Title: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Where To Buy: PSN Store, Xbox Store, Steam, Local Retailer
While the Battlefield series decided to take a step backward and take on World War 1, and Titanfall chose to continue with their futuristic mech warfare, the Call of Duty franchise finally took the step we all wondered when they would take: space.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is the latest edition of the series developed by Infinity Ward, who had previously released Call of Duty: Ghosts right at the dawn of the current console generation back in 2014. This time around, the game offers a new take on their traditional campaign, an 80s nightmare in their Zombies mode, and the well-known multiplayer its audience has grown accustomed to.
The campaign puts you in the boots of Nick Reyes, a soldier who ends up at the helm of the Retribution: a space cruiser that acts as a hub world for the player to track their progress, customize their load outs, and select a variety of missions. It is from this ship that Reyes and a small team of specialists fight against the Settlement Defense Front (SDF), a hostile faction led by Admiral Salen Kotch (played by Kit Harrington) that rises up against Earth and the United Nations Space Alliance (UNSA).
Instead of the traditional linear, front-to-back story that the franchise usually takes with their campaign, Infinity Ward designed this one in a way that gives the player the choice to tackle a number of side quests scattered throughout the Milky Way. Some of these are space combat missions that require you to enter your Jackal, a personal space fighter, and eliminate SDF transports and fighters. The others are on-foot missions that allow you to kill off heads of the various sections of the SDF operation, some of them in the normal run and gun combat, but some in an interesting stealth mode.
These side missions and the overall feel of actually being the captain of the Retribution by allowing the player to pick where they want to go next makes Infinite Warfare feel different and unique in comparison to other entries in the franchise. The story itself is nothing to write home about, and the acting isn’t either, even with blockbuster names. The character that I felt had the most personality ironically was a robotic soldier named Ethan (E3N), who made humorous quips and created heartfelt bonds with various characters in the game. Everyone else seems to fit the traditional military shooter mold of tough, emotionless soldier.
SPOILERS AHEAD! My biggest problem with the story is that numerous people of your crew continually sacrifice themselves for you, but the game never earns the emotional response for it. Each time someone died (and believe me, it happens a lot), it never made sense since they never emphasized the relationships or portrayed Reyes as being worth the sacrifice. It only felt fairly okay at the end when you die as well, so at least it didn’t make me feel like a totally horrible person for all of these people dying for me.
The real problem is that all of this could have been avoided, and the deaths in the game could have had a real resonance like they did in Halo Reach. During the credits, you are able to listen to the messages sent home to the families of each of the people who died. In these messages, you find that each person has a pretty emotional story, and it truly brings the characters to life. Unfortunately, by not putting these in the game immediately after each person died, or allowing you to pick them up as collectibles on the ship, you don’t care about the characters that much until this moment, and it really feels too late.
The combat is about the same as it usually is, allowing the player to wall-run and slide their way around the maps. Surprisingly, while Call of Duty usually feels the best version of a first-person shooter, this time around it feels rather sluggish and boring in comparison to both Battlefield 1 and Titanfall 2. The movement feels less responsive than Titanfall in both speed and how agile your character feels, and the combat feels less fun or realistic as Battlefield.
Because of this, I feel like, while the multiplayer is similar to the prior games in the series, it feels especially repetitive and unrewarding. Surprisingly, the Zombies mode, normally a staple in the Treyarch games, feels especially fun. The Spaceland map is extremely well designed, the sound bites from both the characters, each of whom is designed after an 80s stereotype, and the different theme park attractions make it pretty hilarious to run around. I’m normally not a zombies lover, but I couldn’t help but have fun in this version of it.
Overall, Infinite Warfare‘s strengths come in the different take on the campaign and the Zombies mode. I assume that most people who picked up the Legacy edition are probably spending more time in the multiplayer of the remaster of Modern Warfare, especially since Infinite Warfare feels stale. Hopefully, the campaigns in the future continue to embrace the idea of allowing the player to pick their mission order and push to make characters more fleshed out (before the credits preferably).
- Gameplay: Solid, a little stale.
- Graphics: Excellent.
- Sound: Great sound FX, Zombies Mode excels.
- Presentation: Wonderful story format, typical story, typical multiplayer, great zombies.
- Allows picking of side quests
- Superb zombies mode
- Fleshed out characters
- Fleshed out characters came too late
- Boring multiplayer
- Typical, stale story