Top critical review
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Where's the Improvement?
on November 6, 2013
==UPDATE, January 23rd, 2014==
I added one additional star to the game (so from 2 to 3) because the game developers are very flexible with the multiplayer playlists. Many reviews were complaining about the low health, so they implemented (albeit maybe temporarily) a "Heavy Duty" playlist where players have more HP. I'm at around 3rd prestige as of now; I haven't really been playing this game too much to be honest.
One other thing that I like is Clan wars. It's very fun to participate if you have a group of guys you can handle playing with for extended amounts of time. Clan wars essentially pits your clan against seven other similarly skilled ones in a fight to control key locations on a virtual map. Holding positions gives you bonuses like extra XP and the ability to win character gear. You can check the status of your conquest on the revised Call of Duty AP. They're really trying to get more interaction with your friends here, so if you don't have any, go get some. The underlying problem with clan wars though is that the team that wins is not necessarily the better team, but rather the team that was willing to waste more time playing the game.
I love Call of Duty; I've max-prestiged myself on every installment possible and usually obtain a Kill/Death Ratio of 2.5-4.0 (I know nobody cares but I'm just setting the scene for my subsequent critiques). I typically use assault rifles, I tend not to camp, I like objective game modes and I love being a team player. To be honest, I'm having buyer's remorse and I wish I did not purchase this game. I had a feeling Ghosts would be a dud the second they introduced all the gameplay surrounding the new Call of Duty dog.
Here are my thoughts:
PROS (Both campaign and multiplayer):
(1) The campaign looks stunning (indoor lighting effects, city skylines, etc). The multiplayer maps seem kind of drab. The overall aesthetics of the game remained similar to the past few ones that IW has produced.
(2) The character customization on multiplayer and the squad point system (unlock new weapons, attachments and custom classes) are both a step up. If you're not familiar with this copy of the pick-10 system then a simple google search can fill you in.
(3) Lots of perks to play around with.
(4) The removal of gimmicks: no more overpowered C4, less quick scoping, no more tac insertions (for boosters), no more noobtube/RPG fanatics, and lastly NO MORE DEATH STREAKS!!
(5) I think Search and Rescue is a good addition to the game and a slightly faster paced version of the original.
(6) Let's face it, Call of Duty is usually fun to play with friends and clan mates (especially when you're stomping on noobs).
(1) NO DEDICATED SERVERS. I had faith there would be dedicated servers for current gen consoles and there isn't; they lied to us guys. Ghosts promised us before launch that they would put up servers to manage hosting games so that players are no longer assigned "host", making everybody reliant upon his connection. Like all previous CODs (PvP connections) the host gets a slight advantage and when the host quits/dashboard then your game is pretty much over. There are plenty of youtube video reviews complaining about this, so go look at them if you want more info.
(2) The maps are bad and certain maps are incredibly too large for 6v6 gameplay (as a result, people complain about their thumbs hurting from constantly sprinting too much). This wouldn't be a problem if they included Ground War (9v9) but they didn't. You would think the enormous maps would discourage camping, but that's not the case either, you'll find yourself spending 30-60 seconds trying to find somebody and then dying to a camper only to restart the frustrating process. To top all of that, people already found ways to glitch themselves under certain multiplayer maps, they can kill you from underneath the map and not be able to be killed! Does that sound fun to you? My theory is that they made the original maps so bad that you'd have to purchase the extra DLC maps to salvage any gameplay.
(3) Spawns are HORRIBLE. HORRID. INCREDIBLY BAD. I think this is the biggest turnoff for me. I can be aiming down sights watching an area and I'm able to kill people spawning in right before my eyes; that's not fun. What makes matters worse is when you kill somebody and they seem to find you 5 seconds later because they spawned right behind your location (despite the maps being large enough for them to spawn elsewhere, I don't get that). Oh let's not forget that times I spawn in and die instantaneously (>2 seconds), two or THREE times in a row. This leads to my next problem:
(4) You die too fast. For any other Call of duty if somebody told me they died too quickly I'd brush off their statement and jokingly tell them to go play HALO or battlefield. I know COD has been notorious for quick deaths but this one just seems even quicker than all the previous installments. My friend who usually only plays hardcore told me he switched to core because "it's essentially the same thing". Overall, nobody wants to die instantly (if you do then you play hardcore), people want a chance to fight for their virtual life. The whole element of gun-play is lost. It's not fun to "turn" on people any more and when I actually get an opportunity to do so it was because their aim sucked or they had to reload. Those moments when you managed to escape death and possibly even win the game for your team was the adrenaline pumping gameplay that kept me hooked on COD.
(5) Assault killstreaks are a huge step backwards when compared to the last few games. THEY REMOVED SCORESTREAKS! Let me quote something I found which sums this up really nicely:
"If Infinity Ward wanted to include more incentive for teamwork in Ghosts then it should have built-upon the score-based nature of the Support tree rather than focusing on kills. This is just a personal niggle, but I do feel this is something of a wasted chance. Also, the Scorestreak format from Black Ops 2 was - personally - better than the old model hands-down. It encouraged more than just wanton killing and lone wolf play. It challenged you to claim objectives and support your squad instead of worrying about K/D ratios."
To add onto that, I would dub the assault kill streaks lame and very limited in scope compared to the array found within BO2 and all the other predecessors. Am I the only one that thinks a juggernaut with a knife and super speed is probably one of the stupidest things to be put into a game? They make you die instantly to add realism but then put a super ninja into the game, how backwards is that? Infinity ward could have de-emphasize the constant barrage from the air without leaving us boring killstreaks. What happened to the simple harrier? the airstrikes? the predator missiles (no the one in the game isn't the same, it veers off so much)?.. Ghosts messed with things that didn't need to be changed.
(6) The scoreboard doesn't tell you your ping so it's really annoying when the game lags and you're not sure what your connection currently is. Alternatively, people can't complain about "3-baring" so I guess there's an upside to this.
(7) There are no graded assists. If I put 99% damage into an enemy and a teammate takes my kill then I'm rewarded the equivalent of putting 1% damage. This is so simple to implement however Infinity Ward remains stubborn to this aspect of gameplay.
(8) The squad game mode as well as the knock-off on zombies (they are aliens, watch out) aren't really fun for me.
1) The same old campaign with similar tasks to do as the predecessors: fly this helicopter, man this machine gun, use this sniper, defend this position.. it's boring. Not to mention the slow-mo breeching was overdone in MW3, but it's back in Ghosts, hoooray!
(2) You can't connect with the characters, they're not memorable, and the game tries WAYYY to hard to make the Ghosts look like badasses. They'll pop out of nowhere and slit a guy's throat and then act all macho when they interrogate people or boss you around. I do not envy the ghosts nor do I respect them as a legitimate special ops entourage.
(3) You still have to wait for scripted events or your friendly characters to manipulate objects to move on through the environment. I just don't feel like I'm in control of anything. You honestly spend the entire game following people.
(4) Enemies infinitely spawn during parts of the game which is always a bothers me (especially the fact that I notice it happening).
(5) The dog, I hate the dogs. I promise it's not because I'm not a cat person, but why did they add the dog to the game again? Oh wait, so that they could skimp on actual gameplay elements and distract us with how cute the dog is, that's right.
I usually hold Infinity Ward to a higher standard but overall this game was ultimately a let down. If you save yourself $60 then (according to my opinion) you're not missing out on much, I promise. Go use that money to find something that will bring you true happiness. As for me, I'll constantly do follow up reviews if things get better/worse to update the community!