Getting used to the leapfrog development style that defined Call of Duty over the years can be extremely confusing. One release will feature new moves like the dolphin dive, but another will remove the dive and replace it with a knee slide. The same can be said for characters, settings, and multiplayer features. Call of Duty Ghosts is no different with the new campaign, introduction of new multiplayer modes, and multiple other customization options. The result is an always-entertaining multiplayer mode, and an extremely stupid, yet functional campaign.
Ghosts is set in an entirely new universe in which a group of countries has formed an army known as The Federation to destroy America. It becomes your job, with the help and leadership of your brother, Hesh, and your dad, Elias, to stop the Federation at any cost. Early on, Logan (your character) works with Hesh and your attack dog, Riley, to sneak around the remains of San Diego and report on The Federation’s movements. Unfortunately, you discover that a man named Rorke is secretly working with The Federation to capture and murder members of the ultra-special group known as The Ghosts.
Call of Duty loves the overhead knife kill.
Obviously, Logan and Hesh begin to team up with the surviving Ghosts before ultimately joining the group. This pairing leads to more secretive missions that are actually the better part of Ghosts’ campaign. Logan’s earlier missions involved running from cover to cover while shooting as many enemies as possible, but later missions focused more on stealth and avoiding some of the larger battles. Don’t misunderstand, it is a Call of Duty game, so every mission eventually became an intense shootout, but the quieter portions felt more tense and entertaining.
For the most part, Ghosts’ campaign is well made, but certain aspects are terrible, such as the writing. The plot and dialogue could be considered some of the worst in the history of Call of Duty. During a pivotal moment, a mind-shattering piece of information is revealed to Hesh, but his reaction is to stare blankly and say, “okay”. Plot twists should warrant more of a reaction, even if they can be seen from a mile away.
A fellow Ghost prepares for a mission.
The weirdest aspect of the writing is the fact that your commanding officer is your father, and your main partner is your brother. It seemed that Infinity Ward was trying to shoehorn in some stock emotional attachment so you wouldn’t have to learn to like the other characters. This also is true when your attack dog, Riley, is involved. That dog is attacked and injured multiple times during Ghosts’ short campaign to the point that one missions forces you to carry Riley to safety during a major battle.
The campaign and writing may be less than stellar, but the multiplayer is still great. Yes, it can be confusing trying to remember which Call of Duty features what multiplayer aspects, but the base element of running around and killing enemies is fantastic. Ghosts does introduce a few different elements that are great, including the knee slide. It is a great feeling to run towards battle before sliding on your knee while simultaneously bringing your gun up. This move makes every multiplayer match seem like a cheesy action movie.
Infinity Ward also broadened the character slots by introducing different genders with specific customization options. Each character can be set up with a unique gender, outfit, and list of weapons/perks. However, unlocking certain guns with one character slot doesn’t unlock them for other slots. Each unique gun will have to be purchased multiple times depending on how many character slots you have, which can be very frustrating. As you level up the different character slots by earning XP and completing challenges, you will unlock new outfits and customization options for weapons.
Multiplayer is quite fantastic, as always.
Ghosts also offers an array of multiplayer modes, some of which are new while others are returning favorites. Kill Confirmed is one of those returning favorites, in which players are required to pick up the dog tags of enemy soldiers before those kills count on the score card. Blitz is a new multiplayer mode that is similar to Capture the Flag, but it replaces the flag with a goal post that must be touched by enemy players to score points. One other new mode is Cranked. During this mode, you earn extra bonuses like faster movement for 30 seconds after killing an enemy, but you have to kill another enemy before the time is up, or you will explode.
Call of Duty Ghosts continues the yearly tradition of shaking up the multiplayer options while pumping out another 4-6 hour campaign. The main draw of Ghosts will be multiplayer, which is worth the price of admission; unfortunately, Ghosts’ campaign doesn’t add that much value. The action is solid as always, but the story seems to be getting worse. If you are looking forward to another year of unlocking perks and racking up kill streaks with your friends, then Call of Duty Ghosts will keep you entertained. Just don’t expect an in-depth story to complement the action.
Final Score: 8/10