Call of Duty is one of the most popular first-person shooter video game franchises of all time. With over 30 games released since 2003, the series has captivated gamers with its immersive gameplay and gripping storylines across various historical settings. Many Call of Duty games feature campaign modes that take place in real-world locations, plunging players into tense combat missions across the globe. But which Call of Duty game specifically takes place in Mexico?
Call of Duty: Ghosts, released in 2013, is the only Call of Duty game so far that is primarily set in Mexico. The game’s campaign mode follows the story of brothers Logan and Hesh Walker as they join the remnants of the U.S. special forces fighting against a powerful alliance of South American nations known as the Federation. Multiple missions throughout the campaign take place across various locations in Mexico as the Ghosts conduct operations against the Federation.
Overview of Call of Duty: Ghosts Campaign Set in Mexico
Here is an overview of the major Mexico-based missions in Call of Duty: Ghosts’ campaign mode:
- “Federation Day” – The opening mission takes place in outer space and then in the city of San Diego, which has been invaded by the Federation as the game’s major conflict kicks off.
- “Struck Down” – Logan and Hesh infiltrate a skyscraper in Caracas, Venezuela on a mission to assassinate Federation leader Gabriel Rorke.
- “The Hunted” – After escaping from Caracas, the Ghosts flee through the jungles of Venezuela, engaging in a few firefights with Federation forces.
- “Sin City” – Taking place in a Mexican coastal town, the Ghosts link up with fellow soldiers and engage in a stealth mission at night to investigate Federation activity.
- “All or Nothing” – Hesh and Logan help the Ghosts assault and capture a Federation base located deep in the Mexican jungle.
- “End of the Line” – The Walker brothers and their allies fight fiercely against Federation forces in a massive battle at the base to buy time for an evacuation.
As these mission highlights show, a good chunk of Call of Duty: Ghosts brings the action to diverse locales across Mexico. From sandy coastal towns to dense rainforests, players get a taste of different settings and combat scenarios in the country.
Key Details on Call of Duty: Ghosts’ Setting
Here are some key details on the setting of Call of Duty: Ghosts in Mexico:
- The game takes place in the near future of 2017.
- Most of the events occur in the fictional Mexican states of “Chiapas” and “Bonito.”
- Missions range from urban areas to remote jungle locations.
- Mexican terrain plays a big role, including beaches, forests, rivers, and ruins.
- The environment reflects the aftermath of the Federation’s invasion and occupation.
- Mayan influences and ancient sites are woven into some missions.
By setting the game in a fictional near-future version of Mexico, the developers were able to take creative liberties with the landscape and architecture. This allowed them to design expansive, varied settings tailored to Call of Duty’s signature combat sequences and cinematic action.
Analysis of Mexico’s Role in Call of Duty: Ghosts
Mexico serves an important role in the overall campaign of Call of Duty: Ghosts for several key reasons:
- Geographic Proximity to the U.S. – As the Federation invasion spreads from South America northwards, Mexico represents the next doorstep on the route to the continental United States.
- Diversity of Environments – Mexico’s geography allowed for a variety of locations, from urban areas to the jungle, keeping gameplay scenarios feeling fresh.
- Personal Stakes – Fighting so close to the U.S. border heightens the sense of urgency and gives the Ghosts a very personal motivation to repel the Federation’s advance.
- Iconic Latin American Imagery – Influences from Mayan culture and ruins help give the Mexican settings a distincitive character and sense of place.
By choosing Mexico as a primary location in the game, the development team was able to tap into the above elements to strengthen the campaign. The missions set in Mexico up the ante and bring impactful action closer to the Ghosts’ homefront.
Mexico as Part of Larger Narrative
While Mexico does play a prominent role in Call of Duty: Ghosts, it is ultimately part of a larger overall narrative arc:
- Early missions take place in the U.S. and establish the Federation as a threat.
- The Ghosts initially fight the Federation in Caracas, Venezuela.
- Then the focus shifts to Mexico for a large middle portion of the game.
- Later missions feature settings in the U.S. again and in space as the story concludes.
So Mexico certainly figures prominently as the Federation’s invasion approaches the U.S., but it is one part of a narrative spanning global locations. The game uses it as a crucial stepping stone in the Federation’s path and a chance to highlight the Ghosts’ resistance.
Reception and Criticism
Call of Duty: Ghosts received fairly positive though unexceptional reviews upon its release. Many critics noted that the game stuck to a familiar Call of Duty formula without taking many risks. Let’s take a look at some reception specifics around the Mexico setting:
- Praise: Reviewers complimented the visual diversity of the Mexico locations and some of the creative mission scenarios based around the unique terrain.
- Criticism: Some felt that the Mexico missions relied too heavily on narrow linear gameplay and scripted set pieces without enough freedom.
- Debate: Critical opinion was split on whether the fictionalized take on Mexico was a clever storytelling device or an underutilization of a real-world locale’s potential.
While reception of the Mexico setting was somewhat mixed, most agreed that it succeeded in providing a variety of combat backdrops and serving the story’s broader goals. There was perhaps room for the developers to have leveraged real Mexican locations and culture even more ambitiously.
In addition to its campaign mode, Call of Duty: Ghosts includes competitive online multiplayer. However, the multiplayer does not actually feature any maps or content set in Mexico. The maps in multiplayer have a variety of settings across the globe, but Mexico is not included among them. So the country’s presence is limited to the campaign rather than multiplayer or other game modes.
Comparison to Other Call of Duty Games Set in Latin America
Call of Duty: Ghosts is not the only game in the franchise to use Latin America as a setting, though it has the most extensive presence. Here is a quick comparison to other titles:
|Game||Latin American Level(s)||Notes|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops||One mission in Cuba||Very brief appearance|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops II||Panama setting in early 1980s||A few missions take place here|
|Call of Duty: Ghosts||Extensive Mexico presence||Most prominent Latin American setting in the series so far|
As we can see, Ghosts stands out for making Mexico a focal point of its campaign rather than the quick appearances of Latin America in other titles. It demonstrates the most commitment to spotlighting the region.
Potential for More Mexico in Future Call of Duty Games
The door is open for future Call of Duty games to revisit Mexico or base even more content there. Ghosts proved the country can provide an exciting backdrop that takes advantage of Call of Duty gameplay mechanics. Here are some ideas of how Mexico could figure into future titles:
- A sequel to Ghosts completing the story arc about the Federation’s invasion
- Prequel missions showing early Ghost operations in Mexico prior to Ghosts’ storyline
- Appearances by Mexican special forces as playable characters
- Missions in real Mexican locations like Mexico City or famous ruins rather than fictional areas
- Multiplayer maps set in recognizeable Mexican settings
With such a huge fanbase eager for fresh settings, stories, and characters, Mexico remains ripe with potential for future Call of Duty games if developers want to revisit it.
Call of Duty: Ghosts stands out as the only game in the series so far to extensively use Mexico as a primary setting. Its fictional take on the country provides a backdrop of diverse locations for campaign missions ranging from sandy coasts to lush jungles. While the Mexico setting received some criticism, it largely succeeded in supporting the game’s narrative and providing unique new environments. As the Call of Duty franchise continues, developers have lots of opportunities to build upon Ghosts’ foundation and integrate more Mexican locales, culture, and characters to satisfy fan demand for new experiences.