Call of Duty: Ghosts is a great game. If this was 2007 that is.
With a new shooter bearing the COD name released year on year, it’s tough to get excited with what Activision and the legions of studios at its disposal come up with. And it hasn’t been more evident than with Ghosts. Sure, Infinity Ward have tried to inject some freshness to the old formulaic spectacle of shooting soldiers in the face by letting you control a dog but it isn’t enough to fight away the boredom that has you yawning less than half an hour into the single-player campaign.
From predictable scripted sequences to banal shoot-outs, there’s nothing you haven’t seen or played. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for most of this generation. If you were expecting a fresh take on the genre, look elsewhere because this isn’t it. In fact it’s a step back from last year’s Black Ops 2 what with a shorter campaign.
The premise has the US at war with the South American Federation (because Nazis, Russians and Chinese are too cliched it seems). An uneasy truce was broken the moment the Federation thought it was a good idea to obliterate a large chunk of America using their own satellites. This sets the stage for a guerrilla war which is played to a stalemate. You’re a part of an elite group of US soldiers (what else?) who ends up trying to save the world (how original).
Along the way you’ll indulge in slaughtering your foes in space, using cool future-ish tech like remote snipers and of course, controlling Riley, the dog in your crew to gain an advantage over the Federation. Oh and there’s some nonsensical plot that makes Crysis 3 look like a work of art. Something about a covert group of warriors known as Ghosts who cover a wide stretch of territory that’s marked as a no man’s land due to the orbital bombardment, how one of them has turned traitor and is looking to kill all remaining operatives. It’s boring and highly derivative even by the series’ own standards.
On the bright side, it’s over really quick. Clocking in around four to five hours at best if you’ve managed to survive such a snooze fest. Then there’s multiplayer. Which is a culmination of every multiplayer COD game since inception. Kill streaks, perks and a slew of unlocks are all yours for the taking, is it was with the earlier games. Except less fun. Gigantic maps reduce what should have been frantic encounters into camping grounds to the point where you’re wondering if COD stood for Camping on Duty.
Even new additions to multiplayer such as being able to completely customise your character and modes such as Infected (one player turns others into zombies) and Cranked (more kills make you tougher to kill) do little to break up the monotony that sets in. They’re fun for a few minutes but that’s it. Throw in Extinction that’s a riff on Treyarch’s Zombie mode except with aliens and you’ll feel every apparently new feature to multiplayer is highly extraneous and unnecessary.
Furthermore, the visuals are a joke. In spite of the developers using a new engine it looks quite underwhelming. To the point where you’d wonder why are the PC specifications for the game so high to begin with.
And that’s not the worst part. Forget the fact that it’s a 66GB install for PC, forget the fact that the developers used the ending scene of Modern Warfare 2 as Ghosts opening. The price is ridiculous. At Rs. 3899 for PC and Rs. 4299 for PS3 and Xbox 360, you’re paying way more than what you’re getting. You could pay less getting it digitally on the PS3 for Rs. 2799 but even that is too expensive for a rehashed single-player campaign and coma-inducing multiplayer.
So do yourself a favour, put your money towards something else this year that doesn’t bear the COD moniker. You’d just be setting precedent for a rather dark state of what apparently is AAA game development.