"People donít want freedom. They want boundaries, rules. Protection. From invaders and from themselves. People need a leader who can give them both the support and the constraints to keep chaos at bay. You give them that, and they'll follow... And that's where I come in."
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is a First-Person Shooter entry in the Call of Duty series, developed by Sledgehammer Games and released in November 2014 for the PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and Xbox 360.It's intended as the spiritual successor to the Modern Warfare series, though the story it tells is unrelated and set in a new continuity. The game was developed by Sledgehammer Games, who took over development of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 after the infamous troubles between Infinity Ward and Activision.Advanced Warfare takes place in the not-so-near future of 2054, similar to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (which was set in 2025). Like Black Ops 2, the game features fictional futuristic weaponry and equipment such as "Exosuits", mechs, hybrid airships, transforming spider-tanks, hover-bikes, combat drones, wall-climbing gloves, and adaptive camouflage.In 2054, a terrorist organization known as the KVA initiates the first global terrorist attack in history by simultaneously destroying the nuclear reactors of developed countries around the globe, including the United States. Across five continents, many countries' military and government infrastructure including electricity and technology were devastated and incapable of fighting the threat posed by the KVA. As the result, private military corporations (PMCs) have become the dominant armed forces for countless nations and represent the first line of defense against this new enemy.Jack Mitchell (Troy Baker), a former U.S. Marine who lost his left arm during the battle of Seoul, joins Atlas Corporation, the world's most powerful private military company with the most advanced technologies on the planet. Executing clandestine operations across the globe for the highest bidder, Jonathan Irons, (Kevin Spacey), the CEO and founder of the largest Private Military Contractor in the world, Atlas, begins his war over the ineffectiveness from the United States as the promoter of democracy all over the world to change the global balance of power.
Tropes appearing in the game include:
Action Girl: Ilona, a former Spetznaz operative, is Atlas' best soldier and one of Mitchell's key allies.
The Smurfette Principle: She's also the only female soldier that appears in the single-player campaign, although female player characters do appear in the game's multiplayer.
An Arm and a Leg: In the prologue level, the transport that Will loaded with an explosive device blows up, and debris from the destroyed transport takes Mitchell's arm off. As shown by Will's corpse, he, too, lost his arm, his right one as opposed to Mitchell's left, in the blast, on account of it being stuck in the door at the time of the explosion.
The Antichrist: Irons isn't explicitly presented as this, but he hits a surprisingly large number of points on the checklist; he is a man of great influence and charisma, he rises to supreme power in the wake of a global disaster, has a messianic vision of bringing about world peace by Taking Over The World, requires all his citizens to be implanted with a "DNA chip" that catalogues them in a giant database in order to protect them from his Manticore weapon, and he built his capital city over the ruins of Babylon (New Baghdad). He even dies by you dropping him into a massive lake of fire.
Artificial Limb: Mitchell gets a cybernetic arm after his real one gets torn off in the prologue. Seems to be rare in this setting since Irons considers it worth more than antyhing else in their arsenal. Later on, it gets badly damaged and Mitchell can't use it, before he cuts it clean off to drop Irons off a roof.
Badass Normal: Even after being in a major car wreck, Hades is still fit enough to defeat Atlas' greatest warrior in hand-to-hand combat, despite not having an exo-suit while his opponent is wearing one of her own.
Mitchell manages to do the same thing later in the game when he (without an exo-suit) disarms a fully kitted Atlas Elite Mook and shoves him off a roof.
Hades, the leader of the KVA, seeks to halt humanity's technological progress and revert it to a 'natural state' with terrorist attacks all over the world.
Bigger Bad: Jonathan Irons turns out to be this after Hades is killed, who was aware of the KVA's world-wide attack on major cities but let it occur in order for Atlas to pick up the remains and make itself the dominant military power.
Bond Villain Stupidity: At the end of the game, Irons make a big deal out of not killing Mitchell even after he has him at his mercy, in order to prove he's not a monster. note All he does is leave him locked in his exo in a building that's about to be smashed into rubble. It's hinted that he still likes Mitchell as a kinda-son. Mitchell repays him by throwing him off a skyscraper less than two minutes later.
Book Ends: The game's first and last missions both feature Mitchell's left arm being cut off, him being carried away by a teammate, and a city under attack.
Climax Boss: Hades. The final confrontation against him wryly plays out exactly like every previous Call of Duty villain, with you incapacitated and watching your teammate locked in a life or death struggle, while you're prompted to try and reach for a weapon. Then he reveals the existence of The Man Behind the Man with his dying breath. Oh, and you have another eight missions to go.
Clip Its Wings: One nifty gadget you get is a laser buzzsaw that allows you to clip off a plane wing in seconds.
Cool Airship: The US Marines that drop into Seoul via drop pods deployed from massive hybrid airships.
Cool Guns: Somehow, despite being 2054, weapon designs have decided to look to the past for some inspiration. The "ASM1" submachine gun is Thompson M1921 with a more modern stock and tactical accessory mount points.
Cosmetically Different Sides: In multiplayer, the KVA are given exo-suits in the interests of symmetrical gameplay, so they fight identically to Atlas and Sentinel. In the campaign, exo-suit technology is very exclusive; even North Korea doesn't have it; the KVA certainly don't and have to rely on more low-tech combat methods instead.
Cyberpunk: Pretty much a textbook example. Highly advanced technology contrasted with serious social problems? Check. Megacorporations with enough resources to dwarf sovereign states? Check.
Danger Room Cold Open: Following a time skip, Mission 2 opens with Mitchell obstensibly already as an Atlas operative, working with a team to rescue the POTUS from a country lodge, which goes smoothly up until his glitching prosthetic arm winds up botching the mission, whereupon his captor shouts to reset the simulation, revealing the entire lodge and surrounding area is just an enclosed training camp attached to a larger Atlas facility.
Mitchell and Ilona, and later Gideon, do the same when discovering Atlas's true agenda.
Democracy Is Bad: Jonathan Irons seems to believe that the Third World simply is incapable of supporting democracy. He makes a good point in that much of the Third World lacks the concepts necessary for it; freedom of religion, freedom of the press, even basic freedom of speech - and that new democracies have never been created through outside pressure. He's still just a hair shy of Card Carrying Villainy, as he also smugly states that what the Third World really needs is a good ol' firm-but-fair iron fist, courtesy of him and his PMC, Atlas. Not to mention the mass murder through biological warfare which factors into his plans to achieve his goals
Depopulation Bomb: Irons's plan of assuring world dominance is a global deployment of Manticore, a chemical weapon that instantly kills anyone who hasn't been inoculated by Atlas.
Diegetic Interface: Instead of using a traditional HUD, gameplay elements such as ammo count and remaining grenades are projected as a hologram on the side of your weapon.
Disc One Final Boss: Hades is terminated 1/3rd of the way through the game. The rest of the story is spent dealing with Irons' plans for global domination.
Drop Pod: The USMC deploys them from a flying airship. Four years later, Atlas one up them by deploying them from an orbital space station. This allows them to send in reinforcements to secure a downed plane within minutes of it crashing...in the middle of Antarctica.
Inverted in the second-to-last level. Irons smashes Mitchell's prosthetic arm, so you have to spend the rest of the level fighting with only one arm. As a result you can't reload weapons and have to constantly pick up new ones. You also can't aim down sights with assault rifles.
Played straight at the very end of the game, where you get your very own AST Mini-Mecha to pilot.
Evil Luddite: Hades and the KVA's motivation is to return humanity to a "natural state".
The game takes place years after a major coordinated global terrorist attack, which has severely weakened the world's major governments and given Atlas the opportunity to step in and fill the power vacuum. It turns out that all of those events were initiated by Atlas, and that the U.S. is one of the few countries powerful enough to resist their rule. Also doubles as Oppressive States of America, as footage shows civilians being locked up and executed.
Alongside that, the Golden Gate Bridge is shown to get trashed.
Guns Akimbo: As with CoD games post-COD4, you can dual-wield pistols - and one of the machine guns is dual-wield only - specifically, a pair of gatling guns mounted on your arms.
Halfway Plot Switch: Hades is killed halfway into the plot, which up until then was more or less a typical shooter against a terrorist organization centered in a (admittedly better-defined) Qurac. After that, the rest of the game takes up the fight between the Atlas Corporation and the rest of the free world.
Heavily Armored Mook/Elite Mooks: Hades has a handful of personal bodyguards wearing some sort of high-tech armor (not an exo-suit, as it lacks the mechanical components and makes a distinct electronic noise) that lets them withstand about half a magazine of assault rifle fire before falling. Later in the game, Atlas deploys red-armored elite exo-suits with similar damage-soaking capabilities.
Heroic Sacrifice: During the Santorini mission, when the Atlas team kills a body double of Hades, they discover that the body is rigged with explosives. One soldier leaps on the body to protect the rest of his squad.
Hitler Cam: Irons at the UN, he conveniently leans forward on the podium just to make his "looking down on the scums of the Earth" that much more menacing.
Informed Ability: Enemy exo-suit users in the campaign do not use any of the cool exo-suit abilities you have access to, with the sole exception of the basic boost jump ability. They're not even noticeably better armored than the low-tech KVA goons (with the exception of the fairly rare red-armored Elite Mooks). Enemies in Exo Survival use boost dodging in addition to the boost jump, and a special class of enemies also uses the cloak mode, but that's pretty much it.
Ink-Suit Actor: Mitchell, Gideon and Jonathan Irons are video-game versions of Troy Baker, Gideon Emery and Kevin Spacey, respectively. Likewise, Matt Riedy (Kingpin) in the brief bits he appears in.
It's Up to You: Justified. Irons' new bioweapon is coded to target people who are not part of Atlas' personnel. As Mitchell, Gideon, and Ilona are all former Atlas soldiers, they are all inoculated and immune to its effects, making them the only ones who can stop Irons.
Knight Templar: Mr. Irons has no compunction about declaring the world to be in dire need of someone who can save them from themselves.
Le Parkour: In the campaign, the KVA make up for their lack of exo-suits with some fairly impressive roof-hopping skills.
Made of Iron: Mitchell survives having a van full of drones explode in front of him and being launched dozens of feet into a parked car. Yes, He's wearing body armour and an exosuit, but that's still impressive considering an explosion at that close of a range would have seriously injured or killed most people.
Mauve Shirt: Will Irons (Jonathan Irons' son and Mitchell's best friend) dies at the end of the prologue level.
Atlas operatives Carter, Torres and Rivers exist primarily to fill out a full squad of four and have very little characterization as well as being killed in "Fission" and "Manhunt" respectively.
Joker leads the initial squad in "Atlas" and is Gideon's second, but usually goes with the non-Gideon character whenever they split up and does not appear after "Utopia," despite being alive and active.
Might Makes Right: Almost spoken verbatim by Jonathan Irons in the second story campaign story trailer:
"Ideas don't determine who's right. Power determines who's right. And I have the power... so I'm right."
More Dakka: One of the weapons is the XMG-1, a dual-wield only pair of miniguns that can also be deployed to be used as a stationary turret.
My Death Is Only The Beginning: During the final confrontation, Irons states that killing him won't stop Atlas' ascendancy to becoming the world's sole government. The ending text for the final level confirms the war with Atlas is just beginning.
The game seems to share a number of design elements in common with Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, such as the wall-climbing gloves, active camouflage, transforming mechs, and armed quadrotor drones. The holograms in the briefing room Jonathan Irons give his New Era Speech in is even almost identical to those in the briefing room from Black Ops 2.
N.G.O. Superpower: Atlas is so enormous and so influential that it gets a seat on the United Nations Security Council after its many victories, and it controls most if not all of the world's essential infrastructure at one point in the game. Irons literally calls them a "superpower for hire" in their introduction to Mitchell. By 2059 they even have at least one orbital space station capable of deploying an entire company of orbital drop troopers anywhere in the world within minutes... even Antarctica.
No Ontological Inertia: The KVA quickly collapses once Hades is killed, potentially a Justified Trope in that there did not appear to be any actual leadership beyond Hades. Averted with Atlas Corporation itself; both Irons and Mitchell note that Irons' death won't stop the corporation's path towards global domination, as a corporation will have others behind it in case the CEO dies.
Oh, Crap: Jonathan Irons finally loses his calm nature completely as well as his composure when he realizes that Mitchell is willing to cut off his prosthetic arm to kill him.
Exosuits similar to those seen in the film Elysium are a core aspect of gameplay, being standard equipment for Atlas contractors and U.S. Marines. They augment the user's strength, and can uses bursts of compressed air to make super-human jumps or dodge sideways more than a dozen feet. They can also be equipped with a number of modular attachments that grant a variety of special abilities.
Super Strength: The exosuit makes the user strong enough to punch open doors, tear through metal armor plating, and kick people into walls hard enough to leave a crater. An exo-suit wearing soldier is shown to be able to defeat 4 well trained opponents in hand-to-hand, though in the process they do get in quite a few good strikes and grapples in, showing that the exo-suit does have its limits.
Bullet Time: The Overdrive attachment briefly boosts the user's reflexes to superhuman levels; the world slows down around you while you continue to move and shoot at normal speed.
Goomba Stomp: You can rapidly descend from a booster jump to smash down on an opponent.
Grappling-Hook Pistol: The Grapple attachment does this (it can also be used to pull enemies towards you Scorpion-style). Notably it is not limited to pre-scripted use (unlike in Black Ops II); you can use it freely during gameplay, similar to the Batman Arkham Series games, but it's only available in a couple of levels.
Having a Blast: The Sonic ability unleashes an area-of-effect sonic attack; it staggers enemies around you and briefly leaves them vulnerable to attack.
Healing Potion: The Stim attachment lets you instantly heal from damage; however, it's limited to a single usage per level.
Jump Jet Pack: An improved version of the standard booster system. It won't let you fly, but it does significantly slow down your falls, even letting you drift across long gaps.
Luckily My Shield Will Protect Me: The Riot Shield attachment is an unfolding riot-shield that can deploy from a bracer on the exo-suit's forearm; it provides full frontal coverage, but you can't fire a weapon while it's up.
Visible Invisibility: The Cloak attachment has this effect; when enemies use it, the blurry effect is actually very easy to spot.
Jonathan Irons' various speeches about the nature of modern foreign policy strike a chord with many players because, unlike many shooters, it acknowledges the nature of modern wars themselves, and how they often simply lead to more wars.
When the KVA has its leader fall, it falls fast due to no real visible leadership. However, when the leader of Atlas Corporation falls, the fact that there is a backup leadership means that there is an implied Sequel Hook even though the most apparent conflict is finished.
When Cormack is shot with a seeming flesh wound on the leg, most players, who undergo this kind of shot regularly in the games, would assume he's going to be fine. unfortunately, it's directly stated that he will die in approximately twenty minutes from blood loss due to a lack of adequate medical attention.
One of the things touched upon, is how powered exoskeletons have changed how infantry warfare is handled, as well as Military Operations in Urban Terrain. Because of the verticality that can be achieved with an exosuit, along with how much it increases the warfighter's capabilities and what it can provide to the warfighter, it has changed how infantry combat unfolds. Yes, the warfighter in an exosuit can still be slowed down, badly injured and killed, but in a lot of circumstances, the kind of damage they can do in a short period of time, one on one or in fireteams or larger, is nothing short of astonishing. An effective force multiplier, it is. Ideal for advanced warfare.
Replacement Goldfish: It's likely not a coincidence that John Irons takes a liking to Mitchell his dead son's best friend and treats him with trust, affection and eventual disappointment not bestowed to his other soldiers.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Irons gives a prominent one to the United Nations where he declares they are the problem that needs fixing. He delivers this in his first speech after becoming a part of the UN Security Council himself.
Irons: So let me be clear, I am here to solve the world's problems, and I believe the problems begin with you.
The Reveal: That Jonathan Irons let the KVA attacks happen to shore up Atlas' role as the largest PMC, as revealed by the data drive Hades gives to Ilona before he dies.
Scenery Gorn: The Golden Gate Bridge gets pretty hammered, as seen in the trailer.
Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: This seems to be Irons' mindset. Shown best when he responds to what appears to be the U.S. government trying to persuade him against invading foreign sovereign soil with the approval of Congress.
"Atlas is an internationally registered private company. We don't need Congress."
Not to mention this bit:
Irons: We're going in. General: On whose authority? Irons: On MY authority!
Semper Fi: Mitchell is a former US Marine who joins up with Atlas after being medically discharged from the USMC due to being injured in the line of duty.
Sequel Difficulty Drop: The Exo Survival co-op mode is noticeably less difficult than the similar Safeguard mode in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Players can survive more damage than in Safeguard and can upgrade their armor to survive even more damage, the purchasing system means players can customize their loadout and aren't at the mercy of the random numbers god, and the exo-suit's boost abilities make it much easier to escape from enemy gunfire. Also, there are no ultra-frustrating shield-bearing enemies (which, in Safeguard, could kill you in 2 hits and were extremely difficult to kill from the front).
Sequel Difficulty Spike: It takes noticeably longer for health to regenerate in the Advanced Warfare single player campaign compared to earlier Call of Duty games, especially the ones by Treyarch (the Black Ops series). This is balanced out by exo abilities that give you a number of combat options to save yourself when your health becomes low. The game also occasionally throws a Boss In Mooks ClothingMini-Mecha A.S.T. at you, which have no real equivalent in previous Call of Duty games (not counting Juggernauts, which didn't appear in the main campaigns).
Silent Protagonist: Turn to the Modern Warfare roots, Mitchell narrates the between-mission cutscenes but is completely silent during the game. This leads to a rather bizarre situation early on where he's having a relatively lengthy conversation with another character, but doesn't actually speak and needs a third character present just to fill in his end of the conversation.
Sledgehammer Games has looked into relevant in-development future tech for this game, including 3D printers and powered exoskeletons.
The tunnel and highway note which in an interesting sidenote is the road Double Fine Studios named themselves after leading up to the Golden Gate Bridge are as accurate as they are futuristic. Not surprising, given Sledgehammer Games' presence in the Bay Area.
When Mitchell and pals are deployed to a desert, they wear cloth covers over parts of their exos to keep sand from gumming up the works. Similar covers exist in real life.
The amount of detail that went into portraying Santorini is nothing short of stunning. Outside of a few high tech locales that we see, most of the terrain that Mitchell and Ilona cover are more or less true to life.
The dropship Zeppelins from the Seoul mission bear a striking resemblance to DARPA's Hybrid Ultra-Large Aircraft program, the successor of which is under development today.
Shell-Shock Silence: Weaponized in the form of the Mute Charge, it is like a noise-cancellation headphone that works on an entire room, perfect for when you need to blow a wall down without the people in the next room noticing.
Stealth Pun: Atlas's multiplayer announcer and single-player force coordinator is codenamed "Prophet." As in "Profit."
Briefly in the first level post-Time Skip, while exploring a deserted and radioactive city.
Torres: Man, I can't believe this is Detroit. Joker: Eh, it's not that different.
Again in Jonathan Irons' interview after Hades dies, when he is asked if he is considering an attempt at politics.
Irons: Well, I like to get things done, so... no.
Theme Naming: The game uses a number of names taken from Greek mythology, all tied to the Atlas corporation.
Throw Away Guns: One level leaves Mitchell with the use of only one arm, making him unable to reload and instead discard his emptied weapons for new ones.
Title Drop: By Irons on behalf of Atlas Corporation.
Irons: What you're seeing is Advanced Warfare.
Totalitarian Utilitarian: Jonathan Irons strongly believes that implementation of democracy has failed in many countries, and feels that people need strong law and order with an iron fist. He uses previous examples of failed attempts to install democracies by the United States as examples, and says that security is more important than democracy.
Trailers Always Spoil: While the trailers don't explicitly give away the game's "plot twist" namely that Hades and the KVA are a Disc One Final Boss and the true enemy is Atlas, they imply it so strongly that everyone can see it coming. Notably because the first several levels follow the typical Call of Duty/Battlefield formula of a heroic Western military power vs. an abnormally well-equipped Third World terrorist group, so when the twist comes it could actually have subverted expectations if everyone hadn't been primed to see it coming.
Twenty Minutes into the Future: 2054 comes with exosuits, spider-tanks, grenades with selectable modes such as threat detection and smart-targeting via tiny jets, drop pods for military insertion, 3D printer rifles(as in the weapon manufactures its own ammo), directed energy weaponry, hoverbikes, and more.
Unexpected Gameplay Change: The final two missions. At the beginning of Captured, your prosthetic left arm is destroyed and you are forced to play through the level with one arm, one gun, and no reserve ammunition. Mitchell is forced to repeatedly scavenge new weapons from the enemies he kills. The end of that level and most of the next level take a turn into Mech Shooter territory when you hijack an enemy AST.
Unique Enemy: In Exo Survival, the Drone Handler enemy type (dual wields autocannons and can release a suicide drone) usually only appears once in an entire 25 round game (half the time he doesn't even appear at all), despite only being slightly tougher than a regular enemy. Heck, the boss-like A.S.T.s appear more often. The Launcher enemy type (guy with a grenade launcher) is almost as rare, although he usually does put in one or two appearances every 25 round game.
The IMR rifle uses an attached 3D printer to print and load bullets from a cartridge of liquid matter. The result is a very unorthodox-looking reload somewhat reminiscent of the pulse rifle from Half-Life 2.
The Bulldog shotgun (which was first seen in Ghosts) is reloaded by simply swapping out the barrel, which has the shells pre-loaded and stacked in front of each other. It's based on the real-life MAULER by Metal Storm.
There's quite a lot of Truth in Television when Irons criticizes the United States' inability to bring peace and democracy to the Third World due to flawed policies, as countries with little in the way of democratic practices in their histories tend toward other systems or adapt democracy to their own systems instead, rendering the changes often useless or temporary. His criticism of them as only causing wars that lead to more wars for the past century (by the time of the game, that reaches back to approximately World War II) also strikes a chord.
Hades' rants about the over-reliance on technology also prove very prudent, as when Irons locks down Gideon and Mitchell's exosuits, they are in fact forced to return to their "natural state" and use primitive means to take down their foe, just as he wanted: pure, human determination, strength, and stamina, and nothing more high tech than a knife.
Visionary Villain: Irons' ultimate goal seems to be to "end wars before wars end mankind" (as the series' game over screen frequently says), however his solution is to end governments and unify the world under a single corporation.
War Is Hell: The battle of Seoul in the beginning of the game. The city has been devastated, and your squad comes across dead South Korean civilians in a subway station. At the beginning cutscene of the next level, Mitchell says that the United States suffered 6,000 casualties in four hours.
Walking Tank: The reveal trailer shows a spider-tank, which starts out as a normal tank, but the treads are capable of separating and transforming into legs.
With Great Power Comes Great Insanity: "Absolute power corrupts absolutely" is the major theme of the game's ad campaign. Subverted in the story in the sense that Irons was already corrupt even before the global KVA attacks caused Atlas to become the world's dominant superpower. In fact he sat back and allowed the attacks to occur specifically in order to acquire all that power.
What Happened to the Mouse?: Joker just sort of disappears about halfway through the game. He goes along with Gideon in letting Mitchell and Ilona escape, but later on when Gideon defects to Sentinel along with Mitchell and Ilona, Joker's nowhere to be seen.
Likewise, Pierre Danois is last seen being paid by Irons to help him create a new bioweapon. He is not recaptured by Sentinel.
Would Not Shoot a Civilian: In one of the last levels, during a prison escape, Gideon knocks out an Atlas technician after interrogating him. Notable because the SAS, Task Force 141, and the Ghosts have, in identical circumstances, all straight up executed captured enemy workers after they were done with them.
Zombie Apocalypse: In the alternate timeline of the exo survival mode, Atlas' Manticore attacks cause these.