Review: Call of Duty: Ghosts PC Version
I remember the first time booting of the Call of Duty demo, which at the time, was a PC exclusive. I was blown away by the realistic sounds and heart pounding World War II action. Over the years, things have changed quite a bit. After being stuck in the WWII era for awhile, now most modern shooters are stuck in.. modern combat. While it was cool with COD4, the whole premise is really starting to wear out its welcome. Regardless, today we are checking out the latest entry in the series, Ghosts. I have to admit, I got pretty excited watching the trailers for both single player and multiplayer components. Let's start with the single player and say that is the definition of a Michael Bay video game. Is that a bad thing? Not really if you are into popcorn flicks. The intro is absolutely stellar and I say, had me sucked right in. There is a certain sequence in space that is probably the best part of the entire game, apart from the dog moments. I will not give it away but let's just say the whole story starts out with a bang. Either way, you've seen this all and played it all before but this time around, the single player is better than the multiplayer.
The latest Beverly Hills 90210 episode is action packed.
Speaking of multiplayer, that really is the heart of soul of most modern shooters, right? Well, apart from several crashes to desktop, a few hard lockups and many issues, the multiplayer is a mess on PC to say the least. Apart from the technical issues, the actual gameplay feels old, stale and most weapons are so overpowered, there isn't much skill involved. It feels more like who can shoot someone in the back first or catch someone off guard. While previous entries in the series had pros and cons, it was really hard to find many pros in the multiplayer section on PC. Despite some improvements in kill streaks, etc, the online component definitely needs some work and STAT! Is this the worst shooter ever? No, but it certainly has no character. It feels like a cash in and that is a bummer because the series has so much potential. We came in with an open mind and came out disappointed.
Graphics and Sound
While the gameplay is definitely a mixed bag, the graphics overall are quite good. The intro in the single player has some truly amazing moments that looked fantastic, as long as the game didn't crash. While console gamers are arguing over 720p vs 1080p on next gen systems, the PC version at 1440p is truly stunning at times (See screenshot below for an example). That being said, while the single player has some gorgeous moments, the multiplayers maps have a drab, "been there, done that" type of feel. Also, what's even more strange, the game ran quite choppy at times on our i5 Haswell with a GTX 780! Apart from that, is a strange 6 gig RAM minimum which is absolutely insane as there are a plenty of other PC games out there that look way better with smaller system requirements. The nail in the coffin is the absence of a FOV slider. The FOV is extremely low and it makes a lot of gamers, including myself sick. A mixed bag indeed.
While console gamers argue over 720p vs 1080p, we'll just sit back and enjoy 1440p..
The audio portion of Ghosts is for the most part, solid and well done. The music is once again mixed with subtle pieces but mostly bombastic, popcorn movie orchestral numbers. The voice acting is well done while the sound effects range from stellar to meh. The guns have a weak, tinny sound for the most part for a quite a while now so don't expect much difference, especially in multiplayer. Overall though, the audio is a strong point of this game if anything. This is big production audio but it doesn't mean its the best.
Well, as you can see, this review is quite tough to write and score because it's such a mixed bag. Is the game any fun? Well, depends, does it even run on your PC? It's not like it's a groundbreaking title that requires a top of the line PC to enjoy but it just seems unfinished. Usually, I gloss over the single player campaigns in these type of shooters but in this game, it's actually one of the better moments, especially the intro. If you LOVE Call of Duty, I am sure you have already purchased the game but for those on the fence, I would say, wait for a patch or two. If you are burnt out on the series, this game will not pull you back in or make you a believer again. As I mentioned before, this series needs a major reboot. Whether it be WWII, Vietnam or futuristic, there needs to be a new graphics engine, sounds and premise. If you like the same ol thing, sure, pick this up, otherwise, skip it.
After being pleasantly surprised by last years entry into the COD series, this year is a quite different. Between a bloated install, crashes a plenty, no FOV slider and lazy MP design, the PC version of Ghosts just doesn't cut it. Though there are some beautiful and outstanding single player moments but they don't justify a $60 price tag. If any series needs a complete reboot, this is it.