Published on December 9th, 2013 | by IceCube
REVIEW: Call of Duty: Ghosts
Summary: The world’s most notorious first-person shooter returns for a new round of explosions and gunfire! This new story arc sees you play as Logan Walker, a man who finds himself amidst the toughest spec ops group, called “Ghosts”. You’ll be fighting your way to defend your home soil against new-age terrorists with significant power.
Concept: It follows the same successful formula that lead to record-breaking sales figures of the previous installments. The explosion-loaded campaign takes another post-apocalyptic military scenario where the USA has been scorched by a devastating satellite weapon strike. There’s several mind-blowing moments, like using a dog to attack, astronaut battles, chopper strikes, and the flooding of an entire city, but the story is still so focused on “epic moments” it loses the care that made the Modern Warfare series games so good. However, we enjoyed the campaign much more than the last game, Black Ops 2.
Graphics: With a new engine running the show we expected major changes, but it really looks like the COD of before, with upgrades that are there but you need a microscope to fully appreciate. The intricate patch-ups do make a difference throughout the game, particularly with the environments, but it’s not a revolutionary jump to next-level. Things like stone work, water, foliage, trees and lighting all seem to be renovated, but mid-battle facial animations need some work.
Gameplay: Exactly the same. Exactly. The. Same. One of the flaws of having a super-successful franchise like Call of Duty is that the Publishers adopt the theory that if it ain’t broke, why fix it? And in fairness, it’s a tough point to argue. Left-trigger to aim, right trigger to shoot, even an idiot knows how to operate a gun, but in terms of gameplay innovation, outside of the underwater and space battles featuring some north and south movement, they’ve kept it simple, and that’s cool for now.
Sound: Music does a great job picking its moments. It moves from adrenaline-pumping drum beats and synths during intense moments, to serene and distilled moments in stealth or orbit. Voice acting is fine, with the usual comm chatter and cutscene discussions. It’s another win for creating a great sound setting.
Multiplayer: If you’re in this game to get hooked on to the multiplayer modes, you’re in for a treat! Again, it begins with the usual run-‘n-gun of deathmatch loops. We found the maps to be more hit-and-miss than previous games, despite the fact they can be altered throughout the course of battle. Everything else, however, is clearly much bigger. Firstly, you can now play as female soldiers, which is great. Player customization options are much improved, with unlockable features, which not only makes your soldier look more unique on the field, but also gives you more to play for down the stretch. A separate multiplayer mode called Squads – which is essentially a number of more co-op based games where you play against bots (Gears of War Horde mode, *ahem*) – is good too. They’ve all-but covered the multiplayer encyclopedia with modes here by copying everything around them, and some.
Awesomeness: With rival shooters raising the bar, we thought Ghosts was going to be like hitting the refresh button, but it’s not. It’s more of what we’ve come to expect from the crazy-popular series. We enjoyed the campaign far more than Black Ops 2, though not nearly as much as the Modern Warfare trilogy. We enjoyed the new perks in multiplayer, but ultimately, it’s all disappointingly familiar.
Final Word: Ghosts takes everything it knows and packs it into this one game. It improves on many details from a technical level and gives us everything fans asked for. But the whole game lacks innovation and a much-needed fresh feel, mostly due to keeping things too safe and familiar. Early sales figures have come under expectations, which Publishers, Activision, have attributed to consumer confusion with next-gen consoles. We suspect there’s more to it than that.
Score out of 5 bugs
Summary: 1 = Poor, 2 = Average, 3 = Good, 4 = Great, 5 = Amazing