Platforms: PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One
Developer: Infinity Ward
It’s that time of the year again, and no, I’m not talking about the holidays. I’m talking about the new Call of Duty Ghosts from Infinity Ward. The annual series is, by far, the most anticipated multiplatform game that’s ever been created but does it live up to the hype?
Ghosts’ campaign is played using primarily one character – Logan Walker. The game begins with Elias, Logan’s father, telling the legend of the Ghosts and how they were formed, when, what appears to be, an earthquake hits the city. However, you soon learn that kinetic bombardments from space station ODIN, Orbital Defense Initiative, are hammering the city and the southwestern seaboard.
After getting to safety, the story shifts to space to convey the events that led up to the destruction of the United States. You learn that Federation forces have boarded and taken control of ODIN. Play shifts to an American astronaut who sabotages the station to destroy the remaining satellites, preventing further attacks.
Ten years go by, and the US has fought the Federation for many years since the attack causing many cities to be lost – titling them “No Man’s Land.” Logan and his brother, Hesh, are a part of a US unit commanded by their father. Elias sends his sons to the infamous “No Man’s Land” to investigate Federation activity. It’s there, Logan and Hesh discover the legend is true, Ghosts are real and they fight along their side to help protect the US.
The campaign is visually stunning and definitely utilizes the power of next generation consoles. This go around, Infinity Ward has developed a game that has a striking story about survival and family origin. The compassion the developer has portrayed in the characters is heartwarming and creates a phenomenal story that you feel a part of. In addition, the use of Riley, Logan’s trained German Shepherd, is spot on and fun. You can order your companion to lethally take down enemies behind enemy lines when in a fire fight.
There are times when you can use Riley to help gather intel and is a nice change up to the status quo.
Call of Duty Ghosts multiplayer, is well, Call of Duty multiplayer. Nothing much has changed, but then again, nothing needed to change. The infamous prestige mode has been reworked, for better or for worse. You’re no longer able to continually prestige as you did in previous Call of Duty games. Rather, you have ten character slots and once a player hits level 60, you’re free to choose another character slot to attempt to prestige.
Infinity Ward has also introduced a new element to the series – Squad Mode.
Squad Mode is exactly that – playing as a squad. Invite some friends so you can earn XP in multiplayer while completing various modes such as Wargame, Squad Assault, Squad vs Squad, or Safeguard, each with their own objectives. Wargame, for example, can be played solo or with friends – horde style. Fight to stay alive.
Ghosts does carry over from past games the use of squad points. As you level, you earn squad points to purchase and customize your soldiers for battle. The squad points can be used to purchase equipment, perks, gear, and more. Gear is, once again, fully customizable and features quick load outs for easy access when playing a match.
Infinity Ward has created a slightly different map landscape than previous games. The maps are sometimes too big, however the maps now feature dynamic events that can occur. Some are player triggered while others occur as the match progresses. Adds a nice touch while playing. Ghosts now has tactical movements built into the multiplayer. You’re able to move more fluidly over objects, lean around corners, knee slide, and lay prone.
Matches are easy to find, after all, there are LOTS of fans on Call of Duty so shouldn’t be too hard! Servers are stable, and I never experienced any drops while playing nor did I experience any lag. Refreshing considering Xbox One utilizes cloud servers to assist in making the game as smooth as possible for players.
However, Call of Duty Ghosts does suffer in a few areas. For example, the factory mission lighting is awful on the Xbox One when compared to other systems. The darkness outside ends up being a gray, washed out picture. I thought it was my TV at first until I recorded gameplay and watched it online to compare to the PS4. Nope, it’s the Xbox One version of the game.
It’s strange considering other levels are played outside in the dark and have no issues.
The multiplayer spawning is as bad as it’s always been in Ghosts. For some reason, the game thinks that spawning near enemies is the best course of action. No, it definitely is not. Ghosts, also, has larger than normal maps. Sometimes you can run around without finding someone for a few minutes which feels strange in comparison to past Call of Duty games. However, it’s kind of nice considering it slows the game down a little.
Overall, Call of Duty Ghosts is, fundamentally, a solid Call of Duty. The campaign is fun, multiplayer is an action packed battleground and, did I mention, it’s Call of Duty! Not much has been done to reinvent the series, yet it’s still a huge blockbuster. That being said, I’m curious to know how much longer Call of Duty can hold onto the crown of video games. Time will tell, and as we move forward into the next generation of gaming, maybe a dethrone will happen sooner than later.