Call of Duty: Ghosts PC & PS3 Review
Call of Duty returns for its annual offering with Call of Duty: Ghosts for all the current and next generation consoles as well as the PC but the game is just too familiar to warrant anything but a passing nod.
Graphics & Audio: 18/25,
Video games are becoming more and more interactive movies with gamers not deciding moves or outcomes but merely deciding which weapons to use and using them. Call of Duty: Ghosts continues down this dark and endless nightmare of controlling only some of the action and less choice in how we accomplish our gaming goals.
I remember fondly the days when games like Ghost Recon allowed us to perform our final objective however we wanted and with a squad of soldiers equipped how we wanted. I would love a game that threw out the story other than a dozen or twenty objectives and had us move from level to level combating foes how we wanted to.
That would be a game I would pay money for but instead we continue to get these dramatic platforming action adventures that have us running down a tightly controlled tunnel shooting our way to the end. When the red overcomes our vision we are forced to back up a bit and try again with never a real choice in how we do things.
We can pick up a gun here and there and get a few more bullets but the path is ever laid out for us in a straight line where we are forced to follow like dogs. Speaking of dogs we do get to play as one from time to time in the campaign of Call of Duty: Ghosts.
As a dog you can sneak through the grass and attack the lone soldier who dies without much sound so as not to alert his fellow guards. Teeth baring and gnashing aside Riley is about the only real difference to this year’s Call of Duty release and the only real breath of fresh air.
The space level is not very fun and only adds a brief bit of novelty that is new to the series but not to gaming as other games have done this better. Levels range from the now familiar battle scenes of desert, jungle space and war torn city but nothing is really new to the series.
Whether it’s the single player campaign that is too narrowly focused or the small maps of multiplayer there is little in Call of Duty: Ghosts to bring a back. To call this release a first person shooter is an injustice to the much better games of the past that really allowed you choices in how you did things.
First person shooter gives you the idea that you will first and foremost shoot something and that you are going to control that shooter to accomplish some goals. I really did enjoy the Ghost Recon of Tom Clancy fame and had fun revisiting but other games of the past show that it can be done well.
Call of Duty has spent numerous tries at making things different without accomplishing much in the way of new or innovative for years. Every year we get something new which under the cover of slightly better graphics and different looks to weapons is the same old linear platformer.
Yes, Call of Duty Ghosts is a platform adventure game and not a first person shooter as you spend whole missions just hitting buttons on command just to progress to the next section or objective. This means instead of deciding who to hit, where to go or how you are going to attack you are merely waiting for the game to tell you when to push a button.
This is not gaming in my opinion, it’s an interactive movie where you follow a closely scripted sequence and from time to time shoot your way to the next cut scene. Sure graphics look a bit better and the story is a bit different but you still follow closely in the same footpath your supposed to.
The game is also pretty much free of major problems other than that the boring path you have to follow and the button mashing so at least they got some things right. A few major problems are the cut scenes that are choppy and skip so you do miss some of the story that you are supposed to be getting.
There is also some break to this in the squad modes but we get no real sense that you’re playing anything different than the multiplayer modes but with only AI based squad mates which are not quite as good as the real thing. Multiplayer looks different than last year but is so similar that you could easily mistake it for last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.
Weapons and gadgets are also pretty much the same as the last few years with only a few differences that are not really enough to warrant anything other than a nod at how well the weapon looks or sounds. Sniper rifles and long range weapons are all but useless in the multiplayer and squad based other than to have something different to use but long range scopes just don’t work well.
Maps are at the very most eight players on a side which means in order to keep things interesting and fast paced they are also about eight blocks in size or smaller. Go around the neighborhood where you live and figure how two squads are going to fight it out with sniper rifles in an eight block section of your town.
The smaller map size does make for fast paced close quarters and medium range encounters but for larger groups and longer ranges you are not going to find anything in Call of Duty: Ghosts. Battlefield 3 and 4 has the longer ranges down pat and when comparing games Ghosts just does not have what it takes for larger maps.
If you are into those close quarters battles the game performs well but you do miss out on much including vehicles and sniper rifles which is a part of combat. Infinity Ward does a good enough job but they should take a year or two off to create a truly memorable experience in gaming.
They should also throw out the handbook and checklist they have been using to create their games and start out fresh and new with something that gamers are really going to enjoy. Call of Duty: Ghosts whether it’s the PC or the PS3 version is pretty much the same game as last year with a few differences here and there but nothing to really make it stand out.
Between both versions you have the major difference of a better system available in the PC and the more familiar FPS gaming mouse and keyboard available. The PS3 version offers the controller which may be a better choice for some but the game plays just as well on both systems.
The single player campaign is alright but too linear and uninventive while the multiplayer is just too small and close quarters only. You do have some coop missions and play against AI controlled squads but these are not enough to overcome a lackluster single player campaign combined with too small multiplayer maps.
Call of Duty: Ghosts will go down in history just like the last few release from Activision as yet another installment of Call of Duty. The PC version is so similar to the PS3 version that choice between them really comes down to what you prefer for control options and if you have a better computer to enjoy the graphics possible.
I hope Activision will change their tune in the next release and give gamers what they want instead of continuing to release a mediocre game that just follows meekly instead of breaking out with new and different.