Ghosts is not
It's a stand alone game. The series evolves with each new addition, there may be some similarities, but essentially they are all different games. Not everybody is going to like every game, and I'm included in that. I loved W@W, thought MW2 was okay, really didn't like BO, and thought MW3 and BO2 both good. For me Ghosts is the best so far.
The maps are great, the weapons are pretty well balanced, and work how a weapon should. By that I mean SMGs are for close range, AR fair across all ranges, Snipers and the new Marksman rifles are for longer range shoot outs. The launchers are lethal, but you can't spam them like in MW2 so use them wisely is my advice. On the advice front, try running the support package and the ammo crate, it's a great way to experiment with weapons and find something you like.
Kill streaks. I've said before that I really disliked all the OP streaks that began appearing from MW2. I wanted something more akin to W@W. I never thought it possible but despite the wealth of options, there is little that is OP. The support streaks are just that, support and not offensive. Specialist is rewarding if you can get a kill run going, and assault is okay, again if you can get a streak going. Sure, Riley can be annoying, but then that was the intention. At least the player with Riley can't sit still while raking up kills because Riley will just sit there looking for a tin of dog food.
There is great variety in perks and some real thought needed to get set ups to be effective. I have to admit it is complicated at first, especially trying to understand just what you're running with, and knowing simply whether the enemy can see you or not. But that just adds to the mix, and whatever perks I use, I always just assume the worst case scenario.
Basically the game promotes the play style many of us have said is the way to play CoD. Don't just run and gun, don't camp in a corner. Instead move stealthily around the map and pick off the enemy when and where you can. If you complain that your favourite perk, weapon, or play style doesn't fit and you want it back, stop. Ask yourself if you would also complain that Ghosts is no different to BO2. It's meant to be different, things are meant to have changed. You just need to get used to it.