So Activision and Infinity Ward’s big release Call of Duty: Ghosts, hit the shelves last week – so Techday jumped into the action.
COD: Ghosts is set in the post-apocalyptic world, the difference here over previous releases is that there’s no preventative action.
Set in a grim future, a giant space laser has decimated California and thousands are dead, combine this unfamiliar COD setting with familiar gameplay and the series is off in a new direction.
Anybody who has played the game should tell you that the first 15 minutes are undoubtedly the best in the entire campaign.
The general running and shooting aspects of gameplay feels very familiar and the developers have thrown in some new and amazing destruction effects – which have been fully showcased within the opening sequence.
Being a part of “The Event” and witnessing it first hand as buildings and the environment crumble around you in high detail, is truly great. If you were wondering if it could get any better - it does. Within the next five minutes you are blasted into space, which is great fun and you can take down enemies in zero gravity.
You also get to control Riley, your new canine partner – through the view point of a camera strapped to his back. You can use Riley in the early levels and rely on his stealth to take down enemies, which is pretty cool the first few times this happens, if a little disturbing. The sad part is that Riley is largely absent in the second half of the game and he practically disappears.
The inclusion of a dog character must have got the developers thinking and within the game you’ll find wolves, deer and sharks, to name but a few. It seems as if this element is to highlight that nature is reclaiming the landscape.
These all add to the mood of the game but for me personally one of COD: Ghosts biggest let downs is the fact it is not set in a well thought out or developed landscape.
I know the game is set in a post-apocalyptic environment but things get weird pretty fast, as shown in the opening sequence and subsequent ten minutes of gameplay – but after this the main focus of the Ghosts is to try and take down ‘The Federation’ and one man in particular – Rorke, who (surprise, surprise) used to be a Ghost and turned evil after being forced to eat plants (just when you thought you’d seen it all).
You leave the well-designed California and space landscapes and wind up in familiar COD style bases and city-scape’s as your hunt for Rorke intensifies and becomes your sole purpose.
Despite being marketed as a ‘deep and meaningful’ it is still a Call of Duty game and the main objective is to shoot people and destroy things. The added emphasis on stealth adds a new dimension to familiar territory, but these are only utilised fully in the latter part of the game.
Because the game is so familiar to other releases in terms of gameplay you are relying on level design to present a new experience for gamers and inject some much needed originality.
The levels in Ghosts are fun, but they lack the originality of Black Ops 2, which is probably the best game in the series – although we might be presented with higher detail and better additional maps, with the introduction of the next-gen releases.
As well as the campaign mode you are given the plethora of multi-player options and infinity ward have their own take on Zombies with the addition of ‘extinction mode’ were you fight off wave after wave of alien enemies. The rest of the online modes tread familiar ground, maybe dangerously so but it is what COD fans like after all.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is a welcome addition overall. It treads a familiar path to other releases and has too many drab green and grey levels for my liking – especially when we are so close to next-gen releases and gamers are now expecting more.
Having said that COD games are about shooting and blowing stuff up! Here is where the game does what it’s meant to. Unfortunately the game could not keep the pace of the opening ten minutes, but it is still good fun.
The story and level design are not as good as Black Ops 2 in my opinion, but you might be like the thousands of gamers who don’t even touch the campaign. In which case, this game kicks on from previous instalments – enjoy.
Overall 7.5 out of 10