Whenever I’ve played a Call of Duty campaign in the past, I’ve always waded my way through firing thousands of bullets, killing thousands of enemies while earning tens of achievements. I never really enjoyed the campaigns, I just sort-of played them because... well, just because.
That, however, changed in the first three missions of Ghosts
I’m not going to tell you that Ghosts
is hugely different from previous CoD
campaigns. Neither am I going to throw the kind of words you’d find on a Game of the Year edition at you: OUTSTANDING, EXPLOSIVE, UNMISSABLE...
OK, it is kind of explosive, but that’s beside the point. What sets Ghosts
apart from any other CoD
campaign is the level of empathy Infinity Ward has achieved. That and a storyline that isn’t just “this terrorist guy’s going to blow up the US because he doesn’t like them, so you have to stop him”.
In previous CoD
s, I’ve found that characters are just mannequins with guns – if one died, you’d just replace him with the next one and nobody would really care. In Ghosts
, however, the story is based around two brothers, Logan (you) and Hesh, and their relationship with their father Elias and their German shepherd Reilly.
Yep, Reilly. You’ve all heard about Reilly, right? No? NO?! Well, Reilly’s the Solid Snake of German shepherds – he’ll silently prowl through the grass, wait for a group of enemies to split up and proceed to maul them one-by-one, and he does it without being detected.
As for the actual gameplay in Ghosts
, it doesn’t stray too far from the very worn Call of Duty
path. You’ll find yourself running around armed with (usually) a customised assault rifle and a pistol sidearm, mowing down wave-after-wave of enemies while inching forward towards your objective.
I’m not saying this is a bad thing either, I actually quite enjoy these sections, and there are often plenty of explosions to keep even the most critical of gamers interested.
What I do think is missing from the story mode, is class customisation. Now, I understand that Blops II
(I never played it) gave players the option to choose their load-out before commencing on a mission – I’ve never understood why we haven’t always had that option - but that’s only a minor niggle.
Anyway, back to the gameplay: not all missions are like a Sylvester Stallone movie - there are (of course) those infamous stealth levels that first surfaced with the “All Ghillied Up” mission on the first Modern Warfare
These type of missions always have been my favourites, and Ghosts
certainly isn’t lacking them. On more than one occasion, you’ll find yourself stranded in some jungle or another armed with only a knife, a pistol and a heartbeat sensor. You’ll be tasked to make your way to an evac point, with tens of enemies between you, and your chopper home. This makes for tense gameplay and ghost-like combat.
As well as these missions, you’ll find yourself escaping crumbling buildings, having firefights in space, rappelling down skyscrapers, scuba-diving with sharks and flying a helicopter.
Overall, the story is much more inviting than any CoD
campaign I’ve played to date. You’ll feel as though Logan’s story is your own, you’ll partake in intense firefights and stealth missions alike and you’ll come out the other side thinking “right then, it’s multiplayer time!”
So, without further ado, let’s talk multiplayer!
Now, before I go any further, I’d like to clarify that I never actually played Blops II
. Why, you ask? Well, to be completely honest, I don’t have an answer for you. It was just one of those games that was never particularly high up my ‘to play’ list, and it gradually got further and further down the pile.
Eventually, I’d completely forgotten that I ever had intentions of playing it, and next thing I knew, I’d been given a copy of Ghosts
and asked to review it.
Anyway, we’ve gone off-course. By missing Black Ops II
, you’ll understand that I also missed out on a few new features that Treyarch introduced – most of all, the “pick 10” system.
Basically, what this meant was that you had 10 points to spend on your load-out. You could distribute those points however you saw fit, but each piece of equipment cost you a point, so if you had an assault rifle with two attachments, that’d be three points gone.