Review – Call of Duty: Ghosts

By: Louis Edwards

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Call-Of-Duty-Ghosts-Background

The World has gone to hell in a hand basket and the forces you represent are no longer in the majority. Can you handle being part of a much smaller force? Call of Duty: Ghosts takes the franchise into a new scenario, and into next gen gaming. Should you stack up and get ready to breach and clear, or is this game best left to die on the battlefield?

Activision was awesome enough to send us a copy so read our review to find out.

 

Call of Duty: Ghosts delivers an all-new world, setting and cast of characters, all powered by a new, next-generation engine. For the first time, gamers play as the underdog, fighting as part of a single squad against an enemy that has superior numbers and firepower. The single player experience opens with an unthinkable mass event. Weapons with immense force are released, destroying most of America and reshaping the world as we know it. As your home lies in ruins and everything around you is destroyed, you and your brother come across the remnants of a group shrouded in mystery, known only as the Ghosts. Together you must not only defend what’s left, but also take the fight to the enemy before they complete the destruction and end your way of life.

COD Ghosts_End of Line Next Gen

The story for Ghosts was surprisingly well written, as well as believable and authentic. Quite often developers for shooter video games create a bunch of action based gameplay scenes and then build a story around that, and the end result generally shows that. Ghosts didn’t seem to take that route as the story behind Ghosts was much deeper, and longer than we expected. Co-written by Stephen Gaghan, the Academy Award winning writer of Traffic and the writer and director of Syriana, the story would make a great stand alone novel in its own right.

Depending on the difficulty you play the game on, the story can stretch on for six-eight hours. On easy you might blow through it around four, but where’s the fun in that? Playing on Veteran, as any true fan of the series will do, should be more in the six-eight hour range. We found that taking our time, when possible, was the best way to clear out the large forces you’ll be facing. Being outnumbered ten to one should be enough to change your way of thinking, if not, I’m thinking you’ll need a bunch of body bags for you and your small squad.

COD Ghosts_ODIN Spacewalk Next Gen

Each level has objectives that need to be met, and missing some of them won’t fail your overall mission, so you’ll want it to come back later and do some clean-up. There are also some collectibles to find, so completionists will be busy for much longer on the campaign than those that just want to run-n-gun on Easy and rush into one of the Multiplayer modes. Unlocking new weapons for your to choose on your load-out screen is as easy as killing a guy and picking up his dropped weapon. There are a few weapons that you’ll unlock by completing objectives and reaching certain score levels, but always keep an eye out for weapons dropped when you pop a bad guy. Early on in the game that is the quickest way to up your arsenal.

The graphics for the game, on every platform, look stunning. While we spent our time with the PS3 version for review, our previous experiences with the title on next gen consoles at prior gaming events have shown us that the game looks great no matter what your console of choice is. Campaign level design is somewhat linear, as is to be expected with a Call of Duty game, but there are several times where you can go off the beaten path and flank the enemy. If you’re sneaky enough, you just might get the drop on a large group of bad guys and take out fifteen plus in a matter of seconds. Now that’s a great way to try to even up those odds. using a new animation system, the developer was able to give characters a more life-like look while performing various actions on the battlefield. The new lean system is a better alternative than the old peak-and-shoot system that makes you a larger target. Knee slides into cover and mantling are also a welcome addition.

COD Ghosts_Federation Day Rappel Next Gen

One plus for gamers that are taking the next gen leap at launch, the next gen version of Ghosts will only cost them $9.99 USD, as long as they have their game code for download (should have shipped with your game) and haven’t sold their game disc. The next gen version will also be downloadable, so you can expect a hefty file size (39GB for the PS4). Still not a bad deal at all for gamers that want to make the jump to next gen without having to pay full price again. Some retailers are even allowing gamers to trade in their last gen discs for next gen discs at the same price point, but that’s only for a limited time.

Developer Infinity Ward has had great success with their online multiplayer system going back to the Modern Warfare series. Even though that series ran its course through three editions, the multiplayer evolved nicely, adding new features along the way. The developer looked to build on that by adding in some new features and game types that weren’t available before, and succeeded in creating even more fun filled, death dealing modes that includes aliens.

Ghosts’ customization has grown immensely as players can not only Create-A-Soldier with that new system, but also create an entire squad of up to 10 unique soldiers which can be customized down to their appearance, Perks, loadouts, and style of play. In addition, each custom squad member earns XP toward Prestige and can be modified to specialize in various combat classes and across multiple game modes, allowing more flexibility and depth for gamers than ever before. Players can take each of their 10 soldiers to prestige level, retaining all of their in-game progress and unlocks along the way.

No zombies here

No zombies here

Extinction mode will pit you and up to three other players against an ever growing force of aliens. It will be your task to kill them as fast as you can, as well as find their hives and destroy them. Working together is the key, so be sure you have some friends that understand this isn’t a free-for-all, but a team based game that requires team work. Blasting aliens and destroying their hives earns you cash, which can then be used to purchase and upgrade weapons, as well as purchasing items that can help your team. Use your money wisely, as the waves get more intense the longer you survive.

The game also features another all-new  mode of play, Squads, which allows players of all skill levels to take their squad of soldiers created in multiplayer and enlist to play solo, cooperatively with up to six players, or competitively. Squads features a variety of play-types, allowing fans to swap-out their custom soldiers at any time with a friend for quick-action co-op. The competition can be fierce, as squad soldiers display life-like, skilled tactics and behaviors like side-strafing, corner-camping, jump-shooting and more.

COD Ghosts_MP Send Help Next Gen

Free for gamers is a very cool Call of Duty app for a mobile/tablet experience designed to work hand-in-hand with Call of Duty: Ghosts. Created by Beachhead in collaboration with Infinity Ward, the new Call of Duty app adds a new dimension to Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer by allowing fans to stay connected to the game on the go, and offers new features like Second Screen functionality and the all-new Call of Duty Clan Wars metagame, to create an even greater experience. You’ll now even be able to join clans created on another console. PlayStation fans can now join clans created by Xbox fans, and vice versa. While you won’t be able to play together, you’ll at least be able to share the same tags and such.

This being a Call of Duty game, the multiplayer experience usually outshines the campaign. While the multiplayer experience lives up to the CoD franchise, the campaign is a shining achievement in itself.

Well done Infinity Ward.

9

 

The Final Verdict

ProsCons

  • Great campaign mode
  • Well written story
  • Multiplayer as awesome as CoD should be

  • Squad mode not used very well in campaign

VerdictA Campaign worthy of Next Generation of gaming
Rating
90%
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