Fresh but familiar
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