Call of Duty: Ghosts is by far one of the better titles released from Infinity Ward. After what seems to be a massive schism formed between Treyarch and Infinity Ward fans, we’ve seen this series struggle with ups and downs and many bumps along the road. No matter how you feel about past Call of Duty titles though, you probably can’t help but check out the latest one every year. In Ghosts players take on a couple different roles in what proves to be perhaps the most coherent COD story-line seen thus far. Of course there’s also competitive multiplayer and Extinction modes which we’ll get into later in the review.
Without spoiling the plot, we can tell you that it’s interesting and basic enough that anybody can follow what’s going on. The flow of the levels are smooth and the characters have just enough depth to feel real. The Cinematic quality of the franchise is still intact with the title feeling like a movie similar to how Black Ops I and Black Ops II invigorate the player. Family ties are mixed with political deep ends that could drown some of the most tenacious warriors.
In gameplay terms players already know what to expect. The Call of Duty formula hasn’t changed much over the past six or seven games for better or worse. The PlayStation 4 version offers improved visuals and hit detection both online and in the campaign. And there’s finally an interesting plot that doesn’t require an obsession with the military to understand and relate to it. In fact, it’s almost a film-like plot that succeeds in drawing the player in. It’s also nice to see a variety in the way you breach and tackle enemy situations keeps the campaign from getting boring for a change. Collectibles include looking for 18 files which are essentially Intel on the main antagonist of the game.
Extinction mode may not be liked much by Zombies players, but for those who always found Zombies a bit hard to master this is the perfect solution. A very fun, mindless co-op mode which will likely be expanded well throughout the Season Pass DLC packs. Unfortunately a lot of people aren’t going to be satisfied by Extinction and may have expected a full fledged replacement to Zombies. This just isn’t it and in fact presents practically no replay value once a player has beaten the 30 rounds that the stock map hosts. To be fair there are different load-outs which must be used in tandem with other team mates, and there are a number of intricacies to this mode; it just doesn’t touch Zombies in terms of how tight the team must be and what must be learned to succeed at the game.
The competitive online multiplayer in Ghosts feels very dated and without the fully dedicated resource servers on PlayStation 4 it just isn’t a next-generation experience. There’s little to no innovation and despite an incredible marketing and public relations campaign leading up to release the game fails to deliver new and compelling experiences to the genre. Squads is an interesting attempt at replacing the prestige system while introducing a new way to play Call of Duty but ends up feeling like a tacked on waste of time. This will probably me more useful by the time players have spent 6 months in the game and have a robust squad but then again we’ll already be hearing about the next COD by that time and playing with the DLC for the Extinction and multiplayer modes.
Graphically Ghosts is unacceptable on current gen consoles like PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The PS4 version looks good but is easily out-shined by most other games on the next-gen platform. That being said, it does feel good at some points to see COD in higher fidelity than before – just don’t go expecting it to benchmark your system. It could be that past Call of Duty games spent a lot of time on optimizing graphics for the PS3 and 360 but in the case of Ghosts it seems as if this was completely ignored and as a result the player is met with an almost unplayable pixelized version of the game which is clearly meant to played on next-generation hardware.
The multiplayer maps that come stock in Ghosts are weak, not memorable, and the multiplayer gameplay itself is just not innovative. A couple of new game modes do their best to shuffle up the experience but are very bland in actuality when there isn’t a COD announcer exaggerating your every move. Subtle improvements such as the characters of players who are online without a mic automatically calling out the enemy’s whereabouts do little to make the experience more fun.
The balance that Infinity Ward managed to create will probably not last if past COD’s are any indicator, but for now the game is still reasonably acceptable to play online. There are trophies for the new Extinction game mode, but still no multiplayer trophies. For a game that gets so many hours invested by millions of players worldwide on its online competitive multiplayer, it’s just unacceptable to offer no trophy / achievement rewards.
Final Verdict: Don’t let the score fool you, this was a hard earned 6 points. Call of Duty: Ghosts is a good game, it just isn’t the leap into next-gen that it could be. Ghosts also isn’t the game-changer for the Call of Duty franchise it promised to be, and the engine sure isn’t new but rather a slightly updated version of the same one we’ve been seeing since COD first hit the market (which is comprised of various modified versions of Quake technology).
The campaign in Ghosts is the strong point of the entire title, which is abnormal for the franchise that usually finds its victory through its online play. Multiplayer is just barely acceptable, and will get boring fast if players don’t plan on getting the Season Pass for upcoming DLC. Extinction Mode is fun but mostly mindless and only comes with one map. Overall, Ghosts is not shockingly a typical Call of Duty game. It could have been much more, but as it stands it’s a respectable game to play on next-generation consoles if you’re a fan of the FPS genre.
Overall Score: 6/10
RGN Rating: Below Bronze
Developer: Infinity Ward
Additional Development by: NeverSoft (Extinction Mode), Raven Software (Multiplayer Mode), and Treyarch (Wii U Version and design consulting)
Available On: PS4 | PS3 | 360 | XO | PC | Wii U
Played On: Sony PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this Review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Jon Ireson on 20131121 and was last modified on 20131121 .