One of the biggest monster game franchises in existence is Call of Duty, it is played on most platform currently available as well as the next generation consoles coming out this holiday. At E3 2013, Activision/Blizzard (ActiBlizzard) had a fairly strong presences there with a number of titles although they had a huge panoramic screen which had shown some impressive footage based on the next game in the franchise, Call of Duty: Ghosts. This will be available for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3, PC on November 5th, 2013 and available for the Xbox One as well as the Playstation 4 once those consoles are released. All of the additional content (DLC) will be coming the Xbox consoles before any other platform first.
We had the pleasure of getting to see a behind the scenes, closed to the public preview of Call of Duty: Ghosts from a reformed developer Infinity Ward and publisher Activision. While we sat down in the miniature film theater making it as personal of an experience as possible when it comes to a preview, as we were then shown three separate levels from the campaign. Above is a video interview we took with the recently appointed Senior Community Manager at Infinity Ward, Tina Palacios whom was more than willing to converse with us on subjects on the game. Tina was very down to earth and after speaking with her it seemed she was the perfect fit for her position at Infinity Ward. In the above interview we went over what we had just been previewed as well as adding some questions about the game.
Out of the three levels we were shown, the second one was a level which we were told includes gameplay that will not be available to the public until the game is released, but more on that in a bit. The first level was called “No Man’s Land” and this is the level where Infinity Ward showed off most of the features that you were able to take advantage of when if came to the dog. It was also made very clear that the dog was a true member of the team and his name was Riley, which is how they referred to him as for the rest of the demo (by his name). Riley would do everything a normal player would do short of wielding an assault rifle and making smart ass remarks. We saw him breach small sheds by himself, leaving enemies running outside vulnerable to simply acting as a decoy by barking or just making himself aware to enemies, drawing their attention. It also seemed as if you could pretty much play as the dog first hand, when it came to seeing all of the equipment Riley had. There was a camera on him which obviously could be used for multiple things including scanning areas and tagging enemies, getting a better view of things just because if the fact that you were a dog. You could give Riley orders just like a squad member or guide him to an area or to a point of interest.
During the preview we were really able to see the increased level a graphics overall compared to previous titles, especially when it came to the arms and hands of the characters in Ghosts. Although seeing someones face up close was more impressive then ever the actual arms and hands of your character were notably improved, along with new features like cuts or bruises. Even blood seemed to appear when it not there before on you hand which is something that Infinity Ward had mentioned before E3 2013 as one of the major improvements in the game. Especially with you seeing the currently wielded weapon along with your arms/hands most of all through out all gameplay.
“Federation Day” was the name of the second level, set in Caracas, Venezuela (10 years after mass event), which is the one that was mentioned to not be revealed to the public until the release of the game for some reason. The city is celebration none other than ‘Federation Day’ with Fireworks in the sky with once again amazing graphics at work in the scenery. You and another Ghost member are waiting for another unknown friendly “hoping that he’ll show” your team member says, who seems to have seniority. Your mate goes on to say “Time to prove your worth” as you finally meet up with the 3rd member. Friendly choppers had previously dropped crates waiting for you on the rooftop containing devices to launch ropes used to zipline from building to building. Once you zipline to the adjacent skyscraper the following scene has the players repel down a skyscraper in a way that I had never seen before in a game. First of all when I say the phrase repelling down a skyscraper, the first image that might come to mind is soldiers moving down the structure at a very, very rapid pace, your body right side up (almost as if standing) while pushing off the skyscraper windows with your feet every so often on a rope. This was not the case at all… The team of ‘Ghosts’ were taking an almost stealth approach to this while they slowly repelled down with their bodies lined up as if they were casually walking down the building, defying gravity as they looked straight down. Every so often the team would come to an even slower pace as they approached scaffolding’s which had unsuspecting enemies on them, and then stealthily knifing them from a behind/above area. Players were not constrained by rails either, as you could move anyway you wanted, which leads me to think you can control your speed, spin your character around, move into different positions and more. This was all done with extreme finesse and was impressive to see as it had a unique aspect to it that I probably would not be able to explain in words. After breaching a server room, you must hack it and enemies attack but are taken out with a level of perfection that was incredibly impressive, such as seeing two enemies, quickly taking out one with a well placed knife then seeing your other squad member drop onto the other one just as he raises his gun barrel up at you. Seconds later bring a large explosion leaving the building extremely unstable. More explosions go off as you hear your mate yell “Neptune, we’ve been compromised!!”… Then a free fall out a broken window of the skyscraper brings the demo for that level to an end. [Federation Day - Video Preview]
The final and third level was called “Into the Deep” and the entire demo of it took place under water. This level was impressive in multiple ways. To my knowledge, I do not believe there has ever been an under water gun battle that was anywhere near impressive or as close to being a literal first person shooter gun fight completely under water. It seemed like there were more then just threats with guns, when a shark was seen out of nowhere. Although it did not attack, it showed up right after we saw beautiful natural marine life, with colorful tropical schools of fish that scattered away when you got close to them. You obviously had scuba gear on for deeper sea diving (or perhaps for a stealth mission objective) while seeing a wide range of under water life flourishing. This nice view was quickly interrupted by a loud submarine passing by over which almost seemed to come out of no where. As your position became compromised, other scuba divers showed up opening fire on you with what seemed to be ordinary weapons much like the ones you and your team pulled out to defend themselves. These did not seem to be any out of the ordinary assault rifles made for underwater use and the sound each bullet made as it whizzed through the water was very impressive. Once clearing the area you then had the opportunity to destroy the enemy sub using what seemed to be best described as a small underwater hand guided missile, which happens to be a real Russian weapon as Tina clarified for us. This blew up the submarine ending our Call of Duty: Ghosts Preview at E3 2013.
As I mentioned above, Call of Duty: Ghosts will release on November 5th, 2013 for the Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC with it also being made available for the Xbox One as well as the Playstation 4 which have no official release dates yet but will be out around the same time window during the holidays along with many other games.