The lights are on
This game is awesome. Now although I do prefer Call
of Duty, I have also played Battlefield quite a bit so this is not some
“mindless” review aimed to troll up the score (which is laughably low for users due to CoD haters giving it 0.25s for no reason). Ghosts is legitimately the best
Call of Duty I've played since MW2, perhaps the best period. Now since this is a pretty long one, I did break up the major points with some bolded titles for ya'll.
The campaign no longer features the branching story
and player choice that BO2 had. Can’t really say this is a knock or not; BO2’s
story didn’t do much for me so that’s up to the individual. The campaign is in
a new universe in the near future and follows the brothers Logan and Hesh.
While not a blockbuster, the story doesn’t feel nearly as generic, clichéd, or
uninspired as Dan makes it out to be. Some suspension of belief is required for the shark moments and the gunfights in space, but it's not too far out there. And the dog that everyone’s been joking
about, Riley? He’s pretty awesome. Not really much to say, but as far as the
story goes it’s about what you might expect. Not stellar, but still pretty good
with plenty of changes to make it feel distinct. However, the campaigns
are not what Call of Duty games are known for.
Enter multiplayer. Be warned that the interface is
pretty BO2-like. There aren’t individual bullets but a number showing your
ammo, same with the rest of the info shown. With the new Create a Soldier, you
have a dizzying array of options to choose from. You can create 10 different
characters and give them up to 6 loadouts each, for 60 classes. The character
customizer lets you change your gender, head type, headgear, and uniform.
There’s a nice little selection is each category so you’re not stuck with a
couple preset characters like before and you have enough leeway to more or less
get a soldier you can be proud of. Personally I’m loving the addition of female
soldiers quite a bit. Previous games felt too much like a huge sausage-fest,
and being a fan of tough women who can handle themselves (Jaimie Alexander as
Sif good God!), it was nice to see and hear the fairer gender for once. Soldier
dialogue is a bit more varied this time around too, so you won’t hear the same
thing over and over and over…at least not as much.
The Pick 10 system from BO2 is back in a familiar
form, though there are more options for a far larger assortment of classes. I
was lost at first as to what would be the best combo of weapons, equipment, and
perks in BO2, but Ghosts takes it to a whole ‘nother level. This is good and
bad because you’ll be seeing plenty of combinations, but it can be hard for you
to figure out which is the best for each play style in the beginning. Thankfully
many of the maps are pretty huge when it comes to talking about Call of Duty,
so gone are the small, clustered maps of BO2. SMGs and shotguns are much less
prevalent thanks to the more open maps, with SMGs in general being weaker
overall. The larger maps also lend well to snipers and marksmen (both those who
use assault rifles from range and those who use the new marksman class rifles).
Scoping in with a sniper rifle no longer gives you tunnel vision, and even
though the sides are blurred you can still tell what’s happening without having
huge blind spots.
As for the dynamic maps, it’s a cool and useful feature. While not as grand as that found in Battlefield 4, it does offer slight advantages to those who use the features scattered around the maps and allows more tactics in-game, forcing players to be more mindful of their surroundings. That door that was closed when you ran by? Don’t be surprised if someone opens it and kills you from behind. And that gas station you’re near or wall you’re hiding behind? Not a good place to be when they come falling down. It's not much, but enough to add more variety to matches.
In terms of killstreaks, there is a much more
toned-down emphasis on airborne ones. So you won’t have to worry as much about
spawning only to be mowed down instantly by a never-ending swarm of helicopters
or planes. While there are some cool returning and new killstreaks, the oldest
one is the most interesting for me because of how it’s been reworked after all
these years. UAVs are now Sat Coms, grounded radars that stack as more are
called in by the team. 1 shows any enemy your team sees, 2 acts like a normal
UAV, 3 sweeps the map faster, and 4 is pretty much Advanced UAV. There’s even a
perk that lets you jack the other team’s Sat Coms, so watch for that.
Squads is another thing Dan trashed for no good
reason I can see. Black Ops II did one thing right by ramping up the
multiplayer AI considerably, and Ghosts has somehow pushed that even further.
Your customized multiplayer characters are used in Squads, and they will rush,
throw flashbangs and grenades around corners if they know you’re there, use
killstreaks, and even camp. So it’s very easy to forget you’re not in a real
match with other players seeing how cunning these guys (and gals) are, making
it a great way to get used to the game before really going online. He complained about the amount of time you spend in the menus, but personally character creation is something I love, so it wasn't annoying at all to tweak my soldiers to perfection. But besides that,
there’s also a horde mode similar to what’s in MW3, plus Extinction mode! I
grew tired of zombies pretty quickly due to how repetitive the mode was. Some
slow-moving targets for you to shoot in the head, whoopty doo. The new aliens
will rush the crap out of you and even climb up and over walls, resulting in
much more unpredictable matches. So you get competitive bot matches, horde
mode, and aliens. Come on, that’s a darn good deal right there.
Now for Dan’s point about this game not having its
own hook, I think he’s both right and wrong. Right in that there’s nothing
really standing out that demands attention and respect, but wrong because I
feel that the across-the-board improvements and additions ARE the hook. The
game has character customization, female soldiers, map destructibility, more
balanced maps with small and (especially) large spaces, co-operative and
competitive multiplayer modes, a bot mode, horde mode, alien mode…it’s the best
of everything in the series wrapped into one great package with a few new
additions thrown in for good measure! And it's not even like the game sacrifices quality in the name of quantity, because every mode is excellent and expertly-crafted.
Without the goggles that are familiarity or the petulant hatebase the series has accumulated over the years,
I’m sure this game would be pulling in at least 9.5s like mine across the
board. It’s an impressive move forward for the series, and I have yet to find
any serious faults with it. Before this it was MW1>MW2>BO in my mind. Now
I’m thinking Ghosts might be sitting in the second, perhaps even first place, because for me Ghosts is the best thing to happen to the series since MW1.
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