Call of Duty: Ghosts, the latest release in the ridiculously popular modern military shooter series, has opened to a noticeably colder critical reception than its predecessors.

Many reviewers enjoyed the 'dog levels', although some felt there weren't enough of them.

Many reviewers enjoyed the ‘dog levels’, though some felt there weren’t enough of them.

The Call of Duty series has been receiving slightly lower average review scores with each release since the original Modern Warfare (disregarding Treyarch’s WWII-themed World at War), and this year’s Ghosts looks set to continue that trend. While the majority of reviewers aren’t necessarily saying Ghosts is a bad game, it’s becoming clear that the series is no longer the critical darling that it once was.

Common complaints include subpar graphics, an overly short campaign, and low player caps in the multiplayer. Above all though, the general consensus seems to be that the game is just another rehash in the series, that adds little of real substance.

Here are some examples of reviews from the more notable publications:

  • Polygon -Ghosts never goes beyond the barest requirements for a sequel” – 6.5/10
  • Destructoid – “Not exactly bad, but not very good either. Just a bit ‘meh’ really” – 5/10
  • Giant Bomb - “The bells and whistles surrounding the game are muted and missing, leaving behind that same core without giving you enough new and exciting reasons to come back” - 3/5
  • Digital Fix - “As we move onto the next generation we may well have already passed the series’ heyday” - 7/10

Not all reviews were mediocre. IGN gave Ghosts an 88/100, saying that the game is “one of the best in the series”, claiming is has a “unique new premise, unprecedented player personalization, and sweeping changes that breathe new life into the multiplayer experience”. Official Xbox Magazine claim that Ghosts is “such a well-constructed experience that it shouldn’t immediately be written off and forgotten simply because it’s formulaic”. However, they do also state that they “wish Infinity Ward had been bolder with their design decisions“, giving the game an 8/10.

The reviews aren’t a total disaster for Activision. However, it’s becoming clear that they’ll have to do something drastic with the series in order to maintain the high level of sales the franchise is famous for.  If not, Activision could risk Call of Duty going the same way as many other game franchises in history that died due to a lack of innovation.