Second Opinion: Call of Duty: Ghosts doesn’t have me hyped

Every year, the world is treated to a brand new Call of Duty game, and with it comes the big announcement and reveal of multiplayer. People wait months to finally learn how the latest Call of Duty sets itself apart from the previous entry. However, this year seems different. I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I’m not that hyped for Call of Duty: Ghosts, even after this reveal.

Now, I’m a huge Call of Duty fan. But I think I’m finally starting to get burned out on the series. Will I buy the game? Yeah, probably, but lets just say I’m not as hyped or excited as I used to be.

This impressions piece is based on the Call of Duty: Ghosts multiplayer reveal event. For a hands-on preview of the game’s multiplayer, check out Will Robinson’s impressions.

The Call of Duty reveal lasted about an hour and really didn’t need to. We were treated to a standard multiplayer trailer featuring some new mechanics, weapons, maps, killstreaks–all the stuff we’ve come to expect. Really, it just seemed to be more Call of Duty. Is that bad? Not really, but I wonder if the series is slowly starting to crumble under its own successes. With such a large, dedicated fanbase, the developers of Call of Duty can’t change the formula too much without upsetting a great many people.

Still, a few things had me excited. They are:

Character Customization

Finally. I don’t know what took Call of Duty this long, but now we will get the chance to be unique and stand out from the crowd. Infinity Ward says there are 20,000 combinations and I cannot wait to try all of them out! Oh, and female soldiers are playable! Nice!

Pick 8 (not 10)

Infinity Ward is taking a card out of Treyarch’s book and putting their own spin on the Pick 10 system. You have a set numbers of points you can use to make your class, but things like attachments, grenades, and secondaries no longer take up a point. Treyarch hit a jackpot with the Pick 10 system, and I’m glad Infinity Ward is sticking with the basics while putting their own spin on things.

Dynamic Maps

So, this one is a little interesting to me. Now, Call of Duty maps can physically change and alter the flow of a match. Options range blowing up specific parts of walls to causing a bus to fall off the ledge it precariously leans over. These, and more, add new life to Call of Duty maps, but since it’s all scripted, people may learn the tricks quickly. And then, it’s just another standard Call of Duty map.

New Game Modes! (YAY!!)

So this is the one thing I always get a little excited about when it comes to a new Call of Duty. We all love Team Deathmatch, Search & Destroy (220 hours played), Kill Confirmed, etc. But it’s always nice to jump into something new, just for the spice. Infinity Ward showed off two new modes that seem pretty damn awesome.

The first new mode is called Cranked, and it’s a new take on Team Deathmatch. With every kill, you earn a speed-related perk (think Sleight of Hand, Marathon, and their ilk), but you’re also given a 30-second timer. Don’t score a kill within 30 seconds, and BOOM! you explode. That’s pretty much it, but it makes a fast-paced game even faster. GO SPEED!

The second one is Search and Rescue, which is pretty much Search and Destroy meets Kill Confirmed. Typically, in a Search and Destroy match, once you die, you sit out for that round and wait for a respawn. With Search and Rescue, if your teammate picks up the floating tags where you died, you’ll respawn and get to join the match-in-progress. However, if the enemy gets your tag, have fun on the bench. I’m extremely excited to try this mode for myself, as Search and Destroy is probably my favorite game mode to play in Call of Duty, and Kill Confirmed is a more enjoyable Team Deathmatch.

New Audio Engine

For some, this might not seem like much, but to me, this has to be the best part of Ghosts. After watching the live gameplay and various trailers, I have to say–the sound in this game is like pure magic. When you fire in an open area, the gun doesn’t sound like it does in a closed area. When you throw a grenade, various objects in the map like barrels and cans will rattle and shake. This adds a lot in a Call of Duty game, especially if you’re wearing headphones. And besides, the way guns sound is just sexy in its own right.

While I’m excited to see these new features in action, everything about the multiplayer reveal just felt worn out. Ghosts didn’t show me anything that was very new or refreshing compared to previous years. Sure, now we can slide on our knees and peek around corners, but I’ve been doing that in other games for years.

Of course, without hands-on time of my own, I do have some questions. How does the leaning work, since it’s not a button press? Will I lean by mistake when I’m simply trying to aim? And, how useful will the knee slide really be? In Black Ops, I hardly ever used the dolphin dive to prone (unless I was messing around).

As the event drew to a close, I was ready to write my impressions, but I felt like waiting to collect my thoughts and reflect on what I’d seen. As I expected, nothing changed. I’m not excited or hyped about Call of Duty: Ghosts, but I’m still going to be buying it on PlayStation 4 when it launches. At the end of the day, it’s still Call of Duty, and the franchise scratches a certain first-person shooter itch I have that other series just can’t match.

Call of Duty: Ghosts is launching November 5 for PlayStation 3, with a PlayStation 4 release close behind.

What did you think of the Call of Duty reveal? Did it get you hyped for another installment? Are you as burnt out as I am? Give us your take in the comments below!

Lazar Odic is a PSU Staff Writer and huge Call of Duty fan who can’t wait to get his hands on Ghosts. Follow him on Twitter for his brutal honesty.