After 11 games in the series, it’s hard to view each new Call of Duty game in a vacuum. Developers must try to innovate to keep the series from stagnating while not changing too much to alienate the hardcore fanbase. And after the seemingly universal, if not unanimous, disappointment in Call of Duty: Ghosts, Sledgehammer have a lot of pressure hoisted on their fledgling shoulders to make a game that is both fresh and familiar. The result is Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and for the most part Sledgehammer succeeds, bringing in some interesting new mechanics. But for every new thing brought to the table, it becomes even more obvious how they’re held back by familiar design decisions.