You get just a novel snippet of peace in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. In this shooter’s future, technology has trumped terrorism, rooted out the last evil masterminds and flexed its bionic muscles in total defiance of lead-footed politicians who’d rather talk than get things done. “The world is running out of bad guys,” your partner says, hopeful but tragically unaware that he’s basically describing a video game glitch. Call of Duty never runs out of bad guys.
This one gets points for honesty, though, in that there is no pretentious cover-up of why the good guys beat the bad guys (or why the plot finds them easily interchangeable). In Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, you win because you have better guns, stronger sights, super abilities and superior movement. Whether it’s in the rich and varied multiplayer mode, or the frantic, thrill-a-minute single-player campaign, you’re constantly relying on cool weapons and combat data to make taking lives easier. Advanced Warfare front-loads the benefits of power in a franchise that has always made technology the exalted, almost fetishized solution to every problem. And you know what? It’s more fun when it admits as much.