The Call of Duty series started ten years ago by a small team who left EA after working on Medal of Honor: Allied Assault. Unfortunately, it took them quite some time to find the ultimate formula, 4 years to be exact, with the mega release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Since then gamers can’t stop talking about the franchise, and year by year it continues to break its own unbelievable sales figures.
In order to successfully release a game each year Activision decided to put 3 studios in charge of the franchise: Treyarch, Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games. While some gamers would be happy to buy the game on a yearly-basis, others think it’s time for Activision to lay low for a while and come back with new ground-breaking ideas.
Fortunately, Call of Duty: Ghosts brings something new to the table, but is it enough to keep its relevant?
Call of Duty: Ghosts tells the story of Logan and Hesh, ones of the few remaining US soldiers after a devastating attack by South America. Unlike most games in the franchise, Ghosts’ main protagonists are part of a weaker group that fights with close-to-zero chance of winning. This makes the whole experience feel much more tense, as the fate of the whole region/world is at your hands. There’s a lot at stake here, so you better make it out alive!
Fortunately, Logan and Hesh are not fighting alone, in fact a dog named Riley is joining them and helps them accomplish most of the missions. Many games have tried to develop a relationship between the protagonists and their pets (Zelda and Final Fantasy VII first come to mind), but only few managed to make it feels believable.
Although the story is very short and sometimes focuses too much on the action and explosions rather than its dramatics events, I still find Call of Duty: Ghosts a great play for the short 5 hours it lasts, mostly because of the constant changing of the game’s environments. In that short time you’ll visit what’s left of Santa Monica, the jungles of Venezuela and even Space, with missions that fit the given environment. You won’t find here the infamous “go here, go there” missions from previous titles, so you better expect a fresh play everytime you start your game.
Everyone who plays a Call of Duty game knows that at some point they should jump to its multiplayer modes – where the game really shines, some even start right from that leaving the single-player for later.
Call of Duty: Ghosts’ multiplayer is a little bit different from past titles, with changes that suit well both longtime fans and newcomers to the series. First, the menus are much more accessible than any other Call of Duty before, going through them to check data, choose layouts and change weapons are so easy that it takes only seconds to switch and change. The second thing that was dramatically improved are the personal customizations. There are literally hundreds of different weapons to choose from, and there’s a lot to unlock every time your rank goes up, leaving you playing for months. You can also set new abilities for you character like “Strong Arm” that helps you throw grenades farther and “Lightweight” that shield you when falling from high grounds. Those perks will surely help you along the way, but balance is still maintained, allowing new and experienced players a fair chance of winning.
As for graphics Call of Duty: Ghosts runs on a new engine that was developed by Infinity Ward. From start, you can clearly see how much the game has progressed graphically since last year – the water looks amazing, shadows are precise and sharp and the textures are very nice looking at, especially if you own one of the latest Nvidia cards. The only downside (for PC gamers) is that you must have a computer with at least 6GB RAM in order to successfully launch the game.
Overall, Call of Duty: Ghosts is the same game we are so used to love, but with a couple of changes like bigger maps and better customizations. There’s still a room for improvement, but I’m sure that many FPS fans will find it enjoyable and a great treat for the holidays.