So if you’re like me, you’re most likely late to the party with playing through Call of Duty: Ghosts. I, personally, haven’t enjoyed playing a Call of Duty game since Modern Warfare 2. The games just didn’t seem to have the same ‘pizazz’ as the original/earlier titles, but when I threw the Ghosts disc into my Xbox One, fired it up and started running through the campaign, I found myself enjoying it more than I should admit.
For anyone who doesn’t know, Call of Duty: Ghosts was developed by Infinity Ward, with assistance from Raven Software and Neversoft. Published by Activision, it is actually the tenth primary instalment in the Call of Duty series, and the sixth developed by Infinity Ward. The game itself was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U on November 5, 2013, with Treyarch handling the port for the Wii U and on next-generation consoles PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on November 15, 2013, and November 22, 2013 respectively.
This particular iteration of the Call of Duty franchise has you take control (for the most part) of Logan Walker, the son of Elias Walker. You follow the story surrounding the game’s main protagonists, called ‘Ghosts’, who are essentially a force of U.S. Special Operations personnel trained to conduct clandestine missions behind enemy lines. So basically a fancy name for Green Berets or other similar SpecOps groups in different Defence Force groups.
The game is set in an alternate timeline that follows the nuclear destruction of the Middle East, and has the oil-producing nations of South America band together to form ‘The Federation’. This is in response to the ensuing global economic crisis which then quickly grows into a global superpower, ultimately deciding to swiftly invade and conquer Central America as well as the Caribbean. The games actual main antagonist is Garbriel Rorke, an ex Ghost turned traitor after being captured and brainwashed who now works for the Federation.
The gameplay itself isn’t half bad. I mean, there’s not a lot new to either the franchise or the FPS genre that differentiates it hugely from any other FPS / Call of Duty game out there, but at the same time the familiarity can help with playing without the need to learn a bunch of new things. Throughout the campaign, there are numerous Quick Time Events that seem to pop up at least ‘once’ per mission. While it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s such an overdone concept and it can become stale the 50th time you’re presented with ‘Press Right Thumbstick to stab this dude in the throat,’ and frankly the Campaign holds your hand a LOT even on the hardest difficulty. The addition of Riley the puppy was neat – granted he’s only really a big deal in two or so missions, but it was pretty neat being able to control a dog who is essentially a one-hit kill.
But who are we kidding? No one really ever buys a CoD game for the Single Player aspect, it’s all about the Multiplayer baby! To be completely fair here, my comparison rolls back to how the Multiplayer from Modern Warfare 2 played as that was the last CoD game I played for more than 20 minutes, but also the little information I know about Black Ops and Black Ops II from friends who had played too. Funnily enough, I usually hated the CoD multiplayer – it always felt stale and samey to me, and nothing more than your typical generic shooter with a few bits of flair thrown in to make it different *cough Killstreak Abilities cough* from the rest. However, I have found myself quite enjoying the multiplayer aspect this time around.
So far I’ve tried out your typical Multiplayer games (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Big Team, Domination etc.) but have also dabbled in the rest of the styles they have as further outlined below.
The Squads gametype is new to the Call of Duty franchise and essentially allows you to play either solo or with other players (including friends). You can think of your squad as consisting of ten different customisable characters, each of which can be utilised and decked out how you see fit. These squads are then able to be utilised in unique gamemodes that involve AI-controlled enemy squads, as well as AI controlled squad mates. These particular game modes include Squad Assault, Safeguard, Safeguard Infinite, Squad vs Squad and Wargame – all modes that are able to be played whilst online or offline. Squad vs Squad is as it sounds, two opposing players play team death match against each other using their squads. Wargame has the player and five squad mates against a team of enemy bots in a chosen mode. Safeguard is a gametype I have played quite a lot of and quite enjoyed. Think of Gears of War Horde mode but in a Call of Duty setting, wave-based survival with the addition of perks and killstreaks.
Extinction is another addition to Ghosts which is essentially a 4-player co-op mode, pitting the player(s) against various types of aliens in a base-defence survival style map. You are able to choose from four different classes (all with their own unique traits and customisable loadouts), and the player(s) can level up their classes with the facility to unlock more weapons and equipment for their loadouts. Extinction, however, is unavailable until you have finished the Campaign.
All in all, Ghosts isn’t a terrible game, but to me it’s also not a game that stands out amongst the crowd of FPS games currently available. That being said, it’s still built on the solid Call of Duty franchise meaning there will generally be players around (which is not a bad thing). It is certainly a fun game and I know I’ll be playing it for quite some time, just for fun and in between my other games (at least until Destiny, Titanfall or Halo drop for me to devour).