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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

World exclusive Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare preview

11:00 AM on 08.11.2014 // Kyle MacGregor

The power of imagination

Activision is upset with us, you know. As it turns out, publishers love revealing things. So when someone leaks something before a publisher intends on tipping its hand, well, it gets angry. And you aren't going to like a publisher when it gets angry. That's when certain invites to certain preview events start getting "lost in the mail."

Missing out on a hot ticket like that sucks, but it's not really the end of the world. Everyone's played Call of Duty. And lord knows we've done a preview or two in our time. Hm... Actually, you know what? With a little imagination and some assumption of false optimism, I think we can make this work. You're going to get a damn Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare preview, dammit!

Even if it's a totally fake one.

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is the next game in Activision's acclaimed Call of Duty franchise, a popular first-person shooter series that allows folks to live out fantasies of murdering people in third-world countries. Advanced Warfare eschews the series' traditional settings for a grim future where terrorists strike nuclear reactors on five continents, instantly throwing the world into chaos. Enter Kevin Spacey and his private army of bad men who do bad man things.

The story probably isn't too important, though, centering around a Hollywood action movie plot that you'll likely forget within a week. Do you remember anything about the last Transformers movie you saw? I sure don't. I'll venture a guess and say there were some big explosions and cool set-pieces -- which is exactly what you can expect from Advanced Warfare.

As the moniker implies, the futuristic first-person shooter is all about pioneering gadgetry like jetpacks, cloaking devices, and hover tanks. You also get to wear power armor called an "exoskeleton," which makes ripping off car doors at their hinges as easy as kicking your co-worker Brett in the shin for no good reason only to then skip away while he languishes in pain.

While pretending to play the game I was overcome with feelings of intense jingoism, at one point rising from my chair to shout "U-S-A" repeatedly until an imaginary PR representative restrained and doused me with a fire extinguisher full of Mountain Dew. On other occasions, I found myself remarking on the title's filmic quality and the realistic rendering of Kevin Spacey's jowls. 

Once I had my fill of envisioning what the campaign would be like, I moved on to the real meat and potatoes of Call of Duty -- the multiplayer -- where you get to shoot dudes online. I love shooting dudes online. It's the perfect place to exert virtual dominance over others, providing an arena to combat low self-esteem with flagrant displays of teabagging and high-pitched shrieks.

My spiritual journey also conjured images of a perk system, which puts newer players at a disadvantage with a more limited set of weapons and upgrades to choose from, while also tricking veterans to keep playing the game with devilish psychological ploys.

I assume the multiplayer experience at the preview event was just stellar, hosted on the finest servers Skylanders NFC toy money can buy. What you encounter out in the wild might not be as amazing as what I played at Castle von Activision, though. Or in this case didn't play, as I am making all this up.

In summation, I am generally optimistic about Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare because this is a preview and previews are generally optimistic. I do have some concerns, though. Would it have been too much to ask Kevin Spacey to reprise his gentlemanly Southern accent from the Netflix original series House of Cards? Why isn't the game coming to PlayStation Vita? And which retailer will have the best pre-order bonuses? (What the hell Watch Dogs?) At least we know this will be a truly next-gen epic visceral experience like none other -- until the next one.

/dubstep outro


Kyle MacGregor, Associate Editor
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