It’s fall, and that means it’s time for a new Call of Duty game. This year’s episode of Call of Duty is Called Advanced Warfare, and it might be the biggest change to the franchise since the first Modern Warfare (no, seriously).
Thinking of picking up the new Call of Duty? Here are 5 things you need to know about Advanced Warfare:

5) It comes with some hefty minimum system requirements

Activation just recently listed the minimum PC system requirements for Advanced Warfare and they’re nothing to joke about. Here’s the bare minimum specs you’ll need to run Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare:
-55GB of free hard drive space (!!!)
-Intel Core i3 530 processor clocked at 2.93GHz / AMD Phenom II 810 clocked at 2.8GHz
-Nvidia GeForce GTX 450 / ATI Radeon HD 5870
-Windows 7 64-bit, Windows 8 64-bit, or Windows 8.1 64-bit (I’m sure Windows 10 will be supported when it comes out next year).
Typically, though, Call of Duty is a pretty well-optimized game that runs smoothly even on moderately-powered rigs. Since Advanced Warfare is based on the same IW 4.0 engine that has been used since Modern Warfare 2, I doubt it will be quite as taxing on your rig as other major games that have similar requirements.

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4) For the first time in Call of Duty, you’re not fighting for a country

The story in Advanced Warfare doesn’t sound all that different from every other military shooter campaign in the world. Here’s what’s going on in Advanced Warfare:
When: 2054
What: A global terrorist attack has been launched against nuclear reactors around the world.
Who: “A terrorist organization known as the KVA” and you, a former US marine who lost his arm during a battle in Seoul and now works for a corporation called Atlas. Oh yeah, and a dude named Jonathan Irons (played by Kevin Spacey) who is the CEO and founder of Atlas and basically wants to take over the world.
Where: Advanced Warfare is set in several locations around the world, including San Francisco, California and Lagos, Nigeria. Most of the locations are mysterious at this point, but appear to be based heavily in the United States, including lots of forests.
Why: Because terrorists are evil and because people want power.

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Ultimately, the most unique part of that storyline is the fact that you’re not fighting on behalf of a country. In every other Call of Duty in the series, you’ve been fighting for some country – even if you’re with that country’s black operations department. That’s not the case here.

3) Future Tech is the most noticeable improvement

Like I said above, Advanced Warfare still uses IW 4.0, the same engine used since Modern Warfare 2, so don’t expect overwhelming changes in the animations or graphics departments.

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One noticeable improvement however, is with futuristic technology. “Future tech” is on display all over Advanced Warfare, which makes sense because it’s Call of Duty and it’s set in 2054. Here are some of the changes you can look forward to:
-Armored suits with cloaking technology (technically we saw these in Black Ops)
-Military hover bikes
-Exoskeleton suits which naturally enhance the soldier’s physical abilities, including jumping, cloaking,  and minigun capabilities (this will likely sound familiar to anyone who has played Crysis)
-Hovering torpedo and gun turret mounts
-“VTOL” (Vertical Take Off and Landing) fixed-wing rotary-driven craft (i.e. fancy helicopters)
-High-tech tanks
Ultimately, the “futuristic warfare” genre has been done numerous times before, and most of the tech we see here has been seen in at least a couple other games.

2) Multiplayer is different (seriously)

Part of the magic of Call of Duty is its multiplayer. Let’s be honest: Activation could publish the world’s most boring singleplayer campaign and a good chunk of Call of Duty players would never complain. Because multiplayer is Call of Duty’s bread and butter and a surprising number of people never play singleplayer mode.
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But anyways, here’s what’s new in Advanced Warfare:
-Upgradable killstreaks
-New Pick 13 system which lets you pick 13 unique customizations, including 1 primary weapon with 2 attachments, 1 secondary weapon with 1 attachment, 1 perk from 3 tiers, 3 wildcards, 3 scorestreaks, 1 exo ability, and 2 exo launchers.
-Supply drops which will randomly fall from the sky to reward players based on time played or number of kills.
-New character gear customization options which are 100% cosmetic but look really awesome
-New “reinforcements” which will arrive through Supply Drops and can be used once during a multiplayer match.
Obviously, none of these additions totally change the core multiplayer gameplay we’ve loved in Call of Duty for so long. But they do add some interesting gameplay “dynamics” as people like to say.

1) It will be released on November 4, 2014

We only have a few more days to wait until Advanced Warfare’s release. The game will be released on November 4, 2014.
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If you’re interested in Advanced Warfare, you can buy it from Steam today and install it the moment the clock strikes midnight on November 4. Or, you can line up at midnight at your local Best Buy / GameStop. You definitely won’t be alone.

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