Yesterday, we ran a piece entitled 3 Features Battlefield 4 Simply Has to Have in which we speculated on a few things that DICE absolutely has to include in the game for it to be as awesome as we're expecting. Today, we set our sights on Call of Duty: Ghosts and the team at Infinity Ward for the same treatment.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is making a lot of bold claims so far and if the game is going to be half as good as we expect it to be, there are a few things that Infinity Ward will need to focus on and keep in mind with Call of Duty: Ghosts.
Those things are...
Call of Duty: Ghosts can have the most engaging and fascinating singleplayer campaign in Call of Duty history and the plain fact of the matter is that most players will never touch it.
Call of Duty is first and foremost a multiplayer experience for the vast majority of its fanbase. To that end, the most important thing that Infinity Ward needs to keep in mind is strong, balanced multiplayer.
This means keeping the post-launch nerfs and buffs to a minimum. Every game will require a bit of tweaking here and there after it gets into the hands of the massive userbase, but we'd like to see some better day one balancing. We're talking across the board weapons balancing, where no class is blatantly more useful than another. To us, DICE has always been great at this in Battlefield games.
Killstreaks or scorestreaks need to have their cost/reward structure thought out and tested in great detail. The RC-XD in Call of Duty: Black Ops, for example, was kind of a nightmare. It was ridiculously easy to acquire and yet could net you multiple kills if you timed the detonation properly. To our minds, a 3-kill streak should not be capable of getting you multi-kills.
Brand New Game Engine
We've heard the term 'new engine' bandied about in press releases for Call of Duty: Ghosts, but no specific details are being offered up. If this is like previous Call of Duty games, the term 'new engine' simply means 'really old engine with a lot of updates' and that just won't do anymore. At this stage in the game, the community deserves - and demands - an entirely new game engine, not 7 year old game engine that has been updated a bunch.
The trick here, of course, is building the game upon the framework of a new engine without losing that 'Call of Duty feeling'. That feeling that so, so many other developers have tried to emulate for the last decade and yet none have come remotely close to succeeding. Call of Duty feels familiar and that's part of what makes the franchise so successful but at the same time, we've come to the point where change is a must for this franchise.
When you start to hear even the most die-hard Call of Duty proponents talking about how they are sick of the 'CoD formula', you know that it's time for something fresh. A new game engine could be a great base for something new in this franchise.
Pick 10 Create a Class
When Treyarch unveiled Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 multiplayer, one of the core features that they touted was the Pick 10 Create a Class system. This was a complete revamping of the Create a Class system from the ground up, while staying true to the fundamentals that make the system so great.
In past games, players were able to create a set of custom loadouts for multiplayer matches. The problem, however, was that you were restricted by a set of requirements. Each class had to exist within the parameters that the developer laid out for you. Pick 10, on the other hand, took Create a Class outside of the box completely, using a 10-point system where each item, perk or weapon consumed 1 point.
Don't like to use a sidearm? Remove it completely and save 1 point. Want an extra tactical grenade? Spend that extra point on another one.
The system gave you the freedom to choose and it absolutely must return or Infinity Ward must produce something equally flexible in its place.
What do you want to see in Call of Duty: Ghosts, what must Infinity Ward provide to guarantee that you will pick up the game on day one? Let us know in the comments.