I was an early fan of the Call of Duty series. I really enjoyed the first few games, namely Call of Duty + United Offensive expansion, Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty 4: World at War (couldn't play call of Duty 3 because it isn't available for PC). I didn't play any games in the series after that, because I knew that they were clearly milking the franchise with their 'copy-paste' strategy. Anyway, after a gap of several years, I picked up this year's 'Ghosts' for the PC because i wanted to give my once-beloved franchise another go. BIG mistake.
The major flaw I noticed, common to both multi-player and single-player, was how 'weak' most guns sounded. I mean....even on my powerful 5.1 PC sound system, most guns 'clicked' rather than 'thudded'. With respect to the multi-player alone, I found the supposedly 'new' games modes quite disappointing. Professional reviews are going on and on about how 'innovative' the multi-player is, but all these new modes are just rehashed versions of tried-and-tested formulas. Anyway, the multi-player is pretty decent, but nothing to write home about. There are better multi-player games out there for sure.
Coming to the campaign, the less said about it, the better. I really missed quick-saves, but can't really complain about that because no multi-plat game ever has a quick-save feature anymore (except action-rpg hybrids like Mass Effect, Deus ex etc.). That apart, the campaign seemed like an interactive movie rather than a game. It is so scripted, to the extent that I can't open a door or pull a lever until the game allows me to do that. There are games which create very immersive experiences in spite of being heavily scripted (like the Half-Life games), but in this game, the ridiculous amount of scripting actually ensures that there is no immersion at all. The AI of both friends are foes is mediocre at best. My team-mates seem to take a LOT of hits before dying, and they also hardly inflict any significant damage to the enemies. And the enemies are so dumb and lifeless. Then, almost every professional review says that the Ghosts campaign is 'lengthy and memorable'. Nothing could be far from the truth. There are no more than a couple of memorable stuff in the entire campaign, and a 5-6 hour campaign isn't what i would call 'lengthy'. My time to beat the game on 'normal' was 5 hours 6 minutes, which seems to be on par with the average playtime mentioned on howlongtobeat.com. Lastly, war-themed games are supposed to be as realistic as possible while the story take a back-seat. But in this game, the gameplay is anything but realistic, and even the story seems so generic.
After beating Crysis 3, I thought there could be no game which was more boring than that. But COD Ghosts is slightly more boring than Crysis 3 as well. At least Crysis 3 had gorgeous visuals to compensate for 10% of the boring gameplay, but COD Ghosts's visuals are nothing extraordinary. Extremely disappointing. Also, the huge difference between average critic scores and average user scores (66/100 vs 18/100 on metacritic) does make gamers suspect that Activision actually pays critics to write favorable reviews. I just can't seem to understand how games like these manage to sell millions, or the sales figures too are fabricated just to maintain the franchise's reputation. If it does sell millions, then I suppose a good chunk of those sales are due to 12-year old kids for whom their parents buy the games. It has reached a point where, even if Activision pack frozen dog turd in a plastic bag and market it as 'Call of Duty - Riley Edition', then people would still buy millions of those. I'm disappointed about spending my hard earned money to buy this crap at full price, but I'm PETRIFIED to think about the million ways in which such games could seriously harm the gaming industry. If people keep buying millions of copies of highly watered-down games like these, then almost every developer would start making similar games.
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