There’s an overwhelming burden on Activision and its squad of developers to deliver a fresh and innovative Call of Duty game ever year, and that shows in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Focused to the point of desperation on being different than any of its predecessors, it blasts off to outer space, doing away with most of the trappings players have come to expect from the series. Along with a wackier-than-normal zombie mode and a wholly revamped multiplayer setup, this is the Call of Duty that tries to equate “different” with “better.” That it somehow manages the feat is a credit to rebuilt developer Infinity Ward.
Game: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Consoles: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC
Developer: Infinity Ward
Release Date: November 4
Gutted by the departure of the brain trust that now forms the core of Titanfall maestros Respawn Entertainment, Infinity Ward has now reloaded and is eager to prove they can hang with their predecessor when it comes to creating a gritty sci-fi epic. Early campaign missions give you the feel for your advanced slate of armor, gadgets and weaponry. It’s a joy to jump and ignite your suit’s ability to glide, or toss an enemy-seeking grenade around a corner to take out a clueless squad of space fascists. With branching paths and side-quests available, the campaign is the fullest-featured storyline in a Call of Duty game since Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare heyday. That’s why it’s appropriate that a deluxe edition of the game comes packed-in with a download of the newly remastered version of the 200 classic.
Multiplayer is expectedly a frantic, fast-paced orgy of wall-running, glide-shooting and perks exploitation. What’s here is a clear continuation of the e-sports-focused hunter-and-prey feel of the past several Call of Duty multiplayer entries, which are geared to conjure dazzling highlights and emphasize twitch reflexes to pull off skilled on-the-fly kills. The matchmaking holds your hand to an extent, setting you up with those who have similar skill levels, but the gutter bumpers can only help you so much. Eventually you will have to stand up to the big boys, so it’s on you to hone your tactics and defenses as you work your way up the chain.
Zombie mode is always a highlight of Call of Duty games, and there’s no difference this year. Dubbed Zombies in Spaceland, the 1980s-set environment is a hilarious contrast to the far-future technology in the rest of the game. A Vice City-style soundtrack accompanies pitch-perfect period detail in clothing and background details. When you’re on the verge of death, blurry VHS-style tracking bars monopolize the screen. Whether plugging through single-player mode or teaming with allies to fend off swarming hordes, it’s an absolute blast that’s well-designed enough to take your attention away from the Infinite Warfare’s higher-profile campaign and competitive phases.
After zipping through the breathless vision of the future of warfare through Infinity Ward’s telescope, it’s tough to imagine reverting to historic, modern or near-future renditions of the Call of Duty mythos. The developers created such a thrilling playground to try out your new set of toys that anything less would feel like moving backward. But it’s hard to worry about the future of Call of Duty when the present is so much fun. This is a game that will undoubtedly fill your weekend nights for months to come, jostling with the likes of Titanfall 2, Battlefield 1 and Overwatch. Maybe Activision has blown its load and this is as good as the series can ever get, and it will only be downhill from here. But that’s a problem for the suits in the boardroom to worry about while players enjoy the endless adrenaline rush of Infinite Warfare.
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Reviews Around The Web:
“It all adds up to the finest Call of Duty game yet, and it comes from the riskiest package.” –New York Daily News
“The multiplayer side of the game is thoroughly enjoyable, even if overall it feels like an incremental improvement over Black Ops III.” –Gamers’ Temple
“Infinite Warfare has the best Call of Duty campaign since Black Ops 2, with surprising features like secondary missions, space combat, new and useful collectibles and specialist difficulty.” –Meristation
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Screenshots
The publisher provided a review copy.
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