2016 has been a strange year, so why not take the Call of Duty action into space?
This year was Infinity Ward’s turn at a Call of Duty game, something that must be getting more and more difficult with each entry in the franchise to come up with something new. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare offers a compelling single player campaign, the great multiplayer that the CoD series is known for, and a wonderfully zany Zombies mode, all of which offer something new to evolve the series. Hats off to Infinity Ward, it’s all pretty damn good.
While it may be initially skipped over by players eager to test their mettle in the multiplayer game, the single player campaign is one of the stand out features in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and one of the best single player campaigns in recent years. We are talking blockbuster action, cinematic cut scenes and a story that is incredibly immersive.
Set in the future, humans have left the confines of the Earth and spread out throughout the solar system. The UNSA are the controlling faction, but a second faction known as the SDF are causing all manner of problems as they fight for overall control. Led by the ruthless Admiral Koch, played by Game of Thrones’ Kit Harrington, the SDF are quickly leaving a swathe of destruction with their unwavering ideologies.
The player takes on the role of Captain Nick Reyes and is quickly given control of the Retribution, a massive UNSA warship. What follows is a tale worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster as the narrative pits the heroic Captain Nick against the impressively evil Admiral Koch. But the player is not alone in facing the mammoth task of taking down Koch, and is joined by an impressive cast of support characters, including the excellent ultimate robot soldier ETH.3n. These supporting characters, even the robot, all grow in personality through the course of the game, and become companions in the truest sense of the word. They also add an emotional slant to the game as the player becomes invested in the relationships between Reyes and these characters.
When it comes to the gameplay, there is a lot of the Call of Duty that players have come to know and love, with a few departures from the norm. As the player picks missions from the bridge, including side missions which are a nice touch, they will travel to some awesome settings through the solar system. A particular highlight, and something that feels less of a tacked on mode and more of an integrated function, are the dogfights in which the player will step into their Jackal ship and zip around in space, locking onto targets and firing flares to confuse enemy missiles. Controlling the ship is sublime, and the actual dogfights are incredibly immersive. But they don’t stop there, as players will even have the opportunity to land their Jackal on gigantic warships and leap out into much more standard Call of Duty gameplay at times.
But even then, the gameplay is not necessarily standard. Infinite Warfare spends a lot of time in space, and so gravity is not something that the player can always rely on. Combat in zero gravity is just as much fun as on terra firma, just with the inclusion of floaty maneuvering and a grapple option, which can be used not only to get closer to objects, but can bring objects, and enemies, closer to the player. When it comes to the other equipment available in Infinite Warfare, players need not worry that it will all be about weird futuristic weaponry. There are plenty of standard guns in the game, and the more exotic weapons are not so strange that they don’t fit in with the CoD gameplay.
The single player campaign is terrific and well worth playing, but it is the multiplayer that will attract most players in Infinite Warfare. Here, things are much more normal and will feel quite comfortable to veteran CoD players. Of course, the setting is more futuristic, with some awesome maps, as are some of the weapons. Wall running works really well, although not quite to the degree found in TitanFall. Classes are represented in the game as Combat Rigs which give the player a chance to choose one according to their playstyle, plus the option to tweak the Rig to their liking. There is even some crafting in the game that is paid for with in-game currency. Being able to upgrade your weapons, or even add some cosmetics, is a great addition.
And there are plenty of modes for players to enjoy. All of the usual suspects are there, such as Team Deathmatch, and Domination, while there are some new contenders for our time, like Defender and Gun Game, offer something new for the players to get their teeth into and enjoy. There are some 14 different modes, so plenty there to keep players busy until the first batch of DLC arrives.
Then, of course, we have the series’ hugely entertaining Zombies mode. This great co-operative mode has become a firm favorite with players, and this time round things are set to get even stranger. Set in a 1980s theme park, players will fight off waves of zombies to earn the cash needed for more weapons and unlocking new areas. It’s a great, albeit somewhat crazy, mode that will entertain players and offer some light relief from all of the futuristic carnage.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare feels like one of the best CoD games in recent years. While the single player campaign and multiplayer game may have headed into a more futuristic theme, it still feels like a CoD game at heart. The changes are not so great as to alienate veteran players, and the game is packed with great content.There is a lot here to do, and each mode offers something new for the player. Grab it if you want a shooter that will last ages.