I finally wrapped up the single player campaign in Call of Duty: Ghosts this weekend. And while it would be easy to criticize the game, I'm normally not the type to be overly critical...instead looking for the bright moments and focusing on those instead. The game certainly had plenty of those moments.

I don't know whether I'm just clever or if this is a coincidence, but I thought I would characterize a few of the finer moments as Sea, Air and Land...which some might recognize as SEAL.

NOTE: While I don't really spoil any of the specifics, I do talk about several basic features of Call of Duty: Ghosts - so STOP reading if you don't want to see any potential spoilers.


One thing I like about the Call of Duty series is how the game (or more appropriately - the developers) always seems to innovate, and this time was no different. There were a few moments involving water I was particularly impressed with.

At one point, you're in a town that begins to flood. Not the first time we've seen that before. But the water mechanics and how it is integrated into gameplay was done very well. You have to submerge and hide from the enemy a few times. You can dip down in one spot and swim over to another spot and surface again. Sometimes the bad guys see you and shoot at you - the bullets hitting the water was very believable. Later on in the game, you actually get to go scuba diving. Again, it's not the first time we've seen this sort of game play, but the level of quality and attention to detail really resulted in a memorable experience. There are different thoughts on firing weapons underwater, but the game includes it...and at first I thought it was going to be gimmicky but it ended up being a unique and creative component of the game. The game gets even more props from me since it included the brief appearance of a submarine. They actually did a good job modelling it too. Oh, and watch out for the sharks.


The game had you playing through all sorts of different environments, and I'm going to characterize a couple different ones as "air" even though I suppose technically they might not be. From rappelling down skyscrapers, to flying attack helicopters, the air element posed some of the more exhilarating sequences. But none compare to the outer space scene. Yes...outer space. I guess technically that might be considered a lack of air, but you know what I mean. Fighting in zero gravity environments has never been more fun. It reminded me of a mashup between Gravity and Aliens, and Call of Duty of course. There were no aliens, but there were big guns and lots of destruction. The first time I witnessed the space scene it was breathtaking. One of the best virtual representations of the whole space station / Earth scenes I've seen from a video game. Of course later in the game you get to partake in some zero gravity combat, and it's quite entertaining. It ranks right up there with the zero gravity moments from Dead Space...just not as creepy. Not bad for a Call of Duty game though (I never watched very much of the pre-release footage, so I was completely caught off guard with the trip to space).


Obviously most of the action takes place on land, but the diversity in the level design and environment is, once again, exceptional. You might hate the game...the story and the gameplay and what not...but if you ask me it's kind of hard to hate on the level design. They are simply beautiful, and take you all over the world. Sure, they guide you along on a scripted path, but it achieves this seamlessly.  I don't know if they are my favorite levels - I think Uncharted might still hold that honor - but they are certainly among the greatest. Everything is meticulously detailed and modeled after their real world equivalent. Besides, while you're on land, you get to participate in all sorts of fun stuff. In addition to all of the sneaking around and repelling enemy attacks, you even get to drive a tank and ride on a train. Both are implemented very nicely.

I think Call of Duty: Ghosts (single player) achieves what it set out to do. It doesn't focus on realism and it isn't trying to be a true military simulator... It presents a sensationalized story complete with the shock and awe audio and visual effects you've come to expect from Call of Duty. It relies on the proven mechanics of the previous games while adding enough improvements it stands on its own merits. And I enjoyed it...again.

Now the multiplayer element...well, that's a whole 'nother story. Perhaps I'll blog about that in the future.