By Jamaal Ryan
Modern Warfare 3’s Survival Mode remains to be my favorite co-op experience in the franchise with Ghosts’ Extinction Mode shaving in at a close second. I’m very candid about stating that wave based multiplayer modes are my all-time preferred style of co-op, dating all the way back to Mario Bros. (how Nintendo has absolutely refused to bring this multiplayer mode back is excruciatingly criminal), to – oddly enough – Star Wars: The Clone Wars for the Gamecube, to Horde Mode in Gears 2 and every franchise’s take on it moving forward. I’ve always preferred the idea of a neigh endless session with your friends in place of a finite campaign co-op round.
Today, Seldgehammer revealed Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s co-op mode, Exo-Survival, which leads me to believe that MW3’s Survival Mode was largely handled by Sledgehammer themselves. In many ways, it seems that Exo-Survival isn’t unlike what we saw in MW3. Waves of grunts, dogs, and heavily armored opponents flood the game’s multiplayer maps for you to fend off, upgrade weapons and armor with earned currency, and continue to hold the line moving forward.
Of course, Advanced Warfare plays much differently with exo donning enemies that demand both vertical and lateral awareness, something that only Ghosts’ Extinction Mode was able to fully accomplish with its wall crawling aliens. IGN’s Ryan McCaffery holds out hope that the exo-powered A.I. in the campaign will practice the same level of aggressiveness as they to in Survival Mode, however I’m not as optimistic. Having said that, Survival looks like it can offer non-multiplayer centric players an opportunity to feel like a badass when shooting A.I. soldiers out of the sky.
Exo-Survival is taking a turn similar to what Uncharted 3’s co-op mode did after Uncharted 2’s excellent predecessor by mixing in objectives into the flow of assaulting waves. Fail to complete the objectives, and you’ll be penalized with image blurs, limited weapons, or hostile sentries. Though I didn’t like the inclusion of objectives in Uncharted 3 because if it’s limiting 10 rounds and little opportunity to play it at its best, Advance Warfare continues the trend of ceaseless monster closets, supplying endless waves of enemies thus granting plenty of opportunity everything it has to offer.
On paper, Exo-Survival doesn’t appear to be dramatically different in terms of its features from MW3’s mode of the same type. You’re still facing off against endless waves of enemies. But with the radical behavior of the exosuits that combine super human movement and tactical abilities, along with mixed-in objectives that reprimand if you’re not careful, this could be - and excuse the phrase - the most insane co-op experience Call of Duty has ever seen.