Sledgehammer Games and Activision held their Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Multiplayer Premiere at Gamescon 2014 in Cologne, Germany earlier today to showcase what’s new in multiplayer for the Call of Duty franchise.
Having already been teased at E3 with some great new additions to the game in the form of exoskeletons, quantum weapons and more, gamers have been keen to find out what changes have been made to the multiplayer portion of the game and how the new weapons, exoskeletons, and the like fit into the equation.
Eric Hirshberg, CEO of Activision, took the stage first to show off the new features of this next installment in the Call of Duty franchise – which he stated has been developed from day one to be a next generation game.
Without further ado, here is the multiplayer trailer for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.
Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, Studio Heads at Sledgehammer Games, came on stage after the trailer was shown and began discussing how they wanted to add a fresh perspective to the series and multiplayer through the addition of the exoskeleten while remaining true to what Call of Duty players have come to expect throughout the franchise.
Shofield and Condrey spoke about the newly added exoskeleton and how it adds game changing movement to offer more distinct possibilities than ever before for navigating through the multiplayer maps. With the exoskeleton – or exo for short, your character is faster, stronger and more tactical than ever. Some of the features of the exo
- Exo Boost Jump – introduces verticality which offers a new layer of strategy and tactical options and new ways to navigate the maps which lead to Sledgehammer Games having to think about map design differently
- Exo Boost Dodge – quickly move laterally in and out of coverage for quick attacks and unmatched defensive maneuvering
- Exo Boost Slide – enhanced slide that works well with boost jump
- Exo Boost Dash – speed boost in all directions while in the air
- Exo Bboost Slam – all new air to ground melee attack
The exo also features cloaking, exo-shield, hovering, and the Exo-trophy system can take out two enemy projectiles (such as grenades) at once for an added level of defensive protection.
While players will still rank through XP, supply drops are being added to the game to add a new layer of reward. There will be three classes of loot – weapon loot, character gear, and reinforcements. All three classes will have varying degress of rarity starting with Enlisted, Professional, and finally Elite.
- Weapon Loot – modifies the base stats of weapons and features 10 custom options which allows for nearly 350 custom weapons out of the box. These can be further customized with weapon attachments.
- Character Gear – allows for more customization and personalization of your character with the new character creation system
- Reinforcements – one time use items to be activated through the match at specific times based on perks and/or kill streaks
With Supply Drops, the more you play, the more you receive which in the long run will reward players who dedicate a lot of time to Call of Duty multiplayer.
Customization in Advanced Warfare begins with your character class load out. Sledgehammer introduced Pick 13 which takes everything from the Pick 10 system and introduces the flexibility of Scorestreaks. Players can customize between 0-4 Scorestreaks, which allows you to load up on other add-ons and customizations based on your play type. Don’t get a lot of Scorestreaks? Customize your character with other options that will be more useful to you.
Scorestreak customizations are add-ons that add upgrades through increasing costs to customize weapons based on your play style. And for the first time ever in the franchise, Sledgehammer unveiled that any member on your team can join the primary player to team up for combined Co-op Scorestreaks.
New player selected Exo Abilities can be activated through the match are available through Pick 13 for a cost. These include hover, shield, and cloak – and can used until battery depleted. In addition, an Exo Launcher can be equipped so players can utilize EMP grenades, drones, tracking grenades, and more. Exo Perks on the other hand include perks such as blast suppressors, fast hands (for faster equipping/swapping), gung-ho (fire while sprinting and sliding), and overcharge (more energy) to further customize your character to your play style.
Other Multiplayer Enhancements
Other enhancements to multiplayer in Advanced Warfare include the ability to try out your build before the match starts in the Virtual Firing Range which you can hit instantly with no load times between matches. Create-An-Operator allows a new level of freedom to build your character the way you want from top to bottom including everything from head customization to helmets, eye wear, shirts, boots, pants, and even the exoskeleton. As well, the Virtual Lobby allows you to showcase your advanced soldier as well as see others you are matched up with (or against) and see all their gear, load outs, and customization options.
Greg Reisdorf, Multiplayer Lead Designer at Sledgehammer, started off by saying that the main goal with Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was to enhance tactical combat. Four launch maps were announced and include:
- Biolab: takes place a bioengineering facility in Monument Valley and features a close quarter combat interior & snow covered grounds exterior. This map is small to medium sized for quick engagement and features chemical containers which can be ruptured to take out opponents with poison gas.
- Riot: set in a bombed out prison in Baghdad and features an inmate tracking function which can be accessed by players to give them an advantage against the other team during the match.
- Ascend: a CTF three lane design map with lots of vertical options is set in a Space Elevator Terminal.
- Defender: a medium sized map in San Francisco which takes place in an abandoned bunker near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. A Tsunami occurs mid game, so the Exo hover ability will be a huge benefit in this map.
Some of the returning modes include Team Deathmatch, CTF, Hardpoint, Domination, and Search & Destroy. All these modes have been augmented by the presence of the exo.
Momentum is a new map mode which will be a new take on classic mode War, while Uplink features a satellite ball which can be passed to teammates (or enemy to render him temporarily weaponless) with the goal of tossing it through a goal to score 1 point or jump through the goal with your player while holding the satellite ball for 2 points.
Shofield and Condrey also touched on E-Sports support and briefly mentioned the inclusion of E-Sports specific functionality including:
- Hardpoint & CTF
- Round Based Domination
- Brodacaster Mode
- Ranked Playlists
- LAN Lobbies
- Private Match Rule-Set
Clan Wars was briefly teased as well and will be added to the game after launch.
Day Zero Edition
Eric Hirshberg returned to the stage for one final announcement. Gamers who pre-order the game can pick it up and play one day earlier. Called Day Zero Edition, players get 24 hour early access, double XP, and two new bonus custom weapons along with advanced arsenal custom exoskeleton & EM1 quantum weapon. The Day Zero Edition is available on every platform the game launches on and Hirshberg also mentioned that it will be available digitally. I’m not sure if this just means the game itself will be available digitally or if the pre-order will be available digitally as well. If the latter, this is the second time recently that a studio has announced a pre-order for a game will be available digitally as well as through physical stores.
Personally, I’m not a huge Call of Duty – or Battlefield for that matter – multiplayer fan. I’ve always found that the game franchise heavily rewards those who devote a lot of time to playing, and this is evident again with the introduction of Supply Drops and how they reward players based partially on the amount of time they play. The inclusion of the exoskeleton will definitely add a new dimension to game play and players will have to adapt their tactical thinking, however I couldn’t help but think Titanfall without the Titans while watching certain clips of the gameplay.
What do you think about the multiplayer features and enhancements that were just announced? Are you looking forward to the latest addition to the Call of Duty franchise or are you going to pass on this one? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook, or Twitter!
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare comes to Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on November 4, 2014.
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