When Mark Antony instructs his men to, "Cry 'havoc' and let slip the dogs of war!" we doubt he's referring to actual dogs, let alone ones wearing mind-controlling hats. Yet here we are in Ghosts, steering an Alsatian via back-mounted camera as he slinks through long grass and crunches on throats as if they were chew toys.
It's a daft and ever so slightly desperate attempt to disguise a formula nailed in place back in Modern Warfare 1; this is the same scripted stealth as All Ghillied Up, now with a wagging tail. Deviate from the script and he'll go the way of Old Yeller.
A new dog can't teach an old COD new tricks then, but does it actually matter? Call Of Duty makes no bones about being a choreographed rollercoaster, especially not with Riley around, as he loves bones. Sit, beg and roll over on Infinity Ward's command and, in exchange, it'll trundle you through incredible set pieces. By the time you meet Riley (the dog) you've already experienced Die Hard on a space station and seen a giant space lance turned on its US owners, in what is now known as Operation I Told You That Giant Space Lance Was A Bad Idea.
COD's A-to-B thrill ride is snootily dismissed as a 'corridor shooter', which either undersells the game, or oversells corridors. In the corridor by our office, for example, there's a water cooler. In one corridor in Ghosts there's a collapsed dam, ripping apart said corridor with gushing death. In a separate, underwater, corridor, you escape sharks and tumbling depth charges. It pushes us through vertical corridors down the outside of gleaming skyscrapers; aerial corridors liberated via helicopter and icy corridors that crack under explosive stress. Back in ONM's corridors, we once found a plate of free sandwiches.