This is not a review of Call of Duty Ghosts. This is a review of Call of Duty Ghosts multiplayer. I have not played the campaign, and I don’t intend to. I have not played Extinction, and probably won’t play that either. I have dabbled in the Squads mode, and I will simply refer to that as multiplayer with bots, and it’s not worth mentioning outside of that. So, without further ado, here’s my Call of Duty Ghosts Multiplayer review.
What I Love
I was kind of fearful when I heard the pick ten system was gone from Black Ops 2. I really enjoyed the ten point system that basically allowed you to do whatever you wanted with your load out. However, the new load out system works almost identically, except doesn’t penalize you for attachments. So really, it’s the same, they just didn’t have a clever name for it. I love the flexibility of being able to dump my secondary, nades and tacs, and just perk out. If I wanted to do something crazy, I could run a launcher only with a ton of perks, or no perks if I was a real idiot. I also like how they don’t restrict which perks you can have. You can load up all one category if you choose. There’s no more category limitations.
The graphics are beautiful, seemingly on any console. The PS3 felt a little bogged down, but the Xbox One version runs crisp and smooth. A lot of detail was put into a lot of the maps, and it looks awesome. All of the movements of the characters look realistic too. There’s no more “head glitches” where bullets come out of the character’s forehead.
I love the new game modes. I know some people are shaking their heads at me, but I really do like them. Search and Rescue is awesome, and I think should be considered for competitive (competitive player’s eyebrows are twitching reading this.) The picking up of the tags really adds a whole other level of strategic planning. You can rush to pick up the enemy tags, and possibly get picked off, or you can use them as bait, but risk having the whole enemy team back on the map. You can also use the tags as a sort of UAV because it notifies you when the tags are picked up. Cranked is a more fun version of TDM, and I hate TDM. So anyway you can improve TDM is a plus to me. It also takes the camping problems that plague TDM nearly completely out of the equation. Blitz is fun. It’s unjustly compared to CTF (which I will discuss more later) but on it’s own, it’s actually a nice addition to the already existing game modes (notice how I worded that.) It’s fast paced, and really enjoyable with a decent team.
The maps for me are neutral. There’s some good ones, and there’s some bad ones, so overall, I’m listing them as neutral. I like Octane, Freight, Tremor, Prison Break, Warhawk, and Strikezone. I’m neutral on Flooded, Whiteout, Sovereign, Stormfront, Stonehaven and Overlord. I hate Siege, and Chasm. I can’t stand Free Fall. The size is not the main issue for me, though I didn’t pick a single giant map as one that I like. The ones I hate, I hate because they’re just dumb. Chasm is the worst piece of junk I’ve ever played. There’s so many levels around the B flag, it’s hard to tell where footsteps are coming from. There’s just WAY too much up and down for my liking. Siege is annoying at best. It’s huge and it’s just a mess. It flows oddly to me, and I just don’t like it. And the worst map ever created is far and away Free Fall. If you are not receiving it because you didn’t preorder, you’re not missing anything. The map is just short of complete garbage. The maps I like, I don’t love. In fact, there isn’t a single map in this game I’d say I love, like I can say with MW3 and Hardhat, or BO2 and Standoff.
Of all of the nice things I had to say about the new load out system, most of the guns to me are kind of boring. I don’t find myself wanting to try any other guns than the one’s I’ve been using (except the M-TAR, I’ve been meaning to try that gun.) I use the Honey Badger, the MSBS, the L115, the Bizon and that’s it. I’ve messed with the K7, and the Vector, but they’re just OK. I haven’t found an assault rifle worth trying other than the two I use. I don’t know. This might just be me… I will say that the addition of built in attachments for some weapons is a neat idea.
The new engine is OK. Like I mentioned above, the head glitch is more or less gone. Bullets don’t shoot out of head any more. When someone is shooting at you, it looks like they’re ADS and shooting at you if they are ADS. The slide is better than the dolphin dive, but it’s not really a game changer to me. However, the mantling is kind of stupid. The new first person graphic obscures your view for a short period of time, which can get you into trouble if someone is on the other side of the wall. I used to be the master of the jump and mantle, but it’s more difficult now. The lean is really stupid. It looks absolutely absurd from third person, and, before I disabled it, I could never get it to snap correctly. The dynamic map elements are fairly dumb too. The KEM strike on Strikezone is annoying, and other than the awning over the pumps on Octane, most of them are simply opening and closing doors or dropping ladders or trees to climb up things. I could do without them.
The killstreaks are good and bad. I like that they brought back the three different types, and I like that they’ve made them less game crippling. However, I don’t like that they’re back to killstreaks and not scorestreaks. BO2, for what it had wrong, had this right. Everything you did built up your scorestreak bar, whether it was an assist, capping a flag, picking up a tag, shooting down a helicopter, or getting a kill. In Ghosts, for the most part, we’re pretty much back to just kills.
What I Hate
It’s easy for me to sit here and trash the community. I think a lot of people grow tired of COD because they’re so many people who just play the game wrong. Whether it’s being a selfish K/D whore, or a Dark Corner McDougal, the game, at least on next gen, is full of people who just play like trash. I put this in the hate section, but I’m hoping when more people start joining the next gen, I can move this to the neutral section. I don’t mind the overall community. For as many trash players, trolls, and tryhards there are, there’s just as many quality good people who play the game. It just seems awfully unbalanced at the moment.
As much as I like the new game modes, I absolutely hate the fact that they removed CTF. It seems like every year they remove a game mode I really like. I understand, especially for next gen playlists, that it may be difficult to fill lobbies and keep connections solid. But can’t they at least put CTF, as well as Demolition, Sabatoge, Hardpoint, and Team Defender into a rotating playlist, and make them available to play in private matches? Is it so hard? And what business does Infected have being in the regular playlist? And Hunted? They’re party games, keep them in the party playlist. The additions of Blitz, Cranked, and S&R aren’t the issue. It’s what they decided to remove and what they decided to keep that are the issues. And it really leaves me, at times, feeling like there’s nothing I want to play. Some days, Kill Confirmed and Domination are getting annoying, or boring, and I don’t feel like playing S&R or S&D. Charlie won’t play Cranked or Blitz… so what do we play? They need to inject some of the objective games back into the game, and keep Infected and Hunted where they belong. BTW, I’m not sure if Hunted is new or old, I never played it before this game, but it’s stupid. Drop Zone was better.
I am actually going to write a whole paragraph about why I hate IEDs. If there was any less skilled way to ruin my killstreak, or any more annoying way to spawn kill me, or any more garbage way to defend a flag, I can’t find it. Why do the developers keep putting these damn things in the game? At least, Claymores and Bouncing Betties were avoidable. These are virtually unavoidable without blast shield. It’s almost a guaranteed kill for the bleeping #@&%!! #$#@!@% &&%%## $#@!@!! that use them. If you use IEDs, I will be more than happy to tell you where you can shove them. The developers NEED TO STOP PUTTING THESE DAMN THINGS IN THE GAME!
In closing, I’d like to reflect on the series as it has come to this point. I’ve been playing Call of Duty since COD4, though I never played the original Black Ops, and barely played World at War. What I can tell, even though Black Ops 2 is my only real reference, is that the Infinity Ward iterations cater more so to casual players. Though most of the competitive players you talk to will point to either COD4 or MW2 as their favorite Call of Duty title, this game reflects heavily on those iterations of the game more than any of the other, and this game is really not competitive friendly. Though you can point to several things Infinity Ward is trying to do, and have done, such as dumbing down the killstreaks (although they’re left out in GB rules), having better hit detection, and adding specific options in private matches to cater to competitive players, the map layouts, game modes, and gun balancing are not on par with that of Black Ops 2. This game is more suited for the casual Call of Duty player, which unfortunately tends to also suit the trashy tactics of the casual players.
With that said, I am in no way saying I do not enjoy this game. Though I enjoy competitive play, I am not that good at it. This game has it’s shining spots, and I believe, as a whole, is taking a step forward in the series. If only everyone played on a single console, and there was never a need to make 6 different versions of the same game (Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, PC, and Wii U) and the entire player pool was playing on the same servers, there would never be a need to restrict the content in each iteration of the game. They could cater to casual and competitive, put every game mode you could think of into the available choices, and never have to worry about long wait times in lobby, and the two separate developers could come together and make a bi-yearly version that was perfect and fit everyone’s likes. That unfortunately is a perfect world scenario that will never happen. So you have to look at the game for what it is.
The graphics and sounds are improving, they’re trying to keep the game fresh with new game modes, the new engine is step in the right direction, and the maps have more detail and they’re trying to add dynamic elements. Though I feel some of these fall short, especially the dynamic elements, you can clearly see where this franchise is going. It is still improving. Though, I feel, especially with Titanfall due out in March, that I will tire of this game sooner than other versions, it is still a good game. The overall lack of game mode choices will likely be the downfall for me. I can only play so many matches of Kill Confirmed or Domination. Maybe I will get more into Blitz and Cranked, maybe. Maybe they will add more game modes as more players make the switch to next gen… I’ll cross my fingers, but I won’t hold my breath.
Bottom line, this game is perfect for the casual Call of Duty player, which, let’s face it, is the majority of the fanbase. There are attempts to suit everyone, but with the way the maps layout, these attempts are falling short already. I’ve barely touched on the spawn issues, but I’m assuming at some point, they will be patched. The game is moving forward, and that’s all a fan of the series can really ask for. If you prefer Black Ops over Modern Warfare, you should be excited for whatever Treyarch is working on, because Infinity Ward did create a strong core for them to work off. However, Ghosts may not be for you.
I am an odd person in that Modern Warfare 3 was my favorite version of Call of Duty to date, and it still is after playing Ghosts for a while now. Though I think Ghosts will bring a lot of the old fans of COD4 and MW2 back, it will push away the fans of BO2. MW3 I think was, in the finished product, the best attempt to cater to everyone. I think Ghosts suffers from it’s special circumstance of being a launch title for next gen consoles. If they could cater to everyone, they would. But the challenge of doing so this time around was bordering on insurmountable. So they went with the majority. You can’t blame them for that. We will see in future patches and DLC how the game shakes out in the end, if they eventually do cater to everyone. But this game has certainly done one thing well, and that is make me excited for the future of the franchise.