It's that time of year again. Time for another Call Of Duty to hit shelves and this time it is with Call Of Duty: Ghosts. There have been a load of upgrades and a new engine since last year's Black Ops II. Most of you may know that there are multiple updates to the multiplayer mode to boot. This review will not be covering those at this time as I focused mainly on the campaign mode. Don't fret; there will be a multiplayer update after we have had time to really dig into that aspect. For now let's see if the campaign is worth your time and money.
We take on the role of Logan Walker, mostly, the son of a retired U.S. Army Captain who likes to recount the horrors of war as campfire stories. While this is going on, the Federation (read: the bad guys) takes over an orbital weapon called ODIN (this really exists in the real world by another name) and uses it to attack U.S. soil. Ten years later and this is still going on only for you to find out that the Federation is being led by an ex-ghost with a grudge to pick as he was left for dead. All madness breaks loose as Logan, his brother, and the family dog try to hunt down this man and bring an end to a war that looks to have killed most of your average humans leaving only soldiers.
The campaign for Call Of Duty: Ghosts feels way too short for my tastes. I was able to play through everything on Veteran in what felt like half a day and this was not hammering through. Just about when I hit what I thought was the halfway point in the narrative, I saw end credits. It felt like the campaign was rushed or at least truncated due to all the time that I am hoping was focused on the multiplayer. Even some of the levels seemed way too short to feel like a real 'chapter' to the story of the game. I know this isn't what most people look for in a Call Of Duty title, but if you are going to obviously spend time on it I think it should feel like there is some substance to the campaign.
Speaking of shortness, this also comes in with how much you get to use one of the big focal points with playing as/with Riley the Call Of Duty Dog. I am not kidding that what was shown during Activision's event before E3 is the bulk of this new feature. They built it up so much, as did the public, but outside of one mission Riley is used as an un-kill-able friendly NPC to take down enemies behind cover. If you play it right you don't even need to fire a single shot and just target enemies you spot from cover. No matter how many bullets are flying he will get the job done. I was hoping for a bit more like actually losing him due to use in extremely dangerous situations but I am sure PETA would have been all over that in a ticks fart.
Moving on from the shortness of the campaign and uses of the dog, it felt like some of the controls for Call Of Duty: Ghosts were a bit lacking over its predecessors. The biggest being the fact that not all of the guns used in the game 'snap to' or at a target at all. Case in point. I'd have an enemy lined up in view and would go to aim only to have my sights jump to a wall or another target nowhere near where I was looking before. This would even happen when firing without aiming where I was hitting the target. I would stop firing and try to scope in for a better shot only to have my sights again off target. If this happened to guns that the character wasn't use to I could see this as a feature but this happened even with the arms he was given in his load out.
So what exactly did I love then? For starters I loved the fact that the technology that we have in the real world, and not speculations, was incorporated and shown to be as detrimental as it really would be. As was the case with Call Of Duty: Black Ops II, I love when real and fantastical things are added into the game's world. It adds that extra little spice of realism to the game's world that is supposed to be based in a similar one to ours. Especially when it is hardware that a lot of people don't know is actually in the works. It's just like learning mixed in with murdering hundreds of faceless soldiers to save the game's world. Love it.
On top of that I cannot argue that this is one of the prettiest games out that I have played. Even though I played Call Of Duty: Ghosts on the PS3 and have seen how it upgrades to the PS4, I personally think it looks amazing even on current gen hardware. For all of you out there that have not or don't plan on upgrading to next gen hardware you won't be disappointed here at all. Yes it is missing some of the particle effects, smoke, and fire effects that can be done better on next gen, but it is still pretty damn spot on with the PS3 and Xbox 360 still. It is really like they are squeezing out everything they can before moving on.
To accompany the visuals that overly impressed the audio has the advances just as well. Even more so that I haven't been able to hear a notable difference between consoles, but I have between Call Of Duty titles. Everything sounds crisp and completely realistic. The added touch of incorporating all of the surroundings in the effects is also a great boost. What do I mean? Well if you are firing a gun near a concrete wall and run past a metal barricade you can hear the significant difference between hot brass hitting concrete and then the metal. Or if an explosion goes off and you are near a chain-link fence, even though I never saw the fence move it gave off the sounds of something rattling it. In this case the concussive blast. If this doesn't add a great feel for immersion I don't know what will and I hope other developers take a page here.
So in the end should you get Call Of Duty: Ghosts? If you were only getting the campaign mode I would probably say hold off until the price drops a bit. It is pretty. It sounds amazing. It also feels very short. That said, I know that is not the only selling point for Call Of Duty: Ghosts to most of you out there. Hells, it is only about a third of the game as it is. So we luck out that there is more to it than just that. While I didn't touch on the Multiplayer as of yet, don't want to jump the gun as we are still feeling it out, I'd say that this third of the overall game is not a deal breaker. For those who want all the aspects of Call Of Duty: Ghosts I'd say you might want to try MP first then come back to solo.
Call Of Duty: Ghosts was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, and WiiU on November 5th, 2013. A copy of the game was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.