Published on November 15th, 2013 | by Edwin Millheim
Call of Duty: Ghosts PC review
Summary: Call of Duty Ghosts fires some rounds, hits the target, just not a bullseye
Ghosts and Dogs
Title: Call of Duty Ghosts
Developer: Infinity Ward
Review Format: PC STEAM Download
Reviewer: Edwin Millheim
It’s Infinity Ward, and it’s Call of Duty. So you already know what you’re going to get. It’s formulaic, true but when it works it works well and there is no denying you still get a thrill in some of the missions.
It crams everything into the aggressive single player campaign it can with many a hair raising nod to action movies everywhere. There are captures and chases and moments where fellow characters are killed and you feel the fire of revenge hit you, you know that the villain must pay.
So Call of Duty Ghosts delivers to us a roller coaster ride of holy crap moments, and taking us to many different environments from a high Earth orbit, to underwater action. So the game is full of big moments that thrill and delight.
Being outnumbered seems to be the flavor of the day, and that is ok. Since our soldiers have more than a few awesome tricks up their sleeves to help even things out.
The game is published by Activision and developed by Infinity Ward, the studio that created the Call of Duty franchise to begin with. We get a kind of summer movie story line with the villain being someone that was once close to the team and now hunting them down with in the larger events of the game story. We get to bounce around a bit during the story campaign game play, one moment we are the pilots of an attack helicopter, and the next we are a soldier leaving one of the helicopters after we just cleared the area of some of the armor via the helicopter sequence moments ago.
The overall game play experience and story line and sub stories flow together well. Even if there are moments that make you cringe a bit, there are just as many that make you crack a satisfied smile.
The story arc here is a bit more of a twist because it makes our heroes more of the underdogs, it’s a fight just for survival of a crippled nation in a long war that has brought the fighting right to its back yard.
We are introduced to the start of it all in a terrifying close up and personal kind of way. Then with the story tool of going forward and or backward in time to fill in events that collide to tie things all together, if nothing else you do end up invested with the two brothers and their father…. And like it, love it, or hate it… their war dog Riley.
After the devastating attack we head ten years later into the story borders have been redrawn and the United States IS a war zone. The military forces still have some special operations forces to go in and get jobs done. One such force that has been built upon by legends of their exploits is the “Ghosts”.
Gameplay in the campaign is more or less the same thing as past games. Which is not necessarily a bad thing. Though what else can they possibly do than stuff the same old ingredients into a new wrapper? Use this fixed machine gun emplacement, use this sniper rifle, fly this aircraft, if there is some innovations and game changing to be had this is not it. Not yet. Even with the thrills it can be a feeling of, been there done that. The underwater and oh too short high earth orbit battles where a nice bright touch.
Something about the characters just did not wash with me. It was not the voice acting at all, I think it was more along the lines of the way the script was written and then directed. There just felt like way too many cliché moments of testosterone fueled talk. The stress levels for such a situation are off the charts and none of us of course that have not been in a war zone would understand those stresses. But I would imagine that some of that discipline would still bubble through because the guys I have spoken too about such things tell me that the discipline can help keep you alive when the bullets start flying. It’s summer movie level dialogue and there are moments where you do, as a player and observer become invested in the character. So it does do its work to a point.
So the campaign while ok, is still some of the same old song and bullet dance, with a couple new things here and there….like the war dog.
There are times you take control of Riley the German Shepard, as you sneak and stalk your way through the brush, all while sporting some recon camera gear so your human pals can see what’s going on. Players control Riley and can attack enemy and go for the throat, taking them down and out. It’s interesting that they would include the dog, it’s a risky concept but an interesting one.
Multiplayer is usually a big thing with these games. So what’s going on here? Well, for the PC at any rate, for multiplayer setting had to be turned down a lot to be able to play with other people across the internet. The game seems to have self-selected its own optimum video settings, to me it was a considerable drop in graphic quality. The tradeoff was getting smooth action in the multiplayer mayhem.
Maps it’s all about the maps. The Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer maps are the same for all platform versions for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. With a total of 14 maps. There are plans for DLC pack releases during 2014. Xbox will get exclusives for the first 30 days as it has been for past Call of Duty DLC. There are interesting times in multiplayer, and you as a player are going to run into those folks that must live in the game because they are that good it seems.
The maps have dynamic events that trigger during game play, from earthquakes, floods and if that was not enough players can also trigger events and effects of the environment around them.
Multiplayer can be fun, though I could not tell if I was just really bad at it or the game spawns you in not such great locations. Which is a pretty good trick considering some of the maps are pretty good size. Getting mowed down just after you spawn back in is never fun. The terrain while interesting and diverse in each map, seems to have a lot of clutter for cover spots and hiding places. Depending on game style, you spend a lot of time covering corners and hiding places as you trek across the map to engage fellow players. Some people like this, some people hate it.
The other multiplayer kind of mode is called “Extinction” and I am divided on this one. Part of me feels like yet another military type gun battle game has sold out and went with zombies or in this games case Aliens. It is a nice twist from zombies, as players have to work together to survive the Alien menace.
Sound and graphics are looking and sounding very good. The campaign especially looks good with the different lighting and effects. We are running the game on a six core system with everything set to the highest. It looks incredible. As rightfully so, a player can tweak the graphic settings if they are having problems running the game.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is a decent enough game with some oh awesome moments that are far too fleeting to make it stand out too far from the crowd. Space battles and the underwater game play stand out the best, but they feel very short. Jungle battles are close third to these other two all shining through the rest of the same old same old feelings.
Have fun, play games.