Call of Duty: Ghosts launch - Game debuts to mixed reactions for Xbox 360 and PS3

The latest Call of Duty game launched, but much is expected from a franchise that has totalled more than 2.85 million years of gameplay

Alongside the likes of Halo and Grand Theft Auto, Call of Duty (CoD) is one of the few video game franchises to have reached truly superstar status. The previous title in the series (CoD: Black Ops II) made $1 billion (£630m) within 15 days and more than 1900 years of online play is racked up on the series every single day.

With this legacy to live up to, the launch of Ghosts - the latest in the series and its tenth major title - has been accompanied by all the expected cultural paraphernalia: a midnight launch with fans queuing in the cold, a big-budget trailer with some celebrity star power in tow (Megan Fox), and – of course – some mixed reactions from the critics.

The franchise has faced consistent criticism for simply dialling it in, offering over-hyped tweaks of an already successful formula and simply sitting back as the money flows in. Ghosts – apparently – is no different, offering a single-player campaign full of ridiculous set pieces (you can fight terrorists in space!) and multiplayer modes that offer addictive gameplay best enjoyed among friends.

A review of Ghosts by gaming site Polygon is perhaps as bad as the criticism gets, with a summary that notes that the game “never goes beyond the barest requirements for a sequel”.

The Official Xbox Magazine chimes in with the more positive – but still reserved – summary, adding that the CoD series has always been about “about instant gratification. It's fast food gaming at its most refined, a continual adrenaline rush that never thinks beyond the next kill.”

By most accounts Ghosts is more of the same, which is no bad thing when it comes to its multiplayer offering. There’s even room for some pleasant surprises, with the brand new Extinction mode drawing praise from across the board.

Like Zombies in previous games, Extinction has players face hordes of non-humans (this time the baddies are aliens) but offers a new focus on balanced squad-based gameplay. You use skill points to specialise your character (do you want to deal out damage or help your allies?) and the whole set-up is designed to encourage the sort off-the-cuff strategizing that adds depth to the multiplayer experience.

Ghosts' single player campaign features dramatic set-pieces (and ridiculous ones too).

This generation, or the next?

One problem for Ghosts’ makers is the imminent launch of the next generation consoles – the Xbox One on 22nd November and the PS4 a week later on the 29th – which means that many players will be holding back from purchasing a game for soon-to-be-outdated hardware.

Previews of Ghosts for the new consoles report– as you’d expect – that graphics are noticeably sharper, although there has been a minor scandal with the revelation that Ghosts will play at 1080p resolution on the PS4 but only 720p on the Xbox One.

The game’s creators say that the decision was made to optimize frame rates (more important than resolution when it comes to fast-paced shooters) with the step down to 720p on Microsoft’s console necessary to keep things ticking over a smooth 60fps.

Whether this decision demonstrates once and for all that the PS4 is graphically superior to the Xbox One or whether it’s just the expected stumblings that regularly accompany launch titles is currently being debated in comment threads around the internet.

The multiplayer game modes remain the big draw for Call of Duty titles, but will this be enough for players to buy the game twice - once for this generation, once for the next?

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
News
Image from a flyer at the CPAC event where Nigel Farage will be speaking
news
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

    Ashdown Group: Senior Web Developer - C# / ASP.NET - London - £55K

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Web Deve...

    Recruitment Genius: Business Support Analyst

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises in providing best-in-...

    Recruitment Genius: Test Analyst

    £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join ...

    Day In a Page

    HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

    Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

    Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
    How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

    Time to play God

    Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
    MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

    MacGyver returns, but with a difference

    Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
    Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

    Tunnel renaissance

    Why cities are hiding roads underground
    'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

    Boys to men

    The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
    Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

    Crufts 2015

    Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
    10 best projectors

    How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

    Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
    Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

    Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

    Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
    Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

    Monaco: the making of Wenger

    Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

    Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

    Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

    In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

    This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
    'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

    Homage or plagiarism?

    'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
    Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

    Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

    A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower