Having just gotten off this crazy roller coaster ride called Call of Duty: Ghosts, I am happy to say that the franchise is back and better than ever. Call of Duty: Ghosts takes place in a world where the United States, once a superpower, now stands a mere shell of its former self thanks to a cyber attack on an orbital strike rod facility which caused it to destroy most of the Southwestern United States. A new power known as the “Federation” has risen to the spot of the world’s number one superpower. Being made up of the countries of South America, the Federation has advanced equipment and is preparing to invade what is left of the United States. The ones at the forefront of stopping the Federation is a hyper-elite squad of Tier 1 operators known simple as “Ghosts”.
Your character is Logan Walker, one of two brothers who, along with their Father, find themselves smack dab in the middle of all the chaos at the start of the game. The nice thing about Call of Duty: Ghosts is that you feel like you are an integral part of the story. Even though your character is part of a larger team, your actions matter. Other shooters strive to put you in the middle of a much larger war, which has its place as well. Ghosts, much like past Call of Duty games, puts YOU as the star in your very own Tom Clancy or Michael Bay film.
Visually, Call of Duty: Ghosts is very attractive, with crisp details abound. Strangely, the visuals don’t look as good as I would have hoped – looking very similar to Black Ops 2. Not that this is a bad thing – the game is really pretty, but I expected a bit more from the game which is set to run on “next-gen” consoles (especially as I have a PC more than capable of handling it). Like previous Call of Duty titles, the levels always feel a bit small or closed in – even when they are meant to be outdoors. Often times the maps set in what is supposed to be open areas use smoke and mirrors with animated backdrops that you can’t ever reach that are meant to give the illusion of open space. Call of Duty games have always been known for doing this and, while it may seem like some sort of cop-out, it allows them to really turn up the detail on the stuff you can reach.
The voice talent of the game deserves special mention, with the likes of Brandon Routh, Stephen Lang, and Kevin Gage bringing the more prominent characters to life. One of the most wasted characters in the game was that of “Riley”, the brothers’ war dog. I loved the idea of Riley being a part of the squad and, when he is on your team, he is a blast to see in action. That being said, I disliked being Riley immensely. Controlling the character felt very sluggish and more of a gimmick than anything else. Unfortunately, the character doesn’t get more time to simply be a part of the squad. In the expansion, I hope to see Riley as the first canine member of the “Ghosts”.
Unfortunately, the game does have some issues which need mentioning. First is that the controls, in general, can be a bit sluggish – the worst examples being seen in the underwater and in-orbit sequences. Other annoying things are the slow and roadblocking qualities of your teammates and the too narrow field of view (which cannot be altered in the visual options menu). Additionally, the vehicle levels tend to drone on a bit. Going further with the vehicles, tanks feel really strange to pilot, with them gliding around like they are hover-tanks or something. The helicopter is no better, with very arcade-like controls and no ability to raise or lower the aircraft’s collective. Another point of contention I had with the game was the motivation of the Federation for engaging the United States so aggressively. Without that, there would not be a game, but the story never goes into exactly why this hatred has built up to the point where they would launch what are essentially weapons of mass destruction down on America.
Other single player modes include Extinction, in which the player takes on hordes of alien creatures, and Squads in which you take your customized, AI squad up against another AI squad. While neither of these modes are perfect, I found them to be a lot of fun and a welcome addition to the single player package. It is nice to see Activision and Infinity Ward mixing it up a bit for the single player gamer like myself when so much of the attention given to Call of Duty has to do with its multiplayer.
Overall, Call of Duty: Ghosts takes the player on an adrenaline-fueled adventure that is well worth the price of admission. Despite the issues I had with the game’s controls, field of view, and some plot-holes, I am giving it a 4 out of 5 based on the sheer amount of fun I had taking the campaign on. There are a decent variety of missions, decreased reliance on quick-time events, and tons of bad guys to dispatch. Also Call of Duty: Ghosts succeeds greatly in making the player feel like an integral part of their own action movie. I would love to see a Ghosts sequel at some point.
[easyreview title=”Call of Duty: Ghosts Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”4″ ]
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