Opinion Previews PS4 Xbox One 30

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Reminds Me How Much I Miss Advanced Warfare

Sledgehammer Games disrupted the Call of Duty franchise with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare back in 2014. As a series that has largely seen incremental improvements and, at times, odd detours within its highly established framework, Advance Warfare was precisely the shot in the arm that Call of Duty needed. An inarguably more focused story in its single player and more robust customization options in online play were certainly welcome changes to the franchise, but the introduction of the exosuit made Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare the best multiplayer instalment in the franchise since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.

The comparisons to Titanfall, a game that came from Call of Duty’s original creators, were understandable, but inaccurate. Although Advanced Warfare also featured jetpack boosting, Sledgehammer’s methodology differed in that it didn’t just liberate your movement so that you can make it from ground, to windowsill, to roof top within seconds. Advanced Warfare granted the player with positional offensive and defensive options that allowed the player to pilot their avatar like a mech, where you could dash in and out of cover or close gaps between yourself and the enemy.

When used for defence, the exosuit’s capabilities changed Call of Duty in a big way more than anything else. Historically, the franchise has been all about lining up your crosshairs and pulling the trigger quicker than your opponent. But with boosting incorporated into the combat loop, it granted the target a split second opportunity to respond to getting shot, and forced the gunner to always keep in mind the target’s option to flee, thus reading the entire level design differently. Titanfall might have taken away the need to use stairs, but Advanced Warfare empowered the player with more fundamental options in the heat of a firefight.

Advance Warfare Exo Suit

After Sledgehammer’s acclaimed departure within the Call of Duty ethos, the bar seemed to be set so high to the point that sceptical fans wondered if the next title would build upon Advanced Warfare. While Black Ops 3 has in no way reverted back to vanilla Call of Duty, much of what made Advanced Warfare control so well is gone, namely the lateral boosting. You can no longer side dash into cover or around a corner, or boost backwards if you’ve walked into the line of fire. When facing such situations in Black Ops 3, the game almost makes you feel like the sitting duck you once were in all instalments prior to and including Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Of course, Black Ops 3 comes with its own bag of tricks, many in which make it feel all too familiar to Titanfall. Yes, as I’m sure you’ve heard, Black Ops 3 has its own jetpack mechanic, but it is governed by fuel that can be exhausted all at once for a higher jump, or feathered for elongated air time. Even more reminiscent of Titanfall, Black Ops 3 also has its own wall running mechanic which, interestingly enough, players can also use to change direction midstream. Both systems preserve the notion of Call of Duty being a more mobile shooter, however the combat itself is, yet again, about who pulls the trigger first… except when you factor in the new knee slide.

Performing a knee slide is the closest Black Ops 3 will ever feel to Advanced Warfare. What’s interesting about Black Ops 3’s knee slides is that they are not just used for getting one up on an enemy. This is thanks to the added ability to rotate in any direction while pulling one off. The use of a knee slide can generally be applied to situations where your opponent’s location is somewhat perpendicular to where you’re facing. For example: I’ve ran into a room blindly not noticing an enemy to my left or right. After getting shot, I dived into a knee slide before facing them directly and gunned them down. Other times, while being chased, I would knee-slide into a doorway just before rotating a full 180 degrees and then crouching with my weapon at the ready, awaiting my pursuer to rush in after me. It’s a cool ass mechanic that’ll likely be useful in more moments than I can think of once the e-Sports community spends some quality time with the game. But it also makes me wish that Treyarch had more development time, or would have been a bit more thoughtful in carrying over all of Advanced Warfare’s mechanics to Black Ops 3.

Black Ops 3 ADS

Black Ops 3’s Specialist system can open up your options in ways that allow you to act and react at a moment’s notice, somewhat similar to how it was done in Advanced Warfare. Prophet’s “Glitch” is easily the best example, which allows you to teleport to a previous position instantly. Ruin’s “Overdrive” may also replicate some strategies from Advanced Warfare where once triggered, he’ll get a massive speed boost. But even if there was a character that could magically sprout an exosuit from their back and start dashing in all directions, it doesn’t change the fact that these abilities are Specialist exclusive. Because of this, Black Ops 3’s balancing incorporates all types of abilities, whether they’re based on movement or not.

Treyarch looks as if they’re going to keep the franchise relevant within the new growing trend of highly mobile and fast paced shooters. However, after following the welcome disruption that was Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3 seems to take a step back from the fundamentals that Sledgehammer introduced. Fancy tricks packaged within the new suite of specialists aren’t enough to make up for what was once a universal toolset for combat. Advanced Warfare, you will be missed (not that I can’t pop the ol’ disc in and play it anyway).

Be sure to check out our Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 review later this year.

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  • DevilDogA99

    Everyone has a preference & the right to their own opinion but I’m not sure that the writer knows what he’s talking about. This game was more of what we’ve already seen & the Exo suit was like someone stuck a bottle rocket up your butt. It made everyone target practice in Hardcore mode. The only good thing this game added was no double tap take downs in zombies.

    • Scott Russell

      ‘Everyone has a preference & the right to their own opinion but I’m not sure that the writer knows what he’s talking about.’

      I’m not sure you know how opinions work.

  • DanzoDood

    As DevilDogA99 said below you can have your own opinion but what your saying about how advanced warfare was the best thing since MW1 is absolute crap. Advanced Warfares dashing was not for getting to high places it was more to make your fights a huge tustle and absolute mess if you ask me. Black Ops 3 however uses the movement mechanics to get you around the map, boost jumping isn’t a valid tactic in a fight.

    • Scott Russell

      I don’t think you understand opinions either.

  • UnknownOne111

    No, just no. Advanced Warfare’s movement was a travesty. It absolutely destroyed any kind of map flow or tactical play. One could fly from one end of the map to another in seconds, leading to you getting shot in the back and sides almost every single time. It destroyed any semblance of having proper gunfights in the game and was just a chaotic mess with little skill involved.

    Treyarch have brought COD back to the point where I can actually have a proper gunfight with someone and not be constantly shot from every literal direction. Their mobility actually makes sense, one which you use to move around the map and position yourself better while keeping the actual gunplay controlled and on the ground. Exosuits need to be put in a ditch and never be taken out of that ditch ever again.

    • Scott Russell

      Who cares about the movement in Call of Duty? They’re all mediocre shooters anyway. What you should play instead is The Order 1886.

      • DeadGodsofKemet

        I heard that game wasn’t that great based on reviews. It has a pretty cool plot from what I read though.

      • TrevorHerr

        What will I play after the 4 hours is done?

        • Scott Russell

          Hook up a PS3 and play Heavenly Sword.

    • scottfree

      your tripping AW was intense, BO3 is boring cartoon corny crap

  • _Phaedrus_

    Love the exosuit? Play Halo. Every multi-player game mode plays like free-for-all. Playing the beta for BO3 was refreshing. Much more tactical. Clearing rooms/corners and moving into position requiring skill – not just the shooting. I did enjoy the campaign on AW.

    • Bob

      “Moving into position requiring skill” – Camping – Fixed that for ya.

      • _Phaedrus_

        Lol…hardly. More working through and around buildings, etc. Like I said, want to run full tilt, jump 3 stories in the air and free for all it on your own you could play multiplayer Halo.

  • Rhaego

    Wow, advanced warfare was by far the worst call of duty ever, even worse than Ghosts. Yikes. What kind of crack are you smoking?

    • Scott Russell

      Jamaal likes the subtle flavour of cool mint.

  • lainb0t23

    lol – 0 people agree with this article. I assume this is one of those “paid marketing” stories

    • Scott Russell

      I know this is hard to believe, but Activison don’t pay independent video game websites to write on their OPINIONS.

  • Hulkmaster

    I honestly think everyone just follows what everyone says…..bo3 was black ops 2 with wall walking and boosting jumping….nothing more. Advanced warefare was by far the funnest game and it will be for years to come waiting on advanced 2. Moving slowly on the ground kills call of duty. Stop the futurist bull.and going back with better graphics or world maps and then ill care.

    • Cole Comden

      At least i can tell that you’re incompetent by your spelling and can just throw away your opinion almost instantly.. i was scared for a second that someone with half a brain was against bo3, but i was wrong. Whew

      • Hulkmaster

        You have to be the dumbest dipshit I have ever heard talk. did you really try to clown me because of an error you pale mongrel. Look the whole part of a video game is to be in tons of situations unrealistic. You complain of jet packs and flying but really are you doing this in real life. BO3 is walking on walks and hovering which has already been done. I love advanced warfare which is an opinion nutbag so hop off and go ride another gamer.

  • Carlos J Rivera

    Whoever write this might not be a true fps fan. Going around a corner without an exo makes you a sitting duck? With no defensive options?well you always have 2. Cover or shoot and kill them before they do it to you exo suit double jumping is a xrutch. Bo3 is putting cod right where it needs to be. Aw advanced things a little to far with practical application in the game besides double jumping constantly to avoid gunfire which is more noobish than tubing.

  • joshua

    Lol. This guy said that advance warfare was best installment since COD 4. Are you serious ! I thought mw3 was bad but then they made ghost and now AW. Those 3 are arguably the worst installments in the franchise within the community of players who have played since call of duty 4.

    • Scott Russell

      You change your Call of Duty style guide quite a bit in this comment. Are you okay?

  • john baskin

    Wow…. what a laugh. Advanced warfare was by far the most infuriatingly frustrating piece of garbage that infinity ward has made. Advanced warfare has been the least played cod ever. Maps have absolutely no flow with the vertical design and everybody boost jumping around like a bunch of morons. Anybody who actually enjoys fps can see how bad it was. How much did sledgehammer pay you to release this article?

  • http://www.twitch.tv/modvs moDVS (^-^)

    “Said no one ever.”… I think you forgot to add that in your title.!?

    Or congrats to one of the best trolls I’ve seen.

    Or I’m sorry for you, that’s just sad, in so many ways.

  • Johnathon horne

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA this article is funny. I refuse to take this guy sereously now

  • http://www.twitch.tv/modvs moDVS (^-^)

    Said no one ever…


    RIP advance warfare

  • jaymib

    COD got so bad now, with all this future stuff, that i am now wishing we get a WW2 game again! 🙁 MW was great, it was MW, but then it went all made and flying into the future and now its just a sci-fi shooter. Can we get a COD game goes back to its roots or a new MW game, no future setting COD for awhile be nice or a post end of the world COD might be interesting, like The Division is.
    Anyway skipping COD this year, got Fullout and Star Wars to play this month. 😀

  • scottfree

    I miss Exos too!