Last night I played CoD4’s campaign. Then I played Ghosts and cried.

by Gaetano 'Xbot' Prestia Featured 35 Comments 29 Votes 27219 Views 08/11/2013 Back to Articles

With each new year I await the release of a new Call Of Duty. I am a self-confessed CoD fanboy, and I’m not afraid to admit it. It engulfs me every year, the same way it does millions of others the world over. And, as with those before it, Ghosts excited me. Not as much as its predecessors had, admittedly, but I was anticipating its release.

At first, I enjoyed it. The multiplayer is your stock-standard Call of Duty experience, but I spent a few hours with the campaign, and, somehow, walked away rather impressed.

“To be totally honest, I'd put it up there as one of the best COD campaigns, at least above MW2 and MW3,” I said in the comments on our review. What the hell was I thinking?

For the past week I’ve had no internet connection at home. The idiots working on the units next door ripped the cables out of the street, thinking they had been “replaced” by the NBN. I mean, it’s as dumb as you can get.

Call Of Duty is dead, but it’s still walking. Its head was cut off long ago, but it’s still running around crazily, flailing its arms around violently. It’s an abhorrent scene once you have the perspective of comparison.

At first, I was frustrated. But now I see the issue has been a godsend: At first I was lost, but now I am found.

Let me explain: Call Of Duty is dead, but it’s still walking. Its head was cut off long ago, but it’s still running around crazily, flailing its arms around violently. It’s an abhorrent scene once you have the perspective of comparison.

Frankly, I’m disgusted in myself for not having returned to Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare earlier. Without the wonders of the internet, I was stuck with Ghosts' campaign, and, after coming close to finishing it, thought I would compare what I’ve already played with COD4. I’d returned to the multiplayer in that recently, but didn’t stick around long because it’s been infested with hackers.

What I found when I started the campaign was a thing of sheer beauty: an undeniable contender for game of the generation, and an experience truly representative of just how much the franchise has been abused by a publisher adhering to the demands of its shareholders.

Simply put, COD4 is a masterpiece, a fantastic FPS with a surprisingly engaging and intriguing narrative -- not to mention one far more coherent than anything else in the series since -- and comparatively next to Ghosts, it’s depressing to see just how bad the series has gotten.

Now, herein lies the magic of Call of Duty: I don’t think Ghosts is a terrible game, but I do think it’s a further deterioration of a franchise that has steadily declined year-on-year. The franchise is certainly now at its lowest ebb, and yet I’ll still end up putting many hours into Ghosts.

And that’s both the problem and solution.

Activision has something special here: it always has. But back at the start of this generation, the Call of Duty name had an aura about it. Everyone knew what it stood for, and everyone knew what they were getting. It’s the same now, but with considerably different set of standards. People look at the name and cringe. They still want to play it, but they cringe. This, eventually, will bite Activision on the same backside it cleans with crisp $100 bills.

We’re already seeing it: yesterday, Activision reported it had “sold” $1 billion worth of stock … to retailers. A day after release. Such an early announcement for such a trivial piece of information means only one thing to me: the publisher anticipates a decline in sales. Yet, it will appease shareholders in some way -- as it did with these figures -- and will use the power of selective counting to work around total hours played, sales figures rates and all that jazz.

It’s just truly astounding that the company is willing to allow the franchise to deteriorate -- now behind Battlefield 4, and, soon, behind Titanfall (from the masterminds behind COD4). I am still craving a CoD session, and I agree that I am part of the problem. But eventually something will come along that perfects the opportunistic satisfaction Call of Duty offers, and the series’ negative assimilation with the general gaming public will see an end to it all together.

While I played through Call of Duty 4’s campaign, I remembered back to when it was first released. It helped define the generation in its early days. What are the chances of a Call of Duty game doing that again? For all the hate the series has attracted in recent years, it’s still provided many of us with some of the best experiences of the generation, but also some of the worst and most frustrating.

Activision, I think I speak on behalf of many people with a soft spot for the Call of Duty name when I say this, but: Please, please put the foot on the pedal, and try to somehow reinvigorate what it is that got the name to where it is today. Because if replaying CoD4 has taught me anything, it’s that you can certainly have too much of a good thing, and I'm call CoD'd out.

What do you think Activision needs to do next generation to reinvigorate the series in the same way it did with COD4? .

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Last night I played CoD4’s campaign. Then I played Ghosts and cried. Comments

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COD4 was a terrific game.

Maybe I will have to dig out my disc and play SP again too.

@maxiboy said: COD4 was a terrific game.
Maybe I will have to dig out my disc and play SP again too.




Do it. Can't wait to finish it.
I replayed it last year and I was just as blown away by how amazing it still is. It really is an absolute masterpiece.
I loved CoD4 and still rate it very highly. As a FPS it actually had an engaging storyline and characters you actually cared for. Plus it was semi realistic in its plot line. After the terrible story of Blk Ops 2 I will not be buying another CoD game any time soon each year the plots have degenerated into absolute rubbish.
Good article and thanks for the read.
Cod 4 was Awesome! I played through it several times on PS3 and then a couple more times when it hit Wii(pointer controls FTW).
Ghosts is a disgrace to gaming.
Put in place a decent story, and do away with the yearly updates. This is already a saturated market for FPS games.
I continue to buy it but I've not actually had any respect for one of them since COD4 with the possible exception of Black Ops (first one only) in which Treyarch managed to overcome their clear lack of talent when compared with Infinity Ward and combine it with their actual attempt to innovate - something IW just does not do. At all.

I don't feel BF4 is the the one that beat it, BFBC2 did that long ago. It hasn't been a game to beat for a long time, just a bunch of sales. Not quality. Battlefield has never quite managed to completely nail a singleplayer campaign but they remain fun for a playthrough just like the COD games have been, but they do so without the sheen of arrogance, the copy pasting of set pieces with some extra explosions gaffa taped on, and with an engine that offers a little more in terms of getting to grips with weapons.

Call of Duty games have become like... Well the guns basically feel like the same gun but with some that shoot faster and slower and hold x amount of bullets vs y. They have next to no recoil, the damage scaling is so high almost feel as powerful as each other it really feels like a completely talentless brainless game.
punk
+
I loved Call of Duty.. but yeh its become this thing that I won't come close to these days.

The franchise is dead to me.
"Right… What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh? How'd a muppet like you pass Selection?"
— Captain John Price
To be honest, I don't think Call of Duty is dead yet. Yeah true Battlefield 4 is beating the crap out of of COD lately but its still far from bad. I'm no real COD fan myself, I am probably one of the newer fans of this game. And I can say, that It really is a good FPS (way better than others). They may not really impress old gamers enough, but as someone new in this genre of competitive gaming, I AM having fun playing it :) I kinda like it more than Battlefield 4 so far.
As Infinity Ward did this, it's not a good sign, as they first started this franchise, and made the best CoD games.
Maybe, the franchise should quit being released every year, or face the prospect of getting 'pulled out' as like what happened to 'Guitar Hero'.
You missed 6 games on the video! CoD United Offensive, CoD Finest Hour, CoD2, CoD2 Big Red 1, CoD:WAW Final Frononts, and the PSP CoD! Come on. I do agree with you tho.

@gamerguy said: As Infinity Ward did this, it's not a good sign, as they first started this franchise, and made the best CoD games.
Maybe, the franchise should quit being released every year, or face the prospect of getting 'pulled out' as like what happened to 'Guitar Hero'.


Spark games started it

@roadrunner said: You missed 6 games on the video! CoD United Offensive, CoD Finest Hour, CoD2, CoD2 Big Red 1, CoD:WAW Final Frononts, and the PSP CoD! Come on. I do agree with you tho.


COD2 is on there and expansions aren't really games, the point was showing the main entries into the series progressing (or not progressing as it seems). Whats the point of showing expansions for a game? I actually wondered what was the point of adding COD3 in there seeing as it was a backwards step from COD2.
I've a love/hate relationship with CoD 4: Modern Warfare, in the sense that I adore it's campaign, and almost every aspect of it, as it was my introduction to the FPS genre and this generation of consoles... however I hate the trend that it set (not just with Call of Duty, but with most modern FPS).. I more or less gave up at Modern Warfare 3, and as for Treyarch's line of games post-Modern Warfare and their arc of story... well, I'd rather not discuss them right now.

I'm certainly no fan of the series (or genre any more, bar exceptions), however looking back at Modern Warfare, and every now and then taking the time to go through the campaign, I still get that sense of wonder, and part of me hopes that Call of Duty can be like this again... however Ghosts certainly didn't do it for me.
look at this another article saying how bad COD is. Go get a life! All you degenerates out there have no clue what your talking about. COD: Ghosts is a major step into the future of gaming and is far superior to that of COD4. If you guys are too stupid to tell how far COD has come then stop posting on topics like this. One more thing, the only reason that whenever people hear the words "Call of Duty" cringe, is because of how all those battlefield fanboys talk crap about it even though they have never played it. Go do your research on another game not COD. Call of Duty's head is still held high and will dominate every other game for years to come.
another thing, in recent years people have said that there is a call of duty released every year. While that is true, at the same time it is not. Infinity Ward and Treyarch have been flip-flopping each year in their release of a new call of duty. Think twice knuckleheads.

Alexand550 said: "Right… What the hell kind of name is Soap, eh? How'd a muppet like you pass Selection?"
— Captain John Price

Man, I remember that line so crisply during the very first mission.

Skarteh said: They have next to no recoil, the damage scaling is so high almost feel as powerful as each other it really feels like a completely talentless brainless game.


um another noob i'm guessing. seeing as how that guns in real life can kill you in a heartbeat, why shouldn't they in video games.
Modern Warfare was the one and only CoD game I played start to finish and actually enjoyed. If you've ever listened to the Podcast you know how much I don't like CoD, but CoD4 was a brilliant game

xCodyx said:

Skarteh said: They have next to no recoil, the damage scaling is so high almost feel as powerful as each other it really feels like a completely talentless brainless game.


um another noob i'm guessing. seeing as how that guns in real life can kill you in a heartbeat, why shouldn't they in video games.


Haha. You know what else happens in real life? Gun recoil.

It depends on the gun, but very few weapons would actually kill you in one or two shots, unless they get your heart, head, or a main artery. In COD pretty much every weapon takes you down in two hits.

Oh well. Each to their own.
iSR
+

xCodyx said: look at this another article saying how bad COD is. Go get a life! All you degenerates out there have no clue what your talking about. COD: Ghosts is a major step into the future of gaming and is far superior to that of COD4. If you guys are too stupid to tell how far COD has come then stop posting on topics like this. One more thing, the only reason that whenever people hear the words "Call of Duty" cringe, is because of how all those battlefield fanboys talk crap about it even though they have never played it. Go do your research on another game not COD. Call of Duty's head is still held high and will dominate every other game for years to come.



The author of this article is a massive CoD fanboy. So at least he isn't showing blind love to something that has been going downhill for a while.
Oh, I just read this:

COD: Ghosts is a major step into the future of gaming



and realised I fell for the troll. Ouch!
Tano
+

xCodyx said: look at this another article saying how bad COD is. Go get a life! All you degenerates out there have no clue what your talking about. COD: Ghosts is a major step into the future of gaming and is far superior to that of COD4. If you guys are too stupid to tell how far COD has come then stop posting on topics like this. One more thing, the only reason that whenever people hear the words "Call of Duty" cringe, is because of how all those battlefield fanboys talk crap about it even though they have never played it. Go do your research on another game not COD. Call of Duty's head is still held high and will dominate every other game for years to come.



Calm down. A year ago I wrote an article saying, "COD bashing getting truly pathetic". I'm the resident COD fanboy around here and everyone knows it :P

Tano said:

xCodyx said: look at this another article saying how bad COD is. Go get a life! All you degenerates out there have no clue what your talking about. COD: Ghosts is a major step into the future of gaming and is far superior to that of COD4. If you guys are too stupid to tell how far COD has come then stop posting on topics like this. One more thing, the only reason that whenever people hear the words "Call of Duty" cringe, is because of how all those battlefield fanboys talk crap about it even though they have never played it. Go do your research on another game not COD. Call of Duty's head is still held high and will dominate every other game for years to come.


Calm down. A year ago I wrote an article saying, "COD bashing getting truly pathetic". I'm the resident COD fanboy around here and everyone knows it


LOL if anything I've never seen a bad article about CoD anyway. Just seems like another 'die hard' fan
COD4 was phenomenal. After the money they made, they milked the franchise. -_-

Just like Apple products

@Skarteh said:

@roadrunner said: You missed 6 games on the video! CoD United Offensive, CoD Finest Hour, CoD2, CoD2 Big Red 1, CoD:WAW Final Frononts, and the PSP CoD! Come on. I do agree with you tho.


COD2 is on there and expansions aren't really games, the point was showing the main entries into the series progressing (or not progressing as it seems). Whats the point of showing expansions for a game? I actually wondered what was the point of adding COD3 in there seeing as it was a backwards step from COD2.


But CoD3 was the introduction to minor interactive MP maps and new game modes, and my mentioning CoD2 was an accident.

@roadrunner said:Spark games started it


No they didn't. The original Call of Duty game was developed by Infinity Ward in 2003 on the PC.
en.wikipedia.org/...

@gamerguy said:

@roadrunner said:Spark games started it


No they didn't. The original Call of Duty game was developed by Infinity Ward in 2003 on the PC.
en.wikipedia.org/...


The case to my game says Spark but the Internet says Infinity Ward [Rage]
A contender for game of the generation, Tano? It certainly was a seminal game, but I think it's been surpassed by many others that came after.

Desi said: A contender for game of the generation, Tano? It certainly was a seminal game, but I think it's been surpassed by many others that came after.



You have to rate games in the context of their release though. Why is OoT still considered one of the best games of all time for example? Many would argue it hasn't been surpassed but, I mean, it has...that shouldn't stop it from being a contender though.

I think it would be outrages not to at least include in consideration though. I think that as far as console FPS goes there are few that have bettered it.

@Desi said: A contender for game of the generation, Tano? It certainly was a seminal game, but I think it's been surpassed by many others that came after.



COD4 set the bar that all similar releases after had to follow in order to succeed. There's no other game in this generation of consoles that can claim that I don't think.
Like I said, seminal. But for me a game of the generation needs to be one that fully leverages the capabilities of current-gen platforms to pull off something improbable. For me that's AC4: Black Flag presently. Many square kilometres of sailable waters, with believable water physics, with seamless transition between sailing and landfall? It's a technical feat that boggles the mind.
I just like to shoot people with guns and now I like to shoot dogs with guns...

I'm easily pleased.

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