'Call Of Duty: Ghosts' Preview: We Play Test Activision's Latest Shooter

'Call of Duty: Ghosts' is the latest instalment in Activision's long-running and squillion-selling military FPS series. It will be out for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on 5 November, and Xbox One and PS3 at launch.

The Pitch:

"In Call of Duty®: Ghosts multiplayer, customize your soldier and squad for the first time. Level environments are more realistic and immersive than ever before, and now the Call of Duty App lets you stay connected to the game wherever you go."

Key Features:

  • Customisable squads let you go into multiplayer battles as a team - even when you're fighting one-on-one.
  • More immersive and realistic level environments.
  • 'Create a soldier' lets you build a new warrior from scratch - including female fighters for the first time
  • Realistic and dark single-player campaign
  • Next-gen graphics on Xbox One and PS4

Our Impressions:

'Call of Duty: Ghosts' is a nuanced - but far from trivial - upgrade to the current-generation experience of killing AI and online soldiers with guns. Everything you'd expect is present and correct from a CoD sequel: massively detailed and intricate maps, faster and somehow more robust gameplay, and finessed details that are both enigmatic, but tangible.

The new squads customisation features look particularly cool. If you're more used to playing against one or two close friends rather than the babbling hoards of 12-year-old psychopaths, this gives you the option to customise your whole 'team' of gunmen (or women, this time) and set up their load-outs and skills in tactical ways that add genuine depth to the multiplayer experience. The attack dogs, too, are very cool indeed.

That said, in our limited multiplayer game we weren't able to point to too many features that set the game apart from its predecessors - except for the next-gen graphics, which if you're on board with either console look amazing, by the way. That said, in the heat of battle, when your focus is more on completing your objective that the detailed textures and backgrounds, you might forget which console you're actually playing. The world doesn't look like reality, it looks like Call of Duty World - regardless of what gen hardware you're using.

All told, this is still a Call of Duty game, and probably a very good one indeed, but like EA's long-running sports titles we're in an era of slow evolution than huge transformations.

One caveat: we haven't seen the single player campaign yet, and from early reports it looks like a genuinely involving and deep storyline that could prove a step-change over the globe-trotting highlight reels of previous instalments.

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