May 21, 2013 at 3:33 PM ET
Turns out, the ghosts are indeed real. And they're coming to Microsoft's newly minted Xbox One in a big way.
Activision's first-person shooter "Call of Duty: Ghosts" will appear on the Xbox One as a launch title for the console, the publisher announced Tuesday at Microsoft's unveiling event for the next-generation video game hardware.
While "Call of Duty," like all of Activision's main console titles, will not be exclusive to either the Xbox One or Sony's rival console, the PlayStation 4, Microsoft has managed to sneak in a special deal for itself this time around. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players may both be able to play "Call of Duty: Ghosts" on their respective devices, but Xbox One users are going to get first pick for downloadable content (DLC).
It's unclear what, exactly, this will mean for "Call of Duty" players on either console. Historically, "Call of Duty" games have offered a single-player campaign and a handful of multiplayer options (including the infamous "Zombies" mode) from the outset. DLC is released periodically after the game's original launch, and mostly consists of peripheral additions such as new maps for multiplayer.
One of the new features that Activision revealed for "Ghosts" is the addition of customizable avatars for "Call of Duty's" popular multiplayer gameplay modes — an interesting development that no doubt leaves the door open for countless updates and tweaks in the form of downloadable content.
For the most part, however, Activision and "Ghost" developer Infinity Ward focused on the single-player story — except to note briefly that multiplayer maps will be made more "dynamic" than those offered in previous "Call of Duty" games thanks to the addition of real-time environmental conditions like earthquakes, floods, and the occasional player-triggered trap.
Activision publishing CEO Eric Hirschberg continually emphasized during today's event that "Ghost" will be a new "Call of Duty" game. The game will run on a brand new engine. The newfound storyline (Infinity Ward finished up the "Modern Warfare" series back in 2011) is being written by Stephen Gaghan, who previously worked on acclaimed politically-minded films like "Traffic" and "Syriana." There's a new A.I. system that will guide everything from player's enemies to the fish characters will swim by during the campaign.
"It will be the best Call of Duty game we've ever made," said Activision's Erik Hirschberg.
Oh, and there will be dogs. Plays will be able to travel around with life-like pooches (that were modeled off of real-world dogs, mind you) that can provide invaluable assistance by sniffing out explosives and generally being man's best (virtual) friend.
We'll have more on "Call of Duty: Ghost" in the coming weeks. In the meantime, watch the new reveal trailer below.