No matter what you think about the repetitive nature of Call of Duty's single-player after Modern Warfare, the multiplayer element of the series have always been the most engaging part of the experience.
Recent instalments have done their best to ruin this with confusingly hierarchical kill streaks and fiddly gadgets (my hatred of the RC-XD is both bitter and lavish), and the latest multiplayer trailer for Call of Duty: Ghosts seems like the franchise is in for more of the same. However, I did spot a gun called the Honeybadger, so perhaps not all is lost.
The blink-and-you-miss-it editing of the trailer made it hard to see too many of the details (come on guys, this is YouTube, not Vine) but it’s clear that past games’ focus on customization has been ramped up once again.
Players will now be able to change soldier’s appearance as well as their gear, and the end of the trailer showed that for the first time players will be able to play as the other gender. You know, females: about yay high, probably gave birth to you, about half of everybody alive? The fact that this addition has taken so long is baffling but unfortunately, not too surprising.
The trailer also revealed a wealth of new game modes including Search and Rescue (where you can revive fallen comrades) and Cranked (presumably taking inspiration from Jason Statham, where particularly murderous players receive a number of bonuses).
My favourite though was Squads, which looks like it will take over territory previously occupied by Spec Ops mode and mix in a sort of Mass Effect style squad management system. You pick ten soldiers, customize their loadouts and then rank up through different game modes – fighting either against or with human players.
This new playmode looks tied with CoD expanding into MMO territory, and will sit alongside revamped Clans – essentially a system that makes those unofficial Xbox alliances into World of Wacraft-like Guilds. Clans compete for dominance in certain territories and win exclusive gear through the ‘Clan Wars’ game mode.v
Mark Rubin, the studio producer at Infinity Ward, described it as “the biggest overhaul of multiplayer since the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” and I think he might be right. Whether these changes will add new functionality to the system or just break what was a perfect formula for online gameplay remains to be seen.
For the rest of the details in full, check out the official guide from Xbox HQ.