As the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) comes to a close and game developers and publishers alike begin to dish out their barrage of marketing campaigns, gaming fans around the world sit drooling at the hundreds of great titles hurdle towards them this year and the next. As per usual, publisher Activision showcased another entry from their award-winning first-person shooter series, Call of Duty: Ghosts, coming our way this November.
So what exactly makes Ghosts different from previous installments? Well for starters gamers can expect an engine capable of developing next-generation games, which bodes well for fans who in the past criticized the game’s rehashed graphics. With the improved engine powering the upcoming shooter, it gives developer Infinity Ward the chance to include factors which just weren’t possible before, such as improved dynamic environments and more polished characters.
The nameless engine, which runs at 60 frames per second, was in full view at E3, where Infinity Ward showed the public three levels from the upcoming campaign mode, once again keeping the multiplayer “hush-hush”. While the game’s actual storyline is as secret as Pandora’s Box, each level gave those in attendance something different to feast their eyes upon, with an underwater excursion called “Into the Deep” showing the developer’s creative side and how powerful the engine can be, with dynamic environments on full display and a great play on the use of sonar. A second level, “Federation Day,” only made a brief appearance but did well to showcase the beautiful scenery of Caracas, Venezuela and its ever-expanding highrise.
The best however came from the foliage-rich mission called “No Man’s Land”, showing us a new addition to the Call of Duty world which has fans hitting off walls in excitement, a dog called “Riley”. Is he a reincarnation of Ghost from the Modern Warfare series? Probably not, but you can control the Belgian Shepard and cause the game’s polished A.I to run for the hills in fear. The inclusion of Riley is one of Infinity Ward’s main selling points and the mechanics in which you control him will no doubt go down well with fans. Riley is controlled by a tablet you and your buddies in the field have equipped, allowing you to sneak through bushes and attack when you feel the time is right. The inclusion of Riley will no doubt showcase the camaraderie between man and his best friend as well, so we can expect a few hairy situations in the final product this November.
Away from the game’s character driven storyline, which was penned by Oscar-winning maestro Stephen Gaghan, Call of Duty: Ghosts has thrown some other in-game mechanics that sweeten the deal. For one, the old mantle system has been refurbished to allow more slick movement between cover and when launching your character over walls etc. When running towards cover in-game, the player will be promoted with a button and when pressed will vault over seamlessly, adding much more fluidity to the game.
The game will also make major changes to in-game audio and what exactly we need to hear and when, also taking into consideration distance and volume. If the player is camping in a steel made room then the sound will reflect the environment, giving you a more immersed experience. The new audio capabilities also take into account two environments making noise in a specific area, accounting for both in real-time.
While Call of Duty: Ghosts faces its biggest task this year with other first-person shooters trying to topple it from its perch, most noticeably the impressive Battlefield 4, it looks to deliver another solid performance, one Call of Duty fans will eat up. I have a feeling Activision will be seeing dollar signs once again.
And we haven’t even seen the multiplayer yet!