The Blockbuster Embraces the Silence - User Reviews - www.GameInformer.com
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The Blockbuster Embraces the Silence

Genre: 1 or 2-Player First Person Shooter (18-Player Online)

Publisher: Activision

Developer: Infinity Ward

Release Date: November 15 (Playstation 4)

ESRB Rating: M for Blood, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language

Package: Stepping into the next generation of gaming, the latest Call of Duty brings to the table a story with a fresh taste in warfare, multiplayer we've all come to know and love, and two new unique game modes

Fun Factor: You won't find much boredom here as all aspects of Ghosts offer enjoyable playtime

Gameplay: While this installment surprisingly contains slight changes to the controls (aim with L2 and shoot with R2 instead of with L1 and R1, plus a few other minor changes), Ghosts sustains the healthy, iconic formula from the past seven years

Graphics and Art: This is undeniably the best looking Call of Duty featuring staggering amounts of remarkable detail all the way from your weapon to the striking environments

Music and Sound: All corners of the game sound just fine, including good voice acting and one of the best Call of Duty scores to date

Replay Value: Ghosts is a game you can sit down and play any and every day, for sure

Game-Changer Status: Even though Call of Duty: Ghosts is not a revolutionary title, it paves way for a neat and interesting direction for the series and is an entirely entertaining as well as memorable approach as it ushers Call of Duty into the next generation of video games

With the recently concluded Modern Warfare saga under their belts, it was finally time for Infinity Ward to shift to a new beginning with the reigning king of shooters. The possibilities were endless and the result could have been an extraordinary or by the books shooter. The answer to that risky call is Call of Duty: Ghosts, the latest chapter in the series, which falls somewhere in-between those two states of being. Introducing a whole new atmosphere the franchise has yet seen before, Ghosts presents a bold venture, while also keeping in line with what Call of Duty has come to be known for. The inclusion of the expected campaign and online multiplayer are in addition accompanied by two novel, while maybe not purely original, welcomed modes. Put your masks on, and this is what you can look forward to from the most up to date stamp in this household name.

The strongest part of Call of Duty: Ghosts is also my favorite part about the game; that being the single-player campaign. Starting off with an incredible bang, Ghosts is filled with one thrilling mission after another. Taking control of, once again, another non-speaking soldier, you are thrust into a not only damaged, but somewhat post-apocalyptic world ravaged by a conglomerate of national forces called the Federation (a nice departure from the overused Russian enemy-type obsession). However, this isn't another military shooter focused on how many rounds you shoot or all the noise you can make. As the name suggests, Call of Duty: Ghosts is more attracted to the shadier side of things than to the spotlight due to its overall clandestine tone and plot.

Eventually assuming the role of what they call a "Ghost", a guise who place their preferred home in the shadows, you become a fellow member of an elite squad of other Ghosts, participating in enthralling stealth-inspired missions as well as the occasional explosive mission; each one starting out with the coolest assignment debriefings the series has ever been given. As you progress through the good, while not at all flawless story, you are exposed to a variety of tasks in sophisticated levels, and get entangled in a narrative that treads foreign, though refreshing territory in contrast to Ghosts' predecessors. I found satisfaction in the mild accent on family (your character has a brother and father) in Call of Duty: Ghosts, even if that sounds like a strange idea for a Call of Duty game to touch on, and thought while a bulk of the characters, counting the main antagonist, were mediocre in execution, the relationships between them were done well (you are also accompanied by a dog companion named Riley in a few missions who adds to this aspect of the game). It's disappointing the campaign only clocks in around five to six hours because the story and these characters could have been fleshed out further to bring forth a more coherent tale in all respects. Nevertheless, Ghosts is one ride you will never forget.

The individual missions are, in short, quite spectacular. Definitely the most consistently action-packed Call of Duty campaign since possibly Modern Warfare 2, Ghosts is intense and exciting from the superb start to the gratifying finish (you absolutely will be contemplating the conclusion while the credits roll). Every mission through and through is submerged in awesome set-piece moments and I relished greatly in all the offerings. Ghosts is speckled with unforgettable, distinguishing instances. One moment you are hastily trying to avoid being engulfed in an encompassing city-wide flood while in another mission you may find yourself literally fighting in space. You can even take control of Riley, your dog companion, a couple of times to take down or sneak past guards. These are just a very small number of examples that make Call of Duty: Ghosts stand out from previous entries in the franchise in meaningful ways (which is wonderful to see considering a Call of Duty game comes out every year). Ghosts' campaign flows, while almost too speedily, without breaking a sweat establishing itself as one of the most enjoyable single-player experiences the franchise has produced.

Now picture the whole campaign, counting these examples, all beautifully rendered in highly impressive graphical quality, and you can't help but gawk. Ghosts truly is the best-looking Call of Duty gamer ever hands down and could even be considered as one of the best-looking games you'll see on the market. If you catch yourself trying to stifle blazing through a particular mission to take in the game's entire luxurious digital world, you'd be forgiven; I confess I did this all too often. Although the way the game looks was to be expected because of Ghosts releasing on next generation consoles, you don't really appreciate it unless it's right there in front of you. What's more, this power carries on over to the online multiplayer and other two game modes, Squads and Extinction.

For the last several years, Call of Duty's online multiplayer could largely be considered as almost perfect in every facet: outstanding modes, superb maps, fast matchmaking, brilliant weapons, terrific customization options, and so on. Whereas Ghosts retains all of these, it unfortunately does not comprise or push anything quite innovative on the surface. Generally, everything you find present is what you would ultimately want from the multiplayer experience Call of Duty has. Ghosts does have a handful of new game mode types like Heavy Duty, Blitz, and Cranked that contain different rules and objectives that are absent from past games, and Ghosts furthermore provides added customizable options for your perks and soldier(s) that tend to offer you new, but sometimes unrecognizable embellishments to the main experience. There are also minuscule alterations to the killstreak system (one is you can now have a killstreak guard dog buddy at your side to watch your back) that reuses the one introduced in Modern Warfare 3; Assault, Support, and Strike packages. All in all, though, Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer is lovely. The maps still resemble first-rate level design, and it's always rewarding looking for ways to approach a match and the opposing team. You won't come across anything too ambitious in regards to the Ghosts multiplayer component, but when a mode is near perfection, there's nothing to complain about.

Squads interrelates to the online multiplayer by letting you gain the same XP, use the same weapons, and even allowing you to make good use out of the other character soldier classes accessible (there are ten in total) to use in multiplayer matches. These character soldier classes are vastly customizable as you can, when made available to you through completing different challenges, change the name, appearance, and loadout of the soldier. The intent behind Squads is nothing complicated. Choose your soldier and compete against either other players (squads) around the world or bots in different game modes with your AI controlled squad, unless you're playing with a friend who can take control of another squad mate. The game modes you play in Squads are not completely special (one is a wave after wave type mode), but they do propose a minor change of pace and style from the regular multiplayer in Ghosts. It's good fun and it's something I see myself always coming back to.

If you loved Treyarch's Zombies modes, you're going to be heading over to Extinction pretty quickly. In this Extinction mode, alien creatures are now trying to occupy and dominate the planet. You are a part of a four man team whose jobs are to annihilate this enemy. The goal is to use a given drill to decimate these alien hives on the ground, and while it's doing its job, defend the drill and your life by taking out the aliens. It requires the same type of teamwork involved in Treyarch's classic game mode and can lead to frantic shootouts against the evil alien forces. Weapons lay around the map to be bought by points you acquire through killing the creatures, and these same points can be used to unlock in-game upgrades and equipment to further help you and your teammates against the waves of enemies. Extinction presents itself as an addictive, teamwork based mode, which it wholly accomplishes. I am a huge Nazi Zombies fan, so for this kind of mode to be incorporated into Ghosts is just great. It's a commendable angle, and one fully pleasing to me.

When the first Modern Warfare released last generation, it pioneered a revolutionary outlook on the first-person shooter. Ghosts is not Modern Warfare reincarnated by no means, but it is a refreshing, significant installment in the series. The campaign is exceptional, the multiplayer robust, and the modes, Squads and Extinction, grant a little something for everybody. I am constantly impressed and held in check by this yearly franchise that could simply be recycling old techniques with a different name subtitle, though instead continues to thrive for the better. Call of Duty: Ghosts may adhere to the dark corners, but after I played it, all I wanted to do was shine the brightest light on this memorable title for the whole world to see.

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