Join BootHammer as we review Call of Duty: Ghosts on the Xbox 360, which is set to raise the bar once again for the first person shooter scene. Ghosts is published by Activision and developed by the talented team at Infinity Ward, the studio that created the original Call of Duty and the popular Modern Warfare series. While Call of Duty: Ghosts is available on current gen platforms, it also ushers in the next generation game systems for early adopters of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 upon release. Does Call of Duty: Ghosts meet the hype and deliver new exciting game experiences? Read on to find out in our Xbox 360 review.
Call of Duty: Ghosts features an entirely new story, setting and cast. Players are on the side of a crippled nation fighting not for freedom or liberty, but simply to survive 10 years after a devastating mass event. The nation’s borders and the balance of global power have been redrawn forever. A superpower no more, its economy and government in ashes, the country’s once-mighty military struggles to stave off complete collapse. As what’s left of the nation’s Special Operations forces, a mysterious group known only as “Ghosts” leads the fight back against a newly emerged, technologically-superior global power.
The new story and setting is bundled with an excellent score from David Buckley (Metal Gear Solid 4). Music has the ability to draw gamers in and build emotion just as much as a strong graphical performance, luckily Ghosts has both. When you combine these two you get a high level cinematic like presentation. Players will experience a lot of variety within the campaign in terms of both gameplay and terrain keeping it fresh and compelling from start to finish. The game will take players to Mexico, San Diego, California, the Caribbean Sea, Caracas, Venezuela, Antarctica and South Atlantic Ocean.
Infinity Ward has pushed for more excitement in this entry. Players will find themselves rappelling down towering skyscrapers, having scuba diving firefights, using dogs for stealth attacks and even engaging in space combat. All these thrilling experiences require specific strategy and even will force players to have vertical and physics awareness during the scuba diving and space missions. This mixture of stealth and chaotic action is what makes Call of Duty: Ghosts campaign one of the most memorable yet. Whether it’s from buildings crashing, the atmospheric space mission or the deep sea dive, Ghosts offers some truly remarkable moments to experience. There are also new dynamic maps that make the battlefield much more interactive and spontaneous. Triggered events can make the entire landscape shift, forcing gamers to change their approach of attack. Infinity Ward are masters at making games exhilarating all while delivering 60 frames-per-second across all gaming platforms.
The campaign follows two brothers, Logan and Hesh, plus the highly advertised security dog. They are part of what remains of the U.S. military and later fight within the elite Ghosts squad. The storytelling is well done making players actually care for each team member, canine and human alike. Riley truly proves to be man’s best friend in many ways. He is on constant guard and can silently take out multiple enemies at will. Riley has your back throughout the game and is a life saver on numerous occasions throughout the 10-13 hour campaign.
Multiplayer offers more customization than any Call of Duty game before it. Players will start out at the Create a Soldier System which allows for 10 total characters per profile. It’s a rather overwhelming system for novice players, but enthusiasts of the franchise will no doubt be quite fond of it and how advanced it is. It also allows for more balanced gameplay due to so many available options. Balance in a first person shooter is very important and Infinity Ward did well here. An exciting new addition is the Marksman Rifles Class. It’s a nice mix between sniper and assault rifles.
When you factor in all the different loadouts and classes, Ghosts features an astonishing 20,000 configurations. This allows players to select a primary weapon with their preferred attachments or select more perks if desired. Ghosts features 39 weapons to choose from, 12 accessories, 35 perks and 36 scorestreaks. As you can see the multiplayer offerings are certainly content rich. The list of gametypes are lengthy and there is something for everyone here ranging from Blitz, Cranked, Domination, Hunted, Infected or classic Team Deathmatch. Extinction is one of our favorite modes. It’s very similar to those familiar with the popular Zombie gametype but the enemies are far more explosive and unpredictable. Squad mode is great for improving one’s skills with your own customized characters against bots.
There are 15 maps to choose from in Ghosts and the majority are considerably larger in size this time around. Again, emphasizing to mix things up and try out the different classes and weapons. The Marksman Rifle class comes in handy here. Deathmatch and Objective based matches return. Teamplay is more important than ever in Ghosts and pays off. Going lone wolf is risky and often ends in back to back deaths. Communicating and determining the best routes in a quick manner are key to winning matches. It should be noted our time with the Xbox 360 version ran smoothly, whether it be in the campaign or during online matches.
Another new cool feature is the Call of Duty app which is an all-new mobile/tablet experience for competitive gamers. Created by Beachhead in collaboration with Infinity Ward, the new Call of Duty app adds a new dimension to Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer by allowing fans to stay connected to the game on the go, and offers new features like Second Screen functionality and the all-new Call of Duty Clan Wars metagame, to create an even greater experience.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is also available for both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. While it’s certainly enjoyable on all systems, the next generation hardware is undoubtedly more impressive visually. Everything has better polish, more detail and improved lighting all while still keeping the action at 60 frames per second. A big question at the moment for gamers with both a PlayStation 4 and Xbox One is which version to pick up. Side to side comparisons show the PS4 to have the upper hand graphically. The sharper image quality all comes down to resolution. The PS4 runs natively at 1080p while the Xbox One upscales from 720p. This adds extra character, weapon and environment detail throughout Ghosts on the PlayStation 4, especially noticeable for gamers with large TV’s and projectors. Aside from the graphics, there is another large factor that both next gen systems offer, which is a higher player count for multiplayer. The PS4 and Xbox One feature 18 player matches while the the Wii U, PS3 and Xbox 360 are limited to 12. While both next gen systems offer a better experience, those looking for the definitive version of Call of Duty: Ghosts will want to pick up a copy for their PS4.
- Cross-Platform Clans – For the first time in Call of Duty® history, Clans in Call of Duty: Ghosts will be cross-platform, allowing players to create and/or join a single Clan, regardless of whether they play on Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation® 3, PlayStation® 4 or Windows PC.
- Call of Duty Clan Wars – Call of Duty Clan Wars is the brand new game experience offered through the Call of Duty app that ties directly to Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer. Call of Duty Clan Wars enlists players into a larger conflict, where they compete against other Clans for the opportunity to earn bonus multiplayer XP, and exclusive, special items in-game.
- Second Screen Integration – Through the Call of Duty app, players can access Second Screen functionality to enhance their Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer experience. This includes pre-match squad editing where players can change their squad member’s appearance and loadout, in-match loadout swapping where players can quickly switch weapons between spawns, and the ability to easily review and share post-match results with friends via Facebook and Twitter.
- Deep Clan Management Functionality – The Call of Duty app also includes a robust Clan management system where players can now join, create and manage a Call of Duty: Ghosts Clan right from their mobile/tablet devices. Additionally, players can communicate directly with friends and Clan Members via the app’s new Clan Chat and Rally-Up features. There’s also a new, touch-based Clan Emblem Editor that allows Clan Leaders to create the emblem that best represents their Clan.
- Call of Duty Companion Features – The Call of Duty app allows players to keep track of their stats and progress in Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer, as well as review their entire Call of Duty career history. Players can also keep up with the latest Call of Duty news through the app.
Call of Duty: Ghosts proves there is always room for improvement and innovation. The core gameplay is intact but joined by many new features, modes and the longest campaign in recent history for the series. Everything from the impressive solider customization to the variety of mulitplayer offerings and dynamic maps make this the best Call of Duty yet.