It wouldn't be a year in the Gregorian calendar if it didn't include a new Call of Duty
release. This year is no different, with Call of Duty: Ghosts
looking to capture gamers' attention and cash once again. Many gamers would argue that the series has been in a state of decline in recent years, but record-breaking sales would argue otherwise. Infinity Ward looks to deliver a captivating experience once more with Ghosts
While Call of Duty
is best known for its immensely popular multiplayer, there's always an adrenaline-fueled single-player campaign as well. The campaign in Call of Duty: Ghosts
succeeds in creating intense, theatrical moments. There may be a little less shock value in stabbing a guy's throat, but there are still moments that are engaging and exciting. Gun battles are intense at times but they're similar to ones we've had in previous titles. What makes Ghosts
enjoyable on the single player side is the variety of vehicles and special weapons you get to control.
As much as it was hyped (and quite often the butt of jokes), controlling your four-legged squad mate, Riley (a dog), was quite fun. Sometimes you have to stealthily take down a tango, while other times you need to lay low and gather intelligence via the dog's attached camera. The premise worked and most importantly was an enjoyable diversion. You also possess the ability on some missions to point out targets for Riley to take down in the heat of battle. Overall, these mechanics surrounding Riley were great, but could have been a bit more utilized.
You also get to drive a tank, guide rockets, shoot from a remote sniper rifle, and more. There's even missions where you're fighting in space. Movement in zero gravity is actually controlled quite well, and moments like these were fun without feeling gimmicky.
The story itself fails to grab a hold of you like that of the Modern Warfare
story arc. The characters fail to hold the same attraction as well. That's not to say that the story was completely a wash, just that it falters in comparison to previous entries.
Multiplayer in Ghosts
sees a few tweaks and changes but it certainly doesn't light the world on fire. New game modes like "Cranked" and "Blitz" may be the new go-to modes for some, and changing "Search and Destroy" to "Search and Rescue" works well. In "Search and Rescue", you can revive teammates by collecting their dog tags after they've been killed, or collect those of your enemies to confirm they're kill for the round. Not everyone is enjoying the "Rescue" twist, so Infinity Ward has responded to players outcries and will be bringing back "Search and Destroy" shortly while keeping "Search and Rescue", too.
One of the major additions to multiplayer is the new "Perk Points" system, which rivals the "Pick 10" in http://www.trueachievements.com/Call-of-Duty-Black-Ops-....htm
. The "Pick 10" system was a great way of adding some great personalization to your loadout while remaining quite simple. "Perk Points", on the other hand, feels unnecessarily complex. Some perks are worth more points than others, and removing items like secondary weapons and grenades gives you more points to work with. This system gives you similar personalization compared to Black Ops II
, just that it's a bit more complicated to sort out.
There are some new killstreaks to play around with, but thankfully they don't feel overpowered. This is a good thing when you're on the receiving end of some of the more devastating killstreaks. The multiplayer in previous games seemed to be busy in terms of killstreaks so to see the skies a little less populated is a relief. Killstreaks are separated into "Assault", "Support", and "Strike" once again, so if you want to be rewarded for team play and receive extra perks as your reward, these options are back, too.
Then there's the new "Extinction" game mode, which is essentially Treyarch's immensely popular "Zombies" mode, but now with aliens. It also holds similarities to features in "Spec Ops Survival" from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
. This mode is fun, but seems to lack some of the depth that "Zombies" has. There's only one actual map, the absence of which seems to create a hole. Future DLC will likely rectify this problem, but a more complete mode would have been welcomed out of the gate.
The absence of a true "Spec Ops" mode is a disappointment, as that seemed to be what Infinity Ward did best. "Squads" mode is a neat addition, albeit something of a re-skinned "Combat Training". The AI of the combatants in this mode is surprisingly adequate, both of your teammates and your opponents. "Squads" won't hold your attention quite like "Extinction" has the potential of, or as mentioned, actual "Spec Ops" missions.
Infinity Ward knows how to craft a quality achievement list and Ghosts
delivers a good balance of rewarding story progress and presenting secondary challenges. The only complaint here really is that there might have been just a few too many allocated towards the "Extinction" mode, but it's a balanced list for the most part. They've wisely chosen to forgo any competitive multiplayer achievements once again; there's enough about the multiplayer to keep you interested without the need of achievements.
There's just enough content here to keep you satisfied, but even the most dedicated Call of Duty
might be feeling a little bit of burnout. Call of Duty: Ghosts
doesn't signal that it's time to put the franchise out to pasture just yet though. There may be something that strikes a chord in regards to Ghosts
; perhaps it's one of the new multiplayer modes, or maybe "Extinction". Call of Duty: Ghosts
does just enough to remain viable, but this entry was certainly a step down compared to past releases. With new, giant shooter franchises on the next-gen horizon, this franchise is going to really need to shake things up to remain successful. Still, you can't deny the accessibility of this franchise and Call of Duty: Ghosts
has delivered on that front.
The reviewer devoted about 5 hours to complete the campaign with another 10 or so hours spent on multiplayer. Along the way, 28 out of the 50 achievements were unlocked. A copy of the game for Xbox 360 was supplied by the publisher for the purpose of this review.