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Call of Duty: Ghosts Review

publisher: Activision
developer: Infinity Ward
genre: Shooters

ESRB rating: RP

release date: Nov 05, 13
» All About Call of Duty: Ghosts on ActionTrip

Hold on tight because it seems like Fall is on its way out and winter is almost here. That means two things: snow and new games. The way things are shaping up; we are going to have lots of both. What’s arguably the biggest title set to debut this season is the latest in the Call of Duty series: Ghosts. Recently, Activsion was nice enough to hide me away in a quiet place where I could put the whole game through its paces, undisturbed (Did this involve a dark, damp cave and lots of AK 47? – Ed. Vader). And by that I mean I got to play the entire single-player campaign, beginning to end, on the current and next-gen consoles, try the new co-op mode Extinction, and for good measure, got in more time with its multiplayer I experienced last month. Being a dyed in the wool PC fanboy, you might think that playing a FPS on a variety of consoles must have been torture for me. Especially a FPS that comes from a series that many say has nothing new to offer. No one is more surprised than me to admit, both of those statements turned out to be completely wrong.

While my prior experience with Ghosts was limited to the multiplayer (check out our preview of Ghosts multiplayer) that was recently posted it’s no secret that I felt the last Call of Duty story line was a bit over the top. In fact the last few releases seemed as though the single-player game was turning into a thinly veiled excuse to introduce the multiplayer maps. With multiplayer being the true bread and butter of the series, this seems to be the reason that we have seen the single-player story lines evolve something that sprang from a ‘roid-raging Michael Bay. Not that I mind a good popcorn action movie every once in a while. The problem is you can only crank the action scene knob to 11 so many times before it loses its impact, and the audience begins to notice it’s mostly fluff and has little substance.

Call of Duty: Ghosts, however is a bit different; the single-player story was co-written by Stephen Gaghan, writer and director of Syriana and Oscar winner for Traffic. Make no mistake: this is still a testosterone fueled thrill ride that requires you to suspend disbelief and logic at the door, but the whole thing has been dialed back, slightly, this time around. The game starts with the retelling of a legend of a team of soldiers outnumbered and out gunned, who refused to give up while protecting innocents. Their ferocity in the face of nearly overwhelming odds led to the single surviving enemy combatant convinced that they were not men, but ghosts. Foreshadowing anyone? As the story comes to a close, we see that the tale was being told to you, Logan, by your father, Elias (a former military man himself), and your brother, Hesh. As you hike back to your home, the conversation takes place during a movement tutorial, you experience what seem to be several earthquakes that grow in severity and become more frequent.

Soon, it’s apparent that this not a natural series of events. As you dash for safety, the scene flashes back ten minutes earlier, to an orbiting space station and weapons platform that was hijacked by a The Federation. This new superpower was created by several South American countries following the destruction of the Middle East, as nations scramble for new energy resources. Viewing the United States as a weak target ripe for the picking, The Federation launched an assault on the space station to gain control of the weapons platform code named Odin, and then used it to rain destruction down on the US. The country is nearly wiped out by this mighty kinetic rod weapon. This puts the US into a position it has never been in before: the underdog. What is left of the US forces must regroup and fight desperately to keep from being overwhelmed and wiped out completely. It was chilling playing through this section as the kinetic rod space platform weapons tech has real world plausibility; and itself is a surprisingly welcome departure from the old fallback of nukes as the mass destruction weapon of choice. Also, the thought of an enemy using a nation’s own weapons against itself is a terrifying irony.

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8.6   Very Good

Well-executed single player story, run and gun is broken up with different game modes, new graphic and audio engine, the new Extinction co-op mode, a wealth of new multiplayer features;

Ending was a bit clich├ęd, relatively short single-player campaign.


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