The newest "Call of Duty" game had sparked hopes that it could kick-start a lagging franchise. Now the reviews are out, and the results are kind of a mixed bag.
"Advanced Warfare" is the 11th title in the first-person shooter series, coming more than a decade after the first "Call of Duty" game launched. It's hard to keep anything fresh for a decade, and so far, publisher Activision has struggled in that department. (Video via Activision)
"Advanced Warfare" is the first game in the series to be set so far in the future and the first to feature a well-known actor, Kevin Spacey, which helped raise hopes of innovation.
The Oscar winner plays the villain of the game, and the developers were able to animate his performance through motion capture. Still, critics say Spacey's performance wasn't exactly revolutionary. (Video via ABC / "Jimmy Kimmel Live")
LORENZO VELORIA VIA GAMESRADAR: "The story really is just by the numbers, and it's really, 'This guy wants to destroy the world, and we've got to stop him.' There's nothing really special about Kevin Spacey. He's kind of there, and it's kind of neat to see him."
That was a common criticism of the story, with a writer for Joystiq saying, "It just doesn't have the power to break through the expectations of the brand, often coming across as an expertly played round of Call of Duty Mad Libs."
So despite attracting mainstream attention, the "House of Cards" star wasn't really a game-changer, so to speak. So what was?
Well, the game's multiplayer, which has long been "Call of Duty"'s most popular aspect, seems to have been reinvented through the in-game use of futuristic technology. (Video via YouTube / B1GnBr0wN)
MARK CIESLAK VIA BBC: "The new weapons and abilities keep things interesting, and the tempo of combat seems to have increased as well. Upgrades to exosuits and guns will keep the hardcore happy."
Those exosuits allow players an increased range of mobility, which led to comparisons with "Titanfall," a first-person shooter released earlier this year, which was created by former "Call of Duty" developers. (Video via Electronic Arts)
CHRIS WATTERS VIA GAMESPOT: "Getting up on rooftops, flying through windows, turning invisible to sneak up on fools, spotting their glowing silhouettes through walls. ... Does this remind anyone else of 'Titanfall'?"
But that reviewer goes on to argue the details set it apart from not just "Titanfall," but the rest of the "Call of Duty" franchise. "Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare" releases on Tuesday, Nov. 4.
This video includes an image from Getty Images.