Top positive review
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More of the same or have the changes made a difference?
on 8 December 2013
Let me start by saying I have been a Call of Duty gamer (with all Map Packs apart from World at War) since CoD4: Modern Warfare - Primarily on the Xbox 360 although I do have some on the PS3 too. I am basing this review on these in general and NOT other FPS games like Battlefield for example.
The campaign is quite interesting and I quite enjoy the story. It is however a typical Call of Duty Campaign with a cinematic and explosive action, with a few twists and turns mixed in with a few quieter moments. It could probably be completed quicker than I took but I do like looking for all the intel (1 per mission and 18 missions) and trying to complete certain challenges/things for achievements. Pace feels quite good in general but if you have played the previous campaigns you can't help comparing aspects (i.e. the stealth mission with CoD4's etc). Overall though there are a few new things (underwater and in space) and it feels like a CoD campaign with a good story so a positive thing for this game
The multiplayer has had a lot of attention because its why most seem to buy these games. There was a lot made of the Dynamic Maps and Customisation options but these are probably the more disappointing aspects. The dynamics don't seem to do a lot in general - change a few sightlines and routes but don't really add as much as I thought they would or could. The customisation and soldier option is also disappointing too. You have a Soldier (up to 10 soldiers) and can only play as 1 at a time. as they rank up you unlock squad points etc. The problem starts with your first choice as they only have 3 classes and NO default classes to choose from so pick wisely first. This means that when you start you can only use the default set-up for that soldier and that means NO perk differences. this can be a problem in certain game modes and maps as you cannot radically change your set up to suit a different style of play or experiment too much.
The MP gameplay itself is more like MW3 in terms of feel and pace but the Maps are LARGE (by CoD standards). Saying that though I have had to change my style of play a bit to do well. Before I was an SMG rusher and Objective based player - now I try and play more tactically to get to objectives. As the maps are large, if you spend too much time in the open spaces, you will get picked off easily. Kill Streaks are not as powerful but they can still help (or annoy)
Its taken a little while to get used to it but I do quite enjoy the MP - Whilst it may not be the best in the series (I do think it is a little too early to make that call yet as the DLC and patches can make the difference) it is a good addition and worthy of the name.
I haven't tried all that squads have to offer - some of it seems like a training exercise so maybe worth investigating if you are new to CoD or want to practice and learn the new maps as it offers combat against AI controlled soldiers. There is one mode I do play though and is similar to the survival mode on MW3. This however is for up to 4 players and you have to survive against waves of soldiers - good fun and I sometimes use this as a warm up to MP
After you have completed the prologue to the campaign (first mission) you will unlock Extinction mode. This is a little gem and is often compared to Zombies. This is for up to 4 players and you have differenty classes too. You also have different options in those classes (for example ammo type, kill streaks, armour etc...). You have to destroy hives as you make your way through, after all the hives are destroyed you have to arm a Nuke and make it back to the start area. Stopping you are hordes of Aliens (yes Aliens!). I recommend that you get a mic (if you haven't got one) and work together if you want to complete this. It is quite difficult without a mic as you may need to ask for ammo/armour etc and you need to make sure you have a mix of classes and abilities (ammo, armour etc) too - a lot easier if you can talk and arrange this. A great addition - only 1 map at the moment BUT I hear more could be added with the DLC
Overall the Graphics are good on the 360 - maybe not the best we have ever seen but still good. It may not be the best CoD game ever (although I say it is too early to make that call) but it is certainly worthy of the name. If you like the series then this is definitely worth picking up. The Hardened edition would be only recommended to those that really play the MP and will continue to play it through the year as it comes with the season pass. This will give you access to all the DLC at no extra cost (first on xbox too). Obviously the DLC could benefit Squads modes and Extinction too. If you are only interested in the campaign then get the standard version (you can always buy a season pass or the DLC separately if you want at a later date).
A good addition to the series but the changes haven't really made much of a difference in general