|Platform||XB1, PS4, 360, PS3, Wii U, PC|
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The events of Call of Duty: Ghosts unfold ten years after a horrific event that upended the geopolitical landscape and left America in ruins. In a world where the United States is no longer recognized as a superpower, a band of former special forces commandos—among them a pair of brothers—band together to form a ragtag group known as the Ghosts, with the aim of rebelling against a far superior occupying force. But hey, at least they’ve got an attack dog on their side.
If Ghosts proves anything, it’s that you certainly can’t allow yourself to get too comfortable being at the top of the FPS food chain. Sure, Call of Duty has its share of influence in the industry, but it certainly isn’t bulletproof, and Activision and Infinity Ward seem to be well aware of that fact. Rather than delivering the seemingly inevitable Modern Warfare 4, they’ve opted to launch a new storyline instead.
I had a chance to sit through a series of Call of Duty: Ghosts demos, including some of what was shown during the pre-E3 reveal event on Sunday. Rest assured, while there have been plenty of new additions, the core mechanics are all still very much the same. Infinity Ward isn’t tweaking things too much when it comes to the essence of what makes the series tick. However, you’ll notice subtle gameplay changes that help refine the experience. You can now lean around corners—a first on consoles, and a returning feature on PCs. You’ll also be able to traverse the environments easier by naturally stepping over smaller obstacles that would have impeded your progress in past games. Of course, these subtle changes aren’t groundbreaking; they’re more about helping to contribute towards a deeper, more engaging experience. It’s that attenton to detail that impressed me the most about Ghosts. Not only does it perform better and smoother than just about every other shooter I’ve played, but it also does wonders when it comes to fully immersing you into the world.
And I can honestly say, after watching No Man’s Land—the mission that introduces the killer canine, Riley—I’m fully onboard in support of the dog. The Infinity Ward developer showed off one of his uses by having the pooch bark on command, luring in a nearby bad guy and leaving him open for a clean shot. Something else cool I witnessed? During the mission Federation Day, set in Caracas, Venezuela, the player traverses the outside of a giant skyscraper—complete with the ability to swing left and right on a rope harness as you plug unsuspecting enemies through the windows. That spectrum of experiences is what has me the most excited about Ghosts; for all the new elements the game is adding, it’s nice to know the developers are still focusing on making the campaign as good and varied as it can possibly be.