It's inevitable - if a game sells well, you can bet that the publisher will follow up with a sequel that blends ingredients that were popular in prior versions in with new content. Activision has been following this formula for years with its Call of Duty franchise, with last year's Black Ops II selling a whopping 12 million copies – a sequel this year was going to be announced.
Earlier this month, we got that announcement in Call of Duty: Ghosts, and though no gameplay was revealed, (the trailer consisted of classic warriors doing battle stances, with a character dressed as Ghost concluding it), Activision is expected to have some on-hand next month when E3 rolls around.
While some people are fearing "the same old thing", but from what we've heard, Ghosts should have some surprises. The game is being produced once again by Infinity Ward (who made 2011's Modern Warfare 3) and is said to offer a completely new experience, one that could focus on Modern Warfare 2's Ghost character and his ability to go through areas unnoticed before doing some real damage. Whether this means we'll see some sort of stealth element put into Call of Duty has yet to be seen, but Activision knows the fast-paced action is a mainstay, so it'll have plenty of that.
But what can we expect from Call of Duty: Ghosts? We've got a few ideas, which we've broken down below…
A Next Generation Push
Microsoft has already confirmed that Ghosts will be front and center during the company's new Xbox system reveal next week, indicating that it's in the works for both that model and the Xbox 360. The game should also make a stop on PlayStation 4, considering that console also has some huge buzz behind it.
Even though the current gen versions will sell quite well, Call of Duty's shift into the next generation should be huge. With more graphic detail than the current gen versions will offer and possible exclusives like downloadable packs and additional Call of Duty Elite features (that service will be making a return as well) and possible add-ons, both Microsoft and Sony will do what's needed to coerce players to "up the ante" for the new hardware.
Multiplayer Will Rock All Over Again
If there's one factor that keeps players coming back to the Call of Duty universe, it's multiplayer. Between the stat and clan tracking of Elite and the number of maps available both on the disc and through downloadable means, there's just so much that draws both casual and competitive players back. Ghosts will bring a cavalcade and modes and maps to choose from, including some fresh new terrain to cover and possible "oldie but goodie" favorites, revamped for more up-to-date first-person shooting standards.
Since Ghosts is likely to become a favorite on the tournament circuit (as Black Ops II has), you can expect Infinity Ward to throw in plenty of challenges. However, we'd also like to see the return of the co-op supported survival missions, and maybe even a variation of the Zombies game that performed so well in Black Ops II. Activision shouldn't hesitate in loading this baby up, so players keep coming back for more – until next year's Call of Duty game rolls around, anyway.
Customization is Your Friend
Most recently, Activision introduced a number of skin modifications to Black Ops II, enabling you to design your soldier and guns with whatever really came to mind – even bacon skins are included. For Ghosts, it'd be awesome to see an expansion on this with possible "reward packs" given for reaching certain goals in multiplayer or completing the game's single player campaign. Activision will offer up a gaggle of them as downloadable content since it's a popular business model, but it'd be great to have a "basic" pack (for lack of a better word) to see what it's all about – you know, like getting a sample in a candy store.
New Weapons, Anyone?
One big aspect that would be a huge draw for Ghosts would be the inclusion of new weapons. Over the years, we've seen some bad-ass guns, grenades and rocket launchers make it into the game and this follow-up should be no different. We'd like to see more variations of shotguns (always good at close range), assault rifles and maybe even a few air assaults to keep things interesting. If we know Infinity Ward, they'll have various ideas in mind – it's just a matter of seeing what gets put into the game.
This all sounds speculative, to be sure, but we're itching to see just what Activision officially has in mind for Ghosts. We'll found out in just a few weeks' time, leading to the game's release console-wide on November 5th.
Get our official strategy guide for Call of Duty: Ghosts!