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When you think of Megan Fox, video games probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind. Nonetheless, the Hollywood bombshell has attached her name to the brand new first person shooter: “Call of Duty: Ghosts” – as she appears in a starring role in a new commercial for the game that releases worldwide today.
Fox’s appearance is a testimony to the outrageous popularity of the military simulator “Call of Duty” franchise that launched back in 2003.
However it was with the release of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” in 2007 where its popularity really took off, in which the setting moved from the World War II arenas of previous games to a slightly futuristic setting set a few years ahead of modern day. An incisive single-player campaign and an addictive pick-up-and-play multiplayer campaign combined to make a game that has soared in popularity since.
According to Activision, every day gamers around the world play the equivalent of 1,900 years worth of Call of Duty, and more than 18 billion multiplayer games have been played. More of the same can be expected from “Call of Duty: Ghosts.”
“Ghosts” reportedly begins with America being annihilated by a newly developed weapon. The protagonist’s home destroyed, he discovers the remnants of a group called “the Ghosts” and decides to fight back against the enemy that ruined his life. Cue epic gun battles, mega explosions, rappelling down buildings and other stuff that gamers love.
“COD: Ghosts” is one of the few video games to take production values up to movie-level. The story is co-written by Stephen Gaghan, the Academy Award-winning writer of "Traffic" and the writer and director of "Syriana." The graphics also look stunning in previews, and new features such as the brand new companion dog Riley (animated by motion capturing real stunt dogs) are intended to offer enough variety to bring back hardened COD fans.
Yet for those who wish to remain in the single-player world, it will remain to be seen if "Call of Duty: Ghosts” is worth the $60, as previous single player installments have offered up only around 8-10 hours of gameplay.
The military simulator took off due to its fiendishly addictive multiplayer, and it is upon this element that the new game’s success will live or die.
Although the multiplayer mode retains the fundamental shape of previous titles -- keeping in popular modes that fans loved -- it now incorporates features to spice things up like a new app that allows players to keep track of their characters away from their consoles. Also, players can provide sniper support from a chopper, use enemy detecting drones, and even create their own squad of up to 10 players.
The game will also be the first to make an appearance on Wii U, Xbox One and Playstation 4, the latter two set to be released later this month. Yet their simultaneous appearance on current generation consoles indicates that a graphical upgrade can be the most that early buyers of the next-gen machines can expect.
Whether “Ghosts” is a huge leap forward, or a baby step, it will no doubt sell like hot cakes, and pull more Hollywood stars like Megan Fox into advertising the video game medium which, thanks to franchises like “Call of Duty,” is beginning to eclipse its big screen rivals.
Check FoxNews.com later this week for a full review of “Call of Duty: Ghosts.”