Fresh but fa­mil­iar

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - TECHNOLOGY - ac­tivi­sion/In­fin­i­tyWard)

Search and Res­cue is a smart vari­ant of a se­ries favourite, and gives play­ers hope to re­turn af­ter be­ing elim­i­nated. These new match types can be a lot of fun, but the only thing that feels dif­fer­ent is the method of scor­ing. In­fin­ity Ward touted en­vi­ron­men­tal de­struc­tibil­ity in Ghosts’ mul­ti­player maps, but these mo­ments rarely have an im­pact on the matches.

A gas sta­tion may fall over, some doors can be opened and closed, and spe­cific sec­tions of walls are de­struc­tible, but these events never feel like an or­ganic (or nec­es­sary) devel­op­ment of shootouts. The most sig­nif­i­cant tweak to mul­ti­player is the ton­ing down of air-based kill­streak re­wards. With­out chop­pers, fighter jets, and drones con­stantly buzzing above you, there are far fewer in­stances of dy­ing sec­onds af­ter spawn­ing.

Hit and miss

Squads is a new mul­ti­player mode that aims high but sim­ply isn’t much fun to play. Play­ers have the abil­ity to cre­ate 10 dif­fer­ent sol­diers, each with their own spe­cific load­out.

These squads can be put to work in a va­ri­ety of match types, most of which in­volve one or two hu­man play­ers in rounds oth­er­wise pop­u­lated by bots. Un­sur­pris­ingly, spend­ing a ton of time in menus as you tweak char­ac­ters for AI-filled matches isn’t nearly as fun as par­tic­i­pat­ing in shootouts filled with real op­po­nents.

While Squads misses the mark, the new Ex­tinc­tion mode is a great co-op dis­trac­tion. It may be lim­ited to one large map, but team­ing up with three friends to take down in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult waves of aliens and their hives is a blast.

Dumb but fun

For bet­ter or worse, Tre­yarch took risks with cam­paign in the form of branch­ing paths, al­ter­nate end­ings, and the dis­ap­point­ing Strike Force mis­sions. Rather than con­tin­u­ing down that path, In­fin­ity Ward chose to play it safe with the story of Ghosts.

New char­ac­ters are de­void of per­son­al­ity, ( Frist-per­son shooter for PlayS­ta­tion 4, Xbox one, Wii U, PlayS­ta­tion 3, Xbox 360, Pc and the plot is so cliched that it plays out like a South Park par­ody of ac­tion movies. You’ve got your badass sol­dier flip­ping his cap­tors the bird, the tough-but-lov­ing father whose two boys are “all he’s got left in this world,” the melo­dra­matic death speeches, and the once-noble sol­dier who’s gone rogue and joined the bad guys.

As stupid as the story is, I found my­self en­joy­ing it for ex­actly that rea­son.

This is a big, dumb ac­tion game, and it makes no at­tempt to be more than that. In­stead of the con­vo­luted techno-bab­ble of the Mod­ern War­fare se­ries, Ghosts’ cam­paign is sim­ply about blow­ing up ev­ery­thing you see in pro­gres­sively big­ger ways. It’s short and wastes no time with char­ac­ter devel­op­ment, opt­ing in­stead to shut­tle you along to the next exploding satel­lite sta­tion or chaotic chase scene.

Ghost of its for­mer self

Ghosts had po­ten­tial to be more than it is. As the first se­ries en­try on new con­soles and the first of what will as­suredly be a new brand, I was dis­ap­pointed to see it re­sem­ble its pre­de­ces­sors even more than the fran­chise typ­i­cally does. Even with­out its own sig­nif­i­cant hook or sense of iden­tity, how­ever, Ghosts is still fun thanks to Call of Duty’s pol­ished and re­li­able back­bone that’s been es­tab­lished for years. — Game In­former Magazine/ McClatchy-Tri­bune In­for­ma­tion Ser­vices

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