Does it suck? How bad is it this year? Is it still a pile of you know what? Well if you would just read my review for a couple of minutes, I shall tell you. We all know that Call of Duty hasn’t been up to scratch since Black Ops was released back in 2010. I have always been a fan of Call of Duty, but even I can see that the franchise has been going downhill faster than a sled on a cold, winter night. Since the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, a lot of the fans have wanted another satisfying experience. The only thing we have had since then is a lag infested multiplayer with overpowered weapons and sniper rifles that beat everything. This is not how an FPS should be, and I’m sure that Activision, Infinity Ward and Treyarch all knew this, yet they still produced these games because they would earn a hell of a lot of money off of them and that’s ridiculous. Anyway, what could IW do to bring the series back? Could this be the game that brings the fans back, could it be the start of something fresh or is it just going to be another half completed FPS?
A lot of people seem to forget that Call of Duty has a campaign. You see all these people buying Call of Duty just for the multiplayer these days, and I can understand why. The campaign’s usually nothing spectacular, long or really that entertaining, but it’s still something to do. Usually a Call of Duty campaign takes between 3 – 6 hours to complete – depending on how fast you want to complete it that is – and that’s not very long for a single player experience. Call of Duty: Ghosts doesn’t really change that fact. It’s still a very short campaign, yet it feels better than previous attempts. You have the similarities like the whole Modern Warfare 2 fiasco, where Infinity Ward were criticised for taking a scene from Modern Warfare 2 and implementing it into Call of Duty: Ghosts. Now, that is lazy, yet I didn’t mind it as much as I thought I would. I liked MW2 and the scene wasn’t really noticeable until all the media outlets started pointing it out. I do agree that IW should never have replicated a scene from a previous title. The Call of Duty franchise has always given us a movie which we can play. The campaign is something which you would see in a movie, and they don’t shy away from that. You will see the typical explosions, the save the world scenario and everything else you would expect to see from this game. One of the new features is a dog. Yes, a dog. Riley (Tribute to Simon “Ghost” Riley from MW2) is a very helpful ally in this story. He will sniff out enemies, attack enemies and even protect you from time to time. It’s a nice little feature which they have added in to the game. If nothing else, it’s because people love animals, but it’s nice.
I almost forgot the plot… well, Ghosts opens up with Elias (the father of two of the main characters in the game) telling Logan and Hesh the story of how the Ghosts formed as a unit. Whilst Elias is telling his sons about the legend of the Ghosts, the Federation have hijacked a space station. This is the home of the Orbital Defense initiative (ODIN), an orbital superweapon that could lead to destruction if it was to be placed in the wrong hands. This is where the story really starts and you will have to battle on the space station with the Federation. From here on out you control Logan (mainly) and you, Hesh and Riley fight through a war torn USA to find the people responsible for this. There are quite a few twists and turns in this story. It has improved over previous attempts in my opinion, but like always, it’s not a very long campaign, and it can be easily completed within a few hours, so if you’re looking for longevity in this, you’re really looking in the wrong place.
Over the years we have seen Treyarch bring success with the on-the-side Zombie game mode. A big group of the people who buy Call of Duty, only buy it for Zombies. Treyarch got the fans hooked on something which wasn’t multiplayer. They had the fans working as a team (most of the time) in this game mode. Infinity Ward have tried over the years to bring something similar to the franchise by introducing Spec Ops. Spec Ops was a fairly decent game mode, yet it just wasn’t up there with what Treyarch had on offer. So now we move into this new world. A world which isn’t Modern Warfare, a world with no Spec Ops. Infinity Ward have brought us Extinction. There’s no doubt that Infinity Ward have seen what Treyarch have done with their very popular zombie series over the years and thought about bringing something similar to the table. Extinction is a survival based game mode, just like the zombies game mode, yet it’s not the same. You have a rank in Extinction, and as you rank up, you will unlock better equipment and more classes. As you start, you will be given a drill to destroy the hives, and as you survive each wave of alien, you will be given an objective. Completing the objective along with destroying the hive will reward you with a squad point or two which can be spent on upgrades during the game. Unlike the zombies game mode, Extinction has a health and armour bar, meaning you will always know when your health is low. This is a great feature and it should have been introduced to the zombie universe a long time ago. In all, there are 14 hives for you to destroy, 3 locations and quite a few creatures for you to slaughter on your way to freedom. At the end of Extinction, each player will have to arm the nuke simultaneously in order for it to be active. After the nuke has been armed, you will be given a set amount of time to escape. Escaping sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well you are wrong. Escaping is the hard part. You have to run through each location just to get back to the starting point. More aliens will spawn, you will be cut off and you will have to watch your back, along with your allies. This is a fun game mode, and it does have promise. I can see Infinity Ward treating this in the same way as Treyarch did with the zombie game mode. It will probably have a story, and it will probably go on for quite some time. So if you’re into solving these mysteries in Call of Duty, this is a game mode for you.
Now for the moment you have all been waiting for! Multiplayer! Well, maybe you haven’t been waiting for this, I don’t know, but I have to cover everything. Multiplayer is what you would expect from any Call of Duty title. A six on six battle to see who can win the game. This year, IW have changed the way (not a major change) you rank up. Before you start playing any game mode, you will have to create a character. This character can be male or female, it’s completely up to you. You can choose from these customization options:
- Special – Two types of Ghillie suit.
- Gender – Male or Female.
- Head – Variety of player models.
- Headgear – From hats, helmets and masks.
- Uniform – From police attire to Ghost attire.
- Patch – Same as emblems from previous titles.
- Background – unlockable backgrounds.
- Clan Tag – If you want to show your teams abbreviated name.
- Guard Dog – If you bought the wolf skin, you can change it here.
So after you have gone through the confusing method of doing this, you can finally play a game. You will notice the normal game modes which have featured in previous titles, along with new game types. These new game types are:
- Heavy Duty – TDM, Blitz, Dom. Players have more health.
- Cranked – Kills give you extra abilities, 2x scoring, and 30 seconds to live. Chain kills to stay alive.
- Search and Rescue – Defend and destroy the objective. Grab dog tags to respawn allies and prevent enemy respawns.
- Blitz – Each team has an objective zone at their base. Enter the enemy team’s zone to score points for your team.
- Hunted – Players start with limited equipment. Take control of drop zones to get better equipment.
Bringing in something new meant getting rid of some of the old apparently. You will notice that Headquarters (a fan favourite in my eyes) and Demolition have been removed from the playlist altogether. I’m not sure if it is because of how horribly received they were on Black Ops 2, or if they just figured that the community wouldn’t miss them, but it’s sad to see them go either way.
As usual you will have 10 prestiges to get your hands in to. Each time you manage to get the XP to prestige, you will have to make a new character, meaning that this character will now have the prestige icon instead of the previous badge. This is a new feature and it’s nothing special, yet it’s still something new.
In my opinion, the multiplayer has improved considering how bad it has been since Black Ops. It feels more smooth, and you don’t feel as cheated when you die. In previous titles you would die because of poor hit detection and lag, where as now, you will still get it occasionally, but nowhere near as much as you would in previous titles. In a way, it feels more like MW2 did, but with less aim assist. The aim assist has been dumbed down for this title, which I like. I hated the over the top aim assist on the previous titles. It would help the enemy so much, even if they couldn’t aim at a certain range. Now, it feels fair again. It feels like if I have better accuracy than someone else, I will win the battle. It is not perfect, no, it’s far from it, just like most games, but it’s still got that Call of Duty feel to it that the community have grown to love.
Overall, if you have been a fan of Call of Duty since the good old Call of Duty 4 days, I think you might like this. The new fans will like it. If you’re a fan of Battlefield then I doubt you will like it. Although if you’re like me and you play both, then I suppose you will. It’s all down to your own opinion. It’s not perfect, like I said, but it’s taking the right steps on bringing the series back to where it was. Hopefully this is the start of improvement.