E3 2013 gave us the chance to check out the shooter that everyone is waiting for, Call of Duty: Ghosts, otherwise known as Call of Duty: Dog Edition. The verdict? Well, there sure are dogs in this game.

Call of Duty: Ghosts takes place in an alternate universe future where the United States isn’t a world power anymore. Instead, a catastrophic event occurs (Activision made sure not to tell us what that event was), which knocks the US out of power, bringing it under control of a foreign nation and causing most of its cities to descend into ruin. You take control of two brothers who are fighting back. Together, they and their trusty dog will restore the U.S. to its former glory.

The game is as patriotic as apple pie and as explosion laden as a Michael Bay movie, and to be honest that’s kind of awesome. The game does a lot to build up your suspension of disbelief right from the beginning. The very idea that a few years under the control of a foreign power would cause America to become overrun with jungles and ruins is goofy enough as it is. Once you accept that, everything else is just an awesome action fest.

You will be tasked with doing a lot of action hero things over the course of the game. One stage has you scaling a building, shooting soldiers silently through windows. Another has you scuba diving through sunken ruins of a lighthouse and using a hand launched torpedo to take down a sub. Yet another has you controlling a dog from first person as you take out insurgents who are really just relaxing and having a friendly poker game. Your little two man and a dog team is essentially on a quest to save the US all by themselves, and they are so heavily armed and dangerous that you really think they can do it.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the game’s multiplayer mode in action, which is what a lot of you were probably hoping to get info about. Luckily, we were assured that the multiplayer mode would be better than ever and would include elements from the game’s single player campaign. The team couldn’t comment on whether or not we would be able to control dogs in multiplayer, but we can only hope.

The last thing that should be said about this game is how remarkably pretty it is. The team actually guided us through a demonstration of how the graphics system increases and decreases the poly count of your surroundings as you look closer at it. The graphical fidelity of the world changed in real time as your character’s eyes adjusted to light or when he recovers from a disorienting shock. It’s easily one of the nicest looking next-gen titles out there.

Call of Duty: Ghosts is more than just another Call of Duty title. It’s taking the Call of Duty franchise to a place it hasn’t gone before, which is fantasy. It abandons any pretense of realism or simulation and instead focuses on giving you a heart pounding military experience on par with any AAA movie release, and in that it succeeds brilliantly.

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