Call Of Duty: Ghosts PS4 preview – outer space slaughter and killer castles
Two things stood out from my latest behind-closed-doors look Call Of Duty: Ghosts on PS4. Firstly, astronauts are way handier with guns than I ever expected, and secondly, Infinity Ward’s onto a winner with their new Stonehaven multiplayer location. (There’s more Call Of Duty PS4 screens to be found here if you want a closer look).
Let’s deal with that outer space action first, as it relates to the plot of the single-player portion of Ghosts. We’ve long seen the ‘America as wasteland’ future that the game is set in, but now we know how it go into that state. Viewing a playthrough of one of the early levels, we’re in the boots of a US astronaut who’s manning the country’s new outer-space defence system, ODIN. Designed to drop rods to Earth that explode with the ferocity of nuclear bombs but none of the resulting radiation, our man’s performing some routine maintenance work. But before you can say ‘clichéd plot alert’, South American terrorist group The Federation storms the station, and Houston really does have a problem.
Play-character Baker and his colleague Kyra Mosley manage to momentarily escape, fighting through airlocks and engaging in the floatiest of gun battles with their assailants. But The Federation gets to the ODIN controls and targets all manner of major US cities with the destructive rods (who would ever have thought such a weapon system might get used against its creator?). As a last gasp attempt to save the free world, Baker and Mosley go all Sandra Bullock and float away from their craft, attempting to shoot the rod release mechanism into diverting off course. Sadly Kyra carks it during her brave attempts, and just as it looks like the day has been saved… it cuts to black. However the fact that the resultant North American landscape looks an exploded minefield suggests the mission wasn’t a success. Plus Ghosts would be a really short game otherwise.
The other new reveal was brand spanking multiplayer map Stonehaven, set in a medieval European castle. Clearly once a heritage site and tourist attraction – there’s discarded and broken signage littering the level – it’ll now play host to Call of Duty’s multiplayer death dances. There’s what looks like a decrepit power turbine at the outskirts, as well as undulating lawns and small underground tunnels. Inside the castle walls things are more cramped, with tight stone corridors and winding staircases up to sniper-friendly parapets. It strikes a nice balance, with a large overall area peppered with bottlenecks and more intimate areas and, crucially, the environment itself is charming and different from what we’ve seen before.
As ever the MP portion of the game plays well – as we know it but with a few tweaks – and the studio is making the right noises about a more emotional and involving campaign. But while Ghosts’ cast may already be floating about sky high, so far things look a little too familiar for our expectations to follow.