Call of Duty: Ghosts review
SG Gaming Info takes a look at this year’s Call of Duty game, Call of Duty: Ghosts and asks if the game can live up to its pre-release hype.
One of the game’s biggest failings was its campaign, a campaign that was co-written by Academy Award winning writer Stephen Gaghan. Before release both Stephen Gaghan and the developers promised to deliver a story set in an all-new world, setting and cast of character, while this is true the story was poorly executed and the portrayal of how the US military was supposed to be the underdog in a massive war was almost laughably bad and full of plot holes.
The basic plot of the story is that the United States of America are attacked by The Federation, an organization made up of South American countries. The Federations initial attack is rather dubious as they attack the US by sneaking onboard a US military space station and taking control of a space based weapon which they use to attack multiple US cities before two US soldiers destroy the weapon. Right away the plot holes and issues crop up, these mainly being, why the US decided to break several international treaties and put a weapon in space, why did every nation in the world allow them and how did the Federation sneak onboard a US shuttle. Well if you are looking for answers to these questions the game decides not to offer up any.
Just before this occurs we are introduced to three of the game’s main characters, Logan (who you play as), his brother Hesh and their father Elias. When we first see them Elias is telling his sons a story about a powerful US squad called “Ghosts”, a squad that is feared for its ability to basically act like Ghosts by appearing out of nowhere and getting the job done without anyone knowing they are there, both Logan and Hesh laugh of the story as fiction. After this chat and the Federation attack, the game fast forwards 10 years to show that the Federation has launched an all out attack on the US (I must point out the reason for the attack is never actually explained and at the start you do hear a person state that the US has a form of peace treaty with The Federation).
Following the time jump we re-join Logan and Hesh for the rest of the game. During a mission their father sent them on they run into two soldiers who turn out to be Ghosts, the squad that their father told them about. After meeting them and joining Ghosts, events lead you to coming face to face with a man called Rorke, the game’s main villain, a former Ghost and friend of Elias. Rorke who now works for the Federation is determined to make the Ghosts pay for leaving him to die after a mission goes bad and will do everything in his power to kill the Ghosts and destroy the United States of America. In turn the Ghosts want to kill Rorke for killing a member of the Ghosts and for attempting to kill them.
If you are wondering about the whole war between the United States and the Federation well you don’t really see it until the end as the majority of the game’s missions involve “sneaking” behind enemy lines in search for Rorke and a top-secret weapon. I put sneaking in quotes because for a squad that are called Ghosts they are about as invisible as a brick wall in a glass house, every mission apart from a short segment in one mission involves you going guns blazing.
Now I’m sure some of you are wondering about the infamous Call of Duty dog, well he doesn’t turn out to be much more than one of several gimmicks that only appears for one mission. In fact every mission in the game has gimmick. Gimmicks include: flying an Apache Helicopter, driving a tank, a remote controlled sniper rifle, strobe light attachment, a space weapon and more. It feels as if the developers were so scared that you might get bored by the terrible story and fighting waves of enemies that they needed to throw in a gimmick at every available opportunity.
I just want to point out for a weakened nation the US still has an unbelievably huge array of weapons. At one point the game wants to point out how weakened the US is by stating they only have one US naval carrier left, I would like to point out that most countries right now barely even have one naval carrier. The whole push to make the US look like the weaker side is done terribly, sure the Federation launched a massive attack, but they used a US weapon to do so. I saw nothing in the game that showed the Federation to be the superior side.
The game’s multiplayer, which most people play Call of Duty games for is at its heart the same as every Call of Duty game made by Infinity Ward. The multiplayer does have some changes and new additions with an all-new create-a-soldier and perk system. The new create-a-soldier means you can have a female avatar, and tweak how your character looks. The new perk system is somewhat interesting with the game allowing to equip up to eight perks, the amount of perks you can equip depends on how many perk slots a perk takes up. For example: Ready Up – Weapon is ready faster after sprinting – takes one slot and quick draw – Faster aiming – takes up 3. Perks are also divided into seven categories, to help people pick perks that suit their play style. Everything else about the multiplayer is the same apart from squad points, which are points you gain by levelling and completing operations, are used to buy new perks, weapons, attachments etc. In theory is sounds good, but these items also have a level requirement to them which in my opinion removes the need for a point system, the fact that you need two requirements means players need to play for longer so they can use their favourite loadout.
With these changes the multiplayer is still the same. A frustrating mess on small maps with bad respawn locations and latency issues. If you weren’t of a fan of the Call of Duty multiplayer before going into this game, this new COD game will not change your mind. The multiplayer does supposedly have dynamic map events, but honestly I couldn’t stomach the multiplayer long enough to run into any of them.
The game does have additional multiplayer co-op mode called, Extinction. In this mode which closely resembles the zombie mode in Treyarch’s Call of Duty games you and three others face waves of aliens as you try to destroy hives on the map. For the mode you are offered a choice of four loadouts: weapon specialist, tank, engineer and medic. Unfortunately three out of these four loadouts have to be unlocked by levelling up in the mode. The reason for the loadouts is so that people can help in different ways, for example the weapon specialist can drop ammo and the medic can revive allies faster. Honestly, this mode wasn’t half bad, I’m not one for wave based co-op games, but I did find myself enjoying it.
The graphics for Call of Duty: Ghosts like previous COD games is poor, the game does boast a new game engine called IW6, but the new engine doesn’t do much to improve the poor textures and all round stale ugly look to the game. Personally I think the developers of Call of Duty need to build a brand new engine and stop modifying their existing engine.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is a dull and boring game, from a gimmick filled lackluster campaign to boring and mostly unchanged multiplayer. The game’s major redeeming quality is the Extinction mode which is oddly enjoyable to play.
*This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360*
Call of Duty: Ghosts information
Developer: Infinity Ward, Neversoft and Raven
Genre: first person shooter
Platform: PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U
Release date: now out