Why do Call of Duty characters hate each other so much? Yes, they're at war - that I can understand - but the lengths they'll go to annihilate their enemy is almost sadistic. In Ruins, one of the four maps added through the Devastation DLC, somebody has gone through the time, danger and expense of rigging a volcano to explode on command. It's as if Infinity Ward have created an fiction in which every person is a Bond villain.
Activision's quarterly earnings call was yesterday and—to no one's surprise—the company made a lot of money. $1.5 billion in net revenues to be exact. A lot of that money was made with the Call of Duty games, which, according the Activision's calculations and the NPD, was the number one franchise in retail in North America in 2013. As you may have noticed, there's a new Call of Duty game every year, which may be part of the reason why we've grown weary of it. Activision announced that while it will keep to that relentless schedule, it will give the games' developers three years to work on each title as opposed to two.
After yesterday's Instagram teaser, today Infinity Ward have released a more fleshed out promo for Call of Duty: Ghosts' first DLC campaign. Onslaught follows the traditional COD DLC pattern: containing four maps and a few extra bits. This time, the extra bits include a gun that's actually two guns, and a new episode of Extinction.
The most notable of the new maps is Fog. To go along with its horror-themed setting, players who complete a Field Order are transformed into Michael Myers, tearing up the map with his trademark axe and mask. It's a pretty weird bonus, but not as strange as if you'd been transformed into Mike Myers and forced to act out scenes from The Love Guru. On second thoughts, that would probably be more horrifying.
Infinity Ward have announced their first DLC pack for Call of Duty: Ghosts. In an ideal world, this would update the campaign with even more animal followers. Personally, I'd love to see the addition of a stealth-friendly attack owl, a Worms-inspired exploding Sheep, and a bagful of hedgehogs to be thrown spines-first into the exposed faces of enemy soldiers. Alas, with the Onslaught DLC the Activision studio are instead sticking to the formula that guarantees them a truckload of money: four new multiplayer maps and some extra bits.
Previously, I'd assumed Call of Duty: Ghosts' heavy RAM requirement was there because loading a nice dog was a memory intensive procedure. Either that's not the case or canine computer tech is becoming increasingly advanced, because a new multiplayer patch has lowered the game's 6GB RAM restriction. Now you'll only need 4GB of memory juice to access the multiplayer portion, which should naturally mean more dogs chewing on more throats. Hooray?
The tenth Call of Duty game came out this week, and by all accounts it's full of the same man-shootiness we've come to expect from the series. It's also not well optimised for PC. The frame-rate bobs all over the place and the apparently unshakeable mouse acceleration makes aiming feel slippery and weird. Players sensitive to narrow fields-of-view have also been suffering with Ghosts.
The good news is, there are a few tweaks and fixes popping up to alleviate the worst of it. Here are a few you might want to try from around the web.
Call of Duty: Ghosts will be damned if you peek away from your screen. Boredom is absolutely not allowed as the campaign pelts you with action vignettes—including a scene directly snagged from the opening of The Dark Knight Rises—and repeats its mantra ad nauseam: “Keep moving!”
I’m in space, I’m underwater, I’m piloting a dog, I’m piloting an Apache, I’m driving a tank that handles like a Lamborghini—all without ever really learning a new skill. The Apache, for instance, is magically repulsed from the ground—it’s like piloting an air hockey disc—so finesse is unnecessary. On-screen cues tell you what you need to know as you’re plunged into an airstrike: fire flares when an enemy locks on, left mouse button to fire your cannon, hold down the center mouse button to lock on with missiles. Then go to town.
The most important thing about Call of Duty: Ghosts is the fact there is a dog. Therefore it is only logical to conclude that the most important thing about the Call of Duty: Ghosts launch party is the fact that there was a dog. A real dog, that it was possible to pet. As conscientious videogame journalists we thought it only right that we reviewed this crucial part of the game for you. We're selfless like that.
Where will you be at midnight tonight? Personally, I'll be randomly clicking on internet links, delving further into the hole of unproductive time-wasting and feeling guilty about not getting a Good Night's Sleep. As PC gamers long acquainted with digital distribution, I'll guess that your own plans probably don't involve queueing in the cold, or in some barely-lit supermarket, waiting for a copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts. For some, though, it will. That's because Call of Duty: Ghosts is a Big Deal. Just look at all the trailers Activision are throwing out for it. One of them even features Megan Fox, who you may remember for the uncredited role 'Stars-and-Stripes Bikini Kid Dancing Under Waterfall' in Bad Boys II.
From a game that contains ghosts, to a game that's called Ghosts... and contains aliens? As predicted yesterday, Call of Duty: Ghosts has now officially trailed Extinction, with a two minute video showing glimpses of the series' "all new" four-player co-op mode. As you can tell from the gratuitous "BWAAAAARM" noise, the tone here is steely determination, ruminations on the nature of change, and acid spitting monstrosities. Essentially, the military equivalent of a pub night with the PCG team.
If aliens do ever attack the planet, let's hope that their arrival will be pre-empted by a more official source than Instagram. Call of Duty: Ghosts is teasing cryptic extra-terrestrial activity through the image sharing site, with a video posted to an official account showing its skeletal mask shifting into an alien apparition. Leaked images appear to clarify the announcement, showing an "Extinction" game type that would appear to be a chitinous variant of past games' co-op Zombies mode.
Nvidia put out some unofficial Call of Duty: Ghosts system specs a couple of weeks back suggesting that Infinity Ward's peppy manshooter would require a 64 bit OS, and they were right. The Call Of Duty site now has the official specs, which adjusts the 50GB install to a 40GB one (lets face it, 30GB of that is hi-res dog), but retains the 6GB RAM requirement. Watch Dogs, another game designed to span the gap between current and 'next-gen' console hardware, needs similar tech.
We can expect system requirements to quickly jump up when we start seeing ports of games that target the PS4 and Xbone exclusively next year. Will the similarity of the new console hardware to PC architecture make for smoother ports? I can only hope. Meanwhile, get yer Call of Duty: Ghosts system requirements right here.
I get it, you're a busy person. You've not got the time to watch every video that comes your way. I'll save you some time, and describe Call of Duty: Ghosts' launch trailer in its entirety. "Explosions, explosions, explosions, explosions, FISH PHYSICS, explosions, dog, wolf, dog, space, space explosions." Just imagine all that with an Eminem song in the background and you're golden.
Update: Well, that didn't take long. Activision's support Twitter account has just confirmed that these specs are not official. Original story follows inside.
While it's not official, the likely PC requirements for Call of Duty: Ghosts have been posted on Nvidia's website. The minimum requirements are pretty friendly to those without giant rigs, but a slight step up from previous CoDs given the transition to new console hardware.
...And other cool things. Or absurd things. Or downright silly things? I can't even tell any more. Years of bombast, monotone pathos, and deep bass rumbles have left me unable to judge the emotional timbre that a trailer is aiming for. This Call of Duty: Ghosts trailer has spacemen shooting each other in space, a sniper doing sniping at a ninety degree angle, and Riley, the mo-capped dog, jumping onto a helicopter to drag out one of its passengers. Possible reactions include involuntary laughter, involuntary eye-rolling, or involuntary fist-pumping. Find out which you make, inside.
It's time for a new entry in the folder marked 'speculative word-noises on the power of upcoming platforms'. These are always fun. Remember the time EA's CTO said that console architectures are "a generation ahead of the highest end PC on the market"? Or when the next Need for Speed promised to look "easily as good on PC" as the next-gen? Or even the time AMD spent hours blowing raspberries at Nvidia? Classic stuff.
Now Infinity Ward are talking about the difference between their PC and next-gen console versions. But this time, they've provided a reason for why our machines will run their game better than on living room counterparts.
Infinity Ward have revealed the multiplayer portion of Call of Duty: Ghosts - the sequel to the popular series about men shooting men. Except now, as revealed in this trailer, men can shoot women. And women can shoot women, and men, and dogs. And dogs can eat women and men, and buildings can fall on both, and hovering drones can kill just about anything. It's a big death picnic out there.
Also there's Eminem. Although you can't shoot him.
Activision and Infinity Ward held a Call of Duty: Ghosts showcase yesterday, in which they showed off around eleven minutes of new footage - and two different missions - from the game. You won't be surprised to hear that one of these is an on-rails stealth section, a la COD4's celebrated All Ghillied Up, though your eyebrows may raise slightly when you learn that you'll be wearing scuba gear. Yep, underwater stealth, featuring underwater guns - are those a thing now? Activision also spilled the name of Ghosts' playable attack dog, which I'm shamelessly not going to reveal until after the break.
Respawn Entertainment's debut game has been revealed, via the circuitous route of a Game Informer cover leaked through the Google Play store. It's called Titanfall, it's touted as "next-gen multiplayer", and it's coming to PC and Xbox One. Full cover image below.
Since 2007's Modern Warfare, Activision hasn't missed a single annual update to the COD franchise. And it seems the publisher isn't about to let a little thing like a new generation of console hardware slow it down. This week's Xbox One announcement saw Call Of Duty: Ghosts finally break cover, and we happen to think that a new franchise from Infinity Ward is the perfect time to try out some new ideas...