Call of Duty Ghosts - A World of Phantoms and Dystopia.
Originally Published and Copyrighted by Blast Away the Game Review on 11/20/2013
Review Written by Dustin Murphy
Authors Note: Before reading, please note that this review is for the XBox 360 and PS3. Jonny Red and myself will have a PS4/XB1 and PC review review coming soon.
- Graphical enhancements became noticeable when comparing against past titles.
- New cover system allows for a more tactical advantage while competing against each other or against the A.I. in the new 'Extinction" mode.
- New extinction mode allows for up to four people to cooperatively fight against enemies and achieve new levels, equipment, and or buffs.
- New weapons unlock system allows for a more enjoyable multiplayer experience.
- Characters are represented as unlocks, each character has 50 of them, and of course there is 10 characters. Prestige modes are theoretically gone.
- Campaign leads to a very open world, and allows for a more believable future, and of course allows for expansion away from the typical scenarios we've seen in past installments.
- Call of Duty App allows for players to follow their stats between each console in an overall career, which is quite awesome.
- Customize-able characters can be made female for the first time to allow female fans to truly enjoy their experience.
- Random frame rate drops can be seen on both the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3 playforms, leading for a slightly frustrating experience.
- Lack of a ground war game mode can be quite upsetting and frustrating to those preferring large scale battles.
- Requires a 3GB install on XBox 360 in order to play.
- Online multiplayer careers for PS4 and XBox One will not be shared between all consoles, only ones of the same type, meaning current gen will not get badges if going to XBox 360 to PS4 and vise versa.
- At times textures seem grainy, unfinished, and lackluster at close range, truly something that needs to be fixed with a patch or add-on content.
Final Score: 8.5 out of 10
Final Thoughts: Having been playing the PlayStation 4 version, it was noticeable to see that the game was neatly crafted for the next generation console and unfortunately having seen a noticeable downgrade to work on the current generation while fans await seeing the PlayStation 4 and XBox One versions. However, this does not take away the enjoyment Infinity Ward, Raven Software, and Neversoft have provided. Definitely one of the best Call of Duty games I've played in my duration as a Call of Duty fan.
When Infinity Ward and Activision first announced that the game was in production for release with a demo, I was quick to start reading up on it, and of course begin to prepare for the release as it came quickly approaching for current approaching current and the now releasing next generation of consoles. In the demo's that they revealed there was no ability to deny the new systems they presented from damage hit boxes, to character models, and the new corner lean system, allowing for players to take a tactical advantage against opposing players. However, that's not where I will focus this review as Call of Duty Ghosts didn't take a major leap on this current generation as it with the computer and next generation of consoles has. The graphics none-the-less are beautifully done, allowing for a truly atmospheric, and dystopian future where America has fallen into shambles due to the an enemy threat known as "The Federation". The campaign felt as if it were stupid, a action film parody, and an attempt to make an action movie, which lead me to honestly enjoying the game.
In Call of Duty Ghosts, I was able to experience the game through several view points, one as Logan Walker who was accompanied by his brother Hesh and their friendly and nimble dog; Riley. Through the campaign the game is centered around the events that take place after The Federation devastated the United States in an attack using a mysterious weapon technology only known as "Odin". After the attack has taken place, the United States is sent into shambles, sending them into a defensive, which is where our heroes of the story pick up as heroes of the day for the once mighty United States military. This leads us to melodramatic death speeches, the scene where you get to see the guy who thinks he rules the world and is flipping off the enemy while driving off, the father preaching about how his boys are all that he has left, and that they need to be kept safe, and of course the mysterious yet vengeful enemy that is on a manhunt that seem as if it will never be completed due to the need for Call of Duty sequels. All of this corniness is why the campaign did become so enjoyable and lead me to beating it more than once (one of them for the PlayStation 4, soon to be XBox 1).
Outside the open ended campaign, which is not unusual, Infinity Ward has greeted us with a new mode called Squads. In Squads mode players have all ten characters available and can edit each of them, which sets them up as different classes, different weapons, perks, and even kill streaks. After having built the classes, players can then take these pre-made characters into a off-line game mode, which simulates online multiplayer. Unfortunately you will find yourself spending more time setting up the A.I. characters than actually playing if you are wanting to experience a different play style for each bot, which can be described as underwhelming.
After spending time editing bots or going online, players can go online, unlock up to ten characters using squad points by leveling up or performing challenges that can be completed. Those challenges can also unlock new character customization parts, which can have a dramatic effect on their characters overall appearance. This also leads to helping unlock new guns, grenade types, accessories, and of course attachments. All of these require the said squad points that can be obtained in some of the new game modes such as Blitz, Grind (reminds me of Halo's headhunter mode to be quite honest mixed with CoD's Kill Confirmed), and of course a very familiar to many game mode called Search and Rescue. The Blitz game mode could easily reflect a capture the flag kind of mode, instead players actually have the goal of sliding into the enemy teams "goal" in order to score points. In scoring points, players will be teleported to their base and not give up their kill streaks or life for that matter. Instead they are left vulnerable In Grind players are pressed for time in order to kill enemy players in order to gain their dog tags. In doing so players have their life expanded by just mere seconds. In their life being expanded, players are able to move faster, deal damage in a quicker pace, and of course lead up to teeth clenching moments as you move for another set of tags and your time is running out. After this hectic time players can try the new Search and Rescue, which sounds, plays, and acts just like it's described. The goal is for the teams to earn kills in order to revive team mates, think of it as a "elimination" mode, which only honors re-spawns based on kills of enemy players.
After spending time with those and returned game modes, it was time to pick apart the new "dynamic map" scheme that Infinity Ward bragged about, which unfortunately is very negligible in appearance, and at times will never be noticed by players. Unfortunately I've only seen this once when an enemy player activated a KEM Odin strike, which unfortunately can only be seen on Strikezone and will change the map completely from the traditional lay out it had, but instead making it a nuclear wasteland and having wiped out most of the enemy teams players or even your own teams players if they are in the initial explosion area. In other maps, players can find walls that can be destroyed by grenades, areas that will allow them to hide in water, and of course like on Octane, blow up the gas station, and add cover to their area. Unfortunately, if you are looking for Battlefield-esque maps, this game is not for you, but if you are wanting a very competitive game that is not a head-turning kill-fest, this game is for you. The biggest and noticeable change is kill streaks are less air based this time around, allowing for fewer choppers, attack planes, and or even drones flying around as UAV's. This provides a nice change and a hope to note die within seconds of accessing their chance to spawn up. (Please note we will not be comparing the two as they are not the same in any means besides the fact they are first person shooters, and that is all).
Tired of the multiplayer? Well thanks to Infinity Ward, they took a queue from Treyarch with their new "Extinction" mode, which is just as neat, fun, and challenging as Zombies from the Treyarch titles. In the Extinction Mode, players will take on the role as multiple classes they can choose from leveling up. One for example is the engineer, who can repair the drill, which is used to mine through alien hives, and kill them off. This allows for the players to obtain more money, and move on, but this can sometimes be stalled by the drill being damage; this is where the engineer comes in. The engineer is able to provide the drill with repairs allowing for the team to move on quicker and of course seek their goal of moving on into further waves. Players in this mode will rank up just like in multiplayer for completing goals and destroying the aliens they are poised to fight against. This mode in its own is truly amusing as players will be able to find a vast amount of guns, rewards, and of course traps to use, which lead to multiple challenges being completed or failed, which allows them to level up abilities (equipment load outs). However, far as I have seen there is only one map available at this time, but fear not - there will be more we can expect in future downloadable content.
This Call of Duty has never felt more organic, more laid back, and more about true player skill. Players will still find people hiding in corners, shooting out of windows, and or simply just running around tearing up the score board, but this provides a different change of pace from past Call of Duty titles, which left players banging their head on the wall.
Graphics: Much like Black Ops 2, Call of Duty Ghosts has decided to touch up on the XBox 360 and PlayStation 3's graphics engines, which allow for players to enjoy a more "realistic" and grime world around them. Player models have never looked this good for a CAll of Duty game on the current generation.
Sound: The sound for Call of Duty is more realistic than ever. Each gun has their own unique sound when firing, player characters and even A.I. tell a unique story to them while in combat. In multiplayer characters call out where they saw an enemy. Even explosions have their concussion like sound they should have when exploding.
Controls: This is a feature that has remained untouched, but refined. Some players will find it a bit difficult to use the highlighted corner lean points on the maps, which can grow frustrating when learning how to take advantage of this.
Replay Value: Moderately High
Official Facebook: Call of Duty: Ghosts
Official Twitter: @CallofDuty