At the end of the day what we wanted out of 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' was pretty simple. We wanted a game that continued to feed us adrenaline filled action. We wanted to push through a mindless yet entertaining campaign where we only had to think when we were selecting between different weapons.
'Call of Duty: Ghosts' on the Xbox One is a action shooter video game which was developed by Infinity Ward and published by Activision.
For the first time since 2008 we are getting our hands on a 'Call of Duty' title that doesn't include the words 'Black Ops' or 'Modern Warfare'. 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' is the tenth entry into the storied first person shooting game franchise that has taken the world by storm. The developers at Infinity Ward have been hard at work on 'Ghosts' in order to give their fans something new and enjoyable to experience. The FPS genre is so fickle in the way that it can become tired and trite seemingly overnight. With new revolutionary releases like 'Titanfall' hitting the shelves, we needed 'Ghosts' to be a home run. We tried out the game for the Xbox One and had quite the interesting time playing it.
'Call of Duty: Ghosts' is set in the near future of an alternate history. Set in the Middle East, you step into the boots of various members of the U.S. Special Ops group titled simply 'Ghosts'. This special unit of war heroes is led by Captain Elias Walker and his sons Logan and David Walker. This family unit is rounded out by a German Shepherd pup, Captain Thomas Merrick and Sergeant Keegan Russ. The story is set in 2017 and it follows Walker and his two kids on a harrowing adventure that would take them all across the globe.
We won't get too deep into the territory of spoilers but we were pretty let down with the story that the developers at Infinity Ward came up with. With 'Modern Warfare' completely tied up, the guys had every chance to take the franchise into a whole new direction. We know that FPS games aren't typically revered for their story (Looking at you, 'Halo') but that doesn't mean they couldn't have tried harder. Instead of something approaching original we get a package of cliches and tropes thrown at us for the ten or so hours it'll take us to run through the campaign. From the stiff but loving father who 'only has his two boys' all the way to the caricatures that present themselves as our villains, there is nothing original here.
That doesn't mean it isn't fun.
'Call of Duty: Ghosts' gives gamers a heavy dosage of exactly what they are looking for. It is easy to tell who we are rooting for and it is equally easy to tell who we should be shooting at and killing. The game is filled with big budget, blockbuster type spectacle. There are moments geared exclusively to play at our emotions (we're looking at you, dog) and there are scenes of ultimate 'tough guy-itus' (imprisoned Ghost flicking off his captor? Sure!). In between giant firefights we got cut scenes full of barely recognizable techno babble that spoke of some greater story going on in the world. We could physically feel our eyes glazing over during these parts, but that's okay.
The driving force behind any 'Call of Duty' game will always lie in how the action feels once you are in the thick of things. Fortunately that is where Infinity Ward continued the path of excellence that Treyarch so firmly established in their prior installments. Fighting through the hectic big budget levels is as fun as ever. You'll feel like you are being swallowed up by a truly giant war as you never know who or what is going to come after you next. There is a slew of interesting guns to rock out with and you will quickly find yourself growing accustomed to how they all handle.
While the story mode is fun it is hardly where we expect most gamers to spend their time with the game. Online multiplayer is the bread and butter of the 'Call of Duty' franchise, and the FPS genre as a whole. Online gaming has to be on point for these titles to survive and warrant a sequel. You simply won't see another 'Call of Duty' if the online component doesn't keep people playing for a year or two after release. Fortunately the Xbox One makes the online gaming easier than ever and 'Ghosts' players are rewarded accordingly.
'Call of Duty: Ghosts' felt just like any entry that had come in the franchise before it. The trademark hectic firefights are all there. The perks, load out customizations, crazy death matches and so on also hammer home the point that this is a 'COD' game through and through. But unlike previous entries, 'Ghosts' doesn't have anything special to hook us into playing. There isn't anything slightly new here that we want to hang our hat on or talk to our friends about. There are no game changing new missions, alternate paths, or special endings. There is just a linear game that you'll come to an end.
The one definable new addition to the game is 'Squads', but that isn't a good thing. Squads is a multiplayer game mode that had lofty goals but lagged behind in execution. In Squads you design ten different AI soldiers with their own loadouts before going into a match with them at your side. You'll have a team full of bots as you go against another team full of bots with a human player. On paper this sounds at the very least interesting, but in practice it doesn't do much for us. We found that we spent more time twiddling with our different custom bots than we did actually playing in the game mode.
At the end of the day what we wanted out of 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' was pretty simple. We wanted a game that continued to feed us adrenaline filled action. We wanted to be able to push through a mindless yet entertaining campaign where we only had to think when we were selecting between different weapons. We wanted to be able to go on the internet and kill friends and strangers alike. We can do all of those things because, at the end of the day, 'Call of Duty: Ghosts' for the Xbox One is a competent entry. It isn't revolutionary, though.