Review: Call of Duty Ghosts on next-gen
With the packaging only off our shiny new PS4 two minutes, we were already playing Call of Duty: Ghosts
We'll begin by admitting that we've found the last few CoD titles to be a little disappointing, but with some shiny new graphics and an engaging storyline, we've really enjoyed Ghosts more than the previous efforts.
This time around, it seems that the evil lads in South America have teamed up with all their mates on the continent to take over the world, and more importantly, 'Merica. So obviously all the work of saving the world falls to a few lads known as 'Ghosts' (see what they've done there?) and they go about killing everyone who stands in their way.
There's a bit more to the story mode this time around which we're finding it difficult to put our finger on. There's greater variation in the missions, so there's a good mix of stealth, using vehicles, sniping and battling your way through a heap of lads with guns to keep you entertained, and the story itself is quite interesting, taking you around the world to some pretty brilliantly rendered locations, including Caracas and space, to name just two. Here's a quick look at the PS3 and PS4 versions next to one another. There's not a huge difference, but it is noticeable.
That said, you do get the sneaking sensation that you've seen some of this before (in particular the mission at the Federation lab in the Andes) and there is a real linear feel to the storyline. We've come to expect that from CoD games, but it would be nice for them to have included alternate endings, or had your character engage in a bit of dialogue. Despite those flaws, we were still intrigued enough to come back to it after we'd put it down the night before.
Of course, where this game will really earn its corn is in the online multiplayer mode. The main change here on the PlayStation is that you now have to pay for the privilege of paying, something Xbox customers will be well used to for the past few years.
While there is still a little bit of lag as the teething problems get sorted out, the fact that us PlayStation gamers are now paying for online access is definitely pointing towards the fact that we should get a service that has less lag and less random disconnections, but there are still issues to work out on that front. So far, the biggest change is the fact that there are larger lobbies for the muiltiplayer mode, where you can now get up to 18 players in. This might contribute to that lag still remaining, but we're hopeful it will all get sorted soon enough.
The ability to play 9 v 9 is something missing from the current gen system, and although we've not played the current gen version, it's something that can be a game changer. It makes the bigger maps more exciting and the smaller maps more chaotic, but in a good way. We've been playing on PS4 and the new controller also makes it much easier to play. The trigger buttons feel like they move more smoothly and the analogue sticks are in a slightly better position, making it more comfortable to play. The option of being able to plug the headset or headphones into the controller is also a major plus.
In terms of gameplay, this version of Ghosts isn't as big a leap as it is visually between the previous gen versions and the incarnations on the new hardware, but seeing as this is the first go at what these consoles can produce, it's a good first step. When the next installment in the franchise rolls around, there may be a fair whack of new developments in there. This is still well worth your money though, as is the investment in a next generation console.