The unveiling of "Call of Duty: Ghosts" online multiplayer demonstrated how this year's franchise entry incorporates greater verticality and player-driven architectural destruction.
With interest rising in new franchises developed with the upcoming generation of consoles in mind, "Call of Duty: Ghosts" appears to have more in common with its contemporaries than ever before.
The emphasis on destructable environments and the squad play of a Clan Wars feature play off against the "Battlefield" series' reputation for encouraging tight-knit teamwork amid crumbling buildings, while a fast-paced deathmatch mode called Cranked pays homage to the "Quake" franchise legacy.
"Ghosts" also allows its adherents to level up ten distinct soldiers, encouraging them to keep at it longterm and experiment with different builds, a hook seen in MMOs such as "World of Warcraft" and "Guild Wars 2" as well as the likes of "Battlefield" and "Borderlands 2."
Another feature mitigating player migration to the likes of "Titanfall" and "Destiny," both shooter titles associated with next-gen excitement, is the way the "Ghosts" downloadable content is structured.
Access to Season Pass content can be transferred from Xbox 360 to Xbox One and from PlayStation 3 to PlayStation 4 -- "Battlefield 4" studio DICE annouced a similar plan at the same time -- softening the blow of buying the main game all over again.
For the first time in the series, female as well as male characters will be available for online multiplayer, while there's a return to the extravagant special editions of old with the announcement of a $199 Prestige Edition and its wide angle HD tactical camera.