Depending on who you ask, each installment of the Call of Duty franchise can either be hit or miss. Rarely do gamers agree on which title is the best. One thing almost everyone has in common, however, is the excitement felt each year when Activision unveils the game's multiplayer, and with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, this year is no different. Following the recent reveal of one of the industry's most popular online first-person shooters, here are six features we’ll keep a close eye on as November 4th approaches.
Exo Skeleton and Exo Abilities
If you paid any attention to the single-player reveal, you've had a chance to take a look at the Exo Skeleton, an in-game feature that blurs the lines between combat which is realistic and that which is fantasy. Also referred to as an Exo Suit, this device allows for something called Exo Movement, which includes Boost Jump, Boost Dodge, Boost Slide, Boost Dash and even Boost Slam.
The Boost Jump will act similar to the double jump that gamers became familiar with in Titanfall, while the Boost Dodge will affect horizontal movement (not unlike the Titan dash), allowing players to side-step attacks or emerge from cover to engage the enemy. The Boost Slam, on the other hand, actually works with the Boost Jump, allowing players to deliver a powerful melee attack to an unsuspecting adversary below.
As part of their Pick 13 Create-a-Class (more on that in a moment), gamers will also be able to choose from a list of Exo Abilities, some of which can be paired with various forms of Exo Movement. For example, if a player wants to temporarily float above the competition for a strategic advantage, they can use the Boost Jump to launch themselves into the air, then enable their Exo Hover to hold the position and rain fire down upon their foes.
While Exo Movement is available as a part of the Exo Skeleton and does not take up points from a player's Pick 13, Exo Abilities do. Besides Exo Hover, there is also Exo Cloak, Exo Shield, the Exo Trophy System and the Exo Launcher. Players will have to choose carefully when deciding which Exo Abilities to pair up with their Exo Skeleton.
Introducing Supply Drops
Veterans of the Call of Duty franchise are familiar with the XP system and what it means. Don't worry, that still exists for the purpose of ranking up, but new this year will be Supply Drops. Broken down into three categories (Enlisted, Professional and Elite), these appear to be similar to the Battle Packs found in Battlefield 4, and are awarded to players for completing in-game challenges and for the amount of time they play. While some Supply Drops will contain gear that players can use in the Create-an-Operator mode, others will be beefed up versions of the base weapons that can actually be used in the game. Once again, players will have to choose carefully, as each weapon customization will compliment a different style of play.
Create-a-Class (Pick 13)
Taking a page out of the Pick 10 Create-a-Class from Black Ops II, Advanced Warfare will introduce the most customizable class creation to date. Players will start off with 13 points, and can choose to use them wherever they see fit. For those who are used to earning high Kill Streaks, they can load up a total of four, in turn leaving a few Attachments and Perks behind. If you're like us, however, you could go with only one Kill Streak, leaving lots of points left over for your Perks and Wildcards. The beauty of it all is that gamers are free to create the soldier that best suits them, rather than choose from a drop-down list of options on a generic loadout screen.
Customizable and Co-Op Score Streaks
We all knew that score streaks would make an appearance in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and we're still not sure if they are going to be over-powered like Modern Warfare 3, or toned down and balanced like Black Ops. What we do know is that for the first time in franchise history, they are fully customizable... for a small price.
Taking the example from the multiplayer reveal, let's assume that a player selected the Remote Turret as one of their Kill Streaks. By default, that would take 600 points to unlock. However, players can now choose some customization options (or not) that can help the Remote Turret pack a bigger punch. Should they be willing to fork over an extra 100 points, gamers could choose to Rocket Turret, and even the Rippable customization for 100 more. By adding both, the Kill Streak is much more powerful and versatile, but takes 800 points to earn rather than the base 600.
Also making their debut are Co-Op Score Streaks. While details are still slim, they appear to allow the player who earned the reward to take on the primary role in operating it, while also letting a teammate join them. Take the Warbird, for example. While the person who earned the streak was able to rain devastation down from above, their teammate was also able to jump in and take on the role of marking or tagging targets.
While Create-a-Class will allow players to choose the instruments of death, Create-an-Operator is more like designing your character in Madden NFL 15. For the first time in the history of the series, players will be able to fully customize the look of their soldiers. Details such as head gear, eye wear, vests, pants and even knee pads can be customized. Again, not all details are available, but Supply Drops will definitely play a role. We know you're excited to rock your favorite Ray Bans with matching knee pads. Don't lie!
New Uplink Game Mode
We're willing to admit this game mode does seem rather cool, and might even make an appearance on the E-Sports circuit. It features one satellite that can be passed between teammates or even turned over to the enemy. The objective is to move the device to the opposing goal and score by either throwing through for one point, or by using your Boost Jump to deliver it by hand for a total of two points. We can't shake the feeling this mode is mix between Blitz from Call of Duty: Ghosts and Rugby. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare will be available on all major platforms November 4. Check your local retailers, digital stores for early access via pre-order.