Call of Duty: Ghosts executive producer Mark Rubin says that the game makes the biggest overhaul to the series' multiplayer since Call of Duty 4. Based on what Infinity Ward has revealed today, the claim might not be so ridiculous.
The changes begin with a new Create-a-Soldier system, which allows players to customize the physical appearance of their soldier in addition to their equipment loadouts. You can choose their heads, body types, and even gender. Yes, that's right - females actually exist in the Call of Duty universe now.
Players can create ten custom soldiers in total. When you play the new game mode called Squads, these soldiers will be controlled by A.I. and follow you into battle. Just like human players, they'll earn XP so that they can unlock new perks and equipment. You can create a well-rounded team of specialists to confront any challenge you encounter.
Squads mode blurs the line between solo and multiplayer play. At any time during a mission, you can swap in real players for your A.I. companions for 6-player co-op action. Alternately, you can go head-to-head against one other player and his own squad of A.I. companions. Other players can even challenge your A.I. squad while you're offline.
The entertainment value of these bots will obviously depend on how realistic their behavior is. Infinity Ward is promising that they'll employ tactics like corner-camping and side-strafing. The intended result is that you'll feel like you're fighting with or against humans.
Infinity Ward previously announced that multiplayer maps would be altered throughout the match by dynamic events. For example, in the map FreeFall, players fight inside a skyscraper that steadily collapses throughout the match. Today IW clarified that players will trigger these changes through traps or killstreaks. This means that the map events won't just follow a static script; they'll be different from one match to the next.
Call of Duty Elite, the social hub introduced with Modern Warfare 3, will return for Ghosts but in a different form. Players will now be able to access it with a new smartphone and tablet app developed by Beachhead Studio. This app is designed as a second-screen for the game. Players can edit their squad, choose the loadout for their next spawn, or dick around on social media. The app can also be used to join, create, or manage your multiplayer clans.
Speaking of clans: Infinity Ward is planning a new meta-game to encourage these player organizations to butt heads. Clan Wars pairs up clans of comparable skill for two-week matches. The two clans will try to outscore each other over these weeks, with the victor receiving XP and exclusive content such as camo.
Ghosts doesn't sound like its going to make Call Of Duty multiplayer new again. It still retains the fundamentals like unlockables and killstreaks introduced back in COD4. However, it does seem as though IW's making some needed changes to the formula here. They've introduced destructibility to the maps and knocked down the wall between offline and online. Acknowledging the fact that girls play their game is a nice touch, too. Ghosts feels like progress, rather than just another rehash.
To show off Call of Duty: Ghosts' multiplayer to the public, Activision will hold world tour this fall. They'll bring the game to Los Angeles, Cologne, Dubai, London, Sydney, Moscow, Utrecht, Sao Paulo, Milan, and Paris before the official launch in November.