The Call of Duty series isn’t often credited with taking massive risks in either design or technology, and with the developers behind Call of Duty: Ghosts claiming they’re more interested in creating a fun game than a groundbreaking one, the habit hasn’t looked to be breaking any time soon.
But that doesn’t mean the team at Infinity Ward won’t be trying out a few new methods of gameplay, or broadening the types of experiences made possible in Ghosts‘ multiplayer. As the brand new trailer introducing the Squads Mode shows, players who love the fast-paced, team-focused action of multiplayer will now have an entirely different level of customization at their fingertips – building and refining an entire squad of AI soldiers.
IW may have proved their point of “fun over innovation” by simply adding Riley the dog to the story-based campaign, or even taking their signature brand of gunplay into space. But it seems even the multiplayer portion will be expanded upon in genuinely promising ways. Especially players who may love nothing more than playing with or against friends in an online setting, but tend to keep out of the larger (and more frustrating) multiplayer arena.
In the past, we might’ve said that those players would simply have to stick to what worked, but Infinity Ward seems to have invented a new type of multiplayer to help straddle the two experiences.
As usual, Ghosts will allow players to create a number of multiplayer characters of differing class and loadouts, gaining experience with playtime. In Squads, players will be able to unite those individual characters into a single squad, and take them into the fight as a unit.
Choosing one member of the team to play firsthand, the AI-controlled squadmates will use the skills and weaponry players have granted them, testing a player’s skill and selections like never before. The squad can be used to fight against an AI-controlled team of enemies, or human-controlled players in a number of modes, with the player’s squad even available to be opposed when they’re away from their system. If the squad can come out on top against that of an online friend’s, even more XP comes their way.
That XP will help the player progress through the other multiplayer systems as well – even if many may simply embrace the new mode in the current vacuum of bot-focused multiplayer shooters. The addition of a Safeguard Mode akin to the Horde Mode introduced by Gears of War is not all too surprising, but we can’t help but think that the chance to watch AI soldiers come to life alongside their creators will garner the most attention.
What do you think of the new Squads? Could this be the addition that brings you back to the series, or reinvigorates your interest? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Call of Duty: Ghosts releases November 5, 2013 for the PC, PS3, Wii U, and Xbox 360. The PS4 version will follow on November 15 and the Xbox One version on November 22.
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