Snoop Dogg is coming to Call of Duty: Ghosts. Forget Michael Myers or the Predator. Who else could’ve played Huggy Bear in the 2004 Starsky & Hutch movie? That’s right. Only Calvin Cordozar Broadus, Jr – AKA Snoop Dogg! His dulcet tones will be coming to Call of Duty: Ghosts in a Snoop Dogg Voice Pack for $2.99 on April 22nd for the Xbox One and Xbox 360. Infinity Ward and Activision will be adding a few DLC packs on the same day. Play as John “Soap” MacTavish in multiplayer for $3.99, or be Simon “Classic Ghost” Riley for $1.99. Add a bunch of garish skins to your weapons for $1.99 each. Finally, the Drill Instructor Voice Pack features R. Lee Ermey gently encouraging players to exercise good sportsmanship for $2.99.
What I wouldn’t give for a voice pack with R. Lee Ermey reading Snoop Dogg’s lines!
I expected my favorite part of today’s Onslaught DLC for Call of Duty: Ghosts would be the new map for extinction mode. Extinction mode is Ghost’s answer to the previous games’ zombie mode. It lets you and up to three other players run around on wide-open maps, setting up pitched defensive battles in which you have to hold out against swarms of alien bugs. Classic co-op stuff. I almost don’t even mind the lack of zombies. And the new extinction map in Onslaught adds a bad-ass boss battle against a giant alien bug. It’s impressive enough. But it’s not my favorite thing about the Onslaught DLC.
It’s time for another Call of Duty map pack. This time, the Onslaught DLC may have something special. Along with a new “Maverick” assault rifle, four multiplayer maps, and an alien Extinction mode chapter, the pack will let players become Michael Myers. Yes, the killer with the William Shatner mask. Fog is a map set in a spooky lakeside campsite that offers a way to turn one player into The Shape, pitting all other players against the Halloween murderer. Why not? The game already has zero-G combat, a dog that can take down helicopters, and an alien invasion horde mode. Go nuts!
Onslaught releases on January 28th for $14.99 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One with other platforms coming later.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is out now on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. (Read Tom’s review here.) Exclusive DLC periods aside, they’re essentially identical. Control the soldier-killing dog through stealth sections, have a shoot-out in space, level up your multiplayer character. On the next-gen consoles, it’s another matter. Ghosts is rendered and output from Sony’s PlayStation 4 at 1080p, but only rendered at 720p and upscaled to 1080p on Microsoft’s Xbox One. There’s been a lot of speculation about what this means for future games in the next generation, but most of it has been answered with pure hokum dictated by the console manufacturers, as in this IGN interview with Mark Rubin of Infinity Ward.
“There’s no maliciousness, there’s no specific reason why one’s 720p, one’s 1080p. That’s just the way the optimisation came out to. To keep a smooth frame rate we needed to be 720p on Xbox One. That being said, it is being upscaled to 1080p, so it is outputting 1080p on your TV, and for the most part the game does look really good. Some people actually think the textures look a little bit nicer maybe on Xbox than they do on PS4.”
We’re getting closer to the truth in this Metro interview, but Mark Rubin puts his game face on and remains steadfast. He does let slip that he can’t tell journalists which console is more powerful because of non-disclosure agreements, but he can say that he disagrees with the idea that they’re equal:
GC: So when John Carmack and Shinji Mikami say the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are almost identical, is that something you could agree with?
MR: Hmm… I would say that’s a bit inaccurate but I wouldn’t be able to tell you any detail of why that’s inaccurate.
GC: For diplomatic reasons?
Battlefield 4 has a similar issue. It’s rendered at 900p and upscaled to 1080p on the PS4, but rendered at 720p and output at 1080p on the Xbox One.
Now we know that next-gen is really here. The recommended minimum PC specifications for Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs elicited little more than a pause because most PC gamers assumed that all the open-world razzle-dazzle would require some decent hardware to back it up. The PC specifications for Call of Duty: Ghosts indicate what many of us have anticipated. Next-gen games may require PC upgrades.
OS: Windows 7 64-Bit / Windows 8 64-Bit
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E8200 2.66 GHZ / AMD Phenom X3 8750 2.4 GHZ or better
RAM: 6 GB RAM
HDD: 50 GB HD space
Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 550 Ti / ATI Radeon HD 5870 or better
Sound: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Recommended: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780
Goodbye 4GB of RAM and 32-bit Windows! People scooting along at the low-end of Steam’s hardware survey better start making upgrade lists or hope to get a Steam Machine.
Activision has announced their plan that will allow gamers to upgrade a current-gen console version of Call of Duty: Ghosts to the next-gen version at a discount.
All physical copies of the PlayStation 3 version of Call of Duty: Ghosts will come with a unique code that will allow owners to download a PlayStation 4 copy of the game from the PlayStation Store for $10. Alternately, gamers can purchase the PS3 version of Ghosts directly from the PlayStation Store, which will automatically make them eligible for the $10 PS4 upgrade version. The PlayStation upgrade offer ends on March 31st, 2014.
On Microsoft’s ecosystem, the program works a little differently. According to the Xbox Upgrade web page, they will be offering two options with different pricing schemes. With the first offer, gamers can purchase a digital copy of the game from selected retailers that will come with codes for the Xbox One and the Xbox 360 versions of Ghosts for an up-front cost of $69.99. The other upgrade path is to purchase the Xbox 360 version of Ghosts directly from the Xbox Live Marketplace for $59.99. This will allow players to purchase the Xbox One version through the Marketplace later for $10 more. Both Xbox options are valid until March 31st, 2014.
The Call of Duty: Ghosts Season Pass will upgrade for free with either Microsoft or Sony’s systems provided gamers upgrade the game before the March 31st deadline.
Quick-scoping is the highly effective technique of flicking the scope up on a sniper rifle to make a split-second headshot while maintaining mobility in Call of Duty multiplayer. It allows Ghillie-suited marksmen to run around getting kills like all the other players instead of staying in a position making carefully aimed shots. Quick-scoping has become mandatory for pro players to master even while they complain about its use.
Infinity Ward’s Mark Rubin posted on TwitLonger that sniping in Call of Duty: Ghosts will change from previous games. Marksmen players may not be using sniper rifles in the ways they’ve been used before.
“In re-envisioning sniper rifles some aspects, such as sway timing, have changed the way sniper rifles function and so traditional ‘quick-scoping’ has been affected. Is it gone completely? Maybe. It certainly won’t be viable in the way it previously was. Can’t wait for you snipers out there to get your hands on these new sniper rifles and try them out for yourselves.”
The elimination of quick-scoping, while welcome to many players, would likely create a major shake-up in pro league Call of Duty gaming.