"Call of Duty: Ghosts"
Microsoft Xbox 360 (PC, PS3)
ESRB rating: Mature
Review rating: 3.5 stars
Ever since the "Call of Duty" franchise hit legendary status, people can count on three things; death, taxes, and a new "COD" game every November. With sequels being pumped out every year, even die-hard fans eventually begin to lose interest. That's why the developers of "COD: Ghosts" tried to forge a new path, but the single-player campaign quickly falls into far-too-familiar territory.
In the near future, South American countries unite to form the Federation, and they hijack an American space station armed with a deadly new weapon. After bombarding the U.S. with devastating kinetic blasts, the Federation strips America of its global dominance, and a drawn-out war between the two powers ensues.
Players take on the role of two brothers who join a new resistance group and travel the globe shooting bad guys. On the surface, it feels like playing a big-budget action movie, but look a bit deeper and you'll find an uninspired linear campaign with no ambition. Only the ability to control a trained dog named Riley offers any sort of ingenuity, but these segments are few and far between.
Fortunately, the online multiplayer modes are still filled with frenzied fighting and perks galore! One of my favorites is controlling the attack dog, sneaking up on enemies and sinking my ... err ... canine teeth into him or her. I also appreciate the complexity of each multiplayer map that offers multiple pathways and plenty of places to hide.
I was surprised to discover that the new Extinction online co-op mode is such a blast to play. In this mode, players team up to defend their nests from continuous hordes of alien monsters. What's really cool is the ability to level up and gain exclusive new skills and gadgets during the same match. The focus on actual cooperation and the game play variety makes Extinction my favorite part of the game.
"COD: Ghosts" has a forgettable single-player experience, but the online multiplayer modes make it worth playing!