A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to fly out to Los Angeles to cover Activision's pre-E3 press event. In past years this event has been much larger and provided some insight to some heavy hitters for the upcoming year, especially focusing on big franchises such as Call of Duty. This year is no different with Call of Duty as Infinity Ward once again takes the reigns of the franchise and veers away from the Modern Warfare series work it has done over it's last few iterations. While the Modern Warfare series has been incredibly popular in the past, it seems as though the time has come to start fresh, especially with the launch of a new generation of systems this coming holiday season.
Ever since the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the Call of Duty series has become one of the most popular first-person shooters in the market today. Since then, both Infinity Ward and TreyArch have capitalized on this popularity and have churned out several titles over the past several years. However, the last couple of titles especially have completely lacked good gameplay in single player mode and has had far too much of a focus on the multiplayer. With Call of Duty: Ghosts, Infinity Ward is planning on bucking this trend, revamping the single player mode, which should make fans of the original Modern Warfare happy, considering that it had a very stellar single player campaign mode.
CEO of Activision Eric Hirshberg spoke of Call of Duty: Ghosts by saying that we should expect “a new world, a new engine, and new experiences.” Last week, the entire world got a taste of what to expect by seeing a piece of the trailer that was shown during this event at the Xbox One Reveal. The new engine focuses heavily on cleaning up the minor issues that previous titles in the franchise had suffered from and making it more accurate. The best example comes in the form of the accuracy of the characters, the companions, and the weapons that are used in the game. Case in point: in the past titles, the gunsights were never perfectly round, resulting in mildly jagged edges on what should be a perfect gunsight. In Ghosts, these graphical errors and blemishes are no more banks to the engine and the new advances that Infinity Ward is using to ensure the absolute best experience for the millions of players around the world.
Graphics are definitely a big part of the formula, but they will only get you so far in an industry that strives on the ability to one up everyone else. I believe that is the reason for the newfound push to create a better single player experience. While this may come as a shock to younger players out there who spend hours on end playing the multiplayer, there are those who prefer to play single player mode or who simply cannot play the multiplayer mode, whether it be due to lack of Internet connection or simply the desire to not play online, as crazy as that sounds. The new single player campaign is centered around a group of elite special forces that have been formed on the remnants of the United States military. The details of the actual storyline are somewhat sketchy, but it would seem that the United States in the storyline has fallen to some unknown enemy, and the remaining special forces have bound together, known as ghosts. Infinity Ward has promised the direct use of dogs in this new entry for the franchise, and will be used in a way that we have not seen before. Going back to graphics for a moment, the real test for this engine will not just be the accuracy of weapons and how they look and act, but how your sidekick will also move, look, and interact with you in the storyline.
The trailer that was shown at this event was cut up and shown in pieces at the Xbox One Reveal. The trailer showed the makings of a mission deep underwater with the objective of taking out the enemy, which included frogmen, submersibles, and larger underwater ships such as submarines. Even in this short trailer, Infinity Ward seems to have captured the very essence, drama, and suspense of these missions that will keep gamers on the edge of their seats. Unfortunately, there was no playable demo at this event, so we will have to be patient to see just how the new engine truly works, looks, and feels personally in the coming weeks. The biggest question that was asked had to deal with the differences between how the game would look between the current generation and the upcoming generation. Call of Duty: Ghosts is going to release on both generations of systems. Taking this into consideration, there was little hesitation in answering the question, what the response being that there will not be a huge difference and that gamers will enjoy their experience no matter which system they purchase the game for. This is a bold statement, but it is no surprise. Call of Duty: Ghosts currently has an expected launch date of November 5, 2013, and as previously stated, will launch on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4, though the next generation releases will probably be later simply because there are no hard dates for the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4.