Upgradeable stat-boosts, or ‘perks’, are as much a part of the modern shooter experience as muffled insults and uncooperative teammates; only these myriad distractions can occasionally prove themselves useful. Rewarding experimentation as well as staunch specialization, perks form an integral part of the Call of Duty equation, ensuring ever-present levels of challenge despite the series’ consistently familiar output.

With Call of Duty: Ghosts – Activision’s latest, cross-generational, cash cow – developer Infinity Ward is freshening up the series’ addictive, upgradeable formula, by introducing a new points-based perk system. Boasting 35 total stat and/or mechanics boosts, the schema separates the field into seven unique categories, each of which features five weighted incentives. Similar to a Fantasy Football format, but without positional caps or quotas, gamers receive eight credits total, with which to assemble their “squad” of in-game talents. Perk prices range from the affordable (one point) to the downright expensive (five points), with the latter category naturally leading to fewer overall picks.

Unlocked through dedicated leveling up (Squad Points may also be traded in for early access), standard load-outs can vary from the weak, but extensive (e.g eight — 1 point perks) to the strong, but simple (one — five point, and one — three point perk). Adding to this precarious balancing act is the decision to allow players to trade in their expected kit, i.e. primary and/or secondary weapons, Lethal and Tactical item slots — for a further four points (each default area being worth 1 point each). Players who choose to forsake every one of their items, in favor of 12 total perk points, start their matches armed with little more than a knife and an extensive set of Neeson-esque skills.

Perk categories include:

  • Speed — Sheer momentum in perk form, examples include faster reloading (‘Sleight of Hand’) and quicker aiming (‘Stalker)
  • Handling — Wave goodbye to butter fingers, handling improves a soldier’s on-the-go dexterity, raising hip-fire accuracy (‘Steady Aim’) and/or permitting sprinting reloads (‘On the Go’)
  • Stealth — Sleuth and sneak in total secrecy, with enemy-maddening anonymity (‘Incog’) and/or untraceable kill locations (‘Takedown’)
  • Awareness — Spot danger from a mile away, with hostile tech targeting (‘SitRep’) and/or eavesdropping mischief (‘Wiretap’)
  • Equipment — “A bad workman always blames his tools,” a dead player brings none. Turn the tides with additional strategic gear (‘Extra Tactical’) and/or weapon upgrades (‘Extra Attachment’)
  • Elite — Miscellaneous special perks, ranging from random load-out items (‘Gambler’) to UAV-alike radar pings (‘Ping’)

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Given the glut of choices on offer, balancing would appear to be a prospective issue in Call of Duty: Ghosts, despite Infinity Ward’s best efforts to curtail any unfair advantage. Though patches will likely address most of these issues, the new system does run the risk of ‘overcharging’ for less-helpful, points-grabbing abilities. Like the Fantasy Football systems the move appears to be modeled after, the ability for underachieving perks (like FF picks) to diminish and increase in price over a season of play, might make for a welcome, tactical addition.

Do Call of Duty‘s extensive incentives perk up your play or nerf excitement altogether? Can Ghosts take the franchise in a positive direction, or will this latest entry remain much the same as before? Have your say in the comments below, and be sure to check out all of the latest Call of Duty news, right here on Game Rant.


Call of Duty: Ghosts debuts on November 5th, 2013 for PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360 platforms. Next-gen editions of the game are scheduled to launch alongside their respective consoles, on November 15th (PlayStation 4) and November 22nd (Xbox One).

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Source: COD Community