Call me maybe Even in the modes I enjoy, I don't want to stay for long.
But it isn't just the progression system, or the complex-to-the-point-of-silliness soldier customization, or the boring killstreak rewards that make me tire so quickly of Ghosts multiplayer. Shares Our Verdict The campaign is exciting but only passively entertaining, and the multiplayer tweaks the knobs of established Call of Duty games to little effect.
It's that, like the campaign, it's about constant forward momentum, but unlike the campaign, it never changes.
An exception is Search and Rescue, which gives teams bomb and defend objectives, and players one life per round unless a team member collects their dog tag to revive them. I respect those with the drive to master it, but it's too bleak and severe for my tastes, and feels like preparing for ritual combat more than enjoying a game. There's no front line, so every kill is likely to instaspawn your foe somewhere behind you, making matches a dizzying circular chase sequence.
The maps are circular arenas dressed in gray military garb, pulling assets from the dullest bits of the campaign's setting. Then go to town.
Shark is awfully testy today. I didn't touch on the campaign's story much, but its attempts to tug heart strings are cringe-ably cheesy, and the multiplayer seems bored of itself, changing systems just so they'll be different from Modern Warfare.
In previous CoDs, the drive to unlock and try out a new weapon might have kept me going, but that's been replaced with Squad Points. It's about flanking, out flanking, and milliseconds of animation that determine who lives and who dies.
There are no nail-biters, no heroics, and no rivalries. I ran it fine on a mid-range build, and on a silly-powerful machine Core iX, 16GB RAM, and two GTX Titans the campaign ran at a silky and gorgeous plus frames-per-second, with water and lighting effects that made me stop to gawk a few times when I was allowed to.
Call of duty ghost matchmaking does bother me is how tired and cold Ghosts feels. And it's a brilliant ride. These details have become a part of serious CoD play—some complain, but others master the nuances to gain an advantage.
Getting knifed from around a corner is something I excel at. If you buy Ghosts just for the multiplayer, I will say that you should at least play the campaign long enough to get to the first obligatory space scene.
The Apache, for instance, is magically repulsed from the ground—it's like piloting an air hockey disc—so finesse is unnecessary. Guns are plentiful and nuanced, though every vital stat, from how long it takes to raise the iron sights to recoil and spread, is experienced in milliseconds of surprise action.
That encourages teammates to stick together, generating group engagements at range that I heavily prefer over darting around like an armed insect. That was the only time I was given a goal and left to achieve it without explicit instructions for every action.
In rare instances, I was able to part from my squad, flank the enemy, and wipe them out with the advantage, but that kind of tactical planning was a sparsely present treat. It's every action scene Hollywood has imagined for the past 20 years packed into five to six hours of super-stylish interactive montages, and wrapped up in a goofy, inoffensive story about brothers trying to live up to their dad's super-soldier status.
Accrued through good play, the points can be spent to unlock any weapon at any time if you save them up. Give us your sunsets!
Ghosts multiplayer is a game of snap decisions, mechanics, and mistakes—"should have gone prone instead of firing, shouldn't have reloaded after that last kill, should have turned around instead of sprinting"—and it is freakishly nuanced and can absolutely be mastered. At pub levels, Ghosts' multiplayer is whack-a-mole to Counter-Strike's chess game.
It's in that mode that I discovered that going prone is practically an invisibility cloak.
Defending a point is easy when lying down makes you invisible. The only technical problem I encountered was sudden framerate dips in the menus, which are a just a nuisance—the same never happened to me while playing.
It's fun in that it's something exciting to see and do: