Top critical review
90 people found this helpful
Initially Exciting, Quickly Frustrating
on 11 November 2013
Having not bought Black Ops 2 on the basis that I didnt like Black Ops, I've been waiting two years for a new Call Of Duty game. Actually, make that four years since I was truly satisfied with a CoD title (MW2). I understand that developers have a tough job raising the bar with each subsequent release because if they keep it too similar, gamers will criticize them for not moving the franchise forward yet if they make radical changes, gamers will moan they liked things better before. You need to strike the right balance of not trying to fix something that works fine already and introducing new innovations. That said, CoD: Ghosts for me has not achieved these objectives.
I'll try to review Ghosts objectively even though I can't make comparisons to Black Ops 2 like other reviewers have.
When I first played on the launch day, the servers were down so I played the campaign a bit. My first thoughts were positive ones. The story is cool and the action visually cinematic. The gameplay is varied between running and gunning, stealth missions, piloting an Apache and even remotely controlling Riley the dog which is lots of fun. That said, after a couple of hours in, I have no real urge to play again. Something is missing and I think it's a problem I have identified with CoD before, it's just too structured. There is no scope for completing missions different ways or using any initiative whatsoever. You are told which way to walk, when to press x and when to breach a door. If you don't follow the on screen instructions you die. This style of gameplay, no matter how cool it looks, bores me. It's too easy.
I haven't managed to catch any mates online yet so I had a go at the squad feature solo. I opted to play the equivalent of survival mode where you defend against waves of CG attackers. I really enjoyed this feature on MW3 and still play it from time to time. The Ghosts version is far inferior. Every attacking player is an exact copy of the last. It's as if they were designed at the last minute. They move awkwardly and the graphics are poor. I was bored within minutes.
Infinity Ward obviously realised the popularity of Treyach's zombie mode and tried to do something similar except with alien things. You basically have to move a drill around and plant it on each alien hive you find and then defend it against waves of attack until it has finished it's job. You earn money for each kill and can buy more weapons. It quickly becomes tiresome.
The main reason we all buy CoD games. Multiplayer is the reason we clock up countless hour of gaming time and are still playing it years after the release. It is the reason we invest again in DLC and add-ons. It needs to be right. The Ghosts multiplayer is an extremely frustrating experience. The maps are huge. My favourite map on MW2 was wasteland so I'm not averse to big maps but there are no small or medium sized ones. It can be two minutes before you engage an enemy however, the minute you spawn you are shot dead. I counted 1-3 enemies in my field of vision with most spawns. I'm not a dreadful player but I'm struggling to get a 5 kill streak with Ghosts. The guns are simply too overpowered. You never get the red screen and chance to take cover, you just die every time you're hit. The maps have vast lines of fire so you can get shot from the other side of the map and not have a clue who did it. Every spot on the map is approachable or visible from multiple directions so it's not even possible to dig in and snipe for more than a few seconds. They are probably trying to eliminate camping but it just means aimless wandering until you get killed from a mile away with a pistol.
The perks and killstreaks seem pretty poor. You have to unlock them by spending points but you rank up really slowly so most stuff remains locked for ages. UAV is replaced with a satcom which is basically the same thing except you place it on the ground and within seconds it's been destroyed. Waste of a slot. The dog can get kills for you but is usually shot straight away. If you try and hide it stands looking gormless attracting enemies to your position. The juggernaut maniac is fun but a nightmare to play against. The predator is replaced with 3 missiles so not much more innovative really and I havent managed to get much else yet. You can gain a care package by completing little mini challenges hidden in a blue briefcase but try landing the crate without being shot from the other side of the map.
Some of these gripes may dissipate as we all get used to the maps but I urge the developers to release maps that cater to different playing styles in future. I'm already getting fed up of these.