Is COD feeling battered?
Another year, another Call of Duty. Black Ops II was a letdown and the series has stalled in the quality department since COD 4, so I wasn’t expecting anything amazing from COD Ghosts but would I be surprised by the final product?
The story is as predictable and clichéd as you would expect from a COD game, but it is decent overall. I was impressed with the overall quality of the game’s many set pieces, but in terms of originality and surprises, Ghosts comes up empty in the campaign. The only new thing is the semi-control of the attack dog Riley, which comes across as an unrealistic gimmick and a missed opportunity overall. The campaign is a decent length, but after beating it on Veteran and gathering the Rorke files and odd trophies, I can’t imagine coming back to it. Luckily, Ghosts has much more to offer…
Multiplayer modes return in the standard tradition with modes like Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy (returning a week after launch for some reason) and Infection to name a few. Perks and XP still work the same way, although levelling up works differently as you are given a squad of different troops to level up to use in a Squad mode where multiple squads battle it out and are more effective the higher level they are. There are other team-based modes where you work to fight off waves of AI enemies as well, which is incredibly difficult past Wave 10 or so it seems for me, you might be a god at it.
Extinction Mode replaces the Zombies mode of past COD games with an alien invasion and 4 players working to destroy hives of spawning creatures, while buying new weapons and setting up traps with the income you get from killing enemies. This mode is also pretty darn tough but you should prevail if you have a good enough team by your side. Personally, I’ve never been very good at multiplayer in COD but found my feet in Ghosts thanks to the co-op based modes and it’s a nice start for new players to the franchise.
As in past games, multiplayer can be an addictive but frustrating experience with camping, snipers and now perks that can unleash attack dogs and Juggernaut body suits! Thankfully, it’s still just as rewarding as before and the maps are truly impressive in scale, but the game almost feels stuck in a rut and afraid of change which sadly shows throughout.
Visually, Ghosts is a nice looking game on PS3. I have yet to see it in action on next-gen other than videos online, but it does seem like a visual marvel on next-gen. The framerate is consistent for the most part, the locations look great and the set pieces are professionally done. Facial animation is still a bit below par, but the voice acting more than makes up for it. The soundtrack isn’t too shabby either.
Call of Duty: Ghosts doesn’t reinvent the FPS wheel, but it’s still a decent shooter with a good campaign and still brilliant multiplayer. The problem is that it all feels too familiar at this point; Infinity Ward took a big risk when it made COD 4 and they need to do so again to stop the series from getting stale.