I’ve been poking at Call of Duty: Ghosts lately. It’s way outside of my ‘normal’ genre but a while back I took advantage of a $20 deal on it (back when it was still generally going for full price), installed it but hardly played. Y’know, so typical me.
With E3 going on I was looking for something I could jump into and get a quick gaming fix between events so I semi-randomly picked COD:Ghosts.
I’m enjoying the experience. And I chose the word ‘experience’ very deliberately because I’m playing on such an easy difficulty level that it’s not really much of a game. But the spectacle that they put together for the single player campaign is just stupid fun. It’s kind of like an interactive blockbuster action movie I guess.
I’m at a part now where I’m Logan and I’m part of a team (I can’t even remember how the game began… I played the start months ago) but I’m not in charge. So I kind of follow my team around and when team leader says “Logan, do blah blah blah” I look for whatever I can interact with and interact with it. If it wasn’t for the other team members I’d normally have no clue what I’m supposed to be doing, so thanks AI pals!
I had one neat moment today though. We were supposed to be taking out everyone at a checkpoint. “Logan, take the guy in the tower.” says the boss. I aim my gun at the tower but there are 3 dudes. I’m trying to figure out which one I’m supposed to shoot when bossman says “No, the other tower. The tall one to your right.” I pan over and there’s a much taller tower with a lone lookout. I take him out.
And I find myself wondering why we can’t have more experiences like that in games. I mean clearly this was scripted but whomever did the scripting anticipated that I might aim at the wrong tower and put in code to cover that possibility. And maybe that’s why we don’t see more of it, I suppose: a) the conditions have to be right for you to make an obvious, correctable mistake and b) it’s a lot of expense in terms of scripting time to cover the possibility of a mistake.
But in the old days when devs didn’t focus primarily on multiplayer and/or single character single player games, we use to daydream about AI improving and this moment was the kind of thing I hoped to see some day. I mean back then having NPC buddies was the norm, not the exception. And back then computer scientists were a lot more optimistic about how quickly AI would advance.
The point of this post is to tell you non-shooter fans that if you want some over the top fun and can get a copy of Call of Duty Ghosts cheap, pick it up, set the difficulty all the way down and enjoy the explosions and the spectacle. Our last mission ended when our evac arrived in the form of a submarine breaking through the ice we were driving across in a Jeep. The driver (not me) put the jeep into a powerslide and it went up a broken sheet of ice and came to a stop teetering on the deck of the sub.
Stupid fun stuff.