Wednesday
April
23
2014
8:55 pm
Weather
  Home
  Local News
  State / National / World
  Sports
  Opinion / Letters
  Business
  Arts / Entertainment
  Lifestyle
  Obituaries
  Calendar
  Submit Event
  Comics / Games
  Classifieds
  DJ Designers
  Archives
  Advertise With Us
  About Us
 
 
 
 

Check out our archive of Dining Guides - Yum!

‘Call of Duty’: New dog but old tricks
November 16, 2013, 05:00 AM By Ryan Pearson The Associated

“Call of Duty” adds a new dog but trots out mostly old tricks in the latest installment of the first-person shooter franchise.

Much was made of players’ new canine companion, Riley, in the run-up to “Call of Duty: Ghosts” (Activision, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Wii U, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, $59.99). He’s less integral to the single-player campaign than expected, though still more memorable than the blandly heroic Walker family meant to be at the heart of the story. While the campaign feels like a step back, there are enough new multiplayer modes and tweaks to keep loyal “CoD” fans happy during the transition to next-generation consoles.

The single-player story begins with an attack from an orbiting missile launcher on the family’s suburban San Diego neighborhood, then jumps forward a decade as brothers Logan and Hesh fight back under the command of their dad, Elias, against an invading force called the Federation. Neither the family dynamic nor key antagonist Rorke are fully fleshed out in the script by “Syriana” writer Stephen Gaghan. Though by the end, you’ll dodge fighter jets sliding off a sinking aircraft carrier, shoot guns underwater (KER-PLUNK!) and blow up stuff in space (louder than you’d think!), the framework bolting such set pieces together is flimsy.

You can criticize this franchise for repetitive gameplay, but there was passion behind the original “Modern Warfare” entries, with truly shocking character deaths and that memorable airport terror attack. Last year’s “Black Ops II” added a branching story line and subtly questioned the value of America’s past military interventions. While playing “Ghosts,” I was reminded of the merciless skewering “CoD” took in “Grand Theft Auto V.” A bloody military game within the game called “Righteous Slaughter 7” was rated PG for “pretty much the same as last game” and featured the tip, “If someone speaks with an accent — blow their head off.” (Many of the enemies in “Ghosts” speak Spanish.)

It took me about five hours to finish the campaign on normal difficulty, but that’s not where “CoD” players spend most of their time. The multiplayer and cooperative modes are more varied, with some interesting crossover rewards between a new Squads mode — targeted at newcomers and those intimidated by ruthless 12-year-olds online — and the familiar main multiplayer mode. The 14 initial multiplayer maps are generally on the large side, many with more contained indoor spaces than in previous games. Two early favorites for their unconventional sightlines are a destroyed Los Angeles office building with slanting floors and the hillside ruins of a British castle.

You can finally play as a woman in multiplayer, and it’s surprisingly refreshing to hear female voices calling out locations where bad guys might be hiding. The highly customizable perk and weapon customization feels like a smart evolution of last game’s “Pick 10” system. Rewards for success — killstreaks in “CoD” parlance — include the brief use of Riley as a personal guard-slash-attack dog. And while I won’t spoil it by saying whether he dies in the campaign story, I felt a jolt of sadness in one match when a competitor took out my dog just a few seconds after I’d whistled him to my side.

Minor movement changes help with immersion: You can now knee-slide after sprinting, lean around corners, and your view is appropriately jostled when climbing over walls or ledges. Little things, all, but done well with the big-budget professional polish.

The cooperative section is led by an enjoyably frantic alien-attack mode called Extinction that blends base defense with a class and leveling system. “Gears of War” fans may gasp at the brazen borrowing here, but if you’re a “CoD” die-hard, Extinction is more forgiving and varied than the Zombies mode in previous games. The four-player co-op mode initially offers only one, admittedly difficult, level. Expect more to come as downloadable content later. Two-and-a-half stars out of four.

———

Follow Ryan Pearson on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ryanwrd

 

 

Tags: multiplayer, their, campaign, attack, story, while,


Other stories from today:

A vegetarian Thanksgiving
Q&A: Alexander Payne on his life at the movies
James Bond settlement hints at evil Blofeld’s return
 

 
Print this Page Print this Page  |  Bookmark and Share
<< Back
 
Return To Archives
 
  


 
 
 
Daily Journal Quick Poll
 
Do you support a land swap between the city of San Carlos and the elementary school district so the Charter Learning Center could be built on North Crestview?

Yes
No
Not sure

 

 
Tabbed Structure - Regular
 
 
 
 
 
No shooter, no victim located at Daly City medical center
Daly City police have cleared a building where a possible shooting was reported this afternoon. Pol..
Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
CUPERTINO — Apple plans to buy back an additional $30 billion of its stock, raise its quarterly di..
Facebook 1Q results soar; CFO to step down
NEW YORK — Facebook’s earnings nearly tripled and revenue grew sharply in the first quarter, sur..
South Korea ferry toll hits 156 as search gets tougher
JINDO, South Korea — As the 156th body was pulled from waters where the ferry Sewol sank a week ag..
Michigan man among first in U.S. to get 'bionic eye'
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A degenerative eye disease slowly robbed Roger Pontz of his vision. Diagnose..
More >>  
 
 
  
 
  
 
©2014 San Mateo Daily Journal
Redwood Shores news