McMillan’s Codex 28 By C.T. McMillan

Call of Duty: Ghosts Part 1

Bob Chipman is a film critic who has been one of my biggest influences.  In addition to movie reviews, he produces a web series called The Game Overthinker.  I have not kept up with his new videos due to his change in politics.  One video from 2013 was on Call of Duty: Ghosts and its supposedly racist undertones. I only knew about the game’s story after watching a play through.  Reviewers did not have good things to say.  When I could get CoD:G cheap, I decided to pick up a copy to play ironically, until I remembered Chipman’s video.  So, I decided to see for myself if was truly racist.

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From a quality standpoint, Ghosts it the worst Call of Duty.  The reuse of animations and assets from older games reflects poorly on the developers.  There was no effort put into being different except the inclusion of a dog for about two and a half levels, and a few underwater and space sequences.  The design is lazy. The series is on the decline.

Another negative aspect is that you play a military veteran who apparently cannot change a magazine to save his life.  Reload animations take so long, they grind the tension of a firefight to a halt.  I can load my Mosin, a 100 year-old bolt-action rifle, faster than this guy.  Also, the enemies never go down after pumping them full of bullets.  Usually they fall into a Last Stand pose and pelt you with a pistol.  As a result, you have to dump half a clip for them to die no matter what gun you use.

The racism accusation stems from the story.  In the near future, South America has united into a superpower called the Federation.  After seizing control of ODIN, a kinetic bombardment satellite, Federation forces hit cities along the Mexican border and mount an invasion.  10 years later the Fed and America are in a stalemate with a wall along a no man’s land on the border. The Ghosts, a group of legendary Special Forces operators, work to turn the tide.

In The Game Overthinker, Chipman drew parallels between the plot to America’s immigration problem.  The invasion is apparently reminiscent of what is going on along the border.  There is also a line of dialog that alludes to the fall of Dallas as the result of “drifters” sneaking in through the wall.  Said wall represents our current heavy paramilitary presence on the border.  Also,  Chipman thought the Ghosts were similar to right-wing militia groups, referring to their skull-faced balaclavas as KKK-esque “hoods.”

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Racism is active discrimination and antagonism towards a people based on their culture, including offensive rhetoric, segregation, and misrepresentation.

There is nothing racist about Ghosts.  Chipman’s thought process in his review is unbecoming of a freethinker, despite the fact Ghosts it is not worth playing or talking about.

In wartime, militaries commonly use civilian elements to cross enemy lines for intelligence or to cause chaos. The world has been doing it for years, whether it is the CIA, drug cartels, or ISIS.  Using such indirect methods is commonplace.  Also, the “drifters” are only mentioned once. Chipman’s assumption that such drifters are meant as stand-ins for illegal aliens seems like an overreach.

Also, the idea that the Ghosts unit is a militia seems false to me. The Ghosts unit is made up of highly specialized, active duty soldiers.

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Even if you do not care about Call of Duty: Ghosts, I hope this put some things in perspective. Next week, I would like to delve into the game’s story, where everything went wrong.  There was potential for a good narrative and in Part 2 I will count the ways.

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CT McMillan 1

C.T. McMillan (Episode 169) is a film critic and devout gamer.  He has a Bachelors for Creative Writing in Entertainment from Full Sail University.

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