Game Review – Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare has launched and brings the series to places that it hasn’t been before. Let’s find out if that’s a good thing or not!

Release Date November 4, 2016
Genre First Person Shooter
Platforms PC/PS4/Xbox One
Developer Infinity Ward
Price $59.99 US
ESRB Rating Mature
Players 1-18 Players

 

It’s hard to imagine, but Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is 9 years old this year! That was the title that pushed the Call of Duty series into the stratosphere. After that, it was a yearly event that first-person shooter fans really started to get behind. Call of Duty became a pop-culture phenomenon and one that hasn’t run out of steam yet. That brings us to this year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. This year’s edition builds upon the solid formula of Black Ops III while retaining what made it so popular. It even manages to add a remastered version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare to the mix.

I think that by now, everyone has become accustomed to the big setpieces and action-based storylines of the Call of Duty series. It seems that each year the campaign gets bigger, but it hasn’t necessarily always been for the better. There have been a couple versions in the past few year’s that I haven’t even bothered to play through. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare takes the campaign to a whole new level.

Futuristic warfare has been teased for a few years now in the Call of Duty series and Infinite Warfare has is diving head-first into that theme. We’ve gone from what was a military shooter to something that resembles more of a sci-fi shooter. It definitely has more of a Halo vibe than it resembles any regular shooter and that’s not a bad thing. I think Call of Duty got stale after so many years of not taking chances and now that they finally are, it’s becoming a more well-rounded series.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare takes the campaign to space.

You play a fighter pilot who captains a ship through the solar system. There are a variety of missions and side-missions throughout the solar system and you can choose whether to roll through the story or add some side-missions to the mix for some variety.

The campaign includes more than just your simple run and gun gameplay that has been the norm for years. This year’s game includes space dogfights, stealth gameplay, and crazy battles. The enemies are fairly intelligent and varied. They’ll try to flank your position, coax you out of cover with grenades, and even snipe you the moment you pop out. Some of them have jetpacks that hover in the sky while others are robots that you need to destroy. The campaign truly feels like it was well-constructed this year and not just put in as an after-thought. I won’t give too much away, but it was certainly an enjoyable experience.

The couple criticisms I have of the campaign are pretty minor, but worth mentioning. The first of which is that it’s relatively short. It’s probably about 6-8 hours long depending on how many side-missions you do and how skilled you are. This isn’t something that makes a big difference as it falls in line with previous games, but it could be a bit longer of an experience for those who don’t like multiplayer. The second thing that bothered me was the fact that there isn’t a way to play the campaign with friends. This was a feature of the last game and yet it’s non-existent in this version which is a shame. I know there are technical hurdles to this, but in my opinion, it’s not much of an excuse. It can be done. I’m disappointed that they decided to omit that and I hope it shows up again in future versions.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Zombies in Spaceland takes Call of Duty back to the 1980s.

Zombies in Spaceland is a refreshing take on the cooperative Zombies mode that has become a staple of the Call of Duty series. The characters seem to be based on certain characters in pop-culture at the time like Commander Keen. It’s a fun diversion and one that kept me striving to be better with all the random zombie enemies that try to eat you. There’s even a cool arcade you can go to to try and fill a meter to come back to life after you die. It features a handful of Atari 2600 games and things like Skee-Ball. It’s an interesting take on the fan-favourite mode and my favourite version of it thus far. I still feel like it’s kind of unnecessary, but they can’t really take it out at this point in the series.

Competitive multiplayer in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare doesn’t change a whole lot from Black Ops III. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I expected a bit of a jump this year. All of the movement options are there from last year and yet the levels limit what you can do with those options. There are roofs you can’t go up on and not enough walls to sustain a wall run. I want to be able to use these abilities more than I can at the present time. Granted, there are a lot of new options in terms of grenades and gadgets which are a nice touch. There are even new Combat Rigs which are similar to character abilities from last year with a bit of an improvement.

I do have to say that the sheer amount of different weapons and versions of weapons is a nice touch that has carried over. Players can even obtain different versions of guns from leveling up the faction that they belong to. Overall, that pretty much sums up the changes to this year’s multiplayer mode. It’s a, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it approach”. The multiplayer is indeed addictive as ever and I really don’t have much of a complaint about it, I just wish there was more to get excited about.

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Modern Warfare makes a return if you’re willing to shell out the extra money to get it.

If you decided to shell out some extra money this year, you were also treated to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered. The campaign feels a bit dated at this point in time and the multiplayer feels a bit stripped down compared to today’s Call of Duty games, but it was nice to go back to what made this series so popular. Multiplayer features a few new additions like Calling Cards, Medals, and Kill Confirmed mode. I do wish that they would sell it separately for those that would prefer that, though.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare does everything well. From the campaign to the multiplayer to the zombie mode, Infinite Warfare provides hours of quality entertainment. With all that it does well, this year’s game falls short of any real innovation. It’s not the same game as last year and I definitely recommend taking a look at it, but those who want a brand new experience aren’t going to find that here. This is the Call of Duty you know and love and there’s nothing wrong with that. It became the juggernaut that it is by accentuating its positives and Infinite Warfare has done just that.

 

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