|Name||Call of Duty: Ghosts|
|Summary:||For the first time in years, we're looking forward to seeing a little bit more from a Call of Duty game.|
|Games Info:||Developer: Infinity Ward; Publishers: Activision, Square Enix (Japan)|
|Classification:||Not yet rated|
|Platform:||PC,PS3,Wii U,Xbox 360,Xbox One,PS4|
B-team, step aside: Infinity Ward is the A-team when it comes to Call of Duty, and they're back again with Call of Duty: Ghosts. We got to sit in on a behind closed doors session at E3, and saw two different levels from the new game.
In Ghosts, the United States is no longer the world's superpower, or even a world superpower. Some big, mysterious event that Infinity Ward currently isn't disclosing has changed the balance of power. Ten years after the event, a squad of elite soldiers called Ghosts - because they legally don't exist - are conducting an operation. What kind of operation? Again, Infinity Ward aren't telling.
When Call of Duty: Ghosts was announced at the Xbox reveal earlier this year, everyone made a big deal about the German Shepard dog in the trailer, Riley. What we didn't realise at the time was that Riley isn't just a companion that follows you around. On top of being adorable and a very good dog, he's a genuinely useful tool that you can use against enemy soldiers.
Riley is a dog with a combat vest, and a series of technologies that help you to command him. He has a camera, so you can use a tablet to see what he sees, and earpieces so you can give him commands even if he's not nearby. If you're in a position where you can't talk, you can still direct Riley left or right by using vibrating buzzers attached to Riley's collar.
The German Shepard isn't some police dog - he's trained not to maul, but to kill. He goes straight for the throat, although fortunately most of the gore is off-screen.
There are loads of other things Riley can do to help you. He can bark to distract enemies, drawing them into your line of fire, and leap through a weakened window to chase soldiers out into the open.
A second level we were showed at E3 was called Federation Day, and was a stealth operation where you and your squad have to take out enemy soldiers who are inside a skyscraper. To do that, you have to zip-line over from another building and pick off the men inside, one by one. You don't have the help of your canine companion, here - just your fellow soldiers and your trusty gun.
Toward the end of Federation Day, some rather tense music kicked in that made us think that something big was about to happen. Unfortunately, that never eventuated, although there were some cool looking kills as the soldiers rained death from above on unsuspecting enemies standing on a balcony.
One thing we noticed during Federation Day was the way Ghosts really holds your hand, every step of the way. It'll tell you what you need to do, and then five seconds later when you're closer to the objective it'll remind you again, perhaps twice, just to make sure you really do know what your immediate goal is. While it's certainly better than the game not telling you what to do at all, at some point it becomes slightly insulting to your intelligence.
Infinity Ward also showed a tech demo to demonstrate how much more detail goes into the environments in Call of Duty: Ghosts, as opposed to games made on the previous generation of consoles. While the difference was impressive, Ghosts was nothing compared to a game like Destiny. It's clear that Activision doesn't need to spend big on graphics compared to other franchises, as it'll sell anyway.
That said, we were pleasantly surprised by Ghosts - using Riley as an extra weapon looks interesting, and the Federation Day level was just plain badass. For the first time in years, we're looking forward to seeing a little bit more from a Call of Duty game.