Infinity Ward’s latest Call of Duty title was on the receiving end of a lot of hate after its debut trailer was released. People were once again writing the series off for a lack of ambition. Fans were asking for a return to the series’ roots instead of the futuristic space warfare they were being offered. The decision to return to space, wall running and jet packs angered more than a few people. Anybody who wrote the game off before it launched however missed out on a great Call of Duty experience.
Infinite Warfare’s reveal trailer was the second-most disliked video on YouTube at the time. I have no idea why. For the first time since Black Ops II, I liked the look of the upcoming Call of Duty (a remake of Modern Warfare coming with the special edition only sweetened the deal). For whatever reason, it spoke to me more than Ghosts, Black Ops III and Advanced Warfare ever did, despite its reliance on the future setting that those games all employed. I’m glad that I was one of the few excited by the reveal trailer. Infinite Warfare is a surprisingly detailed, great shooter.
The game is split into three classic Call of Duty modes: Campaign, Multiplayer and Zombies (a first for Infinity Ward). As with all Call of Duty titles, Infinite Warfare’s meat can be found in its multiplayer offerings. Not much has changed in the online this time around, but what’s there is rather excellent. To be honest, a lot of it was new for me, but I haven’t played a new Call of Duty game since Black Ops II. Quite a lot has changed since then. There’s more customisation options than ever. There are six classes (Combat Rigs) to choose from, with each one offering different abilities and subtle changes in things like weight and movement speed.
Each Rig comes with several different abilities, but most important, is that each Rig has a different special weapon that loads over the course of the match. There’s a lot of potential to create a custom Rig that’s perfect for each map, each play style and even each gun. It’s awesomely detailed and can get quite addictive. The multiplayer keeps you coming back for more long after the campaign is over. There’s so much to unlock, level up and customise. From how your character looks, to your own gesture and how your gun looks and fires – Infinite Warfare is vastly detailed. There are a lot of modes to try out too. To be honest, I mostly played Team Deathmatch, but all the classic Call of Duty modes are there.
Infinite Warfare gives you a brilliantly diverse range of weaponry to discover along all of its modes. The introduction of the likes of laser guns and black-hole grenades to your standard mix of ballistic weaponry really livens things up. There are hundreds of weapon combinations across the game, and all of them are fully upgrade-able and allow for plenty of personalisation. Running, thrusting and sliding along a crumbling space-station at phenomenal speed as a dual-energy-blasting machine gun-toting robot is a great amount of fun. Just as is camping in a well-hidden spot as the Rig that lets you go invisible. Infinite Warfare’s multiplayer is very, very good fun, but there aren’t enough maps.
Activision clearly wants you to purchase DLC map-packs, as there aren’t enough maps in the base game. The maps available from the off are brilliant, and each one needs a different strategy to succeed. After a good number of hours however, you can’t help but wish that the game came with a few more maps, for more variety – at least visually. This is a curse that afflicts a lot of modern shooters however, and it isn’t unique to Infinite Warfare.
While the multiplayer is excellent, it doesn’t do much to shake the formula up from past releases. The campaign however, does. Your standard story of existential angst and shouty men shooting at things because evil is there, is accounted for, but Infinite Warfare is smarter than past titles. Before each mission, you get to patrol the Retribution – a large military space-ship. In this you can wander around (this is limited, mind), view your progression, watch news programmes and listen to conversations between crew-members. This down time is nice after the high-octane missions you’ll take part in.
Infinite Warfare’s campaign missions range from the big, visceral explosion-filled to the sneaky, close quarters ones. All the missions are great fun, and visually, the game looks fantastic. Zooming from a ship battle into on-the-ground affairs is seamless and breath-taking. Indeed, more than once, your jaw will lay agape at the detailed, spectacular visuals. There’s never any slow-down and the campaign can be astonishing. The ice-crusted vistas of Pluto are spectacular, thrusting through space with a grappling hook is hauntingly silent and violent. Captain Nick Reyes’ fight for the Solar System is brutal, breath-taking and a whole lot of fun, despite the overly bland plot and dull voice-acting.
There are plenty of clever tricks up the campaign’s sleeves, too. You can hack into and take control of enemy robots (in order to take out enemy forces from within their own ranks), you will take to the skies and pilot the Jackal, with full control of movement and shooting in great dogfights. There’s a lot to like about this game, and the Zombies mode is the icing on the cake. For the first time I understood the Zombies mode. It’s tense, exciting and good fun in local and online co-op. I’m terrible at the mode, and have never finished it, but it’s a lot of fun.
There’s a lot to like about Infinite Warfare, but despite all of its new ideas, it maintains the pace and zip that has always made Call of Duty an enjoyable shooter. The campaign suffers from dull voice-acting and a bland plot, but the scope of it is quite staggering. The online multiplayer is really good fun and offers a monumental amount of customisation options, making for the most personal Call of Duty experience yet. There aren’t enough maps in the base-game, but if you cough up the ludicrous charges for DLC, there are plenty of great-looking ones to get stuck into. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare is a great game.
The campaign suffers from a dull plot and poor voice-acting, but Infinite Warfare is always fun and sometimes astonishing.