For the most part, the Call of Duty formula hasn’t changed: terrorists want to destroy America and its allies, allies and America get knocked into a corner, fight back, save the day and of course guns and explosions. The games have tried to tell a story worthy of a summer blockbuster, but in the end no one cared about it. After three games set in the Modern Warfare series, Infinity Ward decided against a Modern Warfare 4 and came up with Call of Duty: Ghosts. I had a chance to see what IW had in store for CoD fans as they showed two levels from the single player campaign.
First the rep on had explained the background of the game: It’s been ten years since a devastating event shifted the balance of global power. This has caused the US to lose its status as a superpower and has been occupied by enemy forces.
This first section of the demo is called No Man’s Land and takes place about 10 minutes outside San Diego. We join Hesh, his brother codenamed Stalker and their Navy SEAL battle dog Reilly. The three of them are on a mission to retrieve Intel from enemy forces that are occupying their hometown. Now the mission is the standard go from point A to point B and retrieves the objective without being seen. However there are two things that are the main showcase of the level: the environment and Reilly.
With Ghosts, IW is using a brand new engine that really makes use of the next gen consoles hardware. Environments are much fuller using natural lighting and shadows. Everything looked alive as the three moved through the brush and ride out tremors. What really impressed me though was Reilly and how he could be used during missions. The “Call of Duty dog” has been getting a lot of flak and was just considered a background piece. The demo, however, showed that he is more than just a decoration.
In sections of the level, players are able to take control of Reilly. As Reilly, players will be able to scout ahead, set up ambushes, attack, distract, and can act as an early warning alarm. The dev team stressed that Reilly is a vital member of the team, and after watching him action I can see why.
The second level that the demo was shown off was called In too Deep. This level brought back memories of the water level from MW3 where Delta Force had to scuttle a Russian sub and use their missiles against their own fleet. And again the engine was the main focus of the level, as the water effects and aquatic AI was really impressive. Sea plants and the animals that lived there all moved so naturally and looked really nice. We did see some underwater combat and a new weapon that was used to scuttle the sub without having to get too close to it.
Personally I’m not that a big of a fan of the Call of Duty, but I won’t deny that they are a ton of fun to play. IW is making strides to create the best single player campaign ever, but honestly I don’t think people will care. They are just waiting for the reveal of the multiplayer portion. Maybe they should have had that on display instead of single player. Either that they are waiting for gamescon or maybe PAX Prime to make the reveal. Whatever the case is, it’s CoD and I’m sure that it will sell tons of copy when it releases.