Call of Duty: Ghosts – E3 Preview

Call of Duty Ghosts, the latest iteration of the massively popular shooter franchise from Infinity Ward, was shown behind closed doors at Activision’s E3 2013 booth and PSLS was on hand to check it out. Here’s what we saw:

The first thing shown was a tech demo of their new engine’s displacement maps and real time sub-d feature that improved the visual fidelity of the environment and character models, which really was a welcome addition to the dated graphics the series has been using over the last few years.

Starting off, we were shown the level ‘No Man’s Land’, originally unveiled at Activision’s All-access event last Sunday. Riley, the German Shepard supporting the Special Forces team, was shown to be wearing a battle-vest that had a periscope attached to allow the player to use a tablet to get the dog’s perspective at the hit of a button. Switching over to his tablet, the camera flips over to dog-cam, and he was be seen crawling through the grass, taking down a patrolling soldier. Moving forward, the dog charged a soldier, causing his friend to run in horror only to be taken down when he finally realized it was just a dog in a vest and stopped. A comical event that was only highlighted later, as the German Shepard breached a building by jumping through a window and pushing a group of armed men inside through a door, creating a reverse breach. Because that’s possible.

The next level was ‘Federation Day’, a level that was exclusive to these closed door showcases. Shown in a city whose skyline was filled with Skyscrapers, the Ghost team was seen firing a repelling line to an adjacent building and making their way across. Once over, you could see the duo Ghost members laterally move across the side of a building only to stop and kill the guards one or two at a time before proceeding down the building. Eventually, an opening occurs when a group of opponents walk out and are taken down from above with a diving attack and throwing knife sequence.

Moving forward, the footage skips to the team inside the building as it is crumbles and eventually topples over, throwing the team through the window to the street below. Fading to black, we move to the next segment of the trailer.

In an attempt to up the tension, the next stage ‘Into the Deep’ had the player scuba diving toward an enemy ship, and blowing it up. Suddenly, a piece of the ship lands on the player pinning them to the sea floor, with a visible oxygen tube leaking air into the sea. The player feels death taking them over until they are saved before blacking-out.

The debris is moved, and the player swims through the remaining cluster of falling wreckage, only to be met with a number of hostile divers and then the eventual fade to black. It’s over.

The footage of Call of Duty: Ghosts did seem like an interesting set of events, but sadly, as we have seen the franchise already go through so many over the top moments, it is hard to really be phased by anything the trailer throws at you, with scripted near-death sequences a common affair in the series. While the next-gen engine for CoD does look much better than the previous ones, I think most people might be hard pressed to find anything truly original about it based on what was shown.