Call of Duty: Ghosts Wii U Review.
First person shooters are few and far between on the Wii U. In fact, there are only two real choices to pick from; Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 or Call of Duty: Ghosts. As a Nintendo fan and an owner of the Wii U – it was only natural for me to pick it up the only worthwhile shooter. Since Ghosts is looking to be the last FPS we get for a few month – so should Wii U fans give the game a chance?
I often hear people say “you don’t play Call of Duty for the campaign”. In many degrees this saying is indeed true, but I have always maintained the belief that the campaign in Call of Duty games has always been a worthy distraction. Luckily, Call of Duty: Ghosts campaign maintains that tradition of quality with a very solid campaign. While the story isn’t as compelling as Black Ops 2 (in my opinion had the best story in any COD game), it certainly is solid. Ghosts is set around a fictional war between the Federation (whom has invaded much of South America) and the United States. Unfortunately, Ghosts does a terrible job in explaining the nitty gritty details of the conflict. I kept asking myself who are the Federation? What are their goals? Why and how did this war start? Well, I would have loved for the backstory to be fleshed out more, it pertinant to the overarching Ghosts experience. Thankfully, such details are not necessary, as the story focuses on the small scale conflict between the Ghosts (an elite force) and the Ghost killer Rorke. You play as Logan whom is accompanied by his brother Hesh and other Ghosts members with the sole goal to take out Rorke.Disappointingly, you won’t see the same dramatic highs achieved in Black Ops 2 (i.e unintentionally killing your best friend that was a shocker in BO2). The lack of heart wrenching drama does feel like a step backwards for the series, but that’s not to say it’s not enjoyable. Just consider the story of Ghosts like the movie “Expendables” – it may not have the best acting or the most engaging stories to tell – but the action and the explosions are more than enough for it to be an enjoyable experience.
I always love how Call of Duty is able to craft exciting larger than life set pieces – Modern Warfare 3 had the underwater assault of the Submarine and Black Ops 2 had the Aero gliding. In this regard, Call of Duty: Ghosts do not disappoint. In the first 20 minutes you will have the pleasure of having an exciting shoot-out in space. It doesn’t stop here from there, Ghosts will have whole cities flooded with a large surge of water, you will experience vertigo when you abseil down a skyscraper and my favorite set piece – swimming with the next game fishes. The campaigns play like the typical military shooter – by that I mean gameplay tropes like follow the squad leader to point A, drop down to the floor to avoid being seen by the enemy and the break of pace stealth missions. Infinity Ward adds a new mechanic whereby you can control Riley, a companion dog. Riley has a number of uses. For example, you can control him to scout out enemies in buildings and the camera on the back can be used for espionage section. It’s a nice gimmick that is few and far between in the campaign. Overall, I found the shooting segments boring – the fun is witnessing the spectacular set pieces.
Like in previous instalments, many players will be spending the majority of their precious time in the multiplayer section, thus it would be appropriate to spend a great portion of the review in critiquing this section of Call of Duty: Ghosts. Whether you like it or not, the same derivative formula makes a return in Ghosts. Really – it is a same game multiplayer game you’ve played year after year with the only real noticeable difference is the different pain of coat applied to Call of Duty: Ghosts. Like in Modern Warfare 2 and all the way up to Black Ops, gameplay largely involves running around gunning down foes and stacking killstreaks. When it comes down to the fun factor, the value of Ghosts multiplayer is truly intrinsic, I feel that players will have either one of two opinions; the opinion that multiplayer is fun as ever or that the tried and true formula is beginning to show its grey hairs. Personally, as someone whom has defiantly defended the series and has bought ever iteration since Modern Warfare 2 (By the way I have two copies of ghosts), I am leaning to the latter opinion. While multiplayer in Ghosts is still fun in many ways – it lacks the same excitement and exhilaration of titles of past years – perhaps it is so familiar to past titles Ghost begins to lose its gloss, so early in its life cycle.
If you must know – multiplayer in Call of Duty: Ghosts is somewhere between Black Ops 2 and Modern Warfare 2. The pace is no doubt slower that Modern Warfare 3 and not as fast as Black Ops 2 – if anything it is closer to the original which in my opinion is a good balance. You’d find that the maps in Call of Duty: Ghosts are generally larger than the previous two installments (i.e Black Ops 2 and Modern Warfare 3). As a result matches have a little more variety than just super fast skirmishes of the latter two games – rushing is less common and so is camping with so many high points having multiple points of entry. The maps are generally well crafted with choke points positioned strategically and corridors abundant in numbers which makes for great fire fights. While I do enjoy the larger maps, some are absolute duds. For example “Siege” is a lushes grassy map with too many buildings for people to hide, it is far too large for its own good, in fact most of your time will be spent looking for the enemy – I’d liken it to a wild goose chase results in boredom.
Multiplayer is structured similarly to previous iterations with a plethora of mode which individuals can select from. Call of Duty staples like Team Deathmatch, Free for all, Domination and Capture the Flag all make a welcome return, but for the Wii U version Team Deathmatch is the only mode that is heavily populated. Class customization is largely the same as well, in which you pick a primary weapon, secondary, lethals, tacts and perks. Killstreaks, once again is derivative, taking the same idea of Assault, Support and specialist packages from Modern Warfare 3. I hope you are seeing the pattern here! It is the same multiplayer. Ghosts multiplayer has a great sense of familiarity between past titles, it is the format we have grown to love (in some cases hate), it neither shakes up the formula or pushes the boundaries of convention. It really is the same game we have been playing since the original Modern Warfare, it just looks different. Multiplayer is still incredibly fun, don’t get the wrong impression, if you feel like you have grown tired of the formula, perhaps it is a good idea to skip Ghosts.
You are probably asking yourself – how does the Wii U version fare? Luckily for you – I am confident that I can answer that question truthfully for you as I own both the Wii u and PS3 version. The Wii U version of Call of Duty: Ghosts is on par with the PS3 counterpart in the visual department. Truth be told I could not find any noteworthy improvement in the Wii U versions nor could I find where the version was at a disadvantage. Call of Duty: Ghosts Wii U has all the content of the PS3 version including Extinctions, but unfortunately most multiplayer is unpopulated. Fans of Black Ops 2 will be glad to hear that offscreen play on the GamePad is back and Wii Remote + Nunchuck is supported. It was disappointing that Activision did not go any further with optimization for the Wii U.
Call of Duty: Ghosts isn’t a bad game by any stretch, in fact is a very good game that plays it safe … maybe too safe. Ghosts is the complete package which includes an adequate campaign and a good multiplayer, but the series grey hairs are increasingly becoming more apparent. For Wii U owners looking for a good FPS – I suppose Ghosts will do, it’s not like there is any other worthwhile game in the genre to pick from.
(Note: The images are not from the Wii U version)