Aug 142013

Call of Duty: Ghosts is the next big installment in Activision’s shooter franchise. Infinity Ward revealed the first details and footage of the multiplayer mode today at an event in Los Angeles.

(Watch the first gameplay trailer below.)

The game is actually coming with a surprising number of changes, while bringing back some stuff like the “pick-10″ load-out customization from Black Ops 2.

New Modes include:

Search and Rescue mode allows players to revive fallen teammates—something gamers have been asking for now for quite some time. (Update: some players inform me they hate revival, which is probably why it’s juts in one mode. Others have told me they love it. Surprisingly, there are differing opinions re: its merits.)

Cranked mode gives players temporary a number of boosts after a kill but sets a timer going. If you don’t get another kill before the clock runs out you explode. This promises to be a tense and hilarious mode that I will play just because I know I’ll explode a lot and want to see that in action.

Squad Mode is pretty neat. You can create 10 soldiers that form your “squad.” You can play in this mode solo, co-op, or competitive and your squad can be “challenged” even while you’re not playing, earning you experience. Squad mode allows you to swap in AI or other actual human players at will. I like idea of squad-based solo play, to be honest.

More customization of weapons and soldiers means a much wider variety of characters onscreen. You can change the soldiers’ appearance rather than just their loadout and gear, which should make for a pretty interesting and chaotic experience.

Dynamic Maps also sound interesting. Traps should shake things up. And the move away from so much aerial assault nonsense is plenty welcome.

Clans are being overhauled, giving the Call of Duty experience an almost MMO-like feel. You can start your own clan or join a clan and then participate in two-week long “Clan Wars” that are basically wars for dominance over different territories. Winning in this mode unlocks exclusive gear.

Activision has some mobile apps to tie all of this together.

But perhaps the biggest reveal today is the addition of female soldiers, a first for the Call of Duty franchise. That revelation comes in a pretty cool moment at the end of the reveal trailer, when the sniper that just brought down a bunch of enemies and structures turns out to be a woman. This is a great, long overdue, addition to the game.

“This is the biggest overhaul of multiplayer since the original Call of Duty: Modern Warfare,” says Mark Rubin, the studio producer at Infinity Ward.

Activision also revealed a Season Pass that will include 4 DLC packs. If you upgrade to a next-gen console but purchased your Season Pass for a current system you can transfer the DLC at no additional charge, so long as it’s within the same console family.

Here’s the reveal trailer—with a foul-mouthed Eminem rapping over the top of it:

More to come.

P.S. Blatantly misogynistic comments will be scorned and then deleted. A part of me would like to let them stand because, let’s face it, they just make you look immature and pathetic, but I’d rather not have examples of why sexism is still a problem in video games crowding the combox.

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