Activision sat down with us at the end of the day to take a closer look at Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer mode. Despite a few technical snafus, no doubt due to its pre-release status, we were able to enjoy a solid hour of gameplay. Note: Translation by dark10x.
The Ghost Pain
Of course, the demo started with a few annoyances: just as we slipped on a pair of headphones, XBOX One controller in hand, we were dismayed to discover that we couldn’t join the game. A pair of developers stepped over to aid us revealing a mouse and keyboard behind the scenes necessary to get us up and running. Ten minutes later, however, and we were locked and loaded.
Upon finally joining the match, our first discovery was the new category of weapons entitled “Marksman Rifles”, described as a sort of hybrid between the standard assault rifle and sniper rifle. With a greater range than the classic assault rifle and additional damage values on top of that, we found this addition to be a bit unbalanced in its current state. Of course, with the game receiving constant balance changes, we imagine this will be addressed in the coming weeks.
We also discovered another new customization option available in Ghosts; the opportunity to play as a female soldier. While their models are certainly attractive, you won’t be singing the same tune once they come on the assault.
It’s Time To Party
With more than 20,000 possible customization options, over 30 new weapons, 20 new Killstreaks, 14 new maps, and 7 new modes, all this suggests that we will have plenty of keep us playing over the long haul.
We were given brief details on three of these new modes:
• Search and Rescue: A variant of Search and Destroy in which the attack team, bomb in hand, makes their way to an objective point while the other team defends. The subtle twist on the formula rears its head upon death, however. Once down, your dogtag remains accessible on the field. If an ally manages to reach you in time you can be revived right there on the spot but, of course, if an enemy reaches you instead you’ll be eliminated until the next round.
• Cranked: With Cranked, each kill nets you new skills and other bonuses while, at the same time, a timer with 30 seconds will appear. Fail to kill another target at the end of 30 seconds? Simple, you explode! This extra bit of tension keeps the pace high often pushing you into otherwise tactically unsound scenarios in an attempt to stay alive. It’s no surprise that these matches run a bit on the short side but it’s a blast while it lasts.
• Blitz: While we were unable to spend any time with this mode it was revealed to be a variant on Capture the Flag. The difference? Only one team goes on the offensive trying to collect the flag while the other must play defense.
For the first time in the series, Ghosts will introduce dynamic maps. As the match unfolds the tricks and traps you might discover on an initial pass will change as the battle rages on. No doubt this will offer a strategic advantage to players who can successfully control the map.
Who Let the Dogs out??
While playing, it’s hard to deny that the game is still a blast to play, despite failing to bring a revolution to the Call of Duty franchise. While the visuals are rather lovely, it’s clear that Ghosts falls short technically of matching its two closest competitors; Battlefield 4 and Titanfall. Nevertheless, we noticed a significant improvement in lighting and pyrotechnics. Audio is punchy, with weapons and explosions creating a powerful soundscape around you. Furthermore, the map design seemed to be on the right track when it comes to allowing for a wide variety of play styles (ie - close combat, ranged combat, or even camping). Nevertheless, we found it perhaps a bit too challenging to play as a pure sniper.
We also had the opportunity to see mans best friend in action during a killstreak. The Dog™ looks to be an effective weapon which, most importantly, disrupts the enemy to the point that they’ll wind up focusing more attention on the four legged menace instead of your team.
A breath of fresh air for fans of the series, the new graphics engine, especially the lighting, represents the most significant visual upgrade since Call of Duty 4. While we lament the lack of a robust physics engine the visuals still manage to pack a lot of punch. While far from revolutionary, the new game modes succeed in bringing new ways to play to the series while dynamic maps offer the potential for new strategies. Considering the improvements and heaps of new content there’s no doubt that this will be a hit with fans of the series. Yet, there is still a sense that the game could have been more with Ghosts serving as a bit of a transition between the PS360 and the next generation. This fall looks to be explosive for shooter fans and Gamersyde will be there to guide you to the best choices. Look forward to more coverage as we draw closer to release this holiday!