Last night saw Call of Duty Ghosts introduce some brand new ideas to its popular multiplayer side of the game. More guns! Semi-destructible maps! Women! If you don’t have time to watch the entire event, thanks to draconian work rules, then here’s a handy dandy round-up of what you need to know.
The ability to finally create an attractive future corpse for online play has arrived. Players will have around 20 000 possible combinations to choose from for their digital soldiers, which also includes for the very first time in Call of Duty, choosing your gender.
Some of these customisations will even offer a tactical advantage instead of being purely cosmetic in nature. You’ll be able to tailor up to ten soldiers, with each one of those squad members earning individual XP, rewards and prestiges.
There’ll be 20 killstreaks in Ghosts. And yes, one of them is Riley, who’ll spawn out of nowhere and chomp down on some throats when he’s summoned. There’ll also be fewer air-based Killstreaks this year, with Deathstreaks now being completely written out of the game.
Surprisingly the UAV is no longer included but has rather been replaced by a ground based radio. Apparently this will give you the player more tactical options as you can hide the radio making it harder to destroy.
Perks will operate on a points system in Ghosts, which will limit what you can equip to your soldier. To balance this though, you’ll be able to equip more perks to your soldier than you would have been able to in previous COD games.
How many more? Well you are given 20 perk points to spend with perks ranging from 1 point to 4 so you can load yourself up with 20 low tier perks or a mixture of higher tier and middle tier perks.
Weapons and classes
There’ll be thirty new death-dealing guns in Ghosts, and a new class by the name of the Marksman. The Marksman is explained as an intermediate between the Sniper and Assault class. It’s more versatile than the sniper but not quite as powerful as the assault class. According to the presentation it’s a very difficult class to master but also very powerful once you do.
Those static maps are about to get a lot more dynamic this year. While it may not offer the same level of destruction seen in the Battlefield series of games, destructible environmental objects will still be present and will serve as a more strategic element of combat when discovered.
These maps will also have set dynamic points which can be targeted to change the layout of the map. If people are sniping from inside the petrol station why not take it down and force them out to fight like men.. or women.
Another exciting addition to the experience is an all refined audio engine which will take into consideration your surroundings, including size, material and location, so that when you shoot the sound will dynamically change depending on where you are.
What’s even more interesting is that the maps are now also waiting for certain things to happen that will trigger audio effects. Throw a grenade at the guy in the corner and when it explodes the chain link fence behind you will flex and reverberate with the explosion.
And my personal favourite, the maps will now call out to you with dynamic information of where the enemies are. No longer do you have to hear that someone threw a grenade nowhere near you. But while running past an empty pharmacy you may hear your team mate call out “Sniper fire coming from the pharmacy” to alert you to the fact that people are hiding in there.
This will make a huge difference to the tactical experience once you start figuring out all the dynamic audio points. Maybe hiding on that ledge isn’t the best idea since everyone gets told about you being there.
Squads Mode will have players customising soldiers into a team for head to head combat with other players. You can enlist players to go along with you in teams of up to six people, or gun it alone if you prefer with your AI backed-up squad. It’ll be “quick action” co-op according to Infinity Ward, and when you’re offline, your AI controlled squad can still earn you some XP when they get challenged by other teams.
Squads will also be making an appearance in the aptly named Squads mode that will see players pit their squads against other opponents. You’ll be able to enlist to play solo, cooperatively up to 6-players, or competitively for one vs. one, head-on matches pitting players and their squads against others and their squads.
Your squads AI will change depending on the load outs you set them up with. So if you load all 10 with snipers they will all hang back and try take out the oncoming enemy squad. If both squads are full of snipers we may all die from boredom. But it is also important to remember that people can challenge your squad even when you are offline, so make sure your squad is always well prepared as you never know when they are going to be called into action.
We’ve two new gameplay modes this year; “Cranked” and “Search and Rescue” have been added to the official playlist, offering some new ideas on the trademark deathmatches of the series. Cranked will see players receiving a speed boost alongside several other attributes every time a kill is scored, but the caveat here is that you’ll need to keep scoring kills before the timer runs out, lest you explode into a bloody mess.
Search and Rescue goes in a more squad based direction. Players can be revived in this mode, provided that their team mate picks up their dog tag. If an enemy soldier grabs it however, they’ll die quicker than Steve Hofmeyer’s credibility.
Another interesting gameplay addition that was showcased was that of Battle Orders, where in the first person to die in the game will drop a suitcase. If you pick up the suitcase you are given your orders which will be a random selection such as “Kill two enemies while prone” or “Do the hokey pokey and turn around”. If you manage to complete the orders you will be rewarded with any one of the kill streaks. Which means that even though you are a total noob you could end up with the most powerful kill streak simply for killing 2 people.
Expect the usual season pass this year, which will have four content packs rolls out during the course of the year after launch. The big news here though, is that you’ll be able to transfer your prestige level, profiles and stats across console generations, with all DLC coming along for the ride as well.
Just remember they are very specific here, if you are a Xbox 360 gamer then your DLC will not transfer over to the PlayStation 4, you have to keep it in the family.
There are 3 new animations that have been added into the game. The first being a very Battlefield like mantle where you will barely slow down while leaping over low walls or ledges. The next being an automatic lean, so while you are in cover and you try look around the edge the soldier (and screen) will lean out automatically which appears to be an awesome addition.
The last one is the best looking however where you can now knee slide into a crouched position. It’s far more logical than the dolphin dive and watching someone slide towards you on their knees makes you feel like you really are in an awesome action movie… just remember to click shoot before he does.