Call of Duty: Ghosts

Call of Duty: Ghosts
 
 

What time is it? Call of Duty time. Regular as clockwork, Activision have released another edition of the world's most popular first person shooter, and gamers everywhere queued up last night to be among the first to get their dose.

What makes it a sensation? No one really knows, but one thing is clear: it's not about the singleplayer campaign. Call of Duty captures hearts and minds thanks largely to its outstanding, deep multiplayer gameplay - something fans will be very happy to hear is once again intact in this year's iteration of the franchise, Call of Duty: Ghosts.There have been plenty of tweaks to it, of course, as it would be difficult to justify a year's worth of development without wading in and changing something, but rest assured, this is still Call of Duty at the core.

 
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In order to properly assess Ghosts, and give each of the many segments its due, our review is split out into several sections that will independently assess a component (or group of components) as to its relevant merits. You can, therefore, quickly skip over the singleplayer stuff, if that's not your cup of tea (spoiler alert: it's up first), to find out how the new perk system spices up multiplayer, or what we thought of the brand-new Extinction mode.

Additionally, while this review is for the PlayStation 4 version of the game, which is where we spent most of our time, the PlayStation 3 version (which also got a fair thrashing) is largely the same, albeit with a reduced level of graphical fidelity and support for only 12 players (maximum) in multiplayer (down from the usual 18.)

Singleplayer Campaign Mode

Despite not being the focal point of Call of Duty for most, it's clear that the singleplayer campaign is still worthy of some considerable investment from Activision. Each year, alternating between lead developers Infinity Ward and Treyarch, Call of Duty bundles together a sequence of blockbuster set pieces - each connected by some sort of narrative element - which generally totals something like 5 hours of gameplay.

Ghosts is no different. Developed this year by Infinity Ward, the campaign's something of a step back in terms of structure from last year's Black Ops II, losing that game's innovative strategic elements and the way in which you were forced to make choices that would have consequences. Instead, what you get is something more traditional in terms of flow: here, you blow away a series of bad guys in all sorts of exotic locations then watch the credits, much as you might expect in pretty much any other first person shooter.

There are several standout levels, but highlights include those set in space (physics be damned, it's fun and new, and I liked it), sneaking around underwater, and a high-adrenaline sequence set atop some sort of crazy super future train that moves around like it's trying to liquify everything inside it. There's plenty of other fun stuff in there too, including the first ever Call of Duty sequence in which you're in full control of a tank. Sure, it moves like a dune buggy, but it's a tank, and blowing stuff up with it is fun (if not even remotely realistic.)

Despite the big-deal reveal of female player characters in Ghosts' multiplayer announcement trailer, there are basically no women in the singleplayer campaign at all. There's one at the very start, and then some random helicopter pilot has a female voice, but otherwise it seems like women still occupy only small supporting roles in the dystopian future world of Call of Duty: Ghosts.

Your dog - Riley - is another feature that seemed, pre-release, to be a big deal but in reality he's hardly used at all. The few times he does appear are interesting enough, for the most part (aside from one super annoying section of gameplay which I won't ruin but you'll immediately recognise), but it seems that, just as you figure out how to factor him into your playstyle, he's taken away, never to return.

All in all, the singleplayer stuff, as you might expect if you've played a Call of Duty game before, is forgettable but still fun in the same way watching a silly action movie is. This aspect of the title won't win any awards, but if you're buying the game anyway, you might as well have a go - everyone likes popcorn from time to time, right? Just be sure to stick around until the very end…

Extinction Mode

Brand new to Call of Duty, Extinction mode is probably most similar in structure to Zombie mode, which features in Treyarch-developed Call of Duty games (World at War, Black Ops, Black Ops II.)

The idea is simple enough: you (and up to three friends) must head into a post-apocalyptic township and place drills up against alien hive sites. Aliens will come in waves, and you've got to fend them off, working together to defeat the increasingly difficult walls of terror that come your way until ultimately you manage to nuke the township (or, more likely, are all killed.)

Working together is essential, as Extinction is crazy hard. Fortunately, you can offset the difficulty (a little bit, at least) by leveling up and choosing from a series of perks that, with a clever team, will mean you have what you need when you need it.

Continue reading on page 2.




 

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Comments Comments (35)

 
whataboutki NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by whataboutki
On Tuesday 5 Nov 2013 10:21 PM
2
Sounds like I give this one a miss or at least wait for it to go on sale. Not enough to differentiate it from all the others.
 
 
 
brettz0r NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by brettz0r
On Tuesday 5 Nov 2013 10:21 PM
1
Took your time Alan :p
 
 
 
rocketman12 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by rocketman12
On Tuesday 5 Nov 2013 10:38 PM
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I have been waiting for this review, thanks heaps.
 
 
 
sick_wierdo
Posted by sick_wierdo
On Tuesday 5 Nov 2013 11:14 PM
2
This will be the first year I haven't bought a Call of Duty game on release day since MW1, I'm tired of it. Sounds like it's a good game, but I'm passing this time round. Just doesn't have the appeal that it used to for me personally.
 
 
 
Mattress NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by Mattress
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 12:24 AM
1
5 November 2013, 11:14 PM Reply to sick_wierdo
This will be the first year I haven't bought a Call of Duty game on release day since MW1, I'm tired of it. Sounds like it's a good game, but I'm passing this time round. Just doesn't have the appeal that it used to for me personally.
I'm in the same boat - just too many CoDs in a row for me. I think I'm burnt out. Not to say this game won't be fun and follows the typical CoD formula, but I personally just need a change. Great review though, thanks NZG!
 
 
 
onscreen NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by onscreen
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 12:42 AM
4
I'm currently playing through the single player campaign, which after completing the very glitchy BF4 campaign is actually quite enjoyable. Though as you said, it all comes down to how good the multiplayer is, as that's where most of the time will be spent.
 
 
 
Reuben702
Posted by Reuben702
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 3:24 AM
1
I just got finished with the campaign and man was it a lot of fun. The campaign makes it worth the price regardless of multiplayer or extinction mode for me. If only the PC port was better. And multiplayer actually had dedicated servers. And higher FOV.
 
 
 
ReaperCrew NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by ReaperCrew
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 8:44 AM
1
I’m actually looking forward to finding some time to sink into this. Ultimately though I suspect the enjoyment factor of the multiplayer experience will be mostly defined by who you play with. Fortunately there’s quite a good gaming community that connects through NZGamer. If you’re new to it, I highly recommend heading over to the forums to find, create and/or join a community gaming session/night.
 
 
 
Ese-Boii
Posted by Ese-Boii
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 9:55 AM
1
All i see is some people giving the game hate when i guarantee they're gonna go and buy the game. Just enjoy a game you like rather than give games you dont hate. If you havn't tried it, don't judge it mate!
 
 
 
sick_wierdo
Posted by sick_wierdo
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 10:13 AM
3
6 November 2013, 09:55 AM Reply to Ese-Boii
All i see is some people giving the game hate when i guarantee they're gonna go and buy the game. Just enjoy a game you like rather than give games you dont hate. If you havn't tried it, don't judge it mate!
Who's hating on it? I don't see anybody here saying they hate it, some including myself have said they are tired of the series, nobody has put it down without having played it. In fact all the above comments seem to be relatively positive.
 
 
 
Teamkaos
Posted by Teamkaos
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 10:33 AM
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Yes its good to know that if ever the world is taken over by a Zombie Apocalypse, at least we will all know everytime november rolls around. As im sure there will another cod released.
 
 
 
NZBuc NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by NZBuc
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 10:51 AM
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good review - if I can get a x1 copy cheap I think I'll grab it
 
 
 
ssjroneel NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by ssjroneel
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 10:53 AM
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5 November 2013, 10:21 PM Reply to whataboutki
Sounds like I give this one a miss or at least wait for it to go on sale. Not enough to differentiate it from all the others.
CoD games go on sale?:P
 
 
 
iTry
Posted by iTry
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 10:56 AM
3
I'm probably going to be one of the few to purchase it, but that's probably because I haven't purchased (or played for any significant duration) any CoD since the first Black Ops. I can understand how people would say they're sick of the same game year after year, but for me, since I haven't purchased or played the last two iterations, I don't think I'll get that feeling.
 
 
 
dark_hadou1 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by dark_hadou1
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 1:10 PM
1
6 November 2013, 10:56 AM Reply to iTry
I'm probably going to be one of the few to purchase it, but that's probably because I haven't purchased (or played for any significant duration) any CoD since the first Black Ops. I can understand how people would say they're sick of the same game year after year, but for me, since I haven't purchased or played the last two iterations, I don't think I'll get that feeling.
Same exact post I was going to make :)

I haven't purchased one for myself since modern warfare, and since I enjoyed that so much, I think I'll give infinity ward the benefit of the doubt. Looks like it's fresh enough (for me anyway) to add something different, especially from COD 4!
 
 
 
dark_hadou1 NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by dark_hadou1
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 1:12 PM
1
6 November 2013, 01:10 PM Reply to dark_hadou1
Same exact post I was going to make :)

I haven't purchased one for myself since modern warfare, and since I enjoyed that so much, I think I'll give infinity ward the benefit of the doubt. Looks like it's fresh enough (for me anyway) to add something different, especially from COD 4!
Also forgot to add, NZ Gameshop has it relatively cheap at $76NZD (free shipping). Only thing is you have to wait for it to arrive, which can vary
 
 
 
haydensomething
Posted by haydensomething
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 3:21 PM
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Fairly well covered :D You forgot to talk about the guns themselves though!
 
 
 
haydensomething
Posted by haydensomething
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 3:22 PM
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6 November 2013, 12:42 AM Reply to onscreen
I'm currently playing through the single player campaign, which after completing the very glitchy BF4 campaign is actually quite enjoyable. Though as you said, it all comes down to how good the multiplayer is, as that's where most of the time will be spent.
BF4 campaign is infuriating me at the moment, lost about an hours worth of annoying gameplay to a glitch, when I was almost at the end!
 
 
 
SpudOfDoom
Posted by SpudOfDoom
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 3:55 PM
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Surprisingly high score considering the content of the review. 8.7 is a very high score...
 
 
 
Kal El Bro
Posted by Kal El Bro
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 5:22 PM
1
I stopped playing COD games after Black Ops and not sure if I will play this either, I'm not even sure if I will get BF4, Titanfall on the other hand looks amazeballs. To bad I am buying a PS4. =(
 
 
 
sick_wierdo
Posted by sick_wierdo
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 9:39 PM
2
6 November 2013, 05:22 PM Reply to Kal El Bro
I stopped playing COD games after Black Ops and not sure if I will play this either, I'm not even sure if I will get BF4, Titanfall on the other hand looks amazeballs. To bad I am buying a PS4. =(
I'm sure Killzone Shadowfall will suffice :D
 
 
 
whataboutki NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by whataboutki
On Wednesday 6 Nov 2013 10:28 PM
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6 November 2013, 10:53 AM Reply to ssjroneel
CoD games go on sale?:P
On the WiiU they do.
 
 
 
L40cal
Posted by L40cal
On Thursday 7 Nov 2013 4:39 AM
1
It's fun I'm still getting use to it. IMO it's better than mw3 and mw2. I love how they improved the stabbing and mantling over things
 
 
 
reavers NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by reavers
On Thursday 7 Nov 2013 12:41 PM
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Will give this one a go sometime. Hopefully like in this review, it'll be a nice breather into the COD series life
 
 
 
kiwibadboy NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by kiwibadboy
On Thursday 7 Nov 2013 1:52 PM
4
Wow longest review I've read, Good job Alan and NZG :D
 
 
 
psgamer16
Posted by psgamer16
On Thursday 7 Nov 2013 4:00 PM
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This will be my first cod game since mw2. Looking forward to it. Waiting for my ps4
 
 
 
psgamer16
Posted by psgamer16
On Thursday 7 Nov 2013 4:01 PM
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6 November 2013, 01:12 PM Reply to dark_hadou1
Also forgot to add, NZ Gameshop has it relatively cheap at $76NZD (free shipping). Only thing is you have to wait for it to arrive, which can vary
Gotta love nzgameshop
 
 
 
gspcdNZ NZGamer.com VIP VIP
Posted by gspcdNZ
On Friday 8 Nov 2013 7:41 AM
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5 November 2013, 10:21 PM Reply to whataboutki
Sounds like I give this one a miss or at least wait for it to go on sale. Not enough to differentiate it from all the others.
You can't really believe that? I mean, nobody plays it for the campaign... the multiplayer alone makes it worth the investment. New maps etc. :)
 
 
 
gspcdNZ NZGamer.com VIP VIP
Posted by gspcdNZ
On Friday 8 Nov 2013 7:42 AM
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I cant wait to get this but I've opted to wait for X1 Day one release.
 
 
 
gspcdNZ NZGamer.com VIP VIP
Posted by gspcdNZ
On Friday 8 Nov 2013 7:45 AM
1
How good was COD4 though people? I remember being told to get it and when I did, I seriously couldn't stop playing it...
 
 
 
Teamkaos
Posted by Teamkaos
On Friday 8 Nov 2013 12:05 PM
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8 November 2013, 07:45 AM Reply to gspcdNZ
How good was COD4 though people? I remember being told to get it and when I did, I seriously couldn't stop playing it...
Yea i was the same, Played cod4 Modern Warefare till my eyse hurt and fingers blead! couldnt put it down. That initial buzz caught me and has led to me buying every cod game since, however i have found my attention span reducing with every title since. All the new maps and new ways to fill ya load outs and kill streaks etc are always cool at the begining, but at the end of the day the actual gameplay ends up being the same as the previous one so starts to get old fast. Then you start getting all the idiots who run around stabbing, quick scoping and doin stupid crap like jumping while they shoot which ends up ruining the game for everyone who wants to play it properly.
Saying that, ive still got Ghosts on pre order with my xbox 1. lol the addiction is still obviousally there.
 
 
 
captain X nz
Posted by captain X nz
On Friday 8 Nov 2013 6:55 PM
1
Alan,

I'm actually enjoying the Squads mode, but then I enjoy the idea that they can go off and fight games without me.

Levelling the members individually will take some time, but once the crew is up enough you can concentrate on your main profile. It's nice to have your own squaddies around you rather than some twitchy muppets.
 
 
 
Bappernz NZGamer.com VIP VIP Bronze
Posted by Bappernz
On Sunday 10 Nov 2013 4:41 PM
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will be waiting for the price on this to drop, before buying
 
 
 
Goonertron NZGamer.com VIP VIP Silver
Posted by Goonertron
On Sunday 10 Nov 2013 5:59 PM
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Couldn't be less interested in this game with next gen 64player BF4 coming.
 
 
 
BritneysSpear
Posted by BritneysSpear
On Monday 23 Dec 2013 2:34 PM
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6 November 2013, 09:39 PM Reply to sick_wierdo
I'm sure Killzone Shadowfall will suffice :D
Sure about that? Killzone will be dead in a year while Titanfall should it live up to expectations will probably be pulling COD players over until the next instalment. Should EA not f**k it up that is.