That made it feel different, too. We felt that Modern Warfare had completed its story arc and we wanted to start a new one that would be in a completely refreshed universe. We just carried that theme throughout the entire project. I mean, in terms of formula there are pieces that are very obviously Call of Duty, but with multiplayer, we just felt that we were going to take some bigger risks — we changed some systems that have been pretty sacred since Modern Warfare.

It's the multiplayer that I've seen most of so far. The new character system, which does away with anonymous custom load-out mannequins in favour of actual customisable soldiers all with their own kit. The emphasis on ground warfare rather than aerial killstreak blitzkriegs. There are 30 new weapons, including a new class of marksman rifles; Perks now have a points system, allowing you to buy several weaker options or opt for one or two really meaty specials.

None of this represents the big risk that Rubin alluded to. We really branched away from that.

'We're trying a more organic new style of design'

Dynamic maps won't always mean destruction. You can blow up a gas station or parts of the wall in some environments, but in others you can move objects or open and close doors to change paths. And there are other maps where it's about full-on massive change. So in Strikezone, when someone earns the relevant care package from completing a Field Order challenge, they can destroy the entire map.

Then there are the more environmental non-player controlled versions of that. So we have a map where the environment is falling and as it falls things change, like walls collapse or paths alter — you're fighting in a crumbling world.

The whole idea started with the concept of bringing campaign cinema beats to multiplayer. We chat about the maps I've seen so far; the abandoned sports stadium in StrikeZone, the wrecked cityscape in Chasm … How do these designs start? Usually when we pitch things to each other, the person being pitched to attacks the idea — it's how we're used to doing it, playing the devil's advocate. You have to defend your ideas. If you can't do that straight up then it's not good enough to continue with. Later someone will make a prototype and we'll try it out, get lots of feedback, make lots of changes and continue the iteration.

Blitz didn't start out the way it is now, it has shaped itself over many playtests. So what's the hit to waste ratio during this process? Early on, we had a group of maps that were really fun and I thought they'd ship, but we keep going, keep going and they don't work out. There's a lot of that stuff on the cutting room floor. That's a general philosophy for us — we're really good at cutting. If it doesn't make the game better, it doesn't belong. I'm interested in this process — after-all there must be a financial impetus to just keep everything.

In these days of downloadable content, each map represents potential revenue. So if creativity and gameplay rule, I want to know what makes a classic map, and how easy one is to spot. There have been some fantastic ones in the CoD lifeline — Crash, Terminal, Crossfire — but also some stinkers that somehow made it though; maps with horrible camping spots and site lines that strafe the whole arena.

What's clear is that there is a formula: You learn the layout and you exploit it. The same tricks always work the same way. Ghosts is in on that of course, but Rubin insists that his team is playing with some of the conventions this time round. From one end to another isn't that long, but there are a lot of twisting routes.

We're trying a more organic new style of design; we wanted to come up with some maps that don't feel like gameplay arenas, that feel like real places, but still have the necessary routing to make them play like Call of Duty," says Rubin. Chasm fits into the organic style.

Call of Duty: Ghosts – the billion-dollar new beginning

It's a broken down building on the edge of a giant crater from one of the Odin strikes [the massively destructive super-weapon that forms the basis of the single-player campaign] — the paths all flow in and out, they're like spaghetti going over and under each other. So there are no choke or skirmish points? There's a section where you're in a broken building with an elevator where the shaft around it is damaged and it's just hanging by a few wires.

You can run and jump onto the elevator and then on to the floor on the other side. But I've watched players take a C4, throw it on the elevator roofs as they pass, then fire it off to cause the elevator to fall, taking anyone following into the shaft. I wanted to talk about the stuff people don't like — at least people not entirely embedded in the CoD community. The over-riding power of certain killstreaks for example. We felt … let's get people's heads back down to ground level.

We still have some air stuff — it's important to have that balance. The games weapons are super unbalanced as it is, is it really too much to ask for a real matchmaking system? Have to say last night was utterly garbage in the matchmaking dept. But, I suspect their network was a bigger cause of the crap games.

COD Ghosts my review. Simply terrible | IGN Boards

Stuck in the same lobbies with the same twits you leave the lobbies because of If this is going to be Activision's new norm I feel for players still buying into their BS. I just feel that as old as this franchise is, they should have a real matchmaking system, and weapons balanced.

I mostly only picked it up for Blackout, haven't played a CoD in years. Of course by the time they do that, this game will be 5 years old and the servers dead. Sluggish maps with frame rate drops all over the place, especially on the Vanilla maps Stonehenge being the worst offender. Also, no ping bars. Horrible matchmaking that doesn't prioritize connection. This comes to mind as an example: The game itself was not bad, but the abysmal player community ruined any fun to be had. Most matches will go the whole 10 minute duration or even time out before end score because everyone is too scared to move out of their hiding spot.

Meh none of this. Maps are too big with no flow, and kill streaks are boring. Say you'll share with me one love, one lifetime. Lead me, save me from my solitude.

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Say you'll want me with you here beside you. Anywhere you go, let me go too.

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  • Are you disappointed with Ghosts?;

Campaign was boring, not all that exciting compared to wolfenstein. MP is bland, repetitive. I only play split screen with my wife, she's preferring army of 2 on over ghosts lately. This one was pretty awful though. This coming from someone who buys them day one every time since cod4 How do you know someone games on a PC?