FEW series are guaranteed the sales success enjoyed by Call of Duty, a triple A leviathan that dominated the era of the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3.
Call of Duty: Ghosts - Playstation 4 (reviewed) / Xbox One
Score: 7.9 / 10
As it makes the leap on to a new generation of hardware, its formula of hardware fetishism and artillery-propelled bluster seems the ideal way to showcase the improved graphical and processing capabilities of Sony and Microsoft’s new consoles.
It may be surprising, then, to see the transition of Ghosts has heralded only subtle results. Owners of a Playstation 4 will find that the game now runs at a native 1080p at 60 frames per second. In dark corners of the internet, such technical specifications are regarded the spoils of war between the partisan followers of Sony and Microsoft. The truth, however, is that they are barely appreciable unless you play the game on a sizable television.
Visually, the game remains a steroid-powered spectacle, and the action presented is crisp if far from mind-blowing. Textures and surface details are given a modest overhaul, but nowhere are the visual leaps demonstrated by Killzone: Shadow Fall. Indeed, the most gratifying improvement in the revamped Ghosts are the expanded lobbies for multiplayer. The next generation systems allow for up to 18 players to wage war at once, with the grandiose sweeping battles offered up by Ground War mode reinstated after their curious omission from the 360 and PS3 versions.
However, even on PS4, multiplayer continued to suffer from the occasional lag that has never quite been excised from the franchise. Granted, this may be teething troubles with Activision’s servers, or the unfortunate legacy of a deluge of new customers logging on to the Playstation Network, but reports that the Xbox One version also has such shortcomings suggests the difficulties can be traced back to the code.
Cumulatively, the upgrades are pleasing yet do not offer a sufficiently compelling reason for existing owners of the game to purchase it again. The true test will come in 12 months when Activision’s increasing roster of developers have had time to get to grips with their development kits; you need only look at difference between Call of Duty 2 and Call of Duty Ghosts - games released on the same platforms, eight years apart - to see the benefits of familiarity.