Posted by : Unknown Tuesday, November 12, 2013

 | 11/12/13 3:30PM |

Behind The Mask

Call of Duty: Ghosts is the newest in the annually released franchise, with Infinity Ward up at bat this year. While multiplayer still has that great formula for online gameplay with new incorporated modes, I found myself missing the old ones quite a bit. The campaign, the part that most players won't even check out, is actually worth playing and you'll learn more about why the game is called Ghosts with a story that is easy to understand and one that contains a surprising amount of variety toward the end in terms of the gameplay and locations that you'll visit.

Despite the focus on Next-Gen, the game still looks and plays great with 60fps on current-gen, although its overall package feels thin in comparison to Black Ops II and the early Modern Warfare games.

If you enjoy Call of Duty, Ghosts is another solid entry, but it just feels like the game does just enough to justify picking up until next year's title arrives. 

Early reports about the campaign stated it takes about 4 hours, but I found it to be a bit longer than that. Playing on regular difficulty and not having too much trouble in any area, I saw the credits roll at about 7 hours. It's a fairly solid title that may be my favorite right behind the original Modern Warfare game.

In the story you'll play as Logan Walker, a silent protagonist who fights alongside his brother Hesh as they work for their father who tells them about the Ghosts. The main plot of the game revolves around stopping the Federation, an army of mostly South Americans who seek to use weapons to finish the war with the remaining resistance alongside a man named Rorke, a former associate of your father Elias. There's a bit more to it, but it's not anything that you haven't really seen before. 

There's also Riley, your German Shepard squadmate who you'll be able to control at certain points in the game, although his appearance is under-utilized in the main campaign, but at least the sequences with him are pretty neat when they do pop up.

Multiplayer is of course the heart of every Call of Duty title, and the formula still works well in Ghosts. With 12 players max in every mode on 360, it does feel quite small since I am a player who enjoys the bigger 18 player count in Ground War, a mode found in most of the past games. The maps even feel like they require more players, but this is probably due the the size bump on Xbox One and PlayStation 4, which share the same maps and modes from the current gen versions. 

In terms of the new modes offered, they are pretty fun if not slightly varied versions of past modes. Search and Destroy has been replaced with Search and Rescue, a mode that is essentially the same as S&D except you can revive players once they lose their life. 

There's also Cranked, a TDM mode where you have around 30 seconds to gain kills before you're blown up once you've gotten a initial kill in the match, and Blitz, a mode where you must enter a enemy portal and teleport around the map to gain points. These new modes are fun, but they are more or less slighly altered versions of content that we have all already experienced before.

Additional content like Theater mode and emblem creation have still not been adapted by Infinity Ward, although there is a new soldier creator which is greatly implemented in the new Squads mode.

Squads are a great way for new COD players to check out the Multiplayer options in Ghosts. These modes mostly consist of A.I enemy and allies, as you can build up your own or fight against other players and their squads. 

The last big addition is Extinction, a new survival mode for Ghosts where you must work to stop an alien threat from spreading. A first glance of Extinction would have players thinking it is simply the Zombies mode from Treyarch's titles, but Extinction is actually much different. 

While survival is still key, the main goal is to hold down sections of the map with other players while you plant a device to destroy alien hives. Points earned in Extinction unlock new weapons and items to use, but you also have level progression in Extinction as with the regular multiplayer mode of Ghosts. 

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With the power and capabilities of the impending Next-Gen hardware, we can only hope that Call of Duty will use it to innovate a bit more, but in the meantime Ghosts shows that however frequent the formula is used for Call of Duty, it still contains enough to be fun for both online and local players.

+ Varied missions toward the end of the campaign
+ Multiplayer formula still works despite lack of previous features
+ Fun Extinction mode

- Player cap on Current-Gen consoles
- Features removed from MP that I enjoyed like Ground War

Reviews on the are based out of a '1-5 controller' Scoring system. Purchased games by the reviewer contain no annotation, but review copies are always known to the reader via a review disclaimer.

Developer- Infinity Ward
Publishers- Activision
Release Date- November 5th, 2013
Price- $59.99 MSRP
Review Platform- Xbox 360

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