As the gaming community begins the transition into the eight generation consoles, Call of Duty: Ghosts will be blockbuster that says goodbye to the Old Gen while saying hello to the Next Gen. One would assume that Activision and Infinity Ward planned to move into the new console era with a bang but instead they opted for an overused whimper.
The single-player campaign is set in an alternative world in which a war has crippled the Middle East’s ability to be an energy producer. This allows South America to become the world’s dominating producer of energy, which leads to the unification of the nations of the region to establish the Federation of the Americas.
Thanks to its new source of wealth along with a powerful military force, the Federation becomes a world power with ambitions that rival the United States. Both nations become embittered in a Cold-War-style conflict as they compete for global dominance.
Everything changes when Federation commandos hijack ODIN, an orbital-stationed weapon, and uses it to attack major cities in the United States. The attack cripples the Federal Government while bringing the economical and social collapse of the nation resulting in America no longer being a world power.
Following the attack; the Federation has unleashed a full-scale invasion of the United States. With its military in disarray and outmatched, elements of the US Special Forces merge to establish the Ghosts. The unit is tasked with waging an unconventional war against the Federation in an attempt to protect what remains of Americas sovereignty and this is not the plot of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Unlike past games in the series, the story is a break from the typical “America’s the best”-bravado and instead takes player to a vulnerable America that is fighting to protect its sovereignty. Kudos to Stephen Gaghan for not recycling and watering down the plot of his previous work (unlike David S. Goyer who recycled the themes of The Dark Knight Rises for Call of Duty: Black Ops II).
However, Gaghan has created a story that ripped off Homefront (the 2011 game written by John Milius who recycled the plot of Red Dawn) while copying and pasting memorable moments from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. What is the point of working with an accomplished screenwriter if they are going to copy and paste the plot of another video game?
Included in the recycled story are charters that are devoid of any personality or backstory to make the player care about them. Gamers enjoyed enduring the combat experience of John “Soap” MacTavish or Alex Mason but will have trouble wanting to like Logan Walker as he trys to make his daddy proud. For the villains you had a reason to despise General Shepard and Vladimir Makarov or sympathize with Raul Menendez (a byproduct of CIA blowback) but there is no reason to dislike Gabriel Rorke except for the fact he is trying to kill the protagonists.
If a gamer could get over the poorly-crafted story then be prepared to be bored with a four-hour campaign that lacks any kind of improvement to the gameplay features. The set up is basically run, shoot swarms of bad guys and then some scripted event happens that is suppose to feel epic, just like in every other game. But on the bright side the player does get to use a dog on a few occasions.
Now one may hope that the multiplayer game might offer some redemption since the majority of gamers who play Call of Duty prefer the online experience. So obviously Infinity Ward had to have worked thoroughly to perfect the most important component of the game (or at least not screw up).
Gamers were promise an improved multiplayer that focus on team building and more co-operative action. Instead it is the same gameplay with a few little tweaks that somehow has the audacity to be referred to as a new experience. Also not helping are the new maps that lack any real design but are cluttered to give the illusion of a complex maze.
Sadly that is not the worst part of the multiplayer game, All of these false promises are overshadowed by the terrible lag gamers will encounter regardless of how great their Internet connection is. This would be a forgivable flaw once the new patch is released but this is the same game people have been playing since 2008.
Call of Duty: Ghosts offers gamers a unique first-person experience with a well-crafted single player story and unique multiplayer experience; so long as this is their first time playing a Call of Duty game. For those who have played Call of Duty since its premiere in 2003 or Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare then prepare to be disappointed.
Final Score: 4/10
Disclaimer: The game used for this review was purchased at GameStop.