impossibility. With everything weighed, and considered I just don't see the game as being a viable esports, or casual at home CoD experience at all. This, of course is coming from a gamer who has played CoD since MW2. Take my opinion as you see fit.

Feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts, and opinions below. I know there are mixed feelings about the new CoD, and I feel everyone has a right to speak their mind (so long as it isn't trolling).

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