Weekly Gaming: Call of Duty: Ghosts (PS4)

As I’ve said in previous Call of Duty games, I actually don’t mind th franchise as a whole. I understand it’s cool and hip to hate on the popular franchises these days, but Call of Duty games have always managed to entertain me for the few hours I need to put into them. There’s something about the sheer bombastic nature of the campaigns that’s both lethargic, and somewhat entertaining. All this is to say, it’s awesome to see the fruits of a publisher/developers labour when money is (almost) no obstacle, especially when Call of Duty games of years past have been able to generate billions in revenue within the first 24 hours alone.

So with all that being said, we move on to the uncomfortable middle game of the series, one that could even be argued has stated the demise of on of the biggest sellers in gaming history; Call of Duty Ghosts.

First up Ghost’s campaign, which, considering I’ve enjoyed the previous two campaigns I’ve played, comes somewhat of a surprise to say: I genuinely didn’t like it. From the barebones narrative of a united South America taking on the USA, to the stupid, brutish characters and their constant shouting of “we’re ghosts!!!”, the whole campaign was stupid and lacked any nuance whatsoever.

Even the few characters you meet throughout the game’s short 5-6 hour campaign are so generic that they rarely take their masks off, meaning we literally have a a couple of characters which are mimicking the modern warfare series’ “Ghost”. In fact, I would not be surprised if Neversoft were struggling to think up a story, proceeding to look to the Modern Warfare series, and proceeded to centre and entire narrative around the one faceless character they liked. It’s weird, because COD in recent years has really come a long way in their story telling, so it’s so odd that they had such a bad year in 2013.

Onto the gameplay, which you could guess is just as fast paced and smooth as possible. As always with a Call of Duty title, Neversoft managed to keep to the 60fps lock for the most part, and proceeded to keep you constantly on your toes as you mow down countless foes. My only issue here is the way Neversoft constantly try to take control away from you as the player to show a big explosion, or water falling through a city. These big set-pieces look cool, don’t get me wrong, but they add nothing to the gameplay, and if anything, take agency away from me for trying to get to my end destination. It’s confusing, and feels like a cheap way to add “excitement” to the otherwise smooth shooting mechanics.

Settings wise, Ghosts at least manages to change up the scenery every now and then, giving you a variety of mission locales, from the deserts of chilli, to the frozen lands of Antartica, all manner of different terrains are explored, and it actually helps in keeping the campaign feeling fast paced. Unfortunately, whilst each locale looks different, and in some instances stunning to observe, they for the most part are generic and lacking any detail. As per my reviews with Battlefield, I found that if you only look at the content the developers want you to look at (the other characters on screen + the main path you walk) then the detail is superb, but the second you start to wonder around the level you notice the rest of the geometry and aesthetics are fairly simply, with repeated textures and objects used throughout. It’s a shame, as the change in locale’s actually could have helped the game stand out from the crowd.

I know my reviews usually last a lot longer than this, but man oh man was I not impressed with Ghosts. From the boring dialogue of macho men constantly saying what people thing hard men say, to the bog-standard gameplay typical of a COD game, from start to finish I was merely playing the game purely to finish it for my 52 games in 2017. If you want to play a COD game, don’t get Ghost’s; there’s plenty of good titles in the Call of Duty catalogue, and this definitely is not one of them.

2/5

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