Call Of Duty: Ghosts – Review

December 12, 2013 3:10 PM

Call of Duty: Ghosts is a video game. It’s available on XBox, XBox One and PS3, PS4. It costs between £35-50 depending on how savvy you are and how many shops you’re prepared to visit.

These are all the things you already know, but should you buy it? That is the big question.

Call Of Duty is a franchise that’s owned by Activison, and you may or may not know, but there’s a little bit of a fan boy war going on not just between consoles, but between developers. The good people at Infinity Ward, and the good people at Treyarch graciously take turns every year to develop a new game. The Modern Warfare and now Ghosts is headed up by Infinity Ward and everything else is Treyarch.

Although they are practically the same game, there is a little bit of a difference in feel and handling. I myself, am more inclined to say that Infinity Ward make better games, but that’s only my opinion. Why? Because they made arguably the best 1st person shooter of all time when they released Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. And they never looked back. They took everything we loved in 2007 and moulded and shaped it, streamlining and smoothing out the creases. Six years later we sit nervously outside our local video game store at 11:36PM, counting down to the midnight opening. Crowds are drawn and shelves are stocked – and all for good reason.

I got home by 12:24AM and put Ghosts straight in.

My first reaction was good. Notoriously, the call of duty games take an age to load and then bumble slowly through to the online section before squeezing you in to a game after searching for minutes on end.

call of duty ghosts multiplayerBut not this time. While the screen is loading the main menu, I reach for my TV remote to switch on the television whilst I wait but before I can, I’m at the menu. I scroll and click on multi-player and straight away I’m running around like a headless chicken in some abandoned train yard, surrounded by other low ranked idiots who are equally as lost, firing blindly at each other.

Feels like home.

The maps are big. Much bigger than before; and well balanced. There’s not as much enclosed cover as previous games and there’s a lot more pathways and corridors. Conflict is forced in to sections of the map, making you work as a team against the other team. It’s nice to be spawned somewhere quiet too, unlike other games where you’re catapulted straight in to a hornets nest of enemies. So that’s one improvement over the other games.

The graphics are visceral, and instead of just starting over with the game-play, they’ve improved on the old. It handles like classic COD should, but the finer details are what really put it over the top.

As you run around, you can hear team mates not only shouting, but actually giving advice and information, like “Enemies in the clock tower!” or “Tango next to the oil tanker!” which is handy because the maps are huge and people are sneaky. But that’s not where the realism stops. You can also interact with the environment, exploding cars, blowing up gas stations and closing doors. Doesn’t sound like much, but it’s more than we’ve been offered before.

The next big plus point is the customisation. In previous games, we see ‘create-a-class’ with limited options, but now it’s a whole other ball game. You can not only create a gun, but also an entire squad. Choose male or female, rename your character, change their outfit, change their face, their helmet, their gun and their patch. Extra ‘customisables’ are unlocked by completing challenges (or operations) in the online world. This goes for everything from the face you can pick to the camo on your gun.

call of duty ghosts 2The guns themselves are far more balanced than in other games. Every gun has its strengths but they also all have obvious flaws. The Assault rifles don’t hit as hard as they used to, SMGs don’t have the range or control we’re accustomed to, shotguns are useless outside of sneezing range, the sniper rifles are bulky, and Marksman’s rifles need reloading after every kill.

Sounds bad right? It’s the opposite actually. Every gun comes with a host of attachments – a half dozen sights to choose from, a bunch of new barrel attachments like the Muzzle Brake which ups damage and range of any gun, but ruins the accuracy, so it’s all nicely balanced. This makes game play a lot more fun than before as it gives everyone a fighting chance, regardless of skill level.

Other nifty features come in the form of ‘Contextual Lean’ which is leaning around corners to shoot for better cover and a lot more perk and kill streak options, which again, are less over powered for a more balanced feel.

There’s no obvious issues and I’ve been playing now for the last couple weeks, and having a blast.

The campaign is sufficiently cheesy, scripted and acted like a dodgy wartime B Movie, but the game play and cinematics are so intense that you kind of get on board with the whole thing. The story is built around the Federation, who are a federation of South American countries that rise up and destroy the western world with bombs, guns, tanks, and a ginormous space lazer of doom. If you have seen Die Another Day with Pierce Brosnan, you’re in the same ball park. But, despite the hi-jacked plot ideas and clichéd dialogue, it’s immersive and addictive and you honestly lose chunks of time when you’re playing, which could be a positive or negative depending on what you like. The concept is cool and the twists are predictable yet entertaining. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, but like new age reboots of old movies, you know exactly what you’re going to get, but you still want to see it.

call of dutyExtinction mode is the last thing worth mentioning and sees Infinity Ward rip off Zombies with Aliens infesting the world. Run from hive to hive destroying them with a drill while you fend off hordes of jumping, biting, running aliens with a small host of generally inadequate weapons. The aliens are difficult to see and they come from everywhere. Cover is scarce and you spend more time running in circles to get away from them than you do shooting them. Protect the drill at all costs! Guess I’m’m gonna die trying then. Yup. Just like zombies.

Anyway, should you buy it? Yes.

Should you moan about it? No.

It’s exactly how you think it’s going to be. Good, but nothing new.

If you want the classic COD experience, smoother and sleeker than ever before with all the improvements you ever wanted in MW3, but in a game with a new campaign, new online and new alien killing mode, and you’ve got the best part of fifty quid lying around, then this is the game for you.

You definitely wont be disappointed, but you just won’t quite be blown away either.

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