Call of Duty is a game series with many faces, from the early World War 2 games to Modern Warfare and the Black Ops, it has spawned several sub-franchises over the years. With the plot lines of the Modern Warfare series all wrapped up, last year was time for another new story and setting from Infinity Ward, as Call of Duty was amongst the first games to appear on the new generation of hardware. But did they do enough?
Set in a future where the United States had been ravaged during a surprise attack from the rising superpower of the South American Federation, it was a new narrative that featured new characters, with the silent protagonist of Logan and his brother Hesh swept up in a series of operations that see them quickly inducted into the titular Ghosts. Oh, and there was a dog called Riley too, but he wasn’t actually in the game too much.
While it was let down in several places by hammy acting and an all-too-familiar formula at work, there were other standout moments that I personally really enjoyed, with the Clockwork mission a clear favourite of mine.
While enjoyable, as long as you can turn your brain off, the single player campaign is but a fraction of the game, with the main focus on the ever-popular multiplayer. Here too, there was a feeling of business as usual, with a new collection of weapons, maps and a new way to handle your perks and loadouts.
However, the level destruction that was touted in the run up to launch disappointed. In the end, it offering nowhere near the level of destruction that is seen in arch-rival Battlefield, in a move that I thought showed a desire to play it safe.
That’s where the game is stuck, in finding the right balance between change and staying true to the core. Even a minor shift can turn the large and vocal fan base away, and so this isn’t the big sweeping change to rejuvenate the series in the eyes of those who have tired and moved on.
The same can be said of the game engine, which took the ageing engine from the last generation and added layers of extra detail on top of it. Doing so managed to give a solid 1080p60 frame rate on the PS4, but could only manage 720p60 on Xbox One and ended up disappointing many with its workmanlike upgrade. It simply didn’t have the same graphical impact as the likes of Killzone: Shadow Fall.
It’s with a new addition, Extinction mode, that I’ve personally had the most fun, playing it co-operatively as a group of four to take on the alien hordes. Though it shipped with just a single level, it has since been added to with a new level in each DLC pack, but each level provides a ton of replay value simply by virtue of lasting well over an hour and featuring a particularly challenging difficulty curve.
With all of this in mind, I ended up giving it an 8/10 in my review, citing an enjoyable blockbuster single player alongside a multiplayer that spruced up the familiar gameplay and continued in the same vein as before. It doesn’t reinvent the series, but at the dawn of a new console generation, maybe it didn’t need to.
But this is all about you and what you thought of the game. Did it do enough to get your attention with the single player? Was the multiplayer exactly what you were looking for? Or was it all too similar to what has gone before?
Leave a paragraph or two with your thoughts, then follow that up with a Buy It, Bargain Bin It, Rent It or Avoid It rating. If you get your comment in by Sunday, we might even include it in next week’s Verdict round-up.