The formula developed by Infinity Ward / Treyarch has helped to cement the underpinnings of a highly stylized FPS experience which has grown into something that’s now internationally recognizable. This is to say that the Call of Duty franchise has more or less defined what a “shooter” video game is (or should do) for a great number of gamers. Take that however you will, the point isn’t to prop up the series here on wishful thinking, but instead to accurately state its overall level of influence on the entire video game industry at large. The point is, there are certain expectations whenever a new Call of Duty title is announced. With the release of CoD: Ghosts we see what essentially amounts to more of the same, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Right from the start, you should know that the PS4 version of this game runs in 1080p, so anyone that’s interested in a more dynamic and detail-oriented experience should feel at home. Additionally, it’s been noted that Call of Duty: Ghosts is also one of the best (if not the top) next-gen sellers, which speaks volumes about the allure or appeal of the series. Even though most critics are taking aim at this game, it would seem that a fair amount of PlayStation 4 owners aren’t listening.
At any rate, anyone that’s played any of the Modern Warfare or Black Ops titles should know roughly what to expect with this game (it’s not rocket science). You’re essentially treated to a highly stylized campaign that plays out like an action / war / spy-thriller movie as well as a great multiplayer suite and some additional “bonus” modes of play. When approaching titles like this, the tendency is to leisurely stroll through the campaign, perhaps learning some of the new combat / control features along the way, getting accustomed to changes in the HUD and so forth. The goal of course is to really know what you’re doing by the time you’ve finished the story mode off, so that you can jump into the multiplayer head first, of course.
But before we look at the game’s online features, let’s examine a bit of Ghosts’ story. Right off the bat, a clandestine group calling itself “The Federation” (which is essentially a united South America) launches a satellite-based attack on the US, basically crippling every single city. The game mostly takes place years afterward, as what’s left of the US military continues to tray and fight off all the ensuing invasion forces. Don’t expect anything particularly new in terms of formula though, each level or mission functions according to how it’s been staged, which is more or less par for the course in CoD (but not necessarily bad if you’re in the mood for it). “Ghosts” plays out like an interactive action film, you know – something to prepare you for the online fun.
Speaking of which; fans of the series should feel pretty good about Call of Duty: Ghosts’ multiplayer – it does exactly what you expect and even manages to throw in a few new tricks. For example, the destructive maps add another layer of intrigue to the mix and can even turn the tide of online battles. In short, these alterations to the basic multiplayer format have more or less improved upon the model, making for extremely dramatic exchanges at times. Armed with a slew of modes such as Search and Rescue, Cranked, Domination, Free-for-all, Kill Confirmed, Infected and Blitz, there’s plenty to do and see.
However, gamers who are in the mood for something entirely different, yet incredibly fun, there’s the all-new “Extinction” mode. In short, it functions like a combination of some other classic objective-based multiplayer games, but instead of taking on another team, you’re fighting aliens. You and three other players are placed in a town that’s overrun by enemies and you’re tasked with eliminating them, in essence. Of course this requires you to lug around a drill and fight off hordes of creatures as attack specific hives across a large map. Each “Extinction” session is essentially laid out in the same manner; with a number of smaller targets to hit, culminating in a push to take out a larger central hive and a mad dash to safety. All in all, it’s a fitting accompaniment to the other features which “Ghosts” possesses, essentially comparable to the well-known “Zombies” mode, of course.
At the end of the day, you really have to give Call of Duty: Ghosts fairly high marks because it’s a fine game; not particularly groundbreaking, but solid in more ways than one. Maybe a lot of gamers have become incredibly cynical in recent years, perhaps expecting game developers to pull magic rabbits out of their respective creative hats each year like clockwork. The fact of the matter is that each subsequent release in a series doesn’t really need to completely revolutionize every aspect of a brand, all it really needs to do is give gamers their money’s worth. To make a long story short, “Ghosts” is a fun, multi-faceted shooter with fairly wide appeal, not to mention a wealth of game modes to keep you interested.