Ever since World at War, I slowly began to fill my quota of Call of Duty and with a last little foray into the series for Modern Warfare 3, I fell away from Activision’s shooter to seek greener pastures elsewhere. For me there was only so many endless death matches I could take before it felt like a chore to get to the next level rather than a fun experience. But, having abandoned COD like a chip fallen on the floor, I have now come back in full force to tackle Ghosts on my new generation PS4.
To explain why I went back we first have to talk about some other shooters. A good multiplayer shooter is the staple of any gaming machine and upon getting my PS4 I managed to get to grips with Killzone Shadow Fall. Now Killzone’s multiplayer is a great experience, feeling like something half way between CoD and Halo. It provided the tight, well designed maps of Call of Duty with the chaotic and slightly random nature of Halo. But for me it was lacking one massive thing that turned me right off and that was a lack of pay off. I like to feel I am actually accomplishing something when playing a game and I also would like to be rewarded for my efforts. Killzone does not feature any kind of levelling system like CoD, instead there are a series of challenges that can be completed. But completing these give you little or no benefit, apart from the fact they are completed! While each class has various unlocks, these are also very unneeded and can normally be achieved very quickly if you play that class for a day or so.
Ghosts seemed to offer what I wanted, and thinking back to why I loved CoD in the past, it was the constant fight to get a new weapon attachment or piece of equipment that made me want to play in a certain way or get my character to the highest level it could be. BUT and this is a big but, Ghosts has only managed to satisfy this need partially. Whereas before I would have to work hard to acquire the right attachments I needed or get to a high level to unlock a gun, Ghosts, on the other hand, allows you to do all of this right away! Sure you have to collect points to buy everything but I have never found myself short. Every time I fancied trying out a new gun I could just pay for it, and get every attachment I wanted. This may allow players less willing to play for days to have a go with the guns they want, but it takes all of the challenge out of the game. Combine this with the Honey Badger, the starting gun that is amazing anyway and there is no real need to collect points at all. The only thing that you seem to be able to unlock through levelling is kill streaks and perks which, while effective, may only be used a fraction of the time anyway as the starting ones are pretty damn good.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m having a great time with Ghosts and as a game it is still a very strong shooter. The new features, such as in-game missions, add a different level to gameplay causing you to think more about what you are doing more than I had done before. Tasks such as “take out an enemy while jumping” are actually challenging and it gives you a sense of accomplishment when achieved. The maps are also great, adding enough variety to avoid repetition but still rewarding to those players who know the map inside out.
At the end of the day, Call of Duty is what you expect it to be. Even from the first Modern Warfare, little has changed, and don’t expect there to be anything revolutionary coming in the near future. Many people have asked me why I chose CoD over Battlefield, especially considering the time I spend on Battlefield 3. The answer is simple; having made the move to PS4, I left many of my friends on the Xbox. I have always found Battlefield to be a game that has to be played with a group while CoD can be suited or tailored to the lone ranger as well as the team, especially by having the ability to play a game for 10 minutes at a time before doing other things. I wanted Call of Duty for quick shooter fixes between games and that is exactly what I got.