The tenth instalment of the CoD series is here, the sixth that has been developed by Infinity Ward, and it comes along with some very mixed opinions. Its release date was in November for both the 360 and the One and although they shipped $1 billion worth of games to retailers, the sales after the first 24 hours were already lower than that of Black Ops 2 release. The game also averaged around 7.5 out of 10 and rarely hit the 9’s in reviews, so hopefully you will have your own idea of what to think about the CoD franchise after this.
The campaign in this CoD is interesting, to say the least. This idea of an elite squadron is certainly not new, but isn’t as overused as the zombie genre at the moment. You play a character called Logan, and although you do switch characters in some parts, you will be wishing adamantium claws sprouted from your fists. The campaign, with some added features, is pretty much the same as every other COD game, point and shoot, point and shoot. Some new features have been included, like the rarely used look-around-a-corner feature taken from games like Rainbow Six and the short playable moments as your trusty dog Riley where you can perform some rough stealth takedowns. The story is set in an alternate timeline after the Middle East has been decimated by nuclear weapons, where everybody is fighting for power and oil, hence the cut scenes of the strategic maps being drawn with oil. The fight is between the US government and ‘The Federation’, which is built up of the oil producing countries in the South of America, although it feels like it’s just Ghosts VS The Federation most of the time because the non-linear AI characters seem to do nothing in the battlefield and you and your team are left to do the majority of the work. As you progress through the story, Logan and his brother manage to join the Ghost’s team (through their Dad) and try to take down the main antagonist known by the name of Gabriel Rorke, the former leader of the Ghosts. The campaign isn’t all that bad though beside the rubbish AI who I have found shooting at a wall at some points and the fact that it feels easy on veteran difficulty. Most people skip the campaign, but I enjoy the story a lot of the time, especially the idea of being one of the elite and it also gives you a good idea of the gameplay, the weapons and some of the equipment you can use along with getting used to the buttons if you’re new to the game.
In terms of gameplay in the CoD franchise, you can’t really get much out of it. What can you do with a first person shooter? Infinity have tried their best with each Call of Duty plugin and since the very first one, with the addition of a slide here and a cover peek there, but they have lost the carrying of two primary weapons along with being able to crush people with a motorbike or car, and they have only just reintroduced the toggling of firing modes in Ghosts. Granted though, you now can control drones and there are flyable helicopters, but only if you kill enough people… “Can we get some air support now!?” “Nope, you still gotta to kill a couple more Gs”. The graphics have definitely seen massive boost though since the ‘8-bit’ original, with backgrounds looking scenic or apocalyptic at parts, guns being in the finest detail and the different setting like the jungle or the city, all having their own feel to the surroundings. Through the updating CoDs, we have seen the quality of weapons grow massively, to the point where we are using futuristic weapons with names like ‘Honey Badger’. There are now a several variants of each gun type, such as snipers and assault rifle and each weapon is now in such high detail you can clearly see the rims and bumps in the sides of each gun, although this won’t help you pop tangos when in a gun fight. And on the subject of combat, the fighting style also feels a lot more realistic, the AI are more responsive then other CoDs and the new use of cover can come in handy sometimes. There are moments you will push forward with teammates, control a mounted gun on sandbags or in a car, or even pilot drones to stop a beach from being stormed. Although some aspects of the game are repetitive, you can see Infinity are trying to make it more interactive to players and trying to find new ways to play.
Camping, 12 year olds and endless sleepless nights. Sounds like a family trip gone wrong? Nope, it’s worse, it’s Call of Duty multiplayer. Before I get started, I would like to advise viewer discretion, if only I was allowed. I have been a fan of the CoD games up to Modern Warfare 3, and then I stopped buying them. This was mainly because of the multiplayer being so repetitive, it really brought nothing new to the game, as addictive as it was. After playing Ghosts, my thoughts were confirmed. I put the needless second disc in, got to grips with the confusing multiplayer menus whilst wondering “What happened to the Halo style multiplayer menus?”, and join my first match. It was a simple Team Deathmatch, and immediately I was met with chaos. In the match lobby, there was someone playing music down the headphones whilst some kid who clearly had got his parents to buy the game for him, was screaming down the mic telling him shut up, but a lot more verbally aggressive. During the game, I once again saw that the starting weapons are ridiculously overpowered, snipers were once again being used at close range and without full use of the scope and there was one building we were all fighting to get into for no apparent reason other than to get killed by someone who thought spamming grenades in the building was a funny idea. After having a rage-free period, I decided to have a look through the game type list to see what other types and found myself quite enjoying the modes gun game and infection, which balanced the game out quite nicely and worked with a player’s skill rather than his weapons. Along with this, after trying a domination game mode to test killstreaks, some were interesting to use, like the guard dog, and the buying system meant you could customise your gameplay style to whatever suited you best, with needless camouflages for your own enjoyment. The squad part of multiplayer looked similar to the already created training modes in other CoD’s, but if you wanted to work with friends then it was a good addition to the multiplayer as well. So overall, not all bad, but could do with some work still.
A new game mode I got into was the Extinction mode. Think of Nazi Zombies, but with Ghosts style play and a massive difference, there are aliens. In this 4 player co-op mode, you fight to protect against tons of aliens (known as Cryptids) out to get you in a base-defence survival type game. Unlike the zombies extra on the last few CoDs, they have made the aliens come in all shapes and sizes as well, with small grunt-like aliens called scouts to start and if that’s too easy there’s always the Breeder to worry about later. While you run across destroying alien hives, you can run across different types of weapons that can be bought in a zombie-esque style with points, or weapon attachments and even more points. The point system allows you to refill on ammo, buy turrets, and at some points you may even call in a helicopter if you save enough points, which is a real life saver. You also choose a player type at the start of the game, which gives you special traits to choose from as you progress through the apocalypse, sadly though you can only unlock all this after completing the main storyline. If, like me, you enjoy this gamemode, there has been some DLC released with a second map, and some other characters to choose from as well. Be careful when downloading this though, as most next gen gamers have noticed a serious frame drop after the download and patch, but I’m sure Infinity will get on it as soon as possible.
So, we come to the end of this long-winded and slightly rage filled article, full of 360 no-scopes and cross-map tomahawks. If you’re looking for a single player game with lots of story in it, then you’ll probably enjoy this game. If you like a massive online multiplayer game that’s mainly based on skill, then you’ll like this game. If you like a game that has some epic co-operative aspects and allows you to play with your friends to kill aliens, then you’ll definitely love this game. BUT, if you hate repetitive gameplay, then you’ll hate this game. If you hate cheap online tactics and annoying kids screaming at you, then you’ll hate this game. It’s a mix of opinions on this game, some hate it and some love it, a lot like that brownish jellylike spread we all know. Personally, as much as the game does my nuts in sometimes, I just can’t stop going back to it, maybe a couple of games of infection with some friends or finish of those last achievements in the campaign, so research on it when you think about shredding £50 on the latest CoD.