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E3 Day One Call of Duty: Ghosts

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Day One at E3 feels much larger than previous years. Bolstered by major console announcements from Sony and Microsoft, game developers are here vying for their place in gamers hearts and families living rooms. In addition to the launch of the Xbox One and Sony's Playstation 4, game studios Naughty Dogs, Ubisoft, 343 Industries, Activision and EA - among others- are bringing out their big guns with titles like Call of Duty: Ghosts, Assassins Creed 4, Halo4, Madden 25, Watch Dogs and The Last of Us.

One of the first games I demo'd today was Activision's Call of Duty: Ghosts, a first person shooter that is definitely an assault on your senses with Activision's new game engine technology. The team led me to a small home theater room where a demo artist (a guy who gets to play games all day for the media) played three different levels to show off the new designs, weapons and tech. Set in a possible future, COD: Ghosts follows two brothers who are soldiers as they are tasked with achieving certain objectives in a North America torn apart by a major event... it looks like you're playing post catastrophic earthquake or some other natural, or not so natural, event; you're not told what it is.

The first level I got a peek at was called "No Man's Land" and in it, the two brothers use their dog, Riley, to evade and take down enemy combatants. Yes, that's right, you can now play as the dog and this dog has more than just teeth that the enemy has to worry about. You and your K9 counterpart are able to use technology gleaned from actual Navy SEALS and how they may use dogs in the field. Riley comes with a camera attached to his bullet-proof harness/vest that allows you to use him to stealthily infiltrate targets and in some cases, take out opponents, making him part spy drone, part attack dog. As you fight through "No Man's Land" which is 10 miles north of San Diego, you are forced to deal with tremors which continuously pit you against a crumbling landscape and make the games immersive visuals and sound effects all the more real. One of the tricks I saw that I really liked was that the demo artist would use the dog to draw the enemy's attention from time to time and then attack.

The next levels were "Federation Day" and "Into the Deep." Federation Day featured not only stunning visuals, but some pretty hairy combat situations. In one part of this level, you are zip-lining from one building to another and having to disconnect your cable and swing to the adjacent building undetected. Once you've done this, the objective is to snipe opponents who are inside the building, from outside the building while you're hanging off the side of it. Not only will you be fighting enemy targets inside the building but at one point, you're rappelling and shooting at sentries who are outside on balconies, while inverted! The action is intense and it doesn't stop there as you go from the heights of a skyscraper to the depths of the ocean where you're tasked with blowing up a carrier while fighting off enemies underwater with your APS underwater assault rifle.

This game is definitely not for younger players, but if your children are of age (or you, the adult are playing) then this is sure to be on your short list of titles to own as it will be available both on the current systems and the next-gen consoles. The game makes its debut on November 5th, just in time for your children to bug you to buy it for them for Christmas.

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