It wouldn’t be normal if a year went by and there wasn’t a new Call of Duty game on the shelves. Call of Duty: Ghosts is the 2013 iteration, and developer Infinity Ward promises that this game will be the one to finally bring some much needed changes to the tried and true gameplay of the franchise. With a new generation of gaming hardware on the horizon, it makes sense that series would be making some changes this time around.
Although we don’t know a lot of specifics about the campaign mode in Call of Duty: Ghosts yet, Infinity Ward has hinted at some things you can be expecting from the game’s story mode. While most Call of Duty games jump back and forth between a handful of characters as they fight different battles scattered across the globe, Ghosts will narrow the focus down to a single main character and his brother. The story follows the two soldiers after some sort of “catastrophic event”. The first thing that may come to mind is the chaotic aftermath of World War III following the events of Modern Warfare 3, but that’s not the case. The universe of Ghosts is completely separate from that of Modern Warfare, so Infinity Ward will be able to explore completely new characters and events.
This also means that the title Ghosts has nothing to do with the fan favorite character Lieutenant Simon “Ghost” Riley. Our first glimpse of the story shows the main protagonist and his brother traveling across a barren “No Man’s Land” of southern California. The landscape is scattered with abandoned houses and crumbling freeways. The duo relies heavily on stealth to make their way through the area, battling a mysterious faction that appears to have control. The second part of the demo showcases an underwater level. The scenery was great, with an abundance of sea life thriving around the player. The new setting presents a unique change in gameplay, as you’re now able to engage in gun fights while submerged under the water. Both sections of the demo make it seem like there will be a larger focus on stealth than usual.
The campaign team doesn’t just consist of two brothers, they’re also accompanied by a dog named Riley. The military service dog appears to have a major role in the game. Not only will he fight along with you, but you’ll be able to take control of Riley to take out enemies. Once activated, your camera switches over to a first-person view from the dog’s perspective and you can move him around like you would a normal soldier. The difference is, instead of pressing a button to shoot, you’ll pounce on the enemy and tear him apart. The dog will be an effective weapon, and also a nice tool to scout out enemies and sniff out explosives.
As far as general gameplay goes, Infinity Ward says that they have made changes to the core mechanics. While they’ve kept quiet for the most part on these specific gameplay changes, one thing they’ve hit on is the ability to lean around corners to aim your gun. While in previous Call of Duty games you were capable of doing this maneuver, it required a button prompt. In Call of Duty: Ghosts, the lean mechanic will be much more fluid. All you have to do now is approach a wall and look at the edge while aiming down your sights and it will cause your character to lean out from behind it to give you a better shot.
While the campaign usually offers a fun, quick ride, the majority of Call of Duty players are in it for the fast-paced and addictive multiplayer. It’s usually safe to assume that the next Call of Duty game is going to offer more of the same formula that gamers have come to love, with a few minor changes and a slew of new maps. Ghosts probably won’t be too different, but the developers at Infinity Ward have said that this game will have multiplayer unlike any other Call of Duty game to date. We don’t have enough information yet to know whether this is true or if it’s just hyperbole to create some excitement for the game.
It has been confirmed that Call of Duty: Ghosts will allow for character customization, most likely in the way of designing your own class loadout to your liking, with weapons, grenades, scopes, perks, and the likes. They’ve also said that the there will be more interaction with the environment, such as leaning around corners and sliding on the ground while shooting. There is speculation that the multiplayer maps may feature destructible environments. If you pre-order the game at GameStop, you’ll receive an exclusive map titled “Free Fall”. This map takes place in a destroyed skyscraper with worsening conditions over the course of the map. As the skyscraper drops, the environment of the map will be altered in real-time, requiring players to change strategies mid-match. It’s rumored that Call of Duty: Ghosts will also feature a co-operative multiplayer mode, though it remains to be seen if it’s similar to Spec Ops or Zomibes, or if it’s something completely original. Infinity Ward has stated that we’ll get to see more of the multiplayer in mid-August.
As the months tick away, we’re getting closer and closer to the release of the highly anticipated next step in the Call of Duty franchise. Gamers are starting to become tired of the same old yearly updates of the first-person shooter and have been letting their voices be heard. Will Infinity Ward listen to the criticism and come back with some fresh new ideas? They’re promising that Ghosts will be very different than previous games in the series, but we will only know the truth once we have our hands on the game. Call of Duty: Ghosts is set to release for Microsoft Windows in North America on November 5, 2013. Be on the lookout for more details as the game gets closer to the release date.