I have been playing this game for about 2 months now and I have 160 hours into multiplayer between the available modes. So, I think I can give a full honest opinion on it. I bought this game back in November on the 360 and later I bought an Xbox 1 on black friday and upgraded my disk. Overall, I have been pleased with the game as a whole, but I know I am in a small minority there. It has it's problems, but it's a solid entry in the series.
I think the biggest problem here was Infinity Ward tried to listen to too many people when they went out and designed Ghosts. It looks like they went through the message boards and other forms of feed back and they tried to please everybody which, was their first mistake. The company set out to build a game with a mix of features from different titles in the series. They suceeded in their attempt, but not everything works well together. They wanted the perks, player experience and feel of modern warfare 2. However, they wanted to keep the pick 10 system from black ops 2, address a lot of the issues that have plauged the game for a long time and keep everything in balance. They also released the title on 6 different platforms and tried to allow it to transition from the current to the next gen platforms as smoothly as possible. I think they did a pretty good job trying to accomplish all that, but not everybody agrees with me. Let me break it down for you.
The first thing they wanted to do was bring back the feel of modern warfare 2. They upped the weapon ranges and base damage just like that game had where everything kills very quickly. They brought back the most popular perks from that game, namely stopping power, danger close and one man army. However, they tried to do it in a way that kept the system balanced and kept them from being abused. Danger close is back, but it's too expensive to be pracitcal, stopping power takes the form of dead eye. It works but is too costly to use on most classes. One man army has been moved to a support kill streak. Namely the ammo crate, now you only get one reload per live and the weapon you draw is random, but it's still there.
They kept the pick 10 system from black ops 2 in a new layout and weighted the cost of perks to allow for better game balancing. This offers a consistent feel, but limits what loadouts a player can functionally create. The new system works, but it gives preference to certain types of builds and discourages players to experiment off the beaten path. Still there are pleanty of options available with a little creative thinking.
The next thing IW tried to do was fix the long laundry list of complaints they have been getting about aspects of this series for a long time. The first one was that players were complaining about too many hit markers and problems with the lag compensation. Well, IW eliminated theatre mode and increase the damage and range on most of the weapon classes. This lead to a very solid hit detection system, however it works a little too good and everybody dies very quickly. Another issue they tried to resolve was the ongoing complaint about quick scoping. Mathematically they have removed it from the game completely. You can still snipe quickly, but the traditional mechanic is gone. However, to compensate they gave the sniper rifles a large one hit kill area on the body and went with a large map design overall.
Another major problem they have addressed in the series deals with map and spawn design. One ongoing complaint is that a camper can lock down a 3rd of some the maps in past games thanks to the 3 lane design. There was also a lot of complaints about spawn trapping. IW designed its maps to be larger and more open along with a whole new spawn system. They have solved these two problem in their entirety. However, this design paradime has created several new ones of it's own. At laucn the spawns were broken and we ended up with a lot fo cheap kills spawning in front or behind another player on the opposite team. The new map designs do what they were meant to do, but they are too big and chaotic for what most COD players expected. This has also shifted the weapon dominace from SMGs and shotguns to ARs and some of the other longer range weapons.
Infinity ward tried to take the series in a whole new dircetion as well. They added the marksman rifles rather than having semi-auto assults by defualt or a low damage sniper rifle. They work, but players are tending towards the automatic weapons. They also introduced some new game designs in blitz and cranked. These modes are fun to play and suit the new map design very well. However, many players are sticking to the more traditional modes they are more comfortable with.
Overall, Infinity Ward tied to reinvent the COD experience and take the series in a whole new direction. I for one am very happy with the end result and the game as a whole. However, many traditional COD players are not as happy with the package because it's not what they are used to in a COD game. If you give the game some time and learn how to work the new system it's a lot of fun. But Infinity Ward may have tried to change too much too fast and please too many people. I applaud their creativity and willingness to take the risk. I do hope they listen to their fans and start to tweak things to a little more traditional direction. There is a lot of good things here and the series is heading in a very intersting direction. Let me know your thoughts and feelings on some of the issues discussed here.
Total rating 9/10