Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Supremacy (PlayStation 4) Review

By Gareth F 25.09.2015 2

Review for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Supremacy on PlayStation 4

First there was Havoc, then there was Ascendance, and now, there is Supremacy. The third incoming DLC care package to hit Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare brings with it the penultimate chapter in the Exo-Zombies saga, set on an overrun aircraft carrier, as well as four new killing fields for the multiplayer component, including a fan favourite from Modern Warfare 2. Sadly, there is no new weapon for the virtual gun cabinet to be had this time around, but the return of the Exo Grapple playlist more than makes up for this. Having set the bar high with the previous two content drops, there is always the slight, nagging fear of a dip in quality, as maintaining high standards when producing DLC at such a frequency is no mean feat. Thankfully, these fears go unfounded, as Supremacy lives up to its name and delivers a high octane selection designed to get those trigger fingers twitching. Without further ado...it's time to bring the pain!

It seems things have only gone from bad to worse since the close of the previous Exo-Zombies chapter 'Infected,' as after being captured by a Sentinel Squad led by a Captain Lennox, the opening scenes of 'Carrier' see Oz (John Malkovich) take a bullet to the head at point blank range. Ouch. Lennox (played by Bruce Campbell) is the man with the smoking gun in his hand, obviously spotting that the only way into this gang of misfits is to take out the leader... OK, not strictly true. Mysteriously, it becomes apparent that Oz (or Patient Zero, as he's later referred to) was actually the root cause of the outbreak, and had, in fact, been cured from the zombie condition and brainwashed into thinking he was a janitor, while remaining under close scrutiny just to see how it would all pan out. Who writes this stuff? Fear not, though, Malkovich fans, as his presence is still felt via his disembodied voice that seems to have been uploaded into the ship's computer (because... the future) and all signs point to Patient Zero rising up once more to become a nuisance in the final chapter.

The sprawling, maze-like aircraft carrier makes the perfect setting for some tense zombie co-op encounters, as the gang of four starts the game initially separated into two pairs, forcing them into work straight away to earn enough cash to open the doors to reunite. While sticking together as a team is the sensible way to approach the task at hand, it doesn't take too long before the relentless onslaught of the undead (including a new teleporting zombie), as well as the slightly more aware Atlus Strike Squads, do a good job of splitting up the dawdlers and amping up the stress levels.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Supremacy on PlayStation 4

Each of the previous Exo-Zombies chapters has had a unique hook, and Supremacy is no different, as this time there is also the added hazard of bombs that appear intermittently in random locations and require defusing before the countdown timer hits zero. It's also reassuring to know that in the future, live grenades will be disposed of by lobbing them into a ceiling level chute that rapidly moves from left to right that, if aimed correctly, will drop down into a Pachinko-like machine for prizes. Quite how that got past the Health and Safety officer is anybody's guess.

There are also four new multiplayer arenas in Supremacy, ideal for taking the fight to the world.

Parliament: It's hard not to feel slightly cheated when a map that has the Houses of Parliament within the range of a sniper scope skips out on the therapeutic opportunity of taking pot shots at a selection of politicians. For that matter, there isn't even the option to play as P-Funk legends George Clinton or Bootsy Collins, whose inclusion as unlockable characters would add some much needed colour to proceedings (bit of an in-joke for all the Funkadelic Relics out there).

What it does include, however, is fast paced gunplay… on a boat. Yes, it's time for floating death/murder on the poop deck with the obligatory COD boat map, which takes place on a military cargo ship moored up on the Thames estuary. Expect tight corridors, smaller compartmentalised rooms, a few dockside skirmishes and a raised central area that regularly becomes the focal point of some fairly intense fire fights from the open decking on either side. There's also a map-based score streak that involves a targeted fusillade of missiles dropping down from the sky, which is best enjoyed to the soundtrack of a lesser known B-side by The Weather Girls - "It's Raining Bombs!"

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Supremacy on PlayStation 4

Compound: The wilds of Colorado are the setting for Compound, a hidden Atlas training facility in an isolated location, which makes it the perfect spot to indulge in a bit of the old stalk 'n' shoot. Despite its relatively small size, there is quite a lot packed into this symmetrical map, from the tight little corners to the narrow multi-level pathways leading to compact open spaces. The tower-like structures in the centre do a good job of interrupting the sniper's line of sight, making this a map better suited for close quarters combat. Having such a cramped arena keeps the action fast and furious, with a layout design promoting a flow of play that will almost certainly result in death if it isn't followed. Campers won't prosper, as there just aren't any safe spots that can't be reached with a well time Exo-jump.

Kremlin: It seems Sledgehammer is attempting to cram as many iconic, real life locations into their multiplayer maps as possible, and has impressively managed to squeeze three different landmarks in the Supremacy DLC alone. This large map set within the grounds of the Soviet Union's presidential palace is an inspired choice, as the war torn remains of Red Square are the ideal venue to put the Exo abilities to good use. The bulk of the action takes place on three lanes of death, all overlooked by towers fitted with machine gun placements on either side of the map, meaning that control of the high ground is an essential tactical advantage going forward. Both buildings are linked by a fairly uncluttered bridge (the middle lane) that regularly features as one of the capture objectives when playing Hardpoint/Domination, although any soldier foolhardy to linger in that locale for too long is potential sniper fodder. It doesn't get any easier on the lower ground surrounding the bridge, either, due to the minefield that activates mid-match, making it a no-go area for clumsy Exo operators.

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Supremacy on PlayStation 4

Skyrise: Finally is Skyrise, a re-imagining of the Highrise map that originally appeared in Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2. It always feels like the developer has started to run out of ideas when they resort to dipping into the back catalogue for inspiration, but, to be fair, Highrise has been long deemed a classic, so it's hard to begrudge it a second lease of life. Not only that, but… can it be? Yes...it's the Akropolis in Athens lurking in the background (BOOOOM! Iconic landmark number 3).

Taking place in the middle ground between two Atlus skyscrapers, the majority of the hard fought action occurs on and around the elevated helicopter landing pad at the centre of the map, and while there are plenty of rooftop structures providing cover, death can come from any direction. There are service tunnels on either side of the map that lead directly into each of the opposing team spawn areas, which comes in handy for flushing out the less attentive enemies that have dug in and are a bit less willing to bring the fight out into the open. Some overhanging girders provide the opportunity for more daring players to potentially go unseen while covering the front exit of each tower; however, doing so ends up leaving them vulnerable to any victim who, for some reason, actually bothered to watch the Killcam repeat (it's a good job that nobody watches the Killcam repeat).

Screenshot for Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - Supremacy on PlayStation 4

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

It's business as usual for Sledgehammer, who has once more delivered a solid package that both compliments and adds longevity to the vanilla Advanced Warfare experience. There is a minor concern that a fracturing of the player base between those that own the new DLC and those that don't has started to impact slightly on the matchmaking, as finding Exo Grapple matches has started to take longer than it used to. However, those invested in the Exo-Zombies storyline should enjoy getting to grips with 'Carrier,' and the welcome addition of a wisecracking Bruce Campbell to the fray is a good choice that bodes well for an explosive final chapter.

Developer

Sledgehammer Games

Publisher

Activision

Genre

First Person Shooter

Players

2

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I'm borrowing AW from my brother atm, and I have to say that  I still much prefer the Treyarch developed Call of Duty titles. Black Ops 2 is a personal favourite, not only due to zombies, but also the incredibly enjoyable multiplayer and a decent campaign.

I'm not quite sure why, but something feels off about Advanced Warfare. Whereas Ghosts, that was just... awful. Here's hoping Treyarch hits the ball out of the park again with Black Ops 3.
 

I'd say most of the regular COD players tend to favour the Treyarch editions as a rule but I think Sledgehammer have done a good job stamping their own identity on the franchise. It's definitely polarised the fan base though as people either love it or hate it so it'll be interesting to see whether the Exo-suit makes a return for Sledgehammer's next game. It also seems a bit of a misfire that they locked the Zombies mode to the DLC in AW.

Having played a bit of the Black Ops III MP Beta it did feel a bit more like the traditional COD everybody is used to and considerably slower than AW which is good news for a consistently average online MP performer like myself Smilie

Ghosts was truly diabolical and I've even seen GAME knocking out s/h copies for £1.00 which probably gives an indication on how unpopular it was.

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