Dog Olympics, A Call of Duty: Ghosts Review!

Call of DogFamous Greek philosopher Plato once said, “Holy shit, people still play Call of Duty?”

I replied to him, “Yes Plato, also how are you still alive? Aren’t you suppose to be dead?” He gave a stern look at me, and then ran off. It was very weird.

However he does have a point though, it’s impressive that to this day people still play Call of Duty. I don’t know how those voodoo spiritualists at Activision do it, but I guess they must be doing something right. Within 24 hours, this game had made over a billion in sales and continues to make more money than you and my reptilian ancestors (RIP you remnants of the past) will ever make.

So ultimately, what is there to say anymore about this series? It’s annual releases have made it harder to critique each installment since everything has already been said about it, and not to mention after Modern Warfare 3 there ain’t much more room for gimmicky giant explosions here. So where does this series take off from here with Ghosts? I don’t know what you’ll receive from my answer, but boy did this game frustrate the ever-living hell out of me with trying to find one.

I guess if I were to begin this, it would be with Black Ops 2. The reason why I bring up Black Ops 2 is because that was Treyarch attempting to inject creative energy into a series that desperately needed it after Modern Warfare 3. Despite some hiccups along the way, I felt that it indeed succeeded and felt like the series (in terms of  the story campaign) should have stopped there. Ghosts on the other hand was Activision telling Infinity Ward, “Well don’t stop there, this money train ain’t got no time to stop on its tracks!”

Call of Duty: Ghosts is the corpse of Modern Warfare 3. While on one hand it shouldn’t exist and should be put out of its misery, however on the other hand you’re reminded of how much fun beating up a corpse can be. That’s right kids, if you want an authentic Call of Duty: Ghosts experience just dig up your old folks graves and give them a good ol’ knock to the noggin! Then say, “Why do you still put campaigns into your games?!

And their response will be, “Because fuck if I know!

If you thought you’ve seen some pretty unnecessary campaigns, then man are you in for quite a ride with the campaign for Ghosts. The story here, as loosely as I like to call it, is about this secret US special operations force called Ghosts. Essentially Ghosts are like these legendary heroes that go above and beyond the ‘Call of Duty‘ (Ha! I want to kill myself now) and protect humanity from terrorists. The main villains in this game are an organization known as The Federation, which is just a bunch of South American nations who have a fetish for oil. In the game you play as Logan, who is one of the two sons of retired U.S. Army Captain Elias Walker. You’ll basically be following these two sons, and their doggy which is named Riley.
Also something interesting to note, Logan’s brother (Hesh) is played by Brandon Routh of Superman Returns fame. That’s a shame too, considering I couldn’t tell it was him the entire time I was playing the campaign.

The idea behind the Ghosts sounds interesting, and the game seems portray them as this mystical and unique military force that has a specific code they have to follow. You don’t really see that in a lot of modern military shooters, mostly because they just revolve around some operation in the middle east (including hearing the same military jargon, over and over again). The problem with an idea like this is that it’s in a Call of Duty game. Meaning every chance they have to expand upon it or flesh it out, it gets painfully undercut by pointless spectacle. Don’t get me wrong, I do love me some pointless spectacle, but there’s a limit to how much pointless spectacle I can accept. As a matter a fact, I’ll pretty be saying that about a good majority of the campaign.

However there’s more to it than simply ‘I got tired of looking at pretty colors’. The campaign for this game has begun to show its age, and it does not look good. The linear level designs with false pretenses for alternate pathways, the questionable AI, the same high-tension story beats, the same health regenerative system, all of this and more are what’s wrong with this game. Remember when I brought up Black Ops 2 and how that tried to progress things with the campaign? Well this one takes a huge step backward by not integrating those features, and just keeps chugging along with its sameness. This game is a strong argument as to why annual releases are more harmful than good to a series reputation.
Let me also just say that this game has one of the worst add-on endings I’ve ever seen, to a point where it made me legitimately angry. Because the developers honestly think people give enough of a shit about their campaign that they want to see the continuation of these characters into the sequel! That’s right folks, Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 is on the way!

It’s so frustrating that by the time I played multiplayer I…totally forgot about it. In fact the multiplayer still maintains some of the changes from Black Ops 2, and has enough small changes in it that prevents it from feeling as stale as the campaign. Changes involving your loadout, character classes, and the ability to choose gender – which was pretty cool to inject. While these are the weakest maps here in the entire franchise, personally saying, they’re vast and are brimming with tactical opportunity. Like I said these aren’t major changes, but they added enough to still make it entertaining.
I do have one nitpick, and it’s that while I can understand wanting the make the maps bigger, I think some of them are too big. If you’re the type of person who prefers a close-quarters style of combat then I think you’re going to be disappointed here since it’s much more difficult to take out targets. Great for snipers though, judging by the billions of times I’ve been shot by their camping asses.

For the first time, Infinity Ward decided to integrate their own version of ‘zombie mode’ into the game. The mode is titled Extinction mode, and it’s pretty much almost the same thing except with loadouts and level-up perks. It’s hilarious though, the aliens strike a clear resemblance to the Ridley Scott ‘Aliens‘ and I’m fairly sure the designers had to have been aware of this. Hell, they even pop out from pods and dispense acid! Anyway, it’s a decent mode that I’m sure a group of friends can enjoy, nothing much beyond that.
Then you have this new mode called Squads, which allows you to play either solo or with a group of friends by integrating your customizable characters. You can either do this through sqaud vs. squad, Wargame, and a horde type mode called Safeguard.

If you add the crappy campaign, the fun multiplayer, and the ‘just-okay’ Extinction mode then you get an average game. I had intentions of finishing this with an infuriating attitude, but decisively I couldn’t do that if the rest of the game was just alright. I mean I will say it’s the worst in the series, but that’s not saying it’s a terrible game, just a minor…disappointment? Eh, this is why I mentioned that my answer was going to be frustrating, but point is don’t expect a completely bad game when picking this up.

Man, if only my essays about world starvation were as this complex…and involved less robots.

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