Call Of Duty Ghosts PS4 review – No future shock but the spirit of shooters past is present
There’s a definite shift in Call Of Duty Ghosts’ online multiplayer unlock structure that, like Black Ops 2, continues to move away from punishing inexperience and rewarding dominance by granting gifts that allow yet more dominance. Weapon, equipment and perk unlocks are points-based, not tied to a particular rank, so when you level up a few times and save up a few unlock points you’re free to buy any weapon in any order. You’ve got ten characters with which to create custom loadouts now, and for those who prefer a nice bit of Kill Confirmed to whimsies like eating or sleeping, eventually prestige by unlocking everything for all ten.
At this stage it appears there’s only one major change among Ghosts’ 30 new weapons that might rock the boat. Shotguns are still a bit rubbish, SMGs are, mercifully, less powerful than they were when BLOPS 2 shipped, but long range weapons have been split down the middle into thoroughbred sniper rifles and the new marksman rifle class, which thrive at mid to long range, dealing out two-shot kills with reasonable fire rates.
There’s a danger that some of Ghosts’ larger, multi-pathed maps like Stonehaven and Whiteout may initially be run amok by seasoned players brandishing these marksman boomsticks. Otherwise, the shift in Infinity Ward’s map design towards increased lines of sight and rush routes is a step forward.
Each level’s asymmetrical, multi-pathed design produces varied, unpredictable chokepoints, and each is well suited to the host of game modes – from old favourite Infected Kill Confirmed to the new Blitz mode, which removes the flags from CTF mode to create an American football-like scramble towards a score zone. Then there’s Cranked, which gives you a speed boost upon killing, but blows you up if you don’t kill again within 30 seconds. Statham would be welling up with pride.
PCall Of Duty Ghosts PS4 gameplay. Subscribe for more PS3 & PS4 videos.
Extinction mode is Ghosts’ Zombie replacement, ships with just one map, and has a separate upgrade system to online multiplayer and Squads. As you play, you’ll gain sentries, Dragonfly drones, ammo drops and deployable armour to aid you and your three squad mates as you destroy alien hives by hauling a mechanical drill from one checkpoint to the next. More than ever, teamplay is emphasised – fail to balance your loadouts and designate a medic, armour guy and sentry specialist, and you’ll all be toast before the Rhinos appear.
There’s a lot of highly polished content in Ghosts, and although it’s disappointing to see that it doesn’t truly embrace next-gen possibilities, I can’t lambaste it because I’d be denying the loveable bombast it doles out in wild, indiscriminate sprays. But yes, there should be a new engine powering all of it, plus genuine innovation always trumps the best-of atmosphere that pervades the solo campaign. Tut-tut.
It should be on a next-gen engine, but a
rich solo campaign & irresistible online
saves Ghosts from losing relevance on PS4
And yet Ghosts’ multiplayer has seen wholesale changes that put most annual sports titles to shame, and the result is arresting and noob-friendly, if not revolutionary. I want to make an example of the half-hearted step into next-gen Call Of Duty is making, but I know in six months I’ll still be learning the intricacies of Swtonehaven and lavishing my SA-80 with camo paint without a thought for poly counts or texture resolution. It should be running on a next-gen engine, but a rich solo campaign and irresistible online component saves Ghosts from losing relevance on PS4.