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Infinity Ward introduced a new storyline to the Call of Duty franchise earlier this week with the release of call of Duty: Ghosts. The title is set to be one of the most successful entertainment titles this year and fans have already been racking up countless hours online.
Call of Duty is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished online shooter experiences, and it is with pleasure that we can report Infinity Ward’s extensive efforts to improve the franchise have paid off.
Rebuilding the game engine from the ground up, developers looked to address a lot of the problems that plagued the previous title, Black Ops 2.
Lag Compensation became a big issue in Black Ops 2. Introduced in previous titles to create an even ground for competing internet connections, gamers became frustrated as it’s effects became more and more noticeable. With improved connections and smaller maps, gamers complained of an inconsistent feel to the game as unjustified deaths became more common.
Infinity Ward plan on using dedicated servers to host matches, which will eliminate the need for lag compensation and minimise host advantage.
A longer play test will be needed to see if the ugly problem will rear its head again, but the prospects of connection improvements are exciting, especially in a close quarters game like Call of Duty.
Larger maps have been used to prevent the game having a chaotic feeling. the introduction of
more fluid character movements helps improve map navigation, which stops the increased map sizes from becoming a hindrance.
A hand full of Ghosts maps also feature destruction sequences, but they often fail to create a spectacle during frantic gameplay. The sequences are very scripted, offering no freedom in how you choose to destroy things. When compared to the toppling a full skyscraper in Battlefield 4, Call of Duties attempts at destruction physics are put to shame.
Infinity Ward place a lot more focus on individual play style in Ghosts. Players now have the option to customise a soldier’s looks and uniquely manipulate their class load out. Building off the freedom that was introduced by Black Ops 2 ‘pick 10’ class system, Ghosts offer a system that awards squad points. These points can be spent on new gear and perks, all of which are priced according to their usefulness in game.
This new system has the tendency to feel over complex at times, but if used properly it can be very intuitive.
An improved arsenal of weapons in Ghosts also helps improve the games flexibility. Marksmen rifles have been introduced to bridge the gap between sniper rifles and assault rifles. Although, it remains to be seen if players will take advantage of the variety of guns on offer, or just migrate towards a handful of guns.
Infinity Ward have taken steps to improve the spawn systems in Call of Duty. The larger map designs offer at least a fighting chance to find cover between deaths. But, on a number of occasions I found myself being spawned directly in front of enemy fire.
Spawns can be fixed in post release patches, but Infinity Ward haven’t got the best track record for supporting their games after release, so if they will or not is another question.
As with every online game, it’s going to take a few weeks for dust clouds to settle before we can get a true feel for the game. But, Infinity Ward have been successful in moving away from the chaotic twitchy shooter feel of past titles. Ghosts feels like a solid Call of Duty title with reduced pace and increased customization, making it much more approachable to casual gamers.