Alongside their big multiplayer reveal extravaganza, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare publisher Activision had one final treat for fans of their long-running, billion-dollar franchise. In addition to the standard retail edition of the game, which will launch on November 4th of this year, Activision also revealed a special Day Zero Edition that grants early access to the game.
While the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare — Day Zero Edition is not going to change the game as far as special editions are concerned, it does offer fans a 24-hour head start. All fans need do is pre-order the game before release and they will net themselves the Day Zero Edition, along with two custom weapons (AK-12G Assault Rifle and CROSSBOW-B2) and all the previously announced pre-order bonuses.
Although a 24-hour head start might not seem like a lot, it could be crucial given the way Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare incorporates the campaign’s exoskeleton into gameplay. With it, players are faster, more agile, and they have a lot more verticality options than in past Call of Duty games. They also can add exoskeleton abilities to their loadout — like the cloak or shield — for added offense or defense.
However, if these abilities are tied to a player’s level that could change the way players view this Day Zero Edition advantage, which also includes double XP for the 24-hour period. Higher level players tend to win out in Call of Duty, at least early on, so if the exoskeleton is in any way out of balance then die-hards might want to pre-order now.
Of course, we’ve only seen small slices of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare‘s campaign and multiplayer, which makes pre-ordering a tough proposition for unsure gamers. We have a decent sense of the story, but what we’ve seen of the campaign (read our preview) thus far has left a lot to be desired. Sledgehammer’s unique approach to combat — i.e. alternating the gameplay dial from a stealth-focused 2 to an explosive 11 — could prove to be the shot in the arm COD needs, but we still need to see more.
The same is true of the multiplayer, which so far has its appeals, but doesn’t look all that different from past iterations when you take out the exoskeleton. However, if the suit is as much of a game-changer as Sledgehammer claims that could be all the incentive fans need.
The Day Zero Edition of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is available now for pre-order and includes 24-hour early access to the game (we assume it ships a day early) as well as the Advanced Arsenal pre-order bonus.
Will you buy the Day Zero Edition? How important is early access to you?
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare releases November 4, 2014 for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
Follow Anthony on Twitter @ANTaormina