The Next Generation of COD
The next generation of Call of Duty is coming, and it’s bringing with it some very big changes.
“I think everyone was expecting us to play it safe this year, and release Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4” said Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg. “We didn’t want to do the safe thing; we wanted to do the right thing, and that meant eliminating as many creative restrictions as possible.”
One of the most noticeable changes made with Ghosts lies in the setting: Activision and Infinity Ward have tossed out the well-known and well-trod setting of the Modern Warfare series and instead have opted to look towards the future for the next generation (literally). Ghosts opens up with a catastrophe: the American empire has collapsed, its forces are crippled, and its infrastructure is devastated. It’s not entirely clear how this happened, but it’s heavily implied that a superior military force was somehow responsible – or, at the very least, that such a force seized control after the crisis played out. Whatever the case, the world as we know it has more or less come crashing to an end; Call of Duty: Ghosts will be set in what essentially amounts to a post-apocalyptic world.
You and your team hail from the remnants of some of the U.S’s most elite fighting forces, collectively known as Ghosts. Though you’re some of the best trained soldiers in the world, the enemy you’re fighting against has technology that is in every way superior to yours. You are, in short, the underdog.
From what we’ve seen so far, Infinity ward wants to put even more focus on narrative than they have in previous Call of Duty titles. One of the ways they wish to achieve this is through what they term “emotional reality”. Through a combination of an advanced rendering engine, and characters dreamt up by acclaimed scriptwriter Stephen Gaghan (Traffic; Syriana), Infinity Ward and Activision hope to draw players to connect with their characters like never before. Oh, and one of your squadmates will be a dog.
Another thing that’s clear is that Infinity Ward is pulling out all the stops where graphics and realism are concerned, using a fusion of rendering technologies – both new and old – to make this one of the best looking Call of Duty games ever made. The quality they’re shooting for is pretty intense: they’re hoping to display things such as bruises and even the dirt under the Ghost’s fingernails. They’ve even gone so far as to add an A.I. system which will manage the environments. What we’ve seen of the game so far does indeed look stunning, but it remains to be seen if we’ll glimpse such an absurdly high level of detail in the final product.
A number of new gameplay mechanics will also be making their debut with COD: Ghosts. At the moment, we’re aware of two: the ability to lean around walls and obstacles, and the ability to execute a running slide. The mantle system, too, is still present, and it features new and improved animation.
Of course, a great many of you are probably more interested in the multiplayer than anything else. I’m sorry to say, details are scant about this at the moment. What we do know is that multiplayer matches will feature dynamic, ever-changing maps. Changes to a particular arena could be somewhat small (like a player knocking down a stack of pipes or blowing up a car) or positively massive (floods, collapsing buildings, earthquakes). The degree to which these maps will be mutable isn’t yet clear, but we have the potential here for some positively incredible gameplay. All we know aside from this is that you’ll also be able to customize your multiplayer avatar.
Overall, Ghosts looks like it’ll be a fairly impressive entry in the Call of Duty series and the perfect first step into the next generation of gaming for one of Activision’s most popular franchises.
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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