When it first unveiled the game earlier this year, Activision gave players a lot to look forward to with Call of Duty: Ghosts, including a sharp new visual engine, the introduction of new gameplay mechanics – like shooting underwater and controlling your K9 counterpart Riley – and a new storyline by screenwriter Stephen Gaghan. One thing that was missing from the reveal, however, was any mention of new multiplayer content.
That changed this week with a live reveal of Ghosts' new multiplayer mode, which took place earlier today in Los Angeles, California. In case you missed it, you can watch the multiplayer trailer below, but we've got a recap of what kind of features you can expect this time around.
First, Call of Duty: Ghosts will come with unprecedented customization features through the new Create-A-Soldier option. You'll have over 20,000 options when it comes to building the perfect soldier, including for the first time in the series, playing as a female, something a lot of fans have asked for. In addition, you'll also be able to customize your squad, with up to 10 soldiers built to your specifics, which you can use over the course of the game's modes. These aren't just cosmetic changes either, as the class and skills you select play a big part in how you do in multiplayer.
Next up, Ghosts will include a new class called the Marksman Rifle. This sits comfortably between the Sniper and Automatic classes, as your load-out will have pinpoint accuracy when it comes to shooting enemies both at close range and from a distance. You'll also have access to dual-render scopes, allowing you to target your enemies through the scope while keeping general peripheral vision intact, in case a rival charges in from the left or right.
There's a new dynamic that comes with leveling up your soldier, thanks to point values that you can assign across different perks, depending on which ones you want. Killstreaks are free of charge, with 20 new ones to choose from, and most of them are ground-based, taking out the mostly unstoppable aerial assaults from previous games. One includes Riley, the K9 companion introduced earlier this year, who charges ahead of you, not only attacking enemies, but also alerting you to ones nearby. You can earn killstreaks either through taking out enemies or completing objectives on the map.
Attachments are free in the game, accessories that will help improve your performance when it comes to battling opponents. We only saw bits and pieces of them in the gameplay demo, but there's a wide selection to choose from.
Call of Duty: Ghosts will come with seven new modes, as well as returning favorites from previous games. For the gameplay demo, we only saw two in action, but they're real doozies. The first is Cranked, which offers an explosive twist. For every kill you earn, you speed up immensely and improve your reload, but you'll also activate a countdown clock. If you fail to get another kill in that time frame, you'll explode.
The other mode is Search and Rescue, and it works in the same way as Kill Confirmed, but with a slight change. Once you're killed in action, you'll leave a briefcase-like icon hanging over your body. If an enemy collects it, you're out until the next match. However, if an ally picks it up, you're back in the game.
Squads will also play a tremendous part in Call of Duty Ghosts, with a number of modes that both single players and multiplayer teams can take part in. You can level up your squad or clan however you please in this mode, through squad points earned by completing objectives and kills through each round. The better you enable them, the more powerful they become.
Various squad modes were introduced with the demo, including Squad vs. Squad, a general battle between teams; Wargame, where five squad mates help you take on tough enemy opposition; Safe Guard, a four-player squad co-op mode where you can use all the perks and killstreaks from multiplayer to take out enemies; and Squad Assault, a unique six-player co-op mode where you take on AI that's based upon some of the best Call of Duty players in the world.
Your squad behavior changes depending on what kind of load-out you choose. For instance, if you go with a sniper squad, they'll behave as such, taking potshots at enemies from above. Go with an assault class, however, and they'll stand their ground right beside you in battle. This is good for single players who want to learn the ropes before heading into the online multiplayer jungle.
Dynamic map changes play a huge part in Call of Duty: Ghosts as well. You'll be able to change the course of each map depending on your actions. For instance, in the Octane map, you can blow up a gas station to create new cover for your and your team, or blast open a wall to create a vantage point.
For Call of Duty: Ghosts, Infinity Ward created more fluid movement. You can do a knee slide to safely reach cover without running into the open, lean around objects to shoot enemies from an angle and easily vault over objects using mantling.
In addition, the mobile aspect of Call of Duty returns with Anywhere, an app that allows players to connect with clans, check their load-outs and statistics and even edit their emblems when they aren't playing the game. From what we've seen, this is a rather huge app, and one that you can actually use alongside the game, in case you need to quickly change a load-out.
Other items were mentioned during the presentation, including Call of Duty: Ghosts' tie-in with eSports – the Call of Duty Championship will return in 2014 – as well as the introduction of Hardened and Prestige packages, the latter of which will come with a mobile 1080p-enhanced tactical camera. The Season Pass will return, with four DLC packs yet to be announced for the game. Best of all, if you buy a current-generation version of the game – for Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 – and opt to upgrade to the next-gen one, your DLC will remain tied to your account, and you can retrieve it free of charge.
We'll see how it all comes together when Call of Duty: Ghosts arrives November 5th for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Wii U, and later in the year for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.