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An honest review of COD: Ghosts

By Staff | Nov 15, 2013

(I’m going to alienate some people with this one, but please bear with me on this. I will try to explain things to you to the best of my knowledge.)

A while back I wrote a little something about the newest game in the “Call of Duty” video game franchise, “Call of Duty: Ghosts”. I ordered it, got it the day it came out (Nov. 5), and played it. At first, I wanted to get rid of it by any means possible. I was swearing more than a sailor at how frustrating the game was. It’s started to grow on me after a week, but there are a few things I don’t like. I’ll get to those in a minute.

The game is about the “Ghosts” squad, a group of elite military commandoes fighting against the Federation, a collection of oil-producing nations that has effectively demoralized the United States. The campaign takes players undersea, and in space.

But since the first “Modern Warfare” game came out, people have been buying the Call of Duty games for the multiplayer experience, which has been a moneymaker for publisher Activision and it’s development companies that make COD games every year, Treyarch (“World at War”, “Black Ops” and “Black Ops II”) and Infinity Ward (“Ghosts” and the “Modern Warfare” series).

Recently, “Ghosts” sales figures were reportedly less than its predecessor, “Black Ops II”. Customer impressions of the game on sites like GameSpot and Amazon have been less than glowing, to put it nicely. Here’s why:

1. Campers: A “camper” is someone who sits in one spot on the map and takes out other players. This was prevalent in other COD games to a certain extreme, but in “Ghosts” it’s worse. It’s bad when added to:

2. Spawns and death times: Some users have complained about how long it takes for players to get a kill, saying they’re dead within a second and without even knowing it. Or they get injured. The big complaint here is what’s known as “hit detection”, and in “Ghosts” it’s a bit out of whack.

Other users have complained about the spawns, or when a player gets killed and comes back again in a random area. Sometimes players will spawn very close to where they were killed, or even very VERY close to an enemy player (which happened to me a few times out of the gate).

3. No “Search & Destroy”: “Search & Destroy” is a popular game mode in COD. Players take turns defending or attacking two bomb sites. The attacking players must plant an explosive on one of the sites and try to prevent the other team from defusing the explosives, provided they don’t get killed. Players who get killed in this mode don’t respawn until the next round.

However, there were players upset to find that “Search and Destroy” was replaced with “Search & Rescue”, a variant that includes dog tags that must be recovered to allow team members to respawn. Since then, Infinity Ward announced that it will include “Search & Destroy”.

4. It makes players feel like testers: Video game testers have a job that can be monotonous. They have to play the same test games, and the same levels, over and over again in search of glitches and bugs that must be fixed. And once those are fixed, the testers have to do it over again to look for more to be fixed.

I found the campaign to be quite smooth, but in the multiplayer I found glitches. My attack dog in the game was able to kill an enemy player through a window, a window that didn’t even break, that’s one. Another time there were things hanging in midair, including downed players. Gamers, upon finding these things, almost become testers in a sense.

5. It’s trying to do what Treyarch did: When Treyarch made “COD: World at War”, they introduced the “Zombies” mode, in which players must survive seemingly endless hordes of the undead. This mode proved to be popular enough to emerge in the subsequent “Black Ops” games.

Infinity Ward added a non-zombie survival mode in “Modern Warfare 3”, which was okay. But now they have a alien-based survival mode called “Extinction”. I tried this mode once and I’ve been avoiding it ever since. The aliens look like a hodgepodge of things from the “Alien” and “Predator” movies, and they’re extremely hard to kill unless you’re liberal with ammunition. And the weapons seem purposely underpowered compared to their multiplayer counterparts.

6. It encourages you to play the “Squads” levels: Cooperative play isn’t a bad thing by any means. But to choose to play cooperatively is one thing, suggesting it is another. That being said, players can play some of the squad games with, or against artificial intelligence by themselves.

I’ve also read complaints about how unrealistic it is. Excuse me, but this is a video game, it’s not supposed to be realistic (however impressive the graphics are supposed to be). You want impressive graphics and realism, go outside.

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