Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare's campaign mode is entertaining enough, as long as you can turn off your brain for a few hours. Leave it on and you'll trip over the gaping plot holes every couple of seconds.
Advanced Warfare is a Call of Duty game, after all, and there's never been a Call of Duty game praised for its deep and thoughtful story. That's why the folks at Playthroughline — the blog that explores how video games handle story — had such a field day creating the extensive movie-script breakdown of its sins.
It starts seconds — SECONDS — into the game's campaign.
We come into this world with our eyes closed. The most of us choose to live our whole lives that way. We blindly follow anyone that will lead us, giving ourselves over to —
Hey Jack, you're mumbling purple prose to yourself again.
Oh sorry, I was just reminiscing about us being best friends and having joined the military six months ago.
While we're on that topic, why'd you join up?
Seriously, best friend? In all our time together, this has never come up? Not even when we enlisted AT THE SAME TIME?
Apparently not! I joined to get away from my father.
Oh really? Is he opposed to the armed forces? Did you need an escape from a suffocating environment? Was there any sort of —
I joined to get away from my father! That's all I've got!
Their mission, should they choose to... oh, I guess they have to.
Everybody listen up! North Korea has invaded Seoul!
So OPLAN 5027 is in effect? Did political talks fall apart? Is there a resolution from the United Nations? Have there been any —
NORTH KOREA HAS INVADED SEOUL! Stop trying to find a deep plot in all this!
Soon poor Will Irons is no more, and we come to the famous funeral scene.
MITCHELL is attending WILL'S FUNERAL.
Why is one man spared, while another taken? To this day I couldn't give you an answer. But death comes for us all, eventually.
If you were still here, you'd have cut my purple prose short by now, best friend.
CORMACK is delivering A EULOGY.
A life is only important in proportion to its impact on the lives of others, which is a really depressing thing to say if you think about it. Also, doesn't it feel kind of wrong to solemnly mourn a single death while Mitchell here just indiscriminately killed countless of soldiers in this vague future conflict? Just a thought.
(solemnly touches coffin)
How will I ever deal with the grief of having lost my best friend? He saved my life and I couldn't save his. I left a piece of myself back in Seoul, and I don't just mean my arm. I'll probably need years of therapy and the support of those close to me.
He gets a QUICKTIME PROMPT to PAY HIS RESPECTS by ALSO SOLEMNLY TOUCHING THE COFFIN.
Or we can just compact all of that into the same interaction cue used to push buttons or plant bombs, that works too.
Soon Mitchell is drafted into Atlas, the private military company run by his best friend of all time's dad, whom he's never met. Soon it's time for his first mission.
TWO MONTHS LATER, MITCHELL gets his FIRST ASSIGNMENT.
We need to pretend for at least a while that Atlas isn't abhorrently evil, so luckily there's a massive anti-Western terrorist organisation known as the KVA at large!
What does KVA stand for?
Nobody bothered to think of that. Anyways, the KVA are led by a former Chechen separatist known as Hades, although we never specify whether he always called himself that or whether he took up the code name we assigned him. He hates technology, but that isn't stopping him from using it a lot! Like when he used a webcast to denounce "the cancer of technology," can you believe it?
Even for a red herring, I would've appreciated a little more effort in the writing than this.
We're in Lagos because the KVA have attacked a technology summit here and taken the Prime Minister hostage. We're going in, but first use this adorable little robot fly to recon the area.
MITCHELL takes control of the ROBOT FLY.
Awesome, I am kicking ass with this thing! Look at me smoothly whizzing around! Think I can fit it through this vent cover? Fuck yeah I can!
The game's flying it for you, Mitchell. All you're doing is looking slightly to the left or right.
It goes on and on and on. I seriously don't remember being this much story in Advanced Warfare. I probably blocked it out defensively. You can read the entire revised script over at Playthroughline. It's brilliant.