Call of Duty: Ghosts has been out for nearly three weeks now, but the PlayStation 4 version had to wait in the wings an extra week for Sony’s new console to launch. I reviewed the PS3 version of Ghosts in its entirety and everything mentioned there is translatable to the PS4 version aside from some presentation enhancements to take advantage of more powerful hardware.
For PS4, developer Infinity Ward has refined the Ghosts graphics engine to run at native 1080p at 60-frames-per-second. While it takes a discerning eye to see the difference in most cases, here it is very evident. To put it simply, Ghosts looks incredible on the PS4. The textures are sharp with zero aliasing, and the color palette seems to have added thousands of new shades of the primary colors. I ran a quick comparison between the PS3 and the PS4, playing both the opening missions of the solo campaign and a few different games of online multiplayer on each system. As expected the PS4’s presentation was miles ahead of the already great-looking PS3 version.
As for the game control and play control, the new control sticks of the DualShock 4 (now concave on the surface, instead of a bulbous mushroom) really help when sprinting and quickly aiming down the sights after said sprinting. I’d like to see more implementation with the DS4’s touch screen. As of now it acts as the “select” button on the PS3. Also, the share mode and Live From PlayStation modes are in full effect to record and publish and even gamecast gameplay.
As I said in my initial review, Call of Duty games have their own sub-culture of fans and players. These are folks that will call in from work on launch day, drop hours upon hours into the game all year long, and will only stop playing it when another Call of Duty game is released. For these people, Ghosts is a welcome addition to the Call of Duty family.
For the rest of us, the casual players and the military FPS fans, Ghosts feels too familiar in too many areas, and may be a let down in other areas. While the story campaign is easily one of the franchise’s best, the online multiplayer is boring, and that is a word that should never be used in any military FPS game. The maps are insipid and maybe too big. How many maps of war-torn streets, malls, train stations, etc. are considered too much? Missing the opportunity for an underwater and outer space map or two may be the biggest mistake in the history of the franchise. The next great innovation now falls to Treyarch, who are presumably hard at work as we speak on the follow up to Black Ops II and with the dev kits of the PS4 in hand from the get go. Here’s to hoping that they can pull it off.
All in all, if you are a fan of Call of Duty, you are still a fan and this is the game for you. If you are a fringe fan or an FPS dabbler, you may get bored quickly after the stellar story mode ends. With a plethora of FPS games clogging the PS4’s launch, you might find a better game out there, especially in regards to the multiplayer in Ghosts.
Regardless of which camp you belong to, Activision will continue to roll out a new game year after year, and if Call of Duty: Ghosts is your “down year game,” expect the next installment to right the boat. With a full development cycle in place to work with a PS4 dev kit, I expect some great things in the future.
Call of Duty: Ghosts next-gen was reviewed on PS4 using a copy purchased at retail. It was released November 12, 2013 for PS4, and November 19 for Xbox One.