Title: Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Platform: PC, PS4 and Xbox One (reviewed)
Publisher: Infinity Ward
Release date: Out now
tl;dr: More of the same. But in space.
Price: $60 / £50
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Another year, another Call of Duty. What can I say? If you’ve played one, you’ve played them all. Control wise, nothing as changed. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Anyone who’s players an FPS will feel right at home. Never played one? Don’t fret, controls are easy to pick up and master. As long as you remember how to shoot and reload, you’ll do fine. Although I doubt this is the one that will convert non-believers.
Call of Duty Infinite Warfare’s story kicks off with a special forces team sent to a secret UNSA (United Nations Space Alliance) weapons research facility on Europa, to investigate a Settlement Defense Front attack and recover a prototype weapon before initiating the facility’s self-destruct. While the latter part of the mission is successful, they fail to recover the weapon and are captured by the SDF, where they are subsequently executed by one of their main commanders- Admiral Kotch- portrayed by Game of Thrones’ Jon Snow, Kit Harington.
Nevertheless, one of the most interesting features with Infinity Warfare is that players are now free to choose their loadout before jumping into a mission. There’s a recommended one based on the requirements of the upcoming predicament, but players can also choose an additional one in case they want to do things their way. And of course, this being Call of Duty, the developers made sure to jam pack the game with a nice variety of weapons.
In order to extend the single player campaign’s longevity, Infinity Ward also added optional missions that can be tackled to change things up a bit. After each mission, players are brought back to the command center where they can choose from a few side missions or simply keep the main story line going. Although be warned, once players jump into the final mission, there’s no going back, so if left undone, optional missions are lost. If you want to get the most out of the campaign, I highly recommend players to put aside the main story in order to do the optional stuff; without tackling the facultative content, the game can be done in record time. It could even be the shortest Call of Duty game yet as it could possibly be done in five hours or less.
Certain missions will require players to pilot their Jaguar into space to take out enemies. Those dogfights are an intense, dizzying and confusing affair. While a nice diversion from the standard run and gun affair, flying around in circles in every which way can make you woozy, making them not as fun as you’d expect. Your jet has machine guns and rockets, and while the former has an unlimited amount of bullets, use them for too long and they’ll overheat. To make things go boom, the rockets can be fired at locked in targets. Thankfully, when players run out of the explosive goodness, they can call upon an Air Supply Drops to refill them. One thing I did enjoy were Flares. If you have rockets, enemies will have rockets as well. Once fired towards the player, flares can be launched to detract enemy rockets from their objective: you. It came in handy and saved my butt a few times.
While overly enjoyable, the main issue I had with the story campaign is that it takes a while before things the action kicks up a notch. Some early missions felt quite bland and forgettable, but halfway through and straight up the final bow, missions are hectic and action packed, almost like a Michael Bay flick. When it came time for the final mission, for the first time since Advanced Warfare, I wanted more. I wanted to keep playing because the action started to get good and to be honest, I enjoyed Reyes’ and Salter’s banter.
And now, the reason most gamers really grab Call of Duty for every year: multiplayer. As with any iteration, there’s a handful of mode to keep players enthralled:
- Team Deathmatch: Pretty self-explanatory: Two teams enter the map and the first team to reach the target score wins
- Free-for-all: Good luck, soldier, as there is a bunch of soldiers out for your head
- Domination: Capture and defend the designated positions to earn points
- Search and Destroy: Teams take turns defending and destroying an objective. The catch? No respawns.
- Hardpoint: Capture and hold a designated zone to earn points
- Kill Confirmed: Recover dog tags from killed enemy soldiers
- Frontline: Work as a team to eliminate the opposing team. Players always respawn at the base. The first team to reach the set score wins
- Defender: Earn points by capturing the drone and use it to upload data
When jumping into multiplayer for the first players, players are required to choose one of the Combat Rigs classes: Warfighter, Merc, and Synaptic are available out of the game. FTL, Stryker and Phantom are to be unlocked as you play.
Each class has their own perks and different play styles, allowing players to find something that suits their need. Obviously, as with any iteration, Infinity Ward introduces a bevy of new futuristic weapons such as the Seeker Grenade; a spider-like robot which zooms for the nearest target and explodes on the spot. Earning a set amount of points will reward players with Scorestreaks that give them the opportunity to deploy a massive weapon such as the UAV. I opted for the Warfighter class, which looked well-rounded and suited to my lack of skills; but once I started using them, the gameplay felt slow and sluggish, as if I was running through molasses, making me an easy target. The Synaptic, on the other hand, is more of a run and gun class, ready for fast-paced shootouts.
Of course, it wouldn’t be complete without Zombies! The new co-operative mode features its own storyline and requires players to work together in order to survive as long as possible. To make things as approachable as possible, Infinity Ward added a few new features (eg: sharing points and team buy doors) in order to entice newcomers to the popular mode. Additionally, perks can be purchased to give players a standing chance against the horde of the undead that becomes increasingly stronger the longer players survive.
Presentation wise, while the game looks as good as you’d expect, the transition from gameplay to cutscene isn’t as smooth as previous iterations. The last few Call of Duty games, especially the latest iterations on current-gen hardware, has a seamless transition when leaving gameplay to enjoy a cutscene. This time around, players will notice a big difference; where the gameplay visuals have a lighter backdrop, the cutscenes appear much more dark.
Throughout the campaign, I could never buy Harrington as the “villain.” After seeing someone like Kevin Spacey in a such a role a few years back, every time I saw Harrington’s likeness on screen, I couldn’t be bothered to care. Unlike Spacey’s performance, Harrington’s is pretty forgettable. His voice work falls flat and boring. It gave me the impression that he was there to cash a paycheck and that’s it.
On the sound side of things, while not something out of this world (pun intended), again, it suits the game well. Unfortunately, it’s kind of hard to appreciate composer Sarah Schachner’s work when all you hear is yelling and guns firing. I do however commend Brian Bloom as Captain Nick Reyes and Jamie Gray Hyder as Lieutenant Nora Salter. Reyes and Salter are the two protagonists that players will follow through the infinite warfare and both deliver an enjoyable and believable performance.
Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare is another same old experience that comes out on a yearly basis. That being said, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. Personally, I enjoy this franchise for the single , I never dive too much into multiplayer , therefore campaign wise, it’s fair. While it takes a while to get hot, it has its unforgettable moments and that ending hit the sweet emotional spot as well. Also imposing side missions to make it last longer, while previous iterations campaigns could take up to 8 hours by their lonesome, feels like Infinity Ward didn’t know what to do story-wise.
Again, I don’t believe this year’s CoD will bring in new players (at this point, I don’t think nothing will), but dedicated fans of the franchise are sure to eat it up for hours on end across all modes. Unfortunately, in a year where much better overall experiences are available (such as Doom or Battlefield 1), it’s hard to recommend Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. If you’re looking to dive into the FPS genre, grab Doom. Otherwise, if you’re a diehard fan of Call of Duty, this is a no-brainer.
- Final mission is better than the whole game
- Customizable loadout for every mission
- More of the same. Won’t convert non-fans of the decade long franchise
- Skip side missions and it’s the shortest Call of Duty game
- Stale and forgettable performance from Kit Harrington
Call Of Duty: Infinite Warfare is rated M for Mature as it features blood, gore, strong language and violence.
This review is based on a retail copy of the game purchased by the reviewer