You might be thinking: “Whoa, now. What’s this ‘Call of Duty Ghosts’ review doing on my favorite horror movie website?” And I have a rational explanation for that. Over the years the Call of Duty series has added a “zombie mode” to the game which allows players to band together and battle against hordes of zombies. This mode has become incredibly popular amongst players, to the point where many play the COD games solely for it.
The zombie mode has been a staple of Treyarch’s COD games, but now Infinity Ward has finally jumped into the fray of monster fighting with their own brand. Introduced a week before the game’s release, “Call of Duty Ghosts” features a new gametype where players must battle through alien invaders in a mode called “Extinction.”
As far as I could tell, there’s no deep-rich narrative to be found in this mode. It simply starts off with you and your teammates being dropped off and told to work your way to an alien landing zone to blow it up. It’s as thin as you could imagine, which is such a dissapointment when you consider how complex the zombie mode story got over time. So far there seems to be only one singular mission which takes place over several medium sized maps that are connected.
Along the way to your primary objective, you’ll have to take out mini-nests. These require you to drop a drill down on the nest and defend it while you’re swarmed by alien creatures. The creatures are mostly animal-like aliens that come in various forms. There’s the standard grunt type that’ll charge at you, one that launches acid from a distance, ones that explode, and giant tank-like beasts.
In order to get through the aliens, you’ll have to take advantage of the mode’s leveling up system and there are two ways by which you character levels up. The first is a permanent system in which you can choose your character’s class (damage dealer, tank, engineer, medic), their starting pistol, and support options. These support features include ammo crates, health packs, turrets, explosives, etc. You can then purchase the support options in game with money you earn from completing objectives and killing aliens.
The second way you level up is in-game and is not permanent. As you play you’ll be given Field Objectives which you’ll have to coordinate with your teammates to complete. For example, you might be asked to only use melee attacks to kill aliens. You could ignore this and just use guns, but if you complete the objective you earn a skill point. Keep in mind, you can only complete the objective if EVERYONE does it. So if one person screws up, you lose out. You can then use these skill points to improve your class bonus or support features. So, for instance, if you’re dropping ammo crates you can improve the crate so that it gives out more ammo.
Compared to previous zombie modes, I thought that “Extinction” was much more challenging. This isn’t a mode in which you can jump in with random people and do well. Without a group that you’re actively communicating with, you’ll find it challenging to make it past the first stage. It’s a welcomed addition that’ll be an excellent test of friendship for groups of players.
My biggest gripe with this mode is that it only comes with one map/mission. It’s clear that this will be a mode that they’ll support with future DLC, but having at least two or three at launch would have been nice. This is a brand new experience that they’re trying to entice people with, you have to support it from the start. Fortunately the mission you do get is substantial and long, but once people have completed it, there’s no real reason to revisit that map.
As for the rest of “Call of Duty Ghosts”, the multiplayer has undergone huge changes, but largely has the same feel. Meanwhile, the campaign is more or less the same sort of Michael Bay-simulator that I’ve come to expect from the Call of Duty series. There’s lots of spectacle and explosions, but it’s thin on substance.
More than any other previous installment, this one feels like “more of the same.” Extinction really stands out as the most interesting and unique aspect of the game, but you’ll get the most enjoyment out of it by playing with friends. Convincing your friends to purchase a $60 game for a singular mode, though, might be a challenge.
This game was played on the PS3 and provided by Activision.