Published on January 5th, 2014 | by Tony0
Call of Duty: Ghosts
With a packed review schedule the past few weeks, games have had to wait their turn in the order they have showed up in order to get their chance for review love on the site.
While some may say that means a late review, it also means that I get to sit back and enjoy the game rather than rushing to get a review up on day one of a release like many other sites have to do.
As with any Call of Duty game, having such a following and being up there as one of the most bought games throughout the yearly schedule of gaming releases, fans always expect nothing but the best but a new release always needs time to settle in. Look at Batman recently having issues with the game freezing and glitching, I even had freezing issues with the fantastic Battlefield 4 but it really annoys me when I see gamers selling a game after such issues have not even had chance to be fixed.
Take the release of Black Ops 2 last year as a fine example from my standpoint, I gave that game a six (old site scores) when I reviewed that because of online issues, but I stuck with it in the hope that it would get sorted. It did get a little bit better after a few patches, but by the time they actually made it that way the damage had gone on too long.
Call of Duty campaigns are infamous for being nothing more than your typical action movie cracked up to 11, and Ghosts does not let the side down here.
The game begins with you playing Logan Walker, as always a faceless, voiceless guy who is nothing special it would seem.
It kicks off with Logan just sat upon a hill being told by his father and brother how the team of elite “Ghosts” came about, next thing you know things are falling out of the sky and you are running for your life trying to escape an attack from a space station that is blowing the crap out of your hometown.
Originally the game kicks off with you facing off against a whole force known as the “Federation” with you and your brother Hesh, but these felt like nothing but a faceless mask to the true evil in the game.
The story after a while does take the typical “Only one bad guy is to blame” stance that has happened in previous games, but speaking of this would mean spoilers and you know I don’t do that.
Alongside the campaign though you do get to try new things out, one of which being the worldwide Internet loved dog that is Riley the super hound.
Going in I was expecting a lot more Riley, but he is nothing more than a dog pulled out now and again for those “only a dog can do this” moments very early on, so you don’t really form any type of bond with him.
I went in expecting an almost dog and soldier type affair, but most of the time the game is spent with your brother Hesh and a few other team members who, let’s be honest here, you would not care about if they took a bullet. Also as you go through the story many little gadgets will pop up that are quite cool to play with, be it only for a short amount of time.
A couple of them that spring to mind off the top of my head, one being a remote sniper where you defend the team as they escape certain parts of a mission, and the other being a strobe like attachment that sets off a night time rave as you slay people blinded by your light.
A worthy note to mention in this review is that Infinity Ward have made some of the levels really pleasing on the eye, and have added in some of those trademark ‘wow’ moments and you do feel like you’re part of the latest Sly Stallone flick. The levels do include the bog standard dusty and snow levels, but also some that have truly gorgeous backdrops like the level below, which I could happily just sit and watch the fireworks go off for a while, as yeah I’m that sad.
Overall the single player campaign ticks all the right boxes if you enjoyed previous campaigns, but if you’re one of the guys who has hated it in the past then nothing will change your mind here.
This is another reason why the review has been held back a little, as I think it is fair to say that the MP does take a while to settle into normality, at least one would hope that was the case.
The first week or so was met with new maps that were somewhat bigger to what CoD players had expected and also the much hated “player sitting in a corner” syndrome that affects every new shooter.
My hope was I would be typing this now saying the whole camping thing had passed now as players had learned the new maps, but sadly this is not the case.
This is not the only issue with the multiplayer either, as I tend to be out gunned in battles that I should have won.
On my screen I am seeing myself pump bullets into a guy only to see myself downed by what feels like a one bullet spray and pray, but when watching the killcam it looks like I was just standing there waiting to be shot.
This is not sour grapes you understand as I don’t mind losing at all, but when it feels like a game is screwing you over it can take a certain amount of the enjoyment and fun away from it.
Onto some of the cool things in the multiplayer rather than focusing on the bad things in the community and there are some cool new gametypes offered this time around that do combat the above issues.
The game mode known as Cranked has a very simple concept yet is tons of fun to play.
The aim of this is mode is that once you shoot someone, a 30 second clocks begins and unless you kill again within those 30 seconds then your ass will go Boom! as you explode.
It actually is tons of fun to play and it does combat the camper aspects that litter the main gametypes and brings something new to the table.
And as I was speaking about those campers above, they can’t really do it here as if they do they won’t last very long.
Blitz is another mode that I’ve not seen seen before in a Call of Duty game which does bring something new.
It plays like capture the flag in a roundabout kind of way, but without the flag and without the need to return the enemies flag to your base.
Both teams have a circle area on each side of the map and you can score a point by running though this area, this area then has a ten second lockdown before you can score again.
It plays really well as you can either choose to try and defend your area or try your best at scoring a point, so it makes for a fast frantic game.
Infected also makes a return now Infinity Ward have the CoD baton for a year, and if you’ve not played it before it’s tons of fun.
The game kicks off with one person being infected who then has to either stab or use a throwing knife on one of the none infected to make that player join the infected team.
It is a great mode for when a game has really annoyed you and when played with friends it is even better as you all scream like a sissy when you see an infected running at you all while trying to hide.
For all the remaining modes that I’m sure we’ve all played before that are in the game check out the image below. Suffice to say they still play and feel like they always have.
Extinction is something that is cool to play, but on the whole does feel a little out of place in this Call of Duty game.
It kicks off with you and upto four online or offline chums drilling holes in alien hives to destroy them and move on, but don’t ask me how that fits into the whole scope of Ghosts.
I kind of expected from the first announcement that Infinity ward had seen how well zombies had done on Black Ops 2, so removed Spec-Ops for something along the same lines.
Now while it doesn’t really fit into the whole world of the game you play, that’s not to say it doesn’t give a little fun.
The first few goes will see you just drilling hives and not really knowing what the hell you are doing, but after a while you will see it offers much more.
Ranking up will unlock new things that you can use on your following tries at this mode be it better guns or better things to help out fellow team mates.
Overall while it lacks any real link to the game itself I did enjoy it to a certain extent.
Squads is another new thing to the Call of Duty world, which can see you and your bot clan take on the world.
You can also have a buddy tag along for the ride on certain modes if you want aswell though.
Squads is the place to go when the multiplayer is getting on your nerves as your rank carries on around all the modes I have spoken about so far, and the bots are just as challenging as playing normal gamers.
Next-Gen Campaign and MP:
While the main review above is for the 360 version, I’ve also had some hands on time with the Xbox One version of the game.
I’ve tried levels of the campaign on both Xbox consoles, but it turns out not much has changed in that department.
The difference you will notice straight away is that things are just a tad brighter when playing on the latest consoles, but other than that there are no real differences.
The multiplayer is also no different with only a few brighter visuals, and as for the touted “dedicated servers” being thrown around the internet before next-gen consoles were released, the same crap is still taking place like being shot around corners.
Summary: Something about Ghosts has stopped me feeling the urge to return on a daily basis like I have with previous Call of Duty games. The story as always was over the top but was a blast to play through. On the other hand MP just isn't fun for me this time around. It has a few new things, but nothing to make me keep coming back. Maybe it's because I'm just bored of the genre, I don't know.