Shoot as many demon bugs as you can in Extinction mode.

Above: Shoot as many demon bugs as you can in Extinction mode.

Image Credit: Activision

It’s not as good as Battlefield 4

I never really thought I’d say that, as EA’s DICE has trailed behind Call of Duty in the past and EA’s Medal of Honor never came close to matching Call of Duty. Battlefield 4 is a lot more gripping from the very start. It is set in China, where there is a new believable enemy. The vehicle combat is grounded in reality, and it’s fun. The environments are destructible in a fun way. And Battlefield 4 has some cool new features like Commander mode, where you can control 32 players on a side in multiplayer combat. You can get into a lot more mayhem.


The bottom line is that, after nine successful titles (though No. 3 was pretty weak), Activision has finally delivered a Call of Duty game that is a disappointment for me. I’ll play it. I’ll enjoy the multiplayer. But I thought that the multiplayer modes for Black Ops II were great. I don’t know why Infinity Ward couldn’t borrow more from those modes and just build upon them.

Call of Duty has grown as a franchise in part because Activision has staffed up its studios so much that they can produce quality games every single year. That has helped the series grow enormously and given it a budget that other game studios would only dream of. But we’ve just crossed the line on one of the risks. And that is that last year’s game was better than this year’s. And that’s a hard thing to recover from.

My hope is that the next-generation versions of this game will be better. I’ve seen them in demos, but I have not played them through yet. But I can’t count on them being better. Nor should gamers who are thinking about playing Battlefield 4 instead. So the current-generation version of Call of Duty: Ghosts may very well get lost in the cornucopia of riches coming for gamers in the holidays. For the game industry, this is a good thing, as we need more variety of hits. But I believe that Activision has its work cut out for it in 2015.

Score: 80/100

Call of Duty: Ghosts releases Nov. 5, 2013, for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, the Wii U, and PC. Ghosts will also release later this year on the Xbox One on Nov. 22 and PlayStation 4 on Nov. 15. The publisher provided GamesBeat with an Xbox 360 copy of the game for the purpose of this review.

Which game Are you getting, Battlefield 4 or Call of Duty: Ghosts? Take our poll. And check out our screenshots below.