The lid has finally lifted on the multiplayer component of the upcoming Call of Duty: Ghosts and it sounds like there's been a pretty major shake-up of the evergreen shooter's online gameplay.
Following a lavish reveal event in Los Angeles, we know that the game will allow incredibly in-depth customisation of your character. Face, body, gear - it's all up to you, and you can now even play as a female soldier. There will be 20,000 possible character combinations, according to Activision.
Also allowing you to tailor the experience will be an updated version of the Pick 10 mechanic from Black Ops II. You'll have eight points to spend on perks, or up to 11 if you choose to go without a sidearm and additional equipment. Every perk has a different value, so you could go into battle with 11 low level perks, or just one or two really powerful ones.
Matches, too, will be much more dynamic thanks to maps that will evolve during battle. Players will be able to set traps that will change the layout, while some events will happen regardless of what players do. Orbital strikes will demolish buildings, or a gas station might explode, blocking off old routes and opening new ones.
Perhaps most exciting of all is the announcement of Squads, a new way to play COD against others even while you're not online. You create your perfect squad, choose a map and set them to attack or defend. Others can then try to beat your squad, in AI controlled skirmishes, and you'll earn XP based on how well they do. Infinity Ward says the AI is better than ever, and the game cleverly adapts based on how you set your squad up. Equip someone with a sniper rifle, for example, and they'll use sniper strategies. It's a really fascinating idea, introducing a deep management level of strategy, and it will also help players who perhaps aren't great at headshots to ascend the ranks in a different way.
Call of Duty: Ghosts is out on the appropriately explosive date of November 5th, for PC, Wii U, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It will also be available for Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and any purchases of the DLC Season Pass will carry over to the new consoles.