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The best ideas for the Call of Duty: Ghosts sequel

1:00 PM on 11.08.2013 // Steven Hansen

These are free, Activision. Take advantage.

Yesterday, we learned Call of Duty: Ghosts' follow up hasn't been written yet. In fact, Infinity Ward doesn't even know if there is one game or two games to go in its narrative arc.

I thought I'd help them out.

Call of Duty: Ghost Dad

Look, I've been working long, unpaid, unsolicited hours for Bill Cosby to try and get him a deal with Octodad developer Young Horses for a Dadliest Catch sequel, Octo Ghost Dad (they are ignoring my tweets). I firmly believe in the project and that Bill is the right fit. However, I would tentatively shelve that for what would be a large agent's commission on all that sweet Activision coin. 

Picture this. Nuclear war is averted. Insurgency stymied. The Ghosts (and their little dog, too) were successful in their pacification of dark skinned foreigners. South America is literally like, "When you're right, you're right. Please prop up whichever dictators you fancy and we'll even give you any future Olympics bids. Lo siento/Sinto muito."

Well, what's a Ghosts dad to do? Ghost head honcho Elias Walker has two kids, also Ghosts, and he squandered their relationship by never being home and subconsciously forcing them to follow in daddy's footsteps to make him proud. Well, when Walker (Bill Cosby), dies of a heart attack on the way back from the victory parade, his spirit remains, only to see his sons left listless and maudlin.

Can Walker shoot his way back into the boys' consciousness and make amends for the past? Well, it's going to be hard with the miscreants of Satan trying to drag him to hell! Good thing Walker has the one thing in life he really needs: a gun. Sold, right? Supernaturally win back your sons affection and try to positively alter the course of their lives while shooting down Satan's minions!

Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 Spooky (alternative title, Call of Duty GhooOOoooOoooOostsi)

I firmly believe the Call of Duty brand can become synonymous with spookiness. Naming the latest entry in the series Ghosts was a good start, but I feel like Infinity Ward didn't really commit to the theme it put forth. It's a bit of a Resident Evil scenario, where they clearly were aiming for spooky, but fell well short, instead mistakenly devolving into a power fantasy action romp.

That's why with Call of Duty: Ghosts 2 Spooky we would really crank up the scare factor. Picture this: Militant, radical Islamic feminist liberal ghosts are terrorizing America, trying to make us learn Spanish and see that the civil unrest and instability in their home country is not the result of inherent savagery but the socioeconomic result of selfish, short-sighted interventionism by hegemonic powers propping up and toppling governmental systems at will based on political leanings and subsequent financial gain. Spooky, right?

Well, who's laughing now, ballooning Defense spending? America is laughing. Laughing at the ghosts, 'cause all that money went into developing a super badass, Ghostbusters-like ghost wrangling gun, except instead of a constant stream it fires small, ghost-damaging rounds in rapid success at varying rates depending on the type of ghost wrangling gun equipped.

You travel through creepy abandoned hospitals, dark and deserted woods, and more, fighting ghosts along the way. Look how many people go out to see Paranormal Activity movies. Activision is plainly missing out on a key demographic by not making a spooky horror game. Let Treyarch make the straight forward war shooters, Infinity Ward make the spook tales. Win-win.

Call of Duty Ghost Pepper

Okay, so this one is a little silly and might be a hard sell to Ghosts publisher Ectoplision, but hear me out.

After the global climate settles down, you pursue a new career. You are and up and coming chef on popular American television show Lead Chef. You hit all the highest of flavor notes: Dorito-crusted chicken cordon bleu, Mountain Dew infused aioli over canned tuna, Krispy Kreme donut topped salads. It is the World Series of Cheffing, game seven. You nervously squirt ranch dressing (first-person -- good for immersion) to top your last dish, oven baked tater tots, when the blinding studio lights cut out and a controlled explosion rings in your well trained ear from the east wall.

Yes, those South American baddies from the first Ghosts are back and this time they have a secret weapon: the Ghost Pepper. The audience is hastily restrained. So too are the other chefs and judges panel, featuring celebrity guest Jamie Kennedy. You're left for last. A butt of a rifle to the face and the screen fades to black.

You wake up and your sous chef is lain prostrate on the floor in front of you in what appears to be a puddle of his own piss. He is sniveling. Dear god, clearly they've done a number on him already. The interrogator walks into view and flips your sous chef onto his back, keeping a knee to his chest. He reaches into his breast pocket, slowly pulling out and putting on a pair of leather gloves. From his holster he pulls out...the ghost pepper. He paws at the sous chef's face, squeezing his cheeks between his fat fingers, forcing open the sous chef's mouth. The sous chef is screaming. The interrogator plants the ghost pepper on the sous chef's tongue and scrapes it along, working capsaicin into every taste bud. 

No, this isn't an interrogation. This is torture. The torturer takes the ghost pepper and begins squeezing it into your sous chef's eyes. You vomit and pass out. And scene. A little out there, sure, but a real good set up as to why the protagonist would want to fight as hard as he will eventually when he gets free and gets guns and fights the bad guys

Call of Duty: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai

Let's be real: the addition of a dog was the most interesting thing about Call of Duty: Ghosts. Just look at how many Ghosts stories ended up with a German Shepherd header image. Something about its fetishistic recreation, down to the scars on its nose to the tattoo in its ear, was brazen in its unintentional metaphor, allowing the most ensconced fans and writers to dip into a viscous slurry of absurdity. You could laugh off advanced fish AI, but there is something transcendental about the straight faced delivery from Shooty MacWar'em Up as the dog's knowing grin was articulated in real-time demonstration.

Let's play that up. Get Jim Jarmusch (Dead Man, Ghost Dog) to write and direct a sequel to Ghosts that would act as a simultaneous sequel to Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai -- kill two birds with one M4, you know? Ghosts' German Shepherd squad mate can even literally transform into Forest Whitaker, which would make the film's frankly misleading name make so much more sense and really clear up the canon as far as that goes. 

So, Ghost Dog in Ghost Dog is super anti-hero, right? All mysterious and whatever, but super philosophical and honor bound. After the war effort, when he became human, he took on the more modest life of Way of the Samurai, working in that grey area of organized crime. So that's been going smooth-ish for a while now, but suddenly Uncle Sam comes a ringing again because there's some terrorism trouble (note: it is 2038 and the War on Terror is still a thing) going down that only Ghost Dog is up to snuff -- or should I say "up to ruff" (or "sniff," even) -- to handle. Because of that unyielding loyalty, Ghost Dog reluctantly leaves his current life to go fight terrorism once again for America.

What do you think?

Steven Hansen, Features Editor
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Steven watches anime & sports, buys meat out of trucks, dates a Muppet, and is only good at cooking. He stands before you bereft of solace and well on the road to perdition. ('^ω^) more   |   staff directory

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