Scaling Venezuelan skyscrapers and lofty player expectations in ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’

scaling venezuelan skyscrapers and lofty player expectations in call of duty ghosts cod somethings burning

Infinity Ward is back. That’s the sales pitch for Call of Duty: Ghosts, at any rate. The Activision sequel machine straddles across two hardware generations in its 2013 appearance, but the time for reinvention is now. There’s a new story, a new cast of characters, a new near-future setting, and a ridiculously smart, armored dog. We still don’t know how doomed that poor pooch is, but IW’s behind closed doors demo offered a look at a canine-free level from the game that wasn’t shown in the recent gameplay reveal.


High-rise hell. The E3-exclusive look at “Federation Day” opens in downtown Caracas, Venezuela. You are part of a three-man squad tasked with breaking into a nearby high-rise for reasons that remain unclear. Rope launchers fired off from a neighboring rooftop create a zipline bridge to the target building. The squad crosses the gap silently, detaching from the launchers midway across to create rappel ropes on the other side. They slowly scale their way downward, scoring quiet individual and group kills through various windows as they pick apart the armed patrols on each floor.

Once inside, the trio makes its way to a server room where there’s a terminal holding what we can only assume is valuable secret data. The game fast-forwards ahead at this point in one of those “In the interest of time” sequences to a building in chaos. Something’s happened. The skyscraper is toppling over and our three soldiers are still on one of its upper floors. A few firefights break out as they make their way through the crumbling tower, though it quickly comes to an end when the screen cuts to black at a climactic moment.


It’s Call of Duty. It’s hard to say how different the controls might be in Ghosts, what with the E3 demo being an entirely hands-off affair. A longtime fan of the series can immediately pick up on a familiar sense of pacing to the action. Finer control tweaks – if there are any – may not pop out, but it seems that this plays just like any other Call of Duty game that we’ve seen in reent years, particular the Infinity Ward offerings. 


Pretty lights. It’s not clear exactly when development started on Call of Duty: Ghosts and when the newer hardware became a focus, but the fact that it’s a cross-gen title shows. The small details like light scattering and textures really pop in the Xbox One build powering the E3 demo, but the visual execution scream more “Call of Duty” than “dazzling next-gen.” It’s clear that this is still relatively rough code, particularly in earlier portions of the demo featuring Riley the dog. Character movements in general need to be polished up and Riley specifically looks awfully robotic.


Again though: early days. Plenty more to come here. This will almost certainly be the best-looking Call of Duty game to date, and you can get a sense of that even now with the unpolished demo. Expect plenty of improvements in the months to come as the game re-surfaces at subsequent trade shows.


The campaign portion of Call of Duty: Ghosts seems to deliver exactly what fans of the series would want. The sense of blockbuster spectacle dials straight up past 11 and the next-gen visual wizardry only enhances the immersiveness of what you’re seeing. With many months between now and the November 2013 release, and multiplayer elements still nothing more than a promised (and 100 percent expected) forward step, you can count on hearing much more about this game very soon.


The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.

Upcoming zombiefest Days Gone boasts 30-plus hours of story-driven content

Days Gone, the first PlayStation 4 title from Sony's Bend Studio, looks to offer a different type of zombie game. Here's everything we know about the forthcoming title, from the setting to its gameplay.

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.

Find the buried treasure with our Fortnite weekly challenge guide

The Fortnite season 8, week 4 challenges are now out for all players around the world. The big one this week tasks players with searching for Fortnite buried treasure using the buried treasure map item. Here's where you can find treasure on…

Here's our Champion's guide to picking the best character in Apex Legends

Apex Legends' use of heroes with different abilities helps separate it from other battle royale games. To help you choose your legend, we've put together a legend guide detailing their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a ton of games you can play with starting April 12

Nintendo Labo: VR Kit has a plethora of games to play after you're done building the Toy-Cons. From an on-rails alien shooter to a deep sea photography adventure, here's what you can play with Labo: VR Kit. You can even make your own games.

The best Nintendo Switch deals and bundles for March 2019

Looking to score Nintendo's latest console? We've smoked out the best Nintendo Switch deals right here, including discounts on bundles that feature must-have games like Super Mario Odyssey, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and Zelda: Breath of…

How to break Posture and deal a Shinobi Deathblow in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is an incredibly difficult game, and managing the Posture system is a key part of improving and tackling the latest From Software title's most challenging sections.

Here's what we know about the Dark Souls developer's next game

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from Dark Souls and Bloodborne developer From Software. Here is everything we know about the new game, including its setting and combat changes.

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in Destiny 2: Forsaken

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.

Here's a look at how the Epic Games Store is sizing up to the competition

The Epic Games Store has picked up exclusives left and right since its launch last December. From AAA games like The Division 2 to wonderful indies like Hades, the Epic Games store has an impressive library of exclusives.

Get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One

You can get Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice for free when buying an Xbox One from Newegg. Eight different bundles are available for this deal, so you can walk away with Sekiro and another game such as The Division 2 or Anthem.

Master Shinobi combat with our Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice beginner's guide

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is one of the hardest games of the generation, and it can be overwhelming, even for those who have played From Software's other games. Here is what you need to know to get started.