I had originally penned this review for the Xbox 360 version of this game just before the next gen launch, then I was quickly lost in pre-launch hype and didn’t get it finished before I upgraded. CoD: Ghosts isn’t just the last entry of the series on the Xbox 360, it’s also the first entry in the series on next generation consoles. Since the first Modern Warfare, fans have been asking for a new engine, a new vision, a new take on Call of Duty. While Ghosts doesn’t feel like a huge change, now is the perfect time to build something bigger and better.
CoD: Ghosts gameplay is the same as before. Same frantic and chaotic set pieces. Same fine-crafted and responsive gunplay. Same combination of stealth and action that has made the series a household name. It’s more of the same in the best possible way. You can pick up and play anywhere from daily to weekly and it will feel familiar. Some may hate the lack of anything original to the formula, but it’s of the few things I’ve always enjoyed with this series.
The campaign surprised me. While it’s not groundbreaking, it still was a lot more enjoyable than previous stories and my personal favorite. The plot involves a group called the Ghosts defending a severely weakened United States from a dangerous organization called the Federation. It has a good mix of missions that put you in various situations, making the most of everything CoD has to offer. If you’re one who normally plays the game just for the Multiplayer I highly suggest you give the campaign a try first. I finished it before playing online and I’m glad I did. Normally I forget about t he story for a few months before coming back and finishing it in stages; not a wise suggestion this time.
The standard offerings are here except for a few new modes. One that will keep everybody happy is Infected. One player start out as infected while the rest are safe, and the player’s goal is to attack and infect everybody. Another new mode is Cranked. You score a kill, then you have 30 seconds to get another or you explode. My personal favorite is Hunter Mode, where all you start with is a pistol and crates drop throughout the map, introducing other weapons and forcing you to adapt to what you get. My only real issue is the fact that the general audience don’t want game modes that punish you for camping or removes your classes, because of that it is tough to get a game outside of Team Deathmatch or Domination.
In Ghosts, you no longer have just one character to Prestige all the way. Infinity Ward have introduced Squads to the game. Now you are presented with 10 different men and women (yes the army has ladies in games now) to level up once each, creating your own team of AI when you enter Squad Mode. It’s basically Team Deathmatch except your Squad is pitted against another player’s.
Last, there is Extinction mode. Love the Zombies mode from Black Ops? Extinction is kind of the same, but goes beyond the simple “they chase, you run” gameplay. You’ve now been pitted against a group of aliens while completeing objectives to progress through each stage point by point. The part I found most enjoyable is the ability to level up in this mode. Upgrading your stats and weaponry, all working towards the ultimate soldier of your own style to defend the earth.
Overall, Ghosts is an improvement, holding onto what worked and improving on things that didn’t. I was let down however after hearing that the game would have dedicated servers. I still seem to be facing host migration issues as well as very noticeable lag spikes. While I heard initially that they were in the process of switching the servers on, I have waiting two weeks now with no improvement seen.
There was a heap of talk leading up to launch of the fact CoD: Ghosts runs only at 720p on the Xbox One and upscaled for the output. While I can’t compare it to the PS4 openly and honestly, I can point out that, as we are bound to discover time and time again, that the resolution isn’t enough of a reason to choose one version over the other. Ghosts is still a good looking game, pleasant on the eyes and very smooth from start to finish. There aren’t any noticeable framerate dips and there was no texture pop to interrupt the flow of the game. It’s not the best looking next gen title, however it’s also not a bad looking game.
Nothing really stands out with the audio this time around. It’s still loud and full of constant gun popping and the soundtrack is wonderful. The title track, Survival by Eminem, is a great choice by Infinity Ward. From a pump it up and rock the house perspective, the ability to wake the neighbors from good deep bass points and crisp clear audio is there and it is one well worth turning up more than normal.
Regardless of what people think of the game, there is a huge group who play Call of Duty religiously. Generally it’s the only game they fit into their busy lives each year. So, the big question when deciding what version to get is whether or not it is worth upgrading to a new console. Does the XB1 version offer something the 360 doesn’t? In short, no not really. While it does look a little better on XB1, the overall feel of the game isn’t radically different. There just isn’t enough reason to buy a whole new console just yet.
But is it worth buying at all? If you’ve got a group of mates who you spend countless hours with squadding up for a late night session, then yes, definitely grab it. Even without a group of mates, Call of Duty is one of those rare games that is both great for casual and hardcore play. Whether it be alone or with a friend, you’ll always find a game to play and pass the time.
All in all, while it is yet another year and another Call of Duty, the variances in multiplayer modes have added something new to the game, and the arrival of Extinction mode is something for those who love Zombies or Survival mode. There will always be those who bag on Call of Duty, but that doesn’t stop it from being one of the things you should add to your collection, because you know when you have it, someone is going to play with you.
- Varied Campaign
- Multiplayer Maps and Modes are Bigger and Better
- Squad and Extinction Mode are Great Additions
- No Dedicated Servers
- Campaign is Still Short
- Not Much Core Difference From Previous Games