When Rockstar broke sales records with the release of “GTA V,” Activision senior brand manager Kevin Flynn responded only with the remark, “Congratulations to the team at Rockstar for their success. We look forward to getting the record back before the next GTA title.”
But does “Call of Duty: Ghosts” truly mark the beginning of a recovery for the record beset by the sandbox juggernaut?
No, not even close.
Ghosts does not provide any quality that is becoming of its hype. As an entry to an entirely new storyline, the game should have provided the player with an immersive experience that introduces a fresh universe to delve into.
Infinity Ward going so far as to hire Academy Award-winning screenwriter Stephen Gaghan to guide the storyline of the title instilled hope that the campaign may actually be palpable. This hope though, is quickly proven fruitless.
The story lacks a cohesive plot following an introduction that thrusts the player directly into the action. The United States loses one of its O.D.I.N missile satellites to an opposing military regime known as “The Federation.” Moments afterwards, the missiles are launched at the U.S. drastically affecting the landscape and ripening the States for an invasion.
After that introduction, the campaign quickly dives into missions that transition at a jarring pace. While each is enjoyably diverse, the missions end abruptly enough so as to interrupt the immersion the player must feel.
For the brief period of time in which a mission does occur however, the player can take pleasure in viewing the multiple landscapes that range from decaying cityscapes to lush jungles.
Each mission is unique, and an objective may be completed through scaling the side of a skyscraper, or lurking through jungle foliage to avoid enemy forces. Again, the enjoyable aspect is kept abrupt, and this ruins the overall effect the storyline should convey.
The characters within the campaign offer little depth as well, and the introduction of a canine squad member is laughable at best when looking at the actual time “Riley” was on screen. Furthermore, the primary antagonist is dull, and the overall effect of the story keeps the player at bay, as if to usher them into playing multiplayer already.
“Call of Duty: Ghosts” offers a subpar multiplayer experience at best, providing a flurry of customizable components that are otherwise worthless when considering how quickly one dies.
The map layout is atrocious, and although the settings in each are visually pleasing, any given map in the game offers no true tactical playability. Every match feels like running through a maze in an attempt to find enemy players before they find you.
The movement and controls are the only improvement, a shocking fluidity implemented through the new sliding and peeking mechanics.
The addition of “Extinction,” a mode where players defend against hordes of aliens, is also lackluster. There is no real desire to progress other than for the sake of listening to an on screen voice urging you to complete the objective.
Unlike “COD: Zombies” where surviving into a later round was considered an accomplishment, “Extinction” offers a linear progression that constrains the player, which is an accomplishment that is nothing more than nonexistent.
Regardless of game mode, “Call of Duty: Ghosts” fails to make any significant mark on the gaming world, and only succeeds in ushering the franchise further into the same copy-paste mediocrity it is coming to be known for.
NOT RECOMMENDED: “Ghosts” is yet another forgettable entry in the fledgling “Call of Duty” franchise.