Monster truck rallies, as we know, are as testosterone-y and badass as it’s humanly possible to get. There’s drunken cheering, ridiculous violence and the imminent threat that someone’s going to explode, catch on fire and/or die. There are also, as you’ve probably surmised from the name of the rallies, big effin’ trucks.
In the video game world, Call of Duty is the biggest truck of all. Each new release in the franchise is sure to effortlessly roll over its smaller competition, crushing the shit out of it with a middle finger raised and no effs given. This is the way of the world just now. FPS games are the blockbusters, and Call of Duty is the... blockbuster-iest.
The latest installment is Call of Duty: Ghosts. It arrived early last month for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360; a few weeks later as launch titles for the next-gen systems. It was, to the surprise of nobody ever, a sales shitstorm (albeit not to the extent of its predecessor, Black Ops II), and is sure to find its way into many holiday stockings this year. And we’re not talking about seasonal pervy transvestites here. Sadly.
But anywho, Ghosts has been the go-to game to accompany many a newly-bought Xbox One or PS4. It ramps up the badassery with the introduction of the titular Ghosts, US special forces with a desperate mission and a fine line in dickish bandana-wearing.
The campaign this time centers around Logan Walker, the son of the retired captain who leads this elite squad. After the Middle East is destroyed by nuclear attack, the balance of global power shifts and the United States begin to decline as a Superpower. The Ghosts’ objective, and yours, is to combat the threat of the emerging Federation.
In summation: it’s melodramatic and action-tastic Call of Duty business as usual. For many of us, though, the campaign is of little concern. It’s an online experience, first and foremost, and you want to get gonads-deep into the multiplayer. A dizzying world of unlocks, K/Ds and irritating squeaky mic-wielding preteens (who have just learned some new cuss words they’re itching to try out) awaits.
To that end, Ghosts brings us a bountiful crop of modes new to the series. Feast your eyes, ears and gun barrels on Cranked, for instance; a far-more-ridiculous deathmatch in which successful warriors are ‘cranked’ with a speed boost, but will explode hideously if they can’t keep up the pace. There’s also Search and Rescue, an objective mode with an emphasis on reviving teammates while preventing foes from doing the same. In all, seven new additions.
It’s not a revolutionary installment, nor will it magically invert the opinions of those who don’t care for the franchise. What we have here is another series of subtle additions and extras, which is all the legions of fans need to keep them shooting long into the new year.