Developer: Infinity Ward
Release Date: 11/15/2013
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Call of Duty has come a long way since 2003. From World War II to the Afghan war, there’s a lot going on with this series. While it has had its ups and many downs, Ghosts seems to have picked the series up a little bit and the transition to next-gen consoles may have helped that.
The story in Ghosts is actually quite interesting and probably the only story in the series that’s even somewhat memorable. This is a huge feat for the series in itself. You play as a Ghost named Logan who is following his brother Hesh around trying to stop a global crisis. I think why the story is so great is because it’s fictional. This is a made up apocalyptic scenario that seems too close to being real. A former ghost named Rorke is using a satellite weapon that can destroy entire continents in minutes. The game starts out with Logan and Hesh talking with their father when these missiles start hitting. Later on, you learn more about Ghosts in flashback missions then eventually becoming one yourself. The voice acting and character modeling is fantastic and helps hold the story together and keeping you interested.
One of the many reasons why Ghosts’ campaign is so interesting is that each mission is completely different. Sure you are always shooting bad guys but the entire campaign is constantly turned up whether you’re driving a tank, mounting a mini-gun in a helo, or fighting underwater. New ideas and better pacing are brought to Ghosts which is exactly what this series needed. One addition is the dog, Riley. You would think this would get overused but he’s used just right. He’s only available for maybe 5 missions through the whole game but it’s the way he’s used. New gameplay elements are introduced with Riley with each mission and after the first third of the game, he’s mostly absent which is a good thing. This makes you care for Riley and really appreciate his role as a soldier.
With that said the shooting itself is solid which is expected from any Call of Duty. The guns feel heavy and have weight to them and sound and action on screen are crisp and really pull you into the drama going on. There’s a good mix of stealth and action as a whole along with the other change-ups the game throws at you. There are quite a few memorable scenes such as the firefight in outer space towards the end and the underwater level as well. However, we are still missing an organic feel that a slower more deliberate pace would bring out. The game is still the same at its core. There still isn’t any gore, enemy AI is still off, and everything still feels rushed and too in your face. Call of Duty can be more intellectual and less ham-fisted with the macho violence and action.
With that said the multiplayer is nothing short of fun and the same core suite of Modern Warfare. The biggest addition is being able to play as a female character and customizing the clothing. Of course, the customization for weapons is even deeper than before with balance tweaks and menus changes, but if you have played a Call of Duty in the last 5 years you know what to expect. I feel that the maps are a little better than past CoD games but I have yet to play any that are as great as Modern Warfare 2.
With all that said Ghosts is a fine shooter and was given a little too much harsh criticism. The visuals are fantastic and the campaign is a huge step in the right direction to pulling the series out of the stereotypical rut that it has been in for years.