As sure as the sun rises in the morning and sets in the evening, when November rolls around you can expect a new Call Of Duty and 2013 is no exception with the release of Call Of Duty: Ghosts.
The thing with most of the ‘bigger’ titles being released right now is that we are getting current and next gen versions. Seeing as the PS4 and XBOX ONE aren’t quite ready for shipping yet, we’ll be looking at the current gen version, but hope to bring you coverage of the next gen version at some point.
One of the things that was noticed about Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, was that despite it being a great game, it was clear that it had pushed the PS3 to its limits, with some framerate and graphical issues. Here though on Call Of Duty: Ghosts there is no such issues, it clearly packs a punch in the visual stakes, but there doesn’t seem to be any hit on performance, which means the usual silky smooth experience.
As far as being a Call Of Duty game goes, this is pretty much by the numbers. The Call Of Duty series is the gaming equivalent of a summer blockbuster movie. It will do the over the top story which acts as a vehicle for huge set pieces where explosions and action happen on a near constant basis.
The opening of Ghosts starts with an apocalyptic event, which is played out through a couple of different perspectives, seen from on the ground and in space. The very opening part is impressive as you really are unsure exactly what is going on, earthquake? Terrorist attack? Natural disaster? The game then cuts to a new scene to explain exactly what has caused this event to happen. Much like the opening of a game like Half Life, you are pretty much on rails here, playing out a glorified interactive cut-scene. This is a good approach though, as it keeps you invested in the story setup better than a simple movie introduction would.
That is the thing about Call Of Duty though, it is essentially an action movie in the guise of a videogame. You are playing though various acts on a predefined path, you cannot alter the outcome. That is OK though, it is something that works for the game, whether you like that format or not, is your choice.
There is always the multiplayer options and there are two real options here, the traditional online action of the new alternative to Zombies in Extinction. As per the last round of Zombie, this is a mode that is a little bit Left 4 Dead mixed with Tower Defence elements. You can a partner basically take on waves of aliens.
You move through various sections taking down the incoming alien infestation, collection rewards for you efforts, which can then be used in turn to buy upgrades and special attacks. You have a skill tree to improve your character which, as well as the possibility of buying bigger and better attacks. The idea of teamwork is promoted heavily here, as with different classes available. The the mode is also a lot more enjoyable when played with friends, working together with well balanced classes as you move through the various levels. This really is a bit of a standout mode for the game and where you can realistically spend much of your time.
The basic multiplayer is pretty much as you will remember, with tons of modes on offer for all ability levels. The maps on offer allow for fast paced close quarters combat. Some maps are stand out as really enjoyable, with a few duds in there also. You’ll soon get a feel for the ones you like.
New to the multiplayer is the chance to create various soldier types, you start with one, but can unlock new types the further you progress in multiplayer, by earning squad points. Each soldier can be a custom name, appearance and even create specific loadouts of each.
One thing that cannot be argued about a Call Of Duty game is just how stunning it looks and sounds. With a decent surround sound setup along with some amazing visuals, you really do feel like war is going on around you. Just moving around environments is impressive enough, but when everything goes south and there is destruction and all hell breaking loose, then you can really start to appreciate the efforts that go in to creating the special effects.
Because the game is fairly linear, is allows the developers to create some stunning looking set pieces. It isn’t open world, so what is happening around you can be concentrated on, without really worrying about what will happen if the player decided to leave the action and check out something in the distance. The team behind Call Of Duty have become masters of smoke and mirror.
Call Of Duty: Ghosts won’t be for everyone, but you know exactly what you are going to get. The single players offers a thrill a minute rollercoaster ride, whilst the multiplayer is as competitive as ever. Despite the next gen version waiting in the wings, the current gen version of Ghosts looks and plays as good as ever.