Editor’s Note: The following review highlights the key differences between the next-generation version of Call of Duty: Ghosts from the previously released PS3, PC and Xbox 360 versions. For the full content review, please read our previously released review here.
Call of Duty: Ghosts marks the first game from Infinity Ward on a next-generation platform. Being developed at the same time as all the other platforms, there aren’t many differences between the versions. The PlayStation 4 has only been officially released in North America for three weeks now, and Call of Duty: Ghosts has already claimed the title of the best-selling PS4 game. This is due in part to a strong retail presence, but also the $10 upgrade that Activision offered to those that purchased the PS3 version. Staying true to the franchise, Ghosts runs at a smooth 60fps regardless of game mode. The game has native support for 1080p on the PS4 after downloading the day one patch, while the Xbox One version is locked at 720p. It will upscale the resolution to 1080p, but the difference in quality is apparent. The visual fidelity of the game has been greatly improved from the previous gen. Playing the PS3 version was painful on the eyes, with a mix of Vaseline smeared visuals and horrendous aliasing (jaggies) on just about everything in the game. Textures are now crisp and edges on player models and in the environment have been smoothed. It isn’t as impressive as Battlefield 4, but the solid frame rate in both the campaign and multiplayer is impressive.
In an attempt to match the versatility of the environments in the Battlefield series and the Frostbite engine, Ghosts tries to convey a sense of destruction. Near the start of the game, you are caught in your hometown as it destructed around you, with houses collapsing, streets crumbling and just about everything exploding around you. This is where the extra power of the new consoles truly shines. Other moments has you swimming through shark infested waters and rappelling down the side of a skyscraper.
The multiplayer maps are much larger than those found in the previous games, and it’s not uncommon to spend additional time running around without seeing anyone due to the low player count. Both the next-generation versions have retained the typical 18-player limit from previous CoD games. The added six players from the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions help to populate the bigger maps, but it almost feels like 24 players would have been the sweet spot. Already a fast-paced shooter, the multiplayer in Ghosts will surely test your ability to shoot first. Shooting first will almost guarantee a kill. For obvious reasons, the multiplayer population doesn’t come close to the sheer amount of people found in the PS3 or the Xbox 360 online community. As of this review, the most amount of players I have spotted on the PlayStation 4 at one time has been roughly 30,000. It’s enough players in order to easily find a multiplayer match, but you may find your mode of choice to be a little slim, but you don’t enjoy the endless camping in Team Deathmatch.
The other new mode allows for you to experience the traditional Call of Duty multiplayer experience without having to deal with the immaturity that runs rampart online. Squads features different cooperative wave based modes and competitive matches against bots. Using your custom characters, the AI will play with you against other Squads controlled by the AI or another players. I was surprised at how well the AI performed, at times they could be easily mistaken for actual players.
As someone that doesn’t spend an exorbitant amount of time in Call of Duty multiplayer, Ghosts feels like a weekend rental at best. If you are one of the millions that play the multiplayer daily, Ghosts provides plenty of entertainment in the alien based Extinction mode and the new Squads mode. The rest of the multiplayer plays like Call of Duty, fans of the multiplayer will know exactly what I mean. I do have my concerns as specific existing game modes are missing, but the inclusion of dedicated servers should alleviate most of the issues with lag.Note: Call of Duty: Ghosts PS4 was reviewed on PlayStation 4. A physical copy of the game was provided by the publisher/developer.