Top critical review
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It has to be said - Very disapointing
on 20 November 2013
To be honest - very disappointing
I spent a lot of time reading everyone's reviews on the Playstation and Xbox system and truth be told a lot of them say the same issues and fundamentally they are not wrong. I want this review to be a guide to existing and new call of duty fans and therefore want to cover everything. To help keep the word count down I will mention points that are relevant and keep things brief. In order for this review to be fair and realistic I will divide up the pros and cons into separate sections so buyers/potential buyers can see what the game has to offer. Admittedly I could of posted my review after the initial launch so everyone would see my thoughts but its imperative that someone like myself truly play this game to its full potential so I am in the best position to provide a comprehensive and detailed review.
To my summarize my thoughts on this game in a short paragraph I will use one word - 'disappointing'. I did not care too much too look into the pre footage prior to the game's release and more less wanted to be surprised with the content available having said that I was surprised but not pleasantly. For all the potential I hoped this game could achieve where Infinity Ward work with Activison on previous titles such as call of duty 4 and modern warfare 2 this simply did not deliver.
As a offline addition to the title this mode is very short, on the hard setting your looking at a completion time of 5 hours which includes watching the cut scenes. Having said that the mode gets you to grips with new weapons and support set ups that can help prep you before jumping into online. The storyline is not on par with MW2 & 3 as you work with your father and brother for the ghosts. An elite unit that fights the resistance against world changing weaponry. The story has some ups and downs but with a quick completion rate this title would not work for players who wanted to play this game offline. Black ops 2 introduced some unique features such as customizing your loadout before each mission; a very unique and powerful take on the campaign but features like this just do not exist on this title.
+ Quick exposure to all levels of weaponry
+ Storyline is engaging midway through and provides increased interest
+ Chance to use some nice killstreaks including the Odin satellite
+ Some unique levels in space with different physics and bullet effects
+ Additional underwater levels
- Too short
- Limited customization in loadout
- Limited collectables and side quests
-No completion bonuses
- No Replay value
- Cut scenes are a little short
This mode is the equivalent of zombies or rather Infinity Ward's take on the whole situation rather than working on a previously successful concept such as zombies or survival, the developers have copied Treyarch's success from zombies and come up with their own idea and let me be clear the opinions are unanimous, this mode is horrendous. In my opinion it begs belief how anyone could play this for more than an hour before becoming bored. The objective is simple; to destroy alien hives through the use of a drill and kill incoming waves of aliens, the whole idea sounds preposterous when the campaign is has no mention to extra terrestrial activity whilst Black Ops 1 was in a position to relate to this life form during the end of the single player campaign. There's some nice features in there like leveling up and unlocking perks and weapon slots but I must be honest this mode just did not do it for me. If they had brought back zombies and worked with Treyarch it could of been a real success. You can go solo or with friends or go in a public match against random players but in most cases it becomes tiresome fast.
+ A new idea and game mode despite its origins coming from Zombies
+ Ability to level up and unlock new gear
+ Upgrades and killstreaks can be adjusted
- Mode becomes boring pretty quickly
- Solo is pretty much impossible
- The setting/scene level is dull
- Limited flexibility with perks and loadouts
There is so much to discuss with regards to this mode but I will try to keep this as brief and informative as possible. Call of duty is known for its multiplayer and with the announcement of dedicated servers on this title for the ps3 game release my hopes were high. I wont slate this completely because there are features in this area I love which help make the game better but ultimately this is not good enough for a release coming from Infinity Ward and what remains clearer than ever is despite the developers running with the brand name of IW, those responsible for COD4 & MW2 have clearly left as this mode is one gigantic mess. I'll cover the basic and fundament flaws in this section and talk about good parts a bit later down this section.
Ghosts' multiplayer is a real let down the maps are absolutely ridiculous there far too big they make no sense what so ever and literally mean on a 6 a side team deathmatch on a map like siege your pushing yourself to maintain a K/D and get an average of 2 kills a minute. The layout of the maps begs belief, a good example is Stonehaven, or as I call it camper's paradise. A map so big and so traverse if you have a sniper rifle and find yourself a nice high spot you can camp from one side of the map and kill enemies from the other. The buildings are laid out so players are forced to go prone from above and running around with a submachine gun is an instant fail as your either get shot in the back or camped. There's a couple of good maps such as Prison and Sovereign as they adopt principles of existing successful maps in previous titles by limiting their size and navigation points by having a maximum of two entry points to any one location. The map size is condensed and means players can enjoy more fast paced action similar to Backlot and bog on COD4; running into the heat - 'toe to toe' as opposed to camping in the corners with recon perks. Aside from the map issues the color palette on this game is worst that Black ops 2. Whilst they have included the color blind assist on this game through the in-game menu let me assure you if you are slightly color blind you will notice it on this title. Enemies when static blend into dark background seamlessly, the result is half the people using the thermal scope attachment on all weapons even LMGS. One viable solution I have come across is turning off the color on my television and tuning the brightness and sharpness so my peripheral vision is not affected by the zoom of the thermal, a shocking solution really but only those who have trouble seeing color correctly are in a position to explain this. The hit marker detection is unbelievable bad and fully noticeable through the use of thermal and sniper scopes and often on bolt action rifles means your often shot immediately after your attempt. The whole prestige system has gone 'bye bye' and your left with 'Squads', a mode which shows no interest to myself but another take on Infinity Ward that didn't need to exist. It allows players to unlock new personnel and customize them creating unique loadouts for them, additionally it opens various doors in the squads separate section of the game which can make clan battles more exciting. The leveling up takes for ever, this is no exaggeration if your an average player on any of the other previous titles your looking at leveling from rank 1 to 60/70 in the space of 40-50 hours unfortunately on this game your looking at 4 times that, more if you cant get a handle the new style of gameplay. But as competitively player myself with a K/D of 1.33 and over 200 hours playing I have experienced this issue to the maximum.
Because the leveling up takes so long it means that gaining access to the best perks seems like a never ending struggle. Most of the decent perks are at rank 40 which require some serious playing time. Another bad issue is the removal of the theatre mode. You can no longer watch back your beloved games or edit them for upload. A massively successful feature in the black ops title but where has it gone? its just been removed! A lot of decent game modes have been removed including ground war which would be a necessity on maps like Siege and flooded where there is tent around every corner and every crevasse. The killstreaks are limited and some of them are a joke. There is a lot of talk about the dog killstreak reward online but unfortunately this reward is more of a hindrance often revealing your position and getting you killed. You cant tell it what to do its just there in your way all the time. UAV is replaced with Satcom; To be fair I can see why they have introduced this as UAV is usually on non stop otherwise but that also limits the amount of campers. This unit is often destroyed and means you cant provide your team valuable recon support. More issues result around hackers having already broken into this game, people floating under the map who kill you but you cant kill them, worst yet there not being banned and are becoming more common across the game. The weapons are ridiculously powerful, you find yourself thinking your playing hardcore but with a HUD, one hit lower leg and its a game over - a one shot kill. Often players are able to claim kills my implementing the dreadful quick scope with the use of the intervention or better known as the USR with attached AGOC sight and enhance reticule (precision RNK 75 Long kills) , a massive pain to competitive players and just ruins the game. There's much more as well that other reviewers have mentioned which I wont repeat none of it good but all relates to online play. Just to summarize then:
+ Dedicated servers - good connection when player count it equal or no greater than 200,000
+ Ability to unlock weapons from initial starting levels
+ Lobby time is reduced from 30 seconds to 20 prior to match launch
+ Original killstreaks and unique weapons introduced
+ Unique attachments and optional customization
+ Option to create clan and invite members
+ Clan battles through squads
+ The squad concept online
+ Task objectives on successful kills in-game
+ Detailed and comprehensive career tracking on barracks
+ Different styled gameplay & Map type set up
- Maps are too big for Playstation users on a 6 a side TDM
- Maps are poorly constructed with multiple entry points to any location
- Spawning is by far the worst out of any Call of Duty title
- Ranking up is time consuming
- No prestige for elite players
- No theatre lobby for video enthusiasts
- Hit detection through scopes is inconsistent and unreliable
- Satcom killstreak cant replace UAV
- Game is full of hackers and glitchers a month after release
- Players gear/clothing blends into dark background too easily.
- Too many long distance vantage points on larger maps
- Good game modes like Ground War have been removed
- Weapons are too powerful, enemies can hip fire with no accuracy and maintain high K/D's
This about sums up all the things a buyer needs to know or a person who wants to know more about what others think of the game. There are some nice features in the game such as the sliding along the floor and in the inbuilt functions in the pause menu which include color blind assist & 'toggle mute except party' etc but as a gaming experience overall I was very disappointed with this game as most players are with this title. If it was the first call of duty game ever then it would be five stars but because its the eighth and it being developed by major developers its just a disappointment. I could review it a single star to prove a point as a lot of people have done on here but realistically as a standalone title this game deserves 2 stars as calculated based on the above inventory. Certainly not game of the year content I would say.
I hope this review has been informative and helps explain everything in a concise manner; bottom line is I would rent this game before you buy it, even with the DLC release with new maps this game has a long way to go before its on the same level as MW2 or MW3.
Thanks for reading.