Call of Duty: Ghosts is set “in its own world” with its “own timeline”, separate from Black Ops and Modern Warfare

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Call of Duty: Ghosts is out now; here’s our Call of Duty: Ghosts review.

It’s a bit of a stretch to think of the various strands of the CoD franchise as parallel universes, but I suppose that’s a consequence of the series’ fondness for near-future cataclysms. Black Ops 2’s second Cold War, it turns out, isn’t compatible with the America-in-remission of Call of Duty: Ghosts.

In the aftermath of the new game’s reveal, Official PlayStation Mag talked to Zach Volker, Infinity Ward’s animation lead. When asked whether Ghosts marked the beginning of a new franchise, Volker replied that the game was “definitely part of a new story arc, I guess you could say”.

“It’s not in the Modern Warfare universe, it’s not in the Black Ops universe, it’s in its own world,” he explained. “Its own cast of characters, its own context of what’s going on in the world. Its own timeline.

“I would say there isn’t really any relationship between Ghosts and Modern Warfare,” he added.

Ghosts’ universe plants the player in a future America that has changed, “both from a physical and emotional perspective”.

“Physically it’s gone through a lot of battle and there’s been a lot of destruction, some ground has been lost,” said Volker. “From an emotional standpoint America has been beaten down, its ego is hit and hurt, our back’s against the wall and things don’t look good.

“Which brings us to the Ghost team,” he continued. “The Ghost team is really an elite force, a very specialised, small force that is going behind enemy lines and doing very important missions. But nobody knows anything about them. No one knows who they are, where they came from, how they work. We just know they’re there and they’re doing things for us.

“So the Ghost team isn’t just a [source] of potential salvation, but just really of hope, that the country is rallying around,” he concluded.

I don’t think Infinity Ward plan for Call of Duty’s universes to become explicitly parallel – they’d rather you simply pretend the others don’t exist for six hours. But if the new Star Trek can do it, why not? Just imagine: the Ghosts call in a drone strike from 2025. A new protagonist picks Price’s brain for tactical advice via Skype. After all – that’s what the new Xbox is all about, isn’t it?