CoD: Ghosts is one of the biggest releases of the year, possibly due to the dog, and Hardcore Gamer is here to cover it from every imaginable angle. I’ll be covering the livestream, while Steve is actually at the event in person. Hopefully he isn’t afraid of ghosts or virtual canines. I’m watching this on the 360 to grab some high-quality screens and some of the tweets they’re showing in a crawl are amusing – like one from someone who is naked and ready to enjoy the broadcast. They’re showing a Call of Duty franchise hype video with South Park, Family Guy, Fallon and Kimmel clips. Eric Hirshberg is out, and sadly, the live tweets are still on-screen. Fortunately, they’re not taking up space on the life screen area, but it does clutter things up a bit. Eric’s talking about what’s happened since the current gen started, including Youtube, smart phones, and tablets being a huge deal.
CALL OF DUTY HAS THE GREATEST FANS IN THE WORLD, and what could be the secret sauce? Turns out it’s a bunch of phrases no human being would ever use in an actual conversation. IT’S AN ADRENALIZED THRILL RIDE WITH YOUR HAIR ON FIRE! The stream is missing some chunks here and there to catch up. An Eminem video is airing showing of TDM. It’s nice to see an official hype video not censor songs, even though it’s a bit jarring, it’s in a good way and fits Eric’s “HOLY SHIT” statement earlier. The close-ups on stabbing folks in the chest seem pretty thrilling. The song is called “Survival”, and this was the first time it was heard, and wouldn’t you know it, it’s the debut single for his upcoming album. The syncing for Eminem’s statement is all out of whack.
Ghosts will have dynamic map shifting, so the maps will change in real-time. Now, beyond having to learn the layouts, you’ll need to learn how each map can change and how it affects things. The CoD app will let you use your CoD profile from the current gen to the next gen, and if you happen to upgrade your system, you’ll be able to carry over all of your stats. A new mobile app will also be launched with a meta-game. Current and next-gen systems will have it run at 60 FPS. Infinity Ward’s Mark Rubin is out. Ghosts will have a create-a-soldier mode. You can detail the appearance with over 20,000 choices overall, and can make a female soldier as well. Marksman rifles make their debuts, and can be used as either sniper or assault rifles. Dual render scopes will also be used, and let you keep an enemy in your sights without losing peripheral vision. There will be a new perk system that uses an 8-point system to let you choose a variety of perks. You can go with a bunch of 1s, some 2s, or mix in a 4 with those – as long as they don’t total more than eight, you’re good. Riley the guard dog can take out nearby enemies. Killstreaks will be focused on the ground instead of the air. Deathstreaks are gone.
In order to earn stuff to customize your character, you’ll have to bump up your XP. You can pick which order you want things to unlock in, which is certainly nice. You can create a squad of up to 10 soldiers with their own look, loadouts, characteristics, and unlock setups. Cranked is a new MP mode. A kill gets you faster movement, but a countdown clock means you need to get a kill before it runs out in 30 seconds or you’ll explode. In search and rescue, you can grab your own tags and those of the enemy as well. Squads will be new as well, and can be played solo, in co-op, or competitively. Your progress here counts towards your MP XP, and is meant for players of all skill levels. AI is being crafted to be more like a real person, and your loadout choices affect how your squad behaves. In Squad vs. Squad, you can team up with your squadmates to face another group – fairly obvious. War Game lets you hand-pick 5 squadmates to face AI that replicates real-life players. There’s also a wave-based mode that lets you kill a bunch of folks quickly. Squad Assault lets you pick who to assault either offline or online. Unfortunately, this video features livetweets during it unlike the Eminem one.
The dynamic map system means that traps can be set and change the world. On the Octane map, you can blow up gas tanks to create cover. Environmental traversal and weapon use should feel more natural, and there’s now a contextual lean system that doesn’t rely on button combos. A mantling system lets you move around from place to place over cover without losing momentum, and the knee slide lets you keep momentum while changing position from kneeling to standing. Audio is being reworked, and there’s a helpful video coming to showcase it. The reverb engine changes audio in real-time as you move to a different area. A large metal area sounds far different than a carpeted room, and the extra echo makes the shots seem more vicious in the metallic area. Reactive emitters are nodes placed on objects in the game that can react to things, like grenades set off in a different area.
All of the new tech and gameplay features will be on current gen systems, and by golly, it’s also the best-looking CoD game on them yet. Well duh. CoD Championships return to Xbox Live in 2014, and CoD will be the official FPS of MLG. Fwiz & Benson are out to shoutcast this live. A team of marines and CoD pros will face another team of Marines and pros. They’ll be playing Cranked. If you’re a camper, you’re SOL with the mode. Strike Zone is a destroyed baseball stadium perfect for fast-paced gameplay. When someone dies, a case will drop with orders, and if you’re able to fulfill the conditions, you’ll get a care package – allowing you to drop an air strike if you want. Field orders are snagged, but the player is killed before he can do anything with them. Given that they’ve got female characters in this, it’s a bit surprising they didn’t have a woman up there to play this. The Ghost squad wins with a score of 150 to 101.
Yale Miller is out to talk. Gotta say, I’d much rather see more shooting. You can take CoD anywhere with CoD’s Elite app. If you don’t have a CoD account, you can get one for free either in the game or online. There’s a lot of rehashed info here between this and the earlier part discussing the app. You can track the stats of friends or rivals, and the app will launch with the game. Well, it would be fairly pointless to launch after it. You can tap the screen and pick a loadout instantly, which is useful, and brag about kills on Facebook and Twitter. You can join, create, or manage a clan with the app. There’s also a touch-based emblem editor – now that’s a handy feature. Any MP match played with the clan helps everyone’s XP. Xbox 360 and Xbox One players can play together in a clan. Clan Wars are new, and get a video.
Clan Wars is tied into both the game and app. Every two weeks, you get matched up with a similarly-skilled clan and whoever gets the most points over the two week span, wins. Clan Wars allows you to unlock exclusive helmets, and it seems like a great way for OCD players to lose months of their lives to get everything. You used to catch Pokemon – now you can get virtual helmets! Eric’s back out and they’re out to make this the best MP game yet. Season pass is back delivering four DLC packs and a character skin based on a main character. All DLC carries over if you buy it on a PS3 or 360 and then get the game for the PS4 or Xbox One. If you’re a TRUE COD FAN, GET THE LIMITED EDITIONS! One comes with a 1080p tactical camera. This is slightly less ridiculous than the SR IV million dollar edition, and is at least practical in some way. They’ve got two guys acting like douchebags BREACHING everything. Like a bathroom, a couple of guys wrestling, a little girl’s kiddie castle, and some nudists. This came off as dudebro pandering from a group of middle-aged guys trying to seem hip and cool with 20-somethings.
The CoD Multilayer World Tour will start today, and go throughout every major gaming event and other areas until its launch. Everyone there gets a copy of the prestige edition, and if you’re one of the first 500 people to play the game on the world tour, you’ll get a free copy of the prestige edition as well. The troops get a shoutout, and a set of limited edition dogtags will help out the CoD Endowment – a group like the one Brian Stann runs that helps find jobs for soldiers. Dog tags can be purchased for only $5, and all of the profits go to the Endowment. That’s a great act that makes up for that embarrassing breach video. The game launches on November 5, and the folks there are about to play some MP. I’m sure we’ll discuss this a ton on the podcast over the coming week, so stay tuned to that for more thoughts on this game.
As a casual fan of the series, I was very impressed by this presentation. It had the usual rah rah rah stuff you expect, but did focus on gameplay improvements. By not just talking about them, but showing them as well, the devs came off as genuine with their desire to craft a better experience for everyone. Being able to carry data over between console gens is nice, and the world tour is an outstanding way to build up hype about the game and build up goodwill by giving away copies of it. They’ll only be losing several thousand copies of the premium edition, and in doing so, many people want not only that version just due to players 501 and beyond coming so close to having it, but also raising awareness of it and making you think of it when you think of the game.
After a bit from Major Nelson and his female co-host whose name I missed, they showed a video of the devs talking about search and rescue. They showed the knee slide…and a guy getting killed in mid-slide. That’s going to lead to some tremendous GIFs and Youtube highlights. THE DOG gets hyped up since he can alert you to people around you. You can also snipe from the helicopter. The devs are excited about having an Xbox 360 launch game and making Ghosts an Xbox One launch game. One could also assume they’re hyped about helping close out the 360 on a high point as well.