Call of Duty: Ghosts review – The boos are back

Last week I was flown first class and wined and dined all week long in the hopes of getting a good review score for COD: Ghosts… actually that’s a total lie but some people are going to believe it so what can you do?

In reality I, along with a large group of eastern European journalists, congregated at a hotel near Heathrow airport for 3 days to give the game a thorough going over. There were consoles in my room for me to experience the single player at my leisure and then 4 large rooms downstairs to try out every version of multiplayer on every platform possible.

I honestly think this is the best way for multiplayer games to be reviewed as it gives us the opportunity to try out everything except international lag in time for the game’s release.

So how’d it go?

Yes you get to fight in space

Single Player

I’m a huge fan of the single player portions of the Call of Duty series. I always feel like I’m living a Michael Bay movie while playing; so I was in a great rush to get my hands on this new campaign especially since I’d been teased with the information that we’d now be fighting as the underdog against a big bad Federation.

The game opens up with that scene we’ve been shown before of the spaceship docking at a space station and then suddenly the Federation rushes the station and uses America’s most important weapon against them, thus turning the tide of war and turning America into the underdogs.

Oh wait I’ve got something better, here is the entire first mission as played by me on a PlayStation 4

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So far so good but unfortunately as the game starts playing out it becomes pretty obvious that America isn’t really anything resembling an underdog here. At worst they are equals with the war against the Federation appearing to be a stalemate but in reality the Americans still seem to know more than the Federation and they are the ones on the attack during the entire game.

It was from this point on I struggled to really get into the story. That’s not to say that it wasn’t a great, bombastic roller-coaster ride as you’d expect from Call of Duty. We travelled the world trading huge battles with huge battles. I got to ride a tank and blow up everything in my wake, I also got to rip people apart using an Osprey – along with every other kind of machine gun and weapon you could conceive.

The gameplay is smooth, the action is intense and the graphics are good enough to enjoy the experience.

We’re not breaking new ground here and there are a fair few technical faults in the game. In the underwater section you can’t swim up to the surface without hitting a glass ceiling; there are invisible walls aplenty and quite a few places that you can get stuck in. But nothing compares to absolutely how terribly the foliage in the jungle scene reacts.

Now this is not looking for bugs for the sake of it; you get stranded in this thick jungle and simply can’t walk to where you need to be without noticing this visible clipping.

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It really is unacceptable in this generation, nevermind the next one. The video above was taken directly from a PlayStation 4 console and as you can see the foliage moves naturally until you touch it.. at which point you just phase through it like a ghost.

I completed the campaign in around 6 hours which is standard for a Call of Duty single player campaign and if you pushed the difficulty up to veteran you would seriously struggle to get the campaign completed in under 15 hours.

Single player is but a small part of the Call of Duty experience, however. Next up we have Extinction

Shoot those alien bastards


Extinction is Infinity Ward’s response to the massively successful Zombies and they may be onto a winner here.

The premise is simple; aliens have invaded the world and you need to fight them back and take out their hives until you can call in a nuke. Every wave brings with it a new group of aliens who are stronger, smarter and more determined to take you down than ever before.

I seriously doubt you would be able to handle each stage by yourself and the secret to victory is team work and a whole lot of skill.

As in multiplayer you get to rank up, which unlocks new opportunities and abilities which you will need to specialise in. You have your typical medic, support, assault and engineer and choosing the right team is a vital factor in your continued existence.

I only got to see one stage for Extinction but you can be sure more levels will be available either at launch or as future DLC.

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But single player and extinction are both just side dishes, with the obvious main course being the multiplayer – and this is where Infinity Ward has come to the fore once again.

Before we get to that though, let’s have a quick chat about squads.

On to page 2!


Call of Duty: Ghosts is a great new addition to the franchise but it is definitely showing its age now. Far too many invisible walls and glitches in the single player campaign show a lack of due care and attention which I didn't expect from Infinity Ward. The multiplayer experience more than makes up for it though.

Call of Duty: Ghosts was reviewed by Gavin Mannion on a PlayStation 4

Industry Averages

78/ 100

Author: Gavin Mannion

I'm cranky, arrogant and ever so amazingly annoying but when you get to know me you will also realise I'm honest and incredibly good at describing myself... now pass me that beer

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  • hairyknees


    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Really? We’re going do this reddit shit here? No dude.. NO! I like you hairyknees, but let’s not do this “first crap”, not on Lazygamer. Keep that shit for News24 or 4chan

      • hairyknees


        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          hehehe no worries man, I’ve made a couple of those as well… 😛

  • hairyknees

    Lets see how many trolls come out ^_^

  • Spathi

    Good and fair review. Thanks!

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    You were assembled? Gavin is a bot!

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      I saw that edit! Sneaky sneaky. TINFOIL HAT ENGAGE!

      • Unalighned John (JJ)

        You talking to yourself?

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

          Everyone else thinks I’m crazy. :/

          • Unalighned John (JJ)

            I have that same problem with my humor. Only one person always laughs at it.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor


          • ToshZA

            I seem to have that affliction myself.

          • Rincethisweekout!

            Thinks? *Runs…

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Shut up! You’re not a real boy!

          • Rincethisweekout!

            Yes I am!

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            Yes, you are a ginger boy. Not a man


          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            That looks like a ginger/carrot puppet 😉

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            No you aren’t! You’re a wooden toy! You can’t trick me again Rinceonochio! I know you’re just a toy!

          • RinceandRepeat

            Coming from someone who is only kept alive while electricity renders him that is CHEAP!

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            Pfftt… I’m in the cloud, baby!

          • RinceandRepeat

            Then you really had better bot meet OVG 0-O

          • FoxOneZA

            If Polygon gives Ghosts a 9, you will have to review the game before you start on KZ:S Jimmy 😛

          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            I would love to review a COD game (but no one trusts me with it, they think I’m going to litter the review with crude penis drawings and other profanities), maybe I should do a legacy series of video reviews starting with COD1 all the way to COD Ghosts….

  • 11/10! Where’s the money, Activision?

    • Rincethisweekout!

      Silence troll!

    • Hammersteyn

      Destructoid didn’t get theirs :/

      • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

        lol Sterling is an excellent commentator, but he’s a pretty pathetic reviewer.

        • Kyou


        • Kyou


          • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

            You seem tense, here’s my balls suck on them.

  • SaintsRowNigri

    Nice review and all Gavin, but I am just a bit miffed that it wasn’t reviewed on current gen consoles…

    • I played it on current gen consoles as well and it works perfectly.

      • SaintsRowNigri

        Ah… Good. Now, do you have R700.00 I can borrow on a permanent basis?

      • Biza-B

        Do my eyes deceive me? Did i read that correctly?? reviewed on PS4? How does she handle? How does she make the game look?

  • Otto_ki

    Got to get too BT games today!

  • Alex Hicks

    Gav, did you play on PC too? Or just the console versions?

    • only on all the consoles… embargoed on the Xbox one views until later this month

  • Captain GUZ

    I will play this on my friends PC, it looks cool but I cant justify paying so much just for the SP(as its probably gonna take me a day or 2 to finish), not interested in the MP (thats what BF4 is for)

  • Rincethisweekout!

    Nice one Gav. Good to see you not swooning over it, but being realistic in the pros and negatives. Speaking of pros, I am assuming they weren’t included…

  • Anon A Mouse

    But do the fish also swim into the glass walls? Too soon?

    • no they don’t.. they are clever fish

      • ToshZA

        Or just ghost fish. Walls do not hinder their swimming.

  • Admiral Chief Ninja

    LOOOOOOONG load times

    • Unalighned John (JJ)


      • next gen consoles.. most of these videos are PS4

        • Unalighned John (JJ)

          Looks pretty sharp, I must admit. I used to love COD back in the day and this looks like a smallish return to from. Small being the operative word there.

        • Admiral Chief Ninja

          Still a massive load time for a single map

          • not defending it.. it really is a little silly

          • Admiral Chief Ninja

            I get the appeal for a “quick CoD session”, but my PC starts up, connects to 3G, starts up Steam, Loads up Planetside 2, connects to server, connects to continent and warp to action faster than this.

          • Unalighned John (JJ)

            I think it’s the number one reason why my PS3 is gathering dust.

    • Matthew Holliday

      try playing bf4
      i have time to make coffee between during load times.

    • NostalgicMossel

      Not with my SSD…hehe.

      • Admiral Chief Ninja

        Heheh, was trollin the ps4…

      • Uberutang

        Was About to ask what load times?

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    Clipping and invisi walls?

    Well that’s easy to explain!

    Clipping through the leaves? Well you are a Ghost duh.

    Invisi walls? Well since you are a ghost you can only traverse certain specific areas. Like most ghosts you can’t go beyond a certain point.

    Boom. Faults and bugs explained.


    • Rincethisweekout!

      Heheheh. And the dog? 0-O

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

        Spirit guide

  • Scruff304

    I won’t lie, as a BF player, Ghosts sounds like it could be a pretty good time… For the next year…
    I wonder how many of the people who took the day off to play today have already finished the single player?

    • Captain GUZ

      All of them? trololol

      • Admiral Chief Ninja

        HAHAHA, lol

      • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew


      • Scruff304

        Oh stop it you :-þ

    • Tarisma

      I’m gonna get Ghosts just to make you jealous

      • Scruff304

        I bet you won’t…

  • Hammersteyn


  • Bad @ss

    How do you register this bloody game as there is no SA option?

    • Register? I didn’t need to at the event… normally if I can’t find SA I choose UK…

      • Bad @ss

        Well hell yeah you have to register and it seems to be quite a difficult thing to do that should be so simple

      • Bad @ss

        Seems to be the only option

  • oVg

    What do you do in COD? Besides press forward and reload every 2 rounds.

    • Speaking of which, there is a new launcher that launches double semtex grenades… so so so much fun

      • oVg

        When one reloads before the magazine is empty do those rounds get lost?

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          I kind of hope so, far too many games ignore that simple fact…

  • TiMsTeR1033

    Next gen se gat! Leaves and foliage should move! Hell! current gen games can already do better!

  • Sarelseemonster

    As a noob to COD, how will the Servers work? On PC? I registered as UK so no SA option online.

    • They have promised smart matching and I have heard mweb will be hosting local servers so it should pick up your region and tag you to that

      • Sarelseemonster

        Really hope so…it will by really bad if we can’t get good lagfree matches.

      • Alex Hicks

        I cannot express the rage I feel with this console-like matching crap. It really cannot be that difficult to cater for PC users like we used to have – you know, back when FPS’s were new and shiny and pushing boundaries – like a server browser; locally hosted ranked servers, etc.

    • Matthew Holliday

      you dont get to choose servers, will be the same as the searching options for mw2+
      hit find game, game find the “best” server for you based on ping,location and available players.

      • Mark Treloar

        Well that explains why I kept getting connected to Russians and Germans or maybe not?

  • LAblak22

    I chose LEGO Marvel Superheroes over this because I am super, super hardcore.

    • Unalighned John (JJ)

      Respect yo

      • LAblak22

        Thug life ain’t easy, but it’s gots to be done.

        • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

          For realz!

  • Matthew Holliday

    just picked my copy up from takealot.
    currently installing.

    • Alex Hicks

      Matthew, when you’re done can you let me know how the local multiplayer works? As I understand it the local ranked servers and server browser portions are not part of the game yet …

      That is literally a make or break for me

    • Uberutang

      Let us know what the Servers are like for PC please. Disks are sitting on my desk.

      • Matthew Holliday

        will when the 1.5gb of updates eventually finishes

        • Uberutang

          Thanks Matthew. 1.5 gig… sigh.

          • Matthew Holliday

            Servers are fine, exactly the same as MW3.
            soldier setups are different
            and theyv changed up the balance/mechanics, changing the gamestyle slightly.

            my biggest complaint is that it hits my pc like a truck, almost unplayable, that is my biggest dissappointment…

          • Uberutang

            Yeah played last night. Shockingly bad game for this late in 2013.
            They took the good stuff from BLOPS2 away and went back to MW3. Actually this is just MW3 with a new skin and few tweaks.

            Worse R399 ever spend on a game.

  • rekof

    How many maps are there in MP?

    • I don’t know for sure.. didn’t write it down.. but I think around 8

  • Uberutang

    Local servers not up yet?

  • Call of Duty Ghosts? Is this Ghost Recon or Call of Duty now? Saw a review on Kotaku and the first sentence was.

    “Three men huddle around a campfire, eager to hear the story of an elite force of highly-feared soldiers. Ghosts, they’re called”

    So ask again here too, is this Ghost Recon or call of booty, I mean duty. My bad, my bad. XD Lol

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      I’m currently playing Ghost Recon Future Soldier… HOLY FREAKING COW, it’s awesome. I wish I had gotten it before I played Splinter Cell Blacklist, because they share so much in terms of controls. The weapon customisation in Future Soldier is brilliant. I really wish that other games would do something similar.

      • I agree, I played Ghost Recon Future Soldier was epic, enjoyed every bit of the game.

  • Ultimo_Cleric N7

    I will get it ^^

  • Milesh Bhana

    you have a PS4???

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    No thanks, I’ll pass through Go and collect my $200.

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      Good review though, but this game… argh! It just makes me want to shake my fist, and punch through walls!

  • RobertjG60

    wasted $60, they lied about the dedicated servers. the mouse is sluggish. Low frame rate even with graphics set low

  • Nintendo Fan 4 Lif3

    is extinction mode online only because it looks like fun?

  • Danny Friday

    not really good news for next gen…hopefully someone else will come in a step these kind of games up to the next level and finally leave COD to R.I.P

    • shanbuscus

      im hoping thats what killzone shadow fall will do



  • Rockstar

    Nice review Gavin!

  • Panga

    Not happy with this game Graphics on PC looks dated and the match making system is terrible again just like MW3… Unfortunately not money well spent

  • qd22vcc

    black ops 2 is excellent? For those who played from the beginning….black ops is only for the ADd gamer style…..COD lost the openness to their maps and you can’t really play many other ways than run and gun……im a long time lover of cod but after black ops, they are losing me

  • sad

    The worst call of duty I have played to this point. I would like to know who is reviewing these games seriously if you can’t tell what a good game is then you have no right to be rating games in the first place. This version of cod is just like black ops 2 just throw some new maps on it and call it ghost. The weapons are prettt much the same, hit system is shitty along with alot of lucky one shot kills the graphics do not look impressive at all to me. I’m tired of people rating these games when all you do is hype these type of games up to such a level that is bull shit! So you can make a quick dollar off your lies. I’m so close to being done with the cod series the only reason I still have alittle faith is because I hope that you will be smart enough to make a cod similar to mw3. Overall I wouldn’t even rate this game a 4.

    • JHN


  • JHN

    Playing it at the moment really enjoying the single player, its not going to revolutionize gaming as we know it but it is good fun.

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Apparently…. (COD Xbone single player requires Xbox Live)

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