Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
You are Kevin Spacey’s surrogate son. Look at those eyes, focused with paternalistic concern. He is placing a hand warmly upon your robot arm, the robot arm he gave you along with robot legs and probably robot other things. It’s a shame, really. It’s a shame you’ll have to kill him later.
This is Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Advanced Warfare carried the yearly military shooter a hop and a skip into the near-future, and in the process kitted out your soldier with a new set of toys to aid hopping and skipping (and shooting). There’s a double-jump, there’s magnetic hands for scaling walls, there are definitely some other things I’m forgetting, because it’s all very forgettable.
The story decides which abilities you’re going to have in any given mission, and then only lets you use those abilities in prescribed situations. Those magnetic hands, for example, can only be used on one or two walls per level, and in each instance they simply let you scale a wall and reach the other side. It’s not exciting. There’s no space to be creative with them. The level designers could have just put a door in that wall. And most of your other abilities work the same way.
The rest of the campaign is the same old Call of Duty nonsense – enemies at home and abroad, military industrial complex run amok, megalomaniac with a famous face chews scenery – but it’s twice as frustrating to have a robot carrot dangled in front of your face but always be kept beyond reach. As I said in my review, Advanced Warfare is Call of Duty doing a poor impression of Crysis.