Call of Duty: Ghosts review
The campaign gameplay is standard CoD fare. As the story bounces backwards and forwards in time, it can become difficult trying to follow the plot. Chronology and storytelling are not things that CoD does well. However, this can be forgiven for the fact that action is in what the franchise specialises and this game will definitely keep players entertained. Players try everything, including stalking and biting enemies while assuming the role of Riley the Alsatian, swimming with sharks, blowing up space stations and playing with a variety of high-tech gadgets, as well as the usual gunplay. While engaging, the storyline is short and is easily completable within 5-6 hours.
The new game engine doesn’t make a lot of difference either. The graphics are prettier, but they’re just that. The game’s virtually indestructible terrain means that players will still go through bushes instead of brushing past them, bullets make holes that are erased as soon as the player’s back is turned, and explosives make soot marks. The exception is that the new generation’s poster-boy, those water effects that can be found in virtually every launch title, do look quite good.
For most players, the multiplayer is just as big a part of CoD as the campaign, if not more so. The new engine has meant that players are now battling across bigger maps that occasionally have dynamic events to try to shake things up. Despite this, the modes are the same as were found in previous titles and it still plays like your typical CoD game. If anything, the bigger maps mean that the game is not as fast-paced as before; with the community fractured between the current and next-gen platforms, there are less players to fill the servers and it can sometimes be a task just finding an opponent on a map.
There’s an altered Prestige system too; instead of a player levelling up their character multiple times, there are ten different squad members that you prestige once each. Squad points, earned by completing different tasks, are used to unlock items for your loadout. Prestiging does not reset your progress like it did in previous games. The point to this is that each squad member can be used in a new game mode: Squads. You and your five squad mates can compete against a friend or an AI squad, or you can take on Safeguard Mode (the equivalent of MW3’s Survival). With the fact that your team mates are using your loadouts, it adds a personal touch to the proceedings, which is good bearing in mind that Safeguard is really easy. A competent player will manage Safeguard mode on their own. Two players will breeze through it.
The final piece of the puzzle is the new Extinction mode, which is Infinity Ward’s take on Treyarch’s zombies. Up to four players are tasked with battling an alien force that increases in difficulty as players advance. A levelling-up system separate to that of the general multiplayer means that players can unlock different weapons, defences and bonuses as they improve, meaning that players have a purpose to replaying the mode and adds longevity not really experienced in zombies. With just one map, players will soon be looking forward to the upcoming four-part episodic DLC adventure that will add more variety, but this is a solid co-op mode that players will definitely enjoy.
The Middle East has been destroyed by nuclear weaponry causing a global economic crisis. In the ensuing chaos, several oil-producing South American nations form an alliance called the Federation and they soon rise to be a new global superpower. They swiftly conquer Central America and the Caribbean before hijacking the space station of the Orbital Defense Initiative (ODIN). They use the super-weapon to destroy several cities in the United States. Ten years later, a unit of the US Special Operations forces, the Ghosts, are tasked with trying to bring down the threat of the Federation by carrying out covert missions behind enemy lines. However, the fight is made personal by the fact that the Federation’s leader is none other than Gabriel Rorke, a former member of the Ghosts who has now turned traitor and who is determined to destroy his former unit.