Transformers: Devastation Review

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When I was younger you were guaranteed to find 3 things in my bedroom, computer games, books and Transformers figures.

As I have gotten older not much has changed, you can still find Transformers figures, in fact as I write this review I am under the watchful gaze of two Masterpiece Optimus Prime figures and a small army of characters from various series and continuities.

So it was with great pleasure that I received the newest entry into the Transformers game series to review- Transformers: Devastation. Will this live up to the high expectations that old school Transformers fans will have?

Transformers: Devastation is developed by Platinum Games, the development team behind MadWorld, Bayonetta 1 & 2, Vanquish, The Wonderful 101, and Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, and Published by Activision. Released on PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox 360 & Xbox One. Today I am looking at the PC release.

Transformers: Devastation is a third-person, action game, similar in style to Vanquish and even the Bayonetta series, if there is one thing that Platinum Games can do well; it is the third person brawler. And Transformers: Devastation is no exception.

The story of Transformers: Devastation is a fairly simple yet enjoyable one, Megatron (the leader of the Decepticons, the bad guys for those not in the know) has discovered an ancient Cybertronian ship beneath the city, and with it plans to terraform, or Cyberform the planet, to create the new Cybertron (the Transformers homeworld). It is up to Optimus Prime (leader of the Autobots, the good guys) to stop this from happening.

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You are given the choice of 5 Autobot warriors to play through during the story.

Optimus Prime- Leader of the Autobots, high stats all round and can use all weapons. He transforms into the cab of a truck.

Bumblebee- Scout, smallest of the Autobots, also the weakest. He transforms into a little yellow sports car.

Sideswipe- Warrior, low defence, high speed. Can jump the furthest. He transforms into a red Lamborghini-style sports car

Wheeljack- Engineer, Low HP but has an energy shield. He transforms into a Lancia-like sports car

Grimlock- Commander, high strength, high defence, but bad with most weapons. The odd one out of the group, he transforms into a T-Rex

You can change your character at any of the Ark access points, green Autobot symbols, found in the game and after each death so if you are finding a section a bit difficult with your chosen Autobot, you can attempt it again with a different character and weapons load out.

If you have played any of Platinum Games previous games you should have a good idea of how Transformers: Devastation plays out, at the start of each chapter you will select your character, after which you will enter the game.

Your objective will tell you what needs to be done: Kill X, Locate X, Get X, Stop X from getting away… you get the idea.

Combat is simple; you have your light, heavy and ranged attacks. Each attack depends on the items you have equipped, and equipment drops pretty regularly from most fights.

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Of course having all this equipment dropping quickly adds up to lots of low-level gear. Handily back at the Ark you can synthesize the equipment you don’t want to use, this is done by selecting the weapon you wish to use as the base, this will be the weapon you want to upgrade, then select the items you wish to synthesize into it, doing this will level up the base weapon making it stronger, faster, and just all round improved in general.

Weapons are not the only things that can be customized, the credits you bring back to the Ark in between each mission can be used to buy new moves for your characters, and can be spent on creating T.E.C.H, these are little upgrades to that can be used to increase health regeneration, item collection, guard strength, ultimate attack damage… and so on.

It is not all third person action though, there are the occasional jumping puzzles, a section involving your chosen hero racing along a road in Alt mode (they are Transformers after all) shooting down enemies and jumping holes, and a spot where the camera switches to an overhead view where you have to find red Energon (explosives).

The cell shaded graphics suit the game perfectly. The characters look stunning, and the semi-open world looks brilliant, and for critics of the Michael Bay movies who said the films focused too much on the humans, good news! There is not a single human to be found in the game, only abandoned vehicles which can be picked up and thrown around.

The soundtrack for Transformers: Devastation has tracks contributed by Transformers stalwart Vince DiCola, and features the vocal talents of Peter Cullen (Optimus Prime), Frank Welker (Megatron/Soundwave), Gregg Berger (Grimlock), Dan Gilvezan (Bumblebee) & Michael Bell (Sideswipe) Who all reprise their original 1984 cartoon voice roles.

Transformers: Devastation is a fantastic nostalgia trip while the Fall of/War For Cybertron games helped bring the series to newer fans, Devastation wears its old school heart on its sleeve, from the Spike & Sparkplug shop signs to the Kreemzeek collectibles, Devastation knows who its target audience is.

So yes, the game is good, damn good. But it is not without its flaws.

Occasionally the camera suffers the same fate as most Third Person Action games… losing track of what’s happening and getting stuck facing the wrong way at the worst possible moment; for me it was the fight against the Constructicons Gestalt (combined) form Devastator and the Stunticons Gestalt Menasor, these giants filled the screen and after one particularly brutal attack, all I could see were explosions and the camera got stuck… I died pretty quickly after this.

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The campaign length is another disappointment, clocking in at 5 hours 40 minutes on normal difficulty to complete a casual play through, and no searching for pickups or collectibles, just focusing on the story.

If you are a completionist and make it your goal to hunt down all the collectibles I would guess at another 1-2 hours.

If you get a bit frustrated with the campaign there is also the challenge mode, this allows you to play through the side mission challenges you can find in each chapter straight from the main menu. These range from clearing the area of enemies, racing to checkpoints while collecting Energon, and finding all the hidden loot caches within an allotted time.

Fan’s of the original 1984 cartoon will more than likely play this and fondly reminisce about the times they were sat on the floor watching the TV show, and while it is primarily based at the Generation One fans, there are some very nice nods to the current toy line, The Combiner Wars… (If the name didn’t give it away, there are a lot of Gestalts in the toyline)

Pro’s:

A fun filled nostalgia trip

Solid controls

Probably the best use of Cell Shading in a game

Con’s:

A little short

Limited replayability

Score: 7/10

Call of Duty AW: Ascendance DLC Review

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Whether you love or hate it, one thing cannot be denied. This game is a juggernaut. The sheer volume of DLC and customisation is enough to make the most cynical fan-boy cave in and purchase something. Be it a season pass – which many would argue is not worth its full cost, or just a weapon skin.

This brings me neatly to the second of Activision’s planned expansion packs for COD. Ascendance. Boasting of four new maps, a new zombies experience, and a new weapon, The Ohm LMG/Shotgun (What?!).

There is a lot of glitz and glamour around these releases, with the addition of new unlockables, helmets, armour, Exo equipment, and the promise of several days of 2x Experience. Quite often it is very easy to get a game as the online attendees swell the gaming ranks.

The Maps:
Following in its usual business model Activision/Sledgehammer have given 1 old map a shiny makeover, and presented three new maps to boost around whilst attached to a metal exoskeleton and carrying weaponry enough to destroy a small army..

Perplex:
This my favourite map out of the four. Based in Australia, battle commences around an apartment complex built out of sections that slot together like a modular PC. Awash with bright colours and brilliant verticality it often leads to race to control the top floor, as the team which can manage this best of all tends to win the day. That’s not always a perfect choice though, as the top of the complex is very open and can be attacked for ALL sides. The environmental change takes place halfway through a game when nearby cranes begin to move some of the modular buildings to new positions, exposing some camping spots and creating new hidey holes.

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Comprising of a three lane battlefield, fighting around the crashed hulk of an alien space craft in the shadow of Mt Rushmore.  This gives some excellent vantages points for snipers to make use of. There are a lot of intersecting tunnels and paths to allow you to traverse the map quickly whilst avoiding the majority of fire.  In my experience it’s best to stay mobile, the longer you remain static the quicker you will be flanked. There is no environmental event on this map.

Climate:
My least favourite of the maps. This takes place inside a Biome entirely controlled by nanobot technology. Fighting takes place around a small circle in the very centre of the map and there is little place to hide. Expect the enemy team to be waiting for you when you run around a corner and adjust accordingly. The middle holds a pool of water, when a klaxon alerts the whole map halfway through the level advising that the nanobots are malfunctioning, avoid the water at all costs as it turns to extremely caustic acid killing you very quickly. Happily to make sure you are aware of the change the water turns a putrid green colour.

Chop Shop:
This is the redux map. Modernised to reflect the future, this symmetrical industrial complex is the site of an exoskeleton black market, selling and removing exo suit parts. Fighting tends to clump in the central corridor, and is a very efficient way of controlling the game. However this leaves the side walkways mostly clear of enemies, meaning ambush attacks are relatively easy to spring if the opposing team is much less cohesive than yours.

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Zombies is still a lot of fun if you have friends to play with, suffering only when you solo cue and play with randoms. With a further selection of armoury collectibles dependent on progress through the Burgertown level and the weirder weapons found in the pack a punch boxes.

The last thing i will speak about is the new weapon. How they managed to pull off a machine gun shotgun hybrid is beyond me. The weapon in its base form is very heavy, meaning it’s slow to aim down sight. Changing from LMG to shotgun is not overly rapid either, but fast hands mitigates this somewhat. Shooting down sight for anything longer than a second renders the weapon really inaccurate, but with little recoil. I struggled with this weapon, having to resort to being a sneaky bastard and pouncing on campers with the shotgun, which to be fair, is extremely powerful within 5 feet. Unlocking a sight for this gun and the fore-grip turns the LMG into a death laser. The improvement is markedly different, making achieving the no mods camo unlock MUCH more difficult with this gun.

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Pros:
-New maps are fun and fast
-New weapon choice
-Extra unlockables for even more customisable character
-Perplex really is awesome

Cons :
-Expensive to buy individually
-Even more purchasable skins and stickers for ludicrous prices
-New maps not added to hardcore Team Deathmatch rotation, Hardcore fans miss out unless they play Mosh Pit – which is always empty as a game lobby
-Re-used old maps is still not popular with fans across any FPS game

Score 7/10

 

White Night Review | XBox One | PC

white-night-game-logo-low-20140512It is hard not to be initially taken by White Night. The heavy film noir style coupled with the gravelly voiceover harks back to the old style detective and horror movies with the presentation wrapped up in a stark black and white palette. It feels distinctly fresh, different than many other titles that have arrived in the last few months, simply by daring to look different. How it plays however is distinctly old school.

The plot centres on the exploration of a house where the lights have gone out and no one appears to be home. As should be obvious there is some form of tragedy that has occurred and the main aim divulges into two separate requirements, to get out and find out what happened. What this translates to is a noir version of Resident Evil where fixed camera angles present each environment for both exploration and puzzle solving.

It also presents each arena with enemies. Specifically apparition’s intent on consuming the player should they to stray too close. They can be defeated by electric light, and the creation of that is one of the central pillars of the gameplay. The art style is not just an artistic choice; it is also key to progress.

White_Night_Launch_Screenshot_2_1425397837Light plays an important part throughout the game as generating it illuminates solutions and creates the ability to defeat the apparitions. But it needs to be electric light, something that is in short supply upon initially entering the mansion, leading to matches being the only way to initially explore the surroundings. There is a thrill of both nervousness and intrigue in exploring this location under limited light, trying desperately to find a light switch to alleviate the brooding atmosphere present in the environment.

This is where the game excels, the slow pace of exploration and gradual unravelling of the story through finding clues and solving puzzles is both tense and exhilarating. There is a pervasive feeling of foreboding in every room that is entered, a sense of danger mixed with intrigue that is very well expressed by the art style where at times the only window open to the player is created by a single match.

White_Night_Launch_Screenshot_3_1425397838The other clever aspect of this is limiting the number of matches that can be carried at any time. With only 12 in the inventory and refills not always available there is a risk and reward balance to take into account when exploring. How far is it worth trekking to explore further when the only supply of light could run out? Certainly there were moments during my playthrough where I feared my supply would dwindle, adding another layer of anxiety to the experience. Coupled with a manual save system it meant each exploration trip became a question of how far could I go before needing to head back to a save location. It is a good dynamic, one that forced decisions onto me on a regular basis and made me question what I needed to do so that I did not lose the progress that I had made so far.

Unfortunately this also leads to the biggest frustration. The apparitions that exist can kill in a single hit and are frustratingly inconsistent in their environment placement. They appear to follow no fixed pattern and appear almost at random, leading to some of the most annoying exploration I have had for a very long time. Due to the fixed camera angles it can be incredibly easy to get caught on a piece of scenery and the darkness means walking blindly into an apparition is far easier than it should be. There have been attempts to provide signs that something is wrong through the flicking of the match light but that is rarely enough indication before I was hit.

It can almost ruin the game as an exploration experience and it comes across as feeling almost forced, as if the developers felt like a threat was required to provide impetuous and fear to the environment they had created. While it does fit in and makes sense with the plot there are points where simple exploration mixed with well-crafted scares and a sense of unease would have provided the same outcome.

White_Night_Launch_Screenshot_4_1425397838There are also a lot of written collectibles, the tale being told piecemeal by journals, diary entries and correspondents. It breaks the flow of the game, consistently stops and starts the gameplay and calls out for the words to be spoken rather than read. However the reality of independent development means this may have been a cost they could not afford to take.

White Night feels like a good idea filled with compromise. A superb setting and art style compounded by the need for a threat that nearly overrode my enjoyment of the game. I liked the exploration and unravelling a tale in an environment that felt both familiar and different, using light to discover my next move and plot my escape. There is a lot to enjoy here, a lot to explore but be warned the frustrations could eventually suffocate that feeling of accomplishment.

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review

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Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare has been a complete, out-of-nowhere surprise for me. For both good and bad. From playing every single game in the franchise since Modern Warfare, I thought I knew exactly how Advanced Warfare would pan out. As soon as I clicked start, all my expectations and preconceptions instantly changed.

For the first time since Call of Duty 4, it’s the campaign mode that really stands out with this game. I’d heard early reports about how good it was, so instead of my usual practice of getting stuck straight into the multiplayer, I started on single-player first. I’m glad I did.

The story is great. It doesn’t venture too far from the traditional Call of Duty set up, but not since Black Ops has the franchise been so successful in implementing the formula. It’s better than Black Ops. The wide variety of locales feels interesting, but never forced. In previous games I’ve found jumping from regions and environments to be jarring and at times laughable, but here it slotted in with the plot seamlessly. They picked some really great locations, too. I particularly enjoyed the Greek town of Santorini, the narrow and winding backstreets and claustrophobic white terraces perfectly portraying a sense of place.

7135_08_0011_s20140903-0031_1412351264It’s been a while since I’ve noticed cut-scenes, but these are easily the best I’ve ever seen. Every single animation is fluid and life-like, and as expected – Kevin Spacey completely steals the show. He’s basically his character of Frank Underwood from TV show House of Cards. Friendly yet menacing, helpful yet distrustful. Sledgehammer has used the actor perfectly here, getting them fully immersed in the project rather than a lazy afternoon voice-over session, pinned to another actor’s mo-cap work. You can see from mannerisms and expressions that you’re watching Kevin Spacey, his acting pedigree and ability pushing the series into a new era of narrative and direction.

Levels are well-paced and absolutely perfect in length. It’s been a while since I’ve had ‘just one more level’ syndrome, but I found myself rubbing my eyes in the early hours of the morning, rationalising how I could squeeze in another mission before bed time. They’ve broken it down well into chunks of fun, manageable gameplay that leaves you wanting more. For the first time in ages, I also spent time away from my console thinking about it. You know a game’s good when you’re at work, counting down the hours until you can rush back home to get back into it.

Unlike most games that either stray too far into the ridiculous or play it ridiculously safe, the equipment and weaponry in Advanced Warfare is fantastic. It all feels grounded in reality, an insight into the future of technology rather than a leap of imagination. The EXO suit skills and abilities are a bit hit and miss, but stuff like the mute charge, the stealth camo and the grenades are phenomenal. The breach moments are really well-thought out, and the progression of equipment is nice and gradual, using the full arsenal of tricks and abilities by the end without feeling like a continuous struggle uphill to master everything.

7135_08_0042_s20140903-0031_1412351267For all its vision and advancement in the campaign mode, it’s sadly let down by an all-too-familiar multiplayer. But really and crucially, it’s not the game’s fault. Call of Duty is stuck in a paradox from which escaping is very difficult. Let’s look at it two ways.

Firstly, the series is widely renowned as a massive landmark in FPS multiplayer, especially for consoles, due to its introduction of class-levelling systems and loadouts in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. The collectible nature of weapon camos and customisations it introduced broke new ground when it was released 7 years ago. It quickly gained a loyal, fanatical fan base and set the tone and pace of future games to come.

But in today’s landscape, it’s the Call of Duty series itself that is the traditional, stale experience. Games have moved on, improving and updating the formula. And here I’m looking at Destiny, Bungie’s FPS MMO, in particular. I think it’s worth mentioning other games in this review as they are going to be undoubtedly compared. And rightly so. If people are going to sink a lot of time into a levelling system to improve and upgrade characters, they want to make sure they’re doing it for the best game they can.

With Destiny, players create characters and gain equipment much more in an MMO style, further expanding on the RPG elements Call of Duty first experimented with. Bungie took this idea to the next logical stage, and created a character that is uniquely yours, taking it all the way through campaign missions and into the multiplayer arena. In Destiny, I truly cared about my armour, or the weapon you had been using for countless hours. After that experience, it feels a little backwards coming back to the simple façade of character creation, new items of clothing and emblems are little more than token gestures of time spent in-game. It’s not that Call of Duty has done anything particularly wrong with its multiplayer, it’s just not kept up with the times.

And if we look at where it’s tried to innovate, it’s already been beaten to the punch. One of the key things it’s tried to change up, and indeed the first message it displays as you start multiplayer, is the verticality and EXO abilities. They promise to be ‘the biggest change to multiplayer in the game’s 10 year history’. Sadly, not only has this already been done, but it’s been done better. Titanfall, released earlier this year by Respawn (a company made up of ex-Call of Duty developers), completely nailed the scale and verticality that Call of Duty is going for here. Titanfall is bigger, better designed and pulls off the futuristic setting better in the context of multiplayer. It feels better to control, and feels closer to achieving what Advanced Warfare was going for.

Destiny and Titanfall aren’t perfect, and Advanced Warfare feels like the middle-ground between both, but not in a good way. By sticking to its standard approach and adding variety by tacking-on even more features and weapons, multiplayer feels more bloated than ever. And with its competition innovating and expanding, Call of Duty’s multiplayer is simply out-gunned, outclassed and outdone by the others.

7135_08_0048_s20140903-0031_1412351268I say all of this with a particularly heavy heart, as I’ve absolutely loved previous instalment’s multiplayer mode. I’ve prestiged in every game with the exception of Modern Warfare 3, so I’d like to think I have some weight to my opinion. It’s not bad by any means, it’s just lost its edge and innovation that once made it so addictive and compelling.

So should you go out and buy Advanced Warfare? You absolutely should. But not for the reasons I initially thought. For the first time in ages, Call of Duty’s campaign is back on top to stake its claim as the most exciting and dramatic FPS around. A stale and traditional multiplayer lets the experience down overall, but this fails to put any dampeners on what is a thrilling, must-play experience for the single-player. And we still have Zombie mode to come. Ooh-Rahh.

 

Score: 8/10

 

Cult of Call Of Duty: A Franchise For The Unhinged?

N-Gage_Call_Of_Duty_logo_hi_psd_jpgcopyAs Activision start getting ready to dish out this year’s Sledgehammer Games flavoured Kool-Aid to their millions of quick scoping, rage quitting, energy drinking, stupid glasses wearing, jerky eating, modded controller wielding fundamentalists. It felt like a good time to have a deeper look at phenomenon that is Call of Duty and the lengths that the most ardent players will go to for the highest K/D ratio.

Call of Duty started life on PC back in 2003. Created by the now much diminished Infinity Ward, the original title and its expansion by Gray Matter Interactive; United Offensive, had a heart and soul that has been M.I.A since the first Modern Warfare. With most of the team coming from the once great Medal of Honor franchise, the first game, and the second numbered entry had a gravitas that can only be found by being based on the real world horrors of the Second World War.

1, 2 and 3 came over as an opus to the truly heroic and courageous men from all sides of the war…. Hell, even the Russians who are increasingly used as the go-to bad guys had a starring role. Sure, the chisel jawed American GI’s played a part as did the pithy Brits but they were not alone in their valorous endeavours. Polish, Canadian, French and Dutch all played a major part in the campaigns for the first 3 games, and the campaigns were all the better for it.

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I’m not going to go on about what has happened to the franchise since those heady days, the people that care will already know, and those who don’t wouldn’t be interested. Call of Duty, just think about those words and try to forget the games for a minute. The fact that they still use the name has become an insult to the games that came before and, more importantly the people and ideals the first few entries originally venerated. Team America saves the world really has been done to death now, the franchise if rife with cheese, plastic American cheese that comes in a squirty can, super-sized.

Much has been written about the declining stands of the games, and with each new instalment the complaints get louder, even from their dedicated fan-base. Believe me having played all of the games to date I truly understand these complaints. I hated COD Ghosts and, once I completed the campaign and had my fill of multiplayer after 10 or so hours, I haven’t touched it again. But the fans, oh the fans, instead of just not playing it and perhaps giving Activision pause for thought as the online numbers dwindle, they continue to play it! Sure, making constant YouTube videos about why it’s so bad for their 5 viewers, but they just can’t seem to kick the habit, if that’s not addiction I don’t know what is.

Whilst they might not be mugging grannies for their pension money just yet, being a follower of the Call of Duty fashion is becoming increasingly expensive. With the explosion of so called E-Sports and the Beetle mania that surrounds the “top” players, the faithful have to spend a pretty penny to emulate their generally foul mouthed, rather obnoxious idols. With modded controllers that give them an advantage over the everyday COD player like you and me, costing upwards of £100, that’s knocking on for £200 by the time you’ve got the game, the increasingly bizarre maps and expansions, not forgetting subscription fees for wherever you game. This is just the beginning of the craziness.

With pro-players being endorsed by just about everything from controllers, energy drinks, fancy sunglasses, headsets, snack bars and even beef jerky. Businesses are cropping up left right and centre to push unnecessary twaddle on the millions of players whose brains must surely be lacking some vital components to be taken in by such blatantly unnecessary cash consuming crap.

 

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Whilst the controllers might actually give the zealots some actual gaming advantage the same cannot be said for everything else. Nearly £100 for a set of glorified sunglasses that you can pick up from your local £1 shop is mind boggling. Supposedly used to reduce eye-strain, there is of course a free alternative, put your controller down and step into the real world for 15 minutes every hour, controversial I know but it really works!

Fruity caffeine laced drinks that cost £1 a pop, but don’t forget the special £10 drinks bottle so that the two people watching your Twitch stream know that you only drink the best! Hungry? How about one of the vilest culinary inventions ever known to man? It tastes like shit but all the cool kids eat Jerky. There is no limit to the way that clever businessmen will make money from simple minded fools.

From the Koresh like Kotick, leading his flock to rapture every November, to the other business men and women who peddle their wares to the unthinking masses rubbing their hands with glee. Call of Duty is undoubtedly a billion dollar franchise, but it’s everyone who is earning millions on the periphery who are laughing all the way to the bank. Year after year internet prophets predict the demise of Call of Duty, and yet like some vast behemoth, incapable of correcting its course it thunders on, sweeping up a new crop of weak minded noobs, fresh fodder for the capitalist kingpins who mastermind this great machine.

Call of Duty died a long time ago in my eyes, and for the first time since the series began I won’t be buying this year’s entry or any others in its undoubtable long future that lies ahead. It’s time to let it go, let it rest in peace. I’ll be re-watching Band of Brothers this November instead of playing a rehashed 8 hour campaign, and instead of stumping up cash for map packs I will only play for a few hours I’ll be donating to Help for Heroes.

 

Everything That Is Wrong With Call of Duty: Ghosts

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Everything That Is Wrong With Call Of Duty: Ghosts    **SPOILER ALERT**

Call of Duty: Ghosts has come under a lot of fire for many reasons and I understand why. The game itself feels less like any other Call of Duty I’ve played, I find it disappointing- but it would be important to say I don’t hate the game. I feel indifferent to it. To me it just doesn’t feel like Call of Duty. So I’ve decided to go through and highlight some of the games shortcomings and list exactly where I think this Call of Duty game has gone awry, and where it is too much of the same.

It all starts with the Campaign. Am I the only one with a bad case of Déjà vu?  During the first mission, ODIN is unleashed and Logan (played by you) and Hesh manage to survive the blast from a flying gas tanker. Once you awaken you may think you were playing a remake of the last mission from Modern Warfare 2. It is in fact a cut scene that has been recycled. The fact they seemingly did this does them no favours, when people all over the internet are claiming that every game is a re-skin of the previous. It takes more than four years for CoD fans to forget what many consider the greatest Call of Duty of all time.

The Campaign also doesn’t deliver as much of a punch as previous core games of the series. It’s not as emotionally captivating as the Modern Warfare series – it doesn’t take us through as many twists and turns as the Black Ops series. It feels almost hollow, with the main focus being on becoming a ‘Ghost’- which y’know, is the most important thing during the end of the world- well that and your attack dog.

Multiplayer… Now where do I begin? Since day one it has been riddled with spawning issues, framerate issues, a lack of what I would define as good killstreaks. Seriously unbalanced weapons and not to mention some very poorly designed maps.

I have video -clips in my OneDrive/XboxOne uploaded of some serious spawn killing, I’m sure other seasoned players can testify to this, as do the videos I have linked on this piece.

I’m not just talking about camping in or near a spawn and picking off people as they run out. I mean people spawning in front of me and me in front of them.  Now, you would think that as the maps are so huge this should NOT be happening, that there would be a radial spawn field that would make sure there are no opponents within that specific area before you spawn. What makes me laugh, is there has been several updates yet none really seem to address the problem.

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The frame rate issues have only really came about since the update that prepared for the Onslaught DLC pack. Although it is less noticeable on smaller maps- maps like “Stonehaven” have been affected with reports of between 45-60fps fluctuations on this map particularly. Also the field order for the map “Containment” creates a plethora of frame drops, leaving the experience feeling partially broken. Whilst aiming down the sights of a sniper rifle you will get about 30fps, frame rates are also dropping because of explosives and effects that use an alpha base. 60fps is what Call Of Duty is really known for, yet some report frame rates below 20fps and it’s yet to be fixed.

Before fix

After Fix


The kill streaks: In the beginning we had bulletproof dogs and invincible squad mates, now that they have leveled and balanced them to a degree. But what’s the point in going for high kill streaks when in all honesty-they suck? Gryphon’s are useless, unless you’re a perfect shot- they almost always take two shots (with explosives?). LOKI is pretty useless because of the sheer amount of buildings to hide in (same situation with Helo Pilot), not to mention how long it actually takes to fire and for the shot to be received.  Rather than kill streaks they should just allow you a pack of IED’s for your kill streak. How often can you escape an IED? Even with lightweight and marathon if you tripped that IED you will most likely die even if you’re the other side of a wall.

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The maps are generally pretty awful. A lot of them are far too big, and offer far more to campers than to people who enjoy fast paced action (which is what Call Of Duty WAS). It seems like you have to run 3 miles to see anyone, only to get killed by someone who has just spawned behind you and shot you in the back. There are FAR too many head glitching points, the game seems to give unfair advantage to those willing to use the dirty tracker sight and sit in one place the whole game.

OVERALL , I can honestly say I don’t hate the game, I’m just disappointed with it. It doesn’t offer much in terms of mixed game play, like previously stated- it seems to ally itself with CoD campers. I am a rush player, and have found I have to slow myself down and adapt to this game. I honestly think that maybe Infinity Ward is tired. With Respawn Entertainment (seemingly the talent of Infinity Ward) releasing Titanfall later this month it will be interesting to see how many players will actually remain on Call of Duty: Ghosts.

I think there is a possibility that the combination of Raven, Infinity Ward and Neversoft may be removed from the cycle if Sledgehammer does well and IW do not step up to the plate with their next game.  All the problems with this game so far seem like amateur mistakes; maybe these are something to do with Raven and Neversoft? I don’t know, but this is not what I expected from Activision and Infinity Ward.

 

Author: Mark Kerry

Platform Played: Xbox One

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