laszlokovacs's Call of Duty: Ghosts (PC) review

Ghastly

Call of Duty: Ghosts requires fifty gigabytes of free space to install. Fifty. Five-zero. It also requires DirectX 11 support, though you'd never know it at a glance. The first time I attempted to run it on my home PC, it opened on the wrong monitor, and wouldn't allow me to use my monitor's native 1920 x 1080 resolution until I had manually edited text configuration files in the game's installation directory. Once I got that sorted, the picture was muddy, blurred, and the game dropped frames constantly. Even after extensive fiddling, the game still looked and ran considerably worse than last year's Black Ops 2.

Not off to a great start.

The campaign felt like a huge step backwards after the interestingly-told and player-influenced story of Black Ops 2. There's some vague exposition at the start about an oil crisis and some kind of fascist regime rising in South America, and at that point the game seems to forget what it's talking about and has you shoot guns in space. There's a dog, which acts as essentially another short vehicle segment to break up the shooting. Like the rest of the characters, it is utterly forgettable, and I actually forgot its name a couple of times over the course of the game. There's some Bond-villain trap-setting, like the bad guy rigging an entire Caracas skyscraper to explode on the off-chance that your character decides to break in (which you do, obviously), and there's some globetrotting for reasons that are not well-explained. The dog steals a helicopter at one point, and... I dunno. It just wasn't as funny as you'd hope. Everything feels so lazy, so by-the-numbers, that very little about it stands out in retrospect.

Oh, the bad guy looks a lot like that guy from Methadonia. I guess there's that.

The multiplayer seemed fine, but honestly I only played enough matches of team deathmatch to get to level 7 or so, and then I went back to Black Ops 2. The terrible performance persisted in multiplayer, and the low image fidelity actually made it harder to spot enemies. Additionally, the new class system was needlessly confusing and clunky, and it made it hard to determine what unlocked when, or how much of anything I should have.

The bottom line is that Ghosts is a product that does not measure up to the quality of the other games in its series. Not on any level. Grab Black Ops 2, if you haven't already, and let idiots like me tell scary stories about this one.

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