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Call of Duty: Ghosts

E3 2013: Call of Duty: Ghosts Preview – Doggy Style

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How do you freshen up a franchise that's been essentially riding the same wave of success since 2007? How do you top Modern Warfare 3 - Infinity Ward's previous effort – without making Modern Warfare 4? You make Call of Duty: Ghosts, with a new story and a (sort of) new engine. Then you chuck a dog in there for good measure.

And that's exactly where Infinity Ward picks up when presenting the game to us behind closed doors, ahead of the game's showing on the E3 showfloor. We get to see the live streamed stuff again, with the dog's vest-mounted camera providing your perspective when controlling where the mutt goes.

Riley the alsatian can crawl through long grass stealthily, bark to create distractions, or simply run at enemies and tear out their throats. Good boy. Essentially, it looks like Riley is another gadget or tool in your arsenal, although you're supposed to connect with him and care about what happens to him.

Enough with the damn dog... The next portion of our demo is brand new stuff. It's a mission called 'Federation Day' in which you're behind enemy lines in Caracas, Venezuela, where you and your squad are positioned on a skyscraper rooftop. Deploying grapple launchers, the team zipline to the building opposite, abseiling down the side and picking off the oblivious enemy soldiers patrolling and going about their business inside.

We can only assume the windows are soundproofed and tinted, because the troops don't know what's hit them as you and your buddies methodically descend the building, silently popping bad guys at will. It's a typically novel-looking Call of Duty set-piece, filled with a nice bit of tension and visual spectacle. That includes the little rain droplets and other neat details. It certainly looks good.

Cutting out a hole in the window, you and your squad quietly infiltrate the building before patching into the building's power mainframe. Again, there's some palpable tension as guards can be heard down the hallway outside the server room, prompting a quick retreat into a shadowy alcove to hide. Killing the lights and evading the guards, the squad hooks back up to its rappel rope and begins a slow, sideways traversal across the skyscraper, shooting guards while tilted to the side or inverted.

Upside-down killing is cool and all, but it's not nearly as slick as brandishing a small throwing dagger and dropping on an enemy from above, skewering him right in the heart before hurling the blade at his comrade. The demo then skips ahead to the squad escaping from the building as it crumbles and gradually topples (no, we don't know why), causing the team to slide down the inclined floor as the structure falls. Good old, bombastic blockbuster style action. Classic CoD stuff then.

The next section we're shown is the scuba diving underwater mission 'Into the Deep', below the surface of the Caribbean Sea where Russian divers, boat patrols and subs plague the waters. Using an APS rifle – a real-life specially designed Russian-made weapon that works underwater – the mission plays out a lot like Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare's 'All Ghillied Up', albeit a lot soggier. You follow the leader, avoiding submarine sonar, enemy divers and sharks, keeping your distance and following instructions. It's tense. Again.

The seabed is alive with detail and sealife too, as schools of fish swirl through the water and the light breaking through the ocean is projected on your rifle. It's pretty damn immersive, and an indication of what next-gen visuals bring to the table for CoD: Ghosts, even if strictly speaking the engine isn't completely new.

Deploying a guided remote torpedo, the hull of the menacing Russian sub is breached and the shockwave tears through the sea, causing debris to rain. It's a fraught escape to safety amid the flotsam and jetsam and sinking submarine falling through the water, and just when it seem all quiet and safe, a whole bunch of Russian divers crawl out of the woodwork. It looks insurmountable, and it's where our demo concludes.

A “next-gen spec” version of Call of Duty: Ghosts, our first look at the next instalment in the colossal FPS series certainly looks impressive, and even if it does play just like every other Call of Duty title ever – with an added dog – it's still guaranteed to sell fifteen billion copies. It ought to provide the usual seat-of-your-pants ride that comes with every Call of Duty too, with Ghosts looking to be every bit the balls-out action-packed, set-piece laden experience you've come to expect.

It probably won't redefine the FPS genre and it doesn't look to be doing anything particularly groundbreaking, but Call of Duty: Ghosts seems poised to deliver yet another solid rollercoaster shooting gallery. That's a good thing. Oh, and you can press a button to bark. Woof.

Call of Duty: Ghosts will be donning its mask to infiltrate Xbox 360 and Xbox One in November 2013.




 
 

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Game Info
Developer:
Infinity Ward
Publisher:
Activision
Genre:

Release:

US November 15, 2013
Europe November 15, 2013

HDD Space Required : 40.77 GB
Collection:595
Wishlist:26
 
 
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