What Worked About Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare

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For some reason, late last night I started replaying Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s single-player campaign. You know what? That really was a damn good Call of Duty game.

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Of course, Mike Fahey said as much when it came out. But I’d recently watched Noah Caldwell-Gervais’ fine two-hour retrospective on the Call of Duty series, so I had COD on the brain. I never finished Advanced Warfare, so I figured I’d give it a go when I wasn’t being distracted by all the other games that came out last fall.

Today, I was chatting with Luke Plunkett in our Kotaku team-chat about what made Advanced Warfare good, and we wound up having a fun discussion about what makes a Call of Duty single-player story work (and why some of them are so bad).

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Here’s a transcript:

Illustration for article titled What Worked About iCall of Duty: Advanced Warfare/i
Illustration for article titled What Worked About iCall of Duty: Advanced Warfare/i
Illustration for article titled What Worked About iCall of Duty: Advanced Warfare/i
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Illustration for article titled What Worked About iCall of Duty: Advanced Warfare/i
Illustration for article titled What Worked About iCall of Duty: Advanced Warfare/i

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DISCUSSION

It’s a shame that popularity clouds judgement. Something being popular doesn’t mean that it’s good, but it also doesn’t mean that it lacks certain merit.

From a pure play perspective, there hasn’t been a bad Call of Duty game. They play incredibly well, reactive, satisfying and with great feedback. The stories have been flaky, but still, in the video game world, they’re on fairly decent standing.

I find Call of Duty a little tiring myself, as I prefer to play at my own pace. But I can enjoy an hours’ worth of non-stop, breakneck action when the time is right.