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
ebookNow available in paperback
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

    £70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - SQL Server, T-SQL

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

    Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst / Data Analyst (SQL Server, T-SQL, data)

    £28000 - £32000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Systems Analyst...

    Ashdown Group: European Recruitment Manager - Cheshire - up to £48,000

    £40000 - £48000 per annum + bonus and benefits: Ashdown Group: European Recrui...

    Day In a Page

    Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

    Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

    Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
    General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

    All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

    The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
    How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

    How Etsy became a crafty little earner

    The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
    Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

    King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

    Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

    Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

    The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
    Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

    Don't fear the artichoke

    Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
    11 best men's socks

    11 best men's socks

    Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
    Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

    Paul Scholes column

    Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
    Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

    Frank Warren's Ringside

    Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
    London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

    Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

    Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

    Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

    Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
    Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

    Khorasan is back in Syria

    America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
    General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

    On the campaign trail with Ukip

    Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
    Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

    Expect a rush on men's tights

    Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions
    Peter Kay's Car Share: BBC show is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade

    In the driving seat: Peter Kay

    Car Share is the comedian's first TV sitcom in a decade. The programme's co-creator Paul Coleman reveals the challenges of getting the show on the road