Whether it is on next-generation or not, Call of Duty: Ghosts will be an extremely popular title this Christmas. We've previously seen some of the single-player campaign gameplay, but Gamescom 2013 was all about getting us some playtime with the multiplayer aspects, including the newly announced Blitz mode.
Blitz is basically a return of an old favourite to multiplayer. In essence, it is capture the flag by another name, but the gameplay has been tweaked to make it far more energetic and frenetic.
There are two control points on the map and each team has to run into their rival's while defending their own. Each time an opponent runs into the designated control point they score and vice versa. The big difference to catch the flag is that once a control point has been entered, the scoring player respawns back at his own base. There is no having to run back with any object.
At first, with only three versus two players in the Activision Gamescom demo room, this basically became a sprint task. However, with more players arriving to man individual Xbox One bays, far more strategical play was required. We spent equal amounts of time pegging it to our rival's control point and defending our own but still found that it was all really about running in and nabbing the point. It's not called Blitz for nothing.
The next mode we played was Search and Rescue. At first we were the protagonists, who had to collect a bomb and place it at one of two locations. Then, once set, we had to defend that position until the bomb went off and victory was ours.
We found this mode required far more teamwork than Blitz, as the one holding the bomb needed support and protection. In a four versus four game, it was fairly easy to find little defence of a target so the game favoured the attacking side. At half time - after a set number of rounds - the roles were reversed and again we found that the attackers were favoured with only a few players on the field at once. We still won though, which was more down to the fact we had more CoD veterans on our team.
In our 30-minute multiplayer session we really had only enough time to experience one more mode so opted for the classic Team Deathmatch. Run and gun and kill the opponents, that's basically it. This mode might not be too complicated but it did give us the most amount of time to appreciate our surroundings.
Call of Duty: Ghosts looks beautiful, especially in the Xbox One build we were playing. Sniping from the top window of an old bar had us equally looking at cunning use of lens flare as much as it did the opponents.
We couldn't do it for long though because every kill is accompanied by a video from the killer's perspective before the victim respawns, so giving away the position directly. You have to keep moving in CoD: Ghosts, although not as much, perhaps, as in Titanfall.
It may be the single-player campaign that will garner the most attention, but from this hands-on session we can safely say that it will be backed up by solid, dependable multiplayer action.