Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Havoc Hands-On

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Havoc Hands-On

Release Date: 28/01/2015


A few months after Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare exploded onto the scene - and Atlas dropped the bomb - Activision is dropping another and releasing its first instalment of downloadable content, which sees the inclusion of some new weapons and maps - and boosting zombies. With Havoc on the horizon, we hopped on the train and headed to the capital to try our trigger fingers in a futuristic battle against the undead.

Upon arrival at the location, the popularity of Activision's futuristic shooter was patently evident. We entered a room that was akin to the lair of a Bond Film baddie, and watched footballers Wilfried Zaha and Jason Puncheon strive for survival against hordes of zombies; Paddy McGuiness take out X Factor's Luke Friend; Wretch 32 noob tube some YouTubers; a terrifying real life exo-zombie stroll about like he owned the place, and an even more terrifying world boxing champion, David Haye. Then, the real heavyweight pro gamers entered the room and taught everyone how to play.


Havoc introduces four new multiplayer maps to the world of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and each adds a unique flavour to the already existing selection. With tunnels, snowy mountains, Christmas trees and Clowns, there's plenty for everyone. Whether you enjoy frantic Free-For-Alls, tactical Team Deathmatches, or stealthy Search and Destroys, the Havoc DLC map pack has it all.

Probably my favourite of the four new maps, the aptly named ‘Core' drops you in the desolate Gobi desert amid the ruins of a rundown nuclear power plant. A matrix of tunnels and corridors with intimidating high walls dominate the map, and present the perfect setting for a shotgun-spraying, knife-swooshing Deathmatch; something which I'm significantly better at than my boss. I found myself running through the tunnels, tussling with enemies at close range before boosting out into the open and popping heads from a slightly greater distance.

Set in Dallas, Urban is the smallest map of the brand new bunch and features three tiers of elevation, which makes for a unique experience that showcases the game's boost mechanics. I spawned and instantly engaged with the enemy team in a fast-paced, high-octane fire fight, bringing back memories of those late nights in Nuketown. The symmetrical nature of the map limits flanking, but it's easy to navigate, meaning I was able to familiarise myself with its layout and creep up on unsuspecting adversaries for an easy kill.

If you're scared of Clowns, and eerie barren landscapes, this isn't the map for you. If you're like my boss - who unfortunately taught me a lesson during this one - and enjoy sniping people from a far, rooftop shootouts and rainbow bombs, this is the map for you. Sideshow is the most open of the four map packs, and more often than not you'll find yourself exposed and taking fire from all angles. I found myself taking cover behind a toppled Clown statue, and then boosting up on to the roof unsuccessfully avoiding enemy fire.

Drift is a beautifully lit winter wonderland set in the hills of the Rocky Mountains; it almost felt wrong to squeeze the trigger and spoil the scenery, but when I heard the thumping sound of an AE4 behind me, the scenery paled into insignificance. The colourful carousel in the centre of the map provides a focal point and enables flanking from the surrounding slopes and lanes. With less verticality and more lanes, you're more likely to stay alive longer; that is, of course, until the avalanche happens and decimates everything in its path.


Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has already unleashed an arsenal of new weapons from the future, giving us the ability to blast enemies with battery-powered directed-energy weapons, and cause Mahem by firing spheres of molten steel. With Havoc, comes a further two additional weapons; the AE4 Directed Energy Assault Rifle, and its blue brother, the AE4 Widowmaker.

I lit up the map with the Directed Energy Assault Rifle, which I initially expected to be heavy and cumbersome, but turned out to be fairly light and efficient, hence the assault rifle categorisation. The rate of fire isn't as fast as the majority of the other rifles in its category, but the power and accuracy compensate, and the Techno bass-drum-esque noise provides the perfect soundtrack for future warfare.

The AE4 Widowmaker is similar in design, and the specifications aren't too dissimilar, but it boasts a lightning bolt blue beam (which made me feel good about myself) as opposed to the red of its variant, the AE4 Directed Energy Assault Rifle, and sounds more like a snare drum than a kick drum - there's nothing wrong with snares, though.

Exo Zombies

A new breed of zombie has arrived - so has John Malkovich, Bill Paxton, Rose McGowan and Jon Bernthal - and they're nastier, faster, more agile and intelligent than ever. Play as one of the Atlas employees in a team of up to four in a struggle for survival against the mutants that spawned from the aftermath of the Atlas bomb drop.

The game starts in a similar way to previous zombie modes, where zombies trundle along and pose no real danger, giving you the opportunity to rack up some easy kills and upgrade your weapon at one of the many available wall units throughout the map. The random weapon box also makes a return in the form of a 3D printing wall unit, which prints a random weapon and gives you the opportunity to use the exo-zombie exclusive one-handed shotgun of the future, the Cell 3 Cauteriser. The Atlas research facility is dark and dingy, as expected with any adventure involving the undead, and sets the scene for what lies (or walks, runs, barks, and now jumps) ahead.

As standard with this game mode, your chances of survival begin to diminish as the game progresses; doors are opened and zombies find their running shoes, making their way over to your neck at a much faster rate. Strangely enough, there are infected zombies, too, identified by a glowing green trail that follows behind them that will infect you and kill you quicker, turning you into a harmless, spectating zombie. In the later rounds, the unavoidable exo-zombies enter the game - as do mutant mutts - and make easy work of sitting ducks, so be sure to have your exo-skeleton equipped and ready to propel you out of danger, or if you're Ali A, run through the crowds racking up a huge amount of knife kills.

Exo-zombies feels a lot quicker and more intense than the zombie modes released in previous Call of Duty games. The characters have personalities, which captivate you and claw your attention into the screen making for an even more frightening experience. The map ties everything in with the story, and leaves you feeling as though there are questions that need answering, and the inclusion of the exo-skeletons, new weapons and features further reaffirms that you're fighting flying zombies in the future.

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