November has come and gone and that means one thing to gamers: another Call of Duty has just released! This marks the tenth title in the series (minus some of console and handheld games), and the developers at Infinity Ward have yet to lose their creativity or ingenuity when it comes to this saga. The single-player campaign treats players to a variety of gimmicks such as controlling Riley the dog, using a remote sniper gun, blowing up an offshore oil drill by using its controls, guiding missiles and torpedoes, rappelling down a tall building and firing into different floors, driving tanks and helicopters, and much more.
Ghosts also tells a brand new story that stands independent of the Modern Warfare and Black Ops campaigns. In the not-too-distant future, South America controls all of the oil supply and has united under the banner of the Federation. The beginning of the game sends you into outer space where the Federation breaks into the U.S.S Odin, an orbital missile station with a near-nuclear arsenal, and fires upon the U.S. several times. This action further weakens the Americans, who end up fighting the Federation upon their doorstep. But thankfully, we have an elite team of military specialists called the Ghosts, who work to help expel the Federation from America. Unfortunately the Ghosts end up having internal problems, as an ex-Ghost named Rorke turns to the Federation in order to get revenge for having been left for dead during a mission. Rorke has now essentially become a Ghost hunter and targets the Ghosts who abandoned him. It’s a simple and straightforward story with little twists and turns. Yet twists and turns story-wise aren’t necessary for this game, as the action and variety of missions keeps players engaged so much that a winding story arc is not important.
While the game is very entertaining, its replay value is definitely not on par with Black Ops II, as you have no choices to make during the campaign, nor can you choose perks or starting weapons for each mission. You start with whatever the game gives you and if you don’t like it, that’s just too bad.
The success of any first-shooter nowadays relies heavily on good graphics, and for the most part, Ghosts succeeds. While not as detailed as Battlefield 4, Ghosts still has excellent lighting, great terrain resolution, and decent explosions. Surprisingly the only thing that doesn’t look good are the characters’ faces, which look very soft and low on detail. Oddly enough, the best-looking object in the game is the dog, Riley, with the “Dynamic Fur” option turned on. It’s quite an amazing feat and it makes Riley look like a real dog! Unfortunately it can also slow down some systems, but even if you can turn that setting to low it’s very much worth it.
Of course, this Call of Duty game includes excellent multiplayer modes, but it also has a unique addition called “Extinction” where you play cooperatively with others in the fight against bug-like aliens!
Because of the lack of choices in the Ghosts campaign, it seems the developers took a step back rather than a step forward here. Still the game gives players varied action and creative gimmicks and ensures that the Call of Duty franchise is far from over.