Hundreds of video game fans braved the freezing streets at midnight to be among the first to get their hands on the new Call of Duty game.
The Game store on Pride Hill, in Shrewsbury town centre, Game at Merry Hill Shopping Centre, Dudley and Asda in Wolverhampton were just a few of the 300 stores nationwide to hold special midnight openings for the launch of the game.
Among the crowds at Game at the Merry Hill Centre was a less typical game obsessive – 78-year-old Doreen Fox from Dudley Wood. The granny accompanied daughter Vern Hughes and grandson Gareth Hughes to buy the XBox 360 version of the game.
And she revealed she is an avid fan of the blood-thirsty series.
“I always look forward to playing the new games, I just love the violence,” said Mrs Fox. “I can’t beat my grandson though; he’s just too fast for me.”
Paul Martin, store manager at GAME at Dudley’s Merry Hill Centre, said fans were queuing up hours before midnight.
“We have had a few late night launches of late, with this following on from the release of Grand Theft Auto and Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag,” said Mr Martin.
“So far we have taken more than 500 deposits for the new CoD game, and we are expecting between two and three hundred people through the doors tonight.”
First in line at the Merry Hill was Vincent Philips from Pensnett, who started queuing up before 10pm.
“I just love the game and this could be the best one in the series,” said the 23-year-old who works at McDonalds near the Penn Island in Wolverhampton.
“Getting here first means I will get home quicker to play it.”
Asda in Wolverhampton went a stage further by setting up a themed area featuring sandbags, jerry cans and actors dressed as military personnel.
16-year-old Ryan Jones from Shrewsbury was first in his queue at Pride Hill.
“I’ve had every single copy of it since the first Call of Duty,” he said,
“I’ve been doing the midnight launch for the last four years in a row. I’ve never been at the front of the queue before though.”
Ryan bought the Prestige version of the game for Xbox 360. It cost £159.99 but he says it is money well spent.
“I’m going to gome home and play it straight away. I really like my games,” he added.
Behind Ryan in the queue was Jake Walker, 20, from Shrewsbury.
“I started playing when Call of Duty 4 came out,” he said. “The multiplayer game should be good in Ghosts.”
Although most of the midnight gamers were men, there were some women waiting eagerly for their copies.
Laura Smith and Stacey Smout, both 23 from Shrewsbury, have been playing Call of Duty together for several months.
“I got into it years ago and I got Stacey addicted to it too,” Laura said.
“I finish work and go straight to hers to play,” Stacey added.
“We’re looking forward to playing the multiplayer together. I’ve booked two days off work so I can play it.”
The shop opened its doors at 10.30pm so that people queueing could wait inside, but by midnight the line stretched through the store and back out of the shop on to Pride Hill.
Staff at the shop said they had plenty of copies of the game and expected them to sell well during the next few days.
But store manager Paul Haddon said preorder numbers had been lower than expected.
“There weren’t as many as we would normally have, I think because of the next generation consoles coming out later this month,” he said.
“I think people are waiting to buy it on the new consoles.”
Check out what our game reviewer thought of Call of Duty: Ghosts here http://nativemonster.com/lifestyle/gaming/review-call-of-duty-ghosts