Call of Duty: Ghosts – multiplayer revealed
Due out on 5 November, Call of Duty Ghosts
“The biggest overhaul of multiplayer since the original Modern Warfare”.
-Mark Rubin, studio head of developer Infinity Ward
Sadly you will lose the old style of creating a class but it’s replaced with a hopefully just as good system called squad set-up.
Now, players will be able to create and fully personalise up to ten individual soldiers, all with custom loud-outs, gear, clothing and appearances. According to Activision, there are over 20,000 combinations – and players will be able to select female character models. Every player starts with just one soldier, but as they level up, they earn new unlock points which can be used for items, or for opening up a new soldier. The prestige system is back but with a difference, you can prestige just once, and when you prestige, you will keep all your old gear… Thank God for that overdue change.
Load-out options include more than 30 new weapons and a complete new weapon class, the marksman rifle, which operates either as a scoped sniper rifle or a single-shot assault. The game also features a dual render technology so when using sights, you still have peripheral vision around the eyepiece. Through the game, players earn squad points which can be used to unlock new weapons – but unlike in previous instalments, these can be attained in any order – you just need to have the right amount of points for the item you want.
Similarly to the Black Ops II ten-point system for load-outs, Ghosts gives players a budget to be spent on primary and secondary weapons, items and streaks. Perks now have a value from one to five points each and players have eight points to spend on each soldier, although sacrificing the secondary weapon or some items adds more perk points to the wallet. As usual it’s all about working out your play style and balancing everything accordingly. “This will be really interesting,” says Ali Aiken, AKA ‘Ali A’, a Call of Duty YouTube broadcaster with over two million subscribers. “You can have a load of low-level perks or just a few high level ones; it’s going to be about what you really want and need, what are you aiming to do in that particular match – and then balancing out your distribution based on that.”
There are 20 new kill streaks, including the ability to call in Riley, the game’s highly trained spec-ops dog. Your canine scout will hunt and attack enemy players, and also bark when they’re close, acting as a sort of tracking system. Other more familiar missile and aerial attacks have been re-tuned. “It seems that they’ve been designed so that they can be shot down quite easily,” says Aliken. “I think Infinity Ward is trying to focus more on gun-to-gun combat rather than too much hectic stuff happening in the air. They’re trying to balance it out a little more.”
Strike packages are back from the Modern Warfare series, in their usual Assault, Specialist and Support flavours, though the number of air-based options have been lowered in favour of ground items. A new satcom station, for example, replaces the old airborne UAV, making them more vulnerable – unless they’re well hidden. No more death streaks…Again, yes f*%$ing please.
As for maps, Infinity Ward elaborated on the destructible environments it chatted about at the Ghosts reveal event earlier this year. Every location will feature interactive elements ranging from small traps to map-changing kill streaks. During a demo, we see one section in which a train carriage is hit by a missile, blasting it off a cliff edge into a chasm – with several soldiers inside. In another sequence, the roof of a petrol station collapses on an unlucky player. This is, of course, an extension of the stuff that Black Ops and Modern Warfare have already been toying with, and mirrors Dice’s plans for Battlefield 4 – but it’s interesting none-the-less, and may add some tactical complexity to the action.
Activision also showed off a range of new multiplayer modes. ‘Cranked’ is a team deathmatch derivative in which getting a kill triggers a timed sequence in which your soldier has increasingly accelerated movement – the catch is, they need to get another kill before the clock hits zero or they explode. “It’s going to really play into the hands of the aggressive players – the ones that like to charge around the maps like mentalists,” says Mason. ‘Search and rescue’, meanwhile, operates a little like the Kill Confirmed mode in Black Ops – players drop dog tags when killed and these can be snatched by allies to revive their comrade or whipped away by enemies to keep them out of the game.
I’m not going to judge fully until I’ve played it and gotten used to the new style. As with all Call of Duty games, millions will buy regardless if the game sucks or not but does it have what the original Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare brought about? Let’s pre-order and find out