Xbox 360

  All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Call of Duty: Ghosts - Invasion
Score: 70%
Publisher: Activision
Developer: Infinity Ward
Media: Download/1
Players: 1 - 2; 2 - 12 (Online)
Genre: Action/First Person Shooter/Online


Even as we plunge headlong into the summer software drought, it's still incredibly difficult to get excited about each scant downloadable expansion for Call of Duty: Ghosts. For starters, E3 2014 just came and went; everyone seems to be too busy focusing on the holiday's biggest shooters. Open and closed betas for games such as Destiny and Battlefield: Hardline have effectively taken the spotlight away from the golden boy of the first-person shooter genre, and while we wait for more details on Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, the most we can do is sit around, twiddle our thumbs, and mess around with another pack of overpriced maps. Call of Duty: Ghosts - Invasion is no slouch, but like every similar release that came before it, it's a decent product at a poor value.

Mo Maps:

So what's new? Well, the obvious answer is the standard four maps, though if you want to be technical, only three of the maps are completely new and fresh. To be fair, these maps are well-designed in terms of choke points and team placement, and the gimmicks that power these arenas are worth a chuckle or two.

I'll start with my favorite of them: Departed. Call of Duty has been so bog standard for me that literally anything with the potential to shake things up a bit automatically earns points in my book. This map is set in a Mexican villa... during Dia de los Muertos. It's a fantastic idea, and one that is capitalized on quite ably. Finish the map's field order, and you will earn the Death Mariachi killstreak, which turns you into a pistols-akimbo mariachi madman. Killing other players will turn them into members of the band. It's absolutely silly, and though it doesn't limp on a borrowed license like the last two expansions did, I find this one more entertaining.

Pharaoh may bring you back to the good old days of GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64. This one takes place in a derelict archaeological site of an Egyptian palace long deserted. It's a dangerous arena that carries a single tremendous blessing and thousands of little curses. Flesh-eating scarabs, booby traps, and the palace's dilapidated architecture are every bit as deadly as the soldiers on the enemy team. But if you complete the map's field order, you will gain the Blessing of Anubis, a megaboon that instantly bestows all perks upon your character for the next four lives.

Call of Duty hasn't done pirates yet, right? Wrong! Mutiny is what you get when you transplant the action of this long-running shooter franchise into Isla de Muerta from Pirates of the Caribbean. It's predominantly a close-quarters map that emphasizes quiet and quick ambushes over wide-scale warfare. This map has two unique field orders: the first summons a crew of ghost pirates to raise hell on your foes, and the other calls down cannon fire from a ship moored off the coast.

We end with the familiar. Favela is a retooling of the classic Modern Warfare 2 map, and it would appear that progress is a double-edged sword for this shantytown. Certain parts of the map have fallen to pieces, while others look almost good as new. The field order for this map calls in a Y-8 with three firing modes. Not bad.

More Close Encounters:

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Invasion reunites us with the CIF Team as they fight their way to the Ark in an attempt to secure the Cortex, which should give them an advantage over the deadly Cryptid host. I would say that it's simply more Extinction, but a few tweaks and mutations make it a bit more interesting this time around. Some of these are actually narrative-focused; without spoiling anything, these do a great job of taking the story and infusing elements of it into the gameplay.

A new chapter means new Cryptids to destroy. First off, we have Bombers and Gargoyles, which devastate from the air. Once you reach the innermost sectors of the lair, you'll have to contend with the Mammoths, hulking bullet sponges who are as adept at charging you down as they are at hiding when they need to.


All told, I think Call of Duty: Ghosts - Invasion is probably the strongest of this game's downloadable expansions so far. But is it worth the asking price? Personally, I don't think it even comes close. The three maps that qualify as new are unique enough in concept that the hardcore will want to check them out, but for everyone who has long since moved on, there isn't much to recommend. In the end, it all depends on one thing: if you're still getting serious mileage out of Call of Duty: Ghosts. If you are, then by all means, go for it.

-FenixDown, GameVortex Communications
AKA Jon Carlos

Related Links:

Microsoft Xbox 360 Batman: Arkham Origins - Cold, Cold Heart Microsoft Xbox 360 The Wolf Among Us: Episode 5 - Cry Wolf

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated