By: Grant Box
As I start this review on the latest Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, let me start by saying I do not consider myself a "gamer". I do not have a vast array of video games played to draw inspiration and analysis from. In the past, when playing a video game, I have had a very small set of objectives: don't mess up or die, and have fun. These objectives have led me to play every Call of Duty game that has come out. It has been my go to game. I've played a few other games along the way, but no matter what, I get excited about CoD every year! Believe me, I play the crap out of it. This being said, here are my thoughts on the latest Call of Duty installation!
First off, I dig the space theme. I will admit, the futuristic advances made by previous installments started to kind of annoy me. The jet pack feel, boosting around and wall running, it just made me think, "Gosh I just wanna be in World War 2 again." Still my love for the game was fueled by the classic story mode, and fast paced competitive multiplayer that never got old and I kept coming back. When I heard we were going to space in Infinite Warfare, I was very hesitant. I decided to play the single player campaign first as I normally do.
As soon as the first scene of the game hit my TV screen, I was hooked. Space is awesome! Literally, I was in awe. The longing for the old, classic, real life WWII feel disappeared and I couldn't wait to see what this whole new world held in store for me. The cut scenes felt the same as always, as if I was watching a movie, hoping I would have to tap “X”, or hit “B” to make something awesome happen. Working with your squad, you're given many small missions that all add up into saving your home. I felt the game did a good job of mixing up the pace of the game. Between fast and furious, then slow and stealthy. This includes a new aspect I was very happy to see. Flying around in a jet in space blowing away foes. This is just straight up freaking amazing!
Infinity Ward ,the studio behind the game, also does a great job of something I always look for in the Call of Duty games. Pulling at my emotional strings. The story of your character interacting with other soldiers and commanders, as we watch their relationships unfold kept me guessing as to what their fates would be in the end. Unfortunately, the enemy brings me to the only aspect that left me wanting more. I need more interaction with the enemy to make me want to demolish them. I want it to feel personal. The enemy definitely had its moments, but could have used a little more development.
The guns are cool, even the laser ones, which again I was hesitant about. Holding “Y” rips a gun apart into duel wielding automatic laser pistols. I absolutely love this gun! A sniper rifle can have the scope flipped to the side in mid battle and become an assault rifle. While aiming down the sights with a shotgun, the bullet spread tightens and seeks its way to the target. As far as the tactical and lethal grenade options, they are pretty interesting. Using a hacking device allows you to hack into the enemy bots and attack them before self destructing. A seeker grenade and personal drone make for diverse styles of attacking. Also, a gravity grenade sucks the opposition into the air making them helpless targets
The feel of this campaign was excellent. It never felt fake because we were in space. The studio made it feel like real world battle, taking place with far out technology in an incredible setting of outer space.
Now, on to the multiplayer! Personally, this should be the moneymaker. The lasting replay value makes me come back once I've beaten the campaign. I will start by using a word I used to describe the campaign, and that is feel. It doesn't quite feel right. There was always something about crouching down, popping up, and delivering a headshot to a fool that felt awesome...and it just doesn't have that feel. I felt somehow disconnected from my gun and from the enemy on the other end of it. Which may sound funny, it's hard to describe how you can't quite feel the impact of taking down an opposing player...I told you I would use the word feel! Maybe it has to do with some of the guns I mentioned earlier, or the sights, I don't know. But I'm going to keep playing and hope to get a better and better feel of it.
The tactical and lethal grenades are similar to previous Call of Duty installments. The incorporation of the new outer space grenades seem to fall flat to me. In the heat of battle I want something to blow someone away, not have to worry about a gravity ball. Which leads me to the Rigs. You start with a limited choice of Rigs to play and unlock more as you level up. Each one has 3 Rig specific assault options, and 3 trait options. During a match, the assault option builds as you play. It will eventually be able to be used, such as the Ripper or Hives in the previous game. While all of them are really cool either to use or in concept, I've found myself going to the same one or two that seem to be most effective. For example, the Warfigher. The traits are decent as well, but while they remain effective thought the entirety of the match, they just don't seem to have a noticeable impact to me.
In the multiplayer, there is an Armory with a Prototype Lab. Here you can spend points acquired to craft guns. Each upgrade doesn't necessarily upgrade the guns attributes, though occasionally they will, such as reduce swaying of your gun when looking down the sights to improve accuracy. It mostly gives you an attribute perk, such as a double kill or automatically reloads your magazine. Headshots give you an increase spike to your Rigs payload meter. This adds an aspect of value to work towards and hopefully improve your overall performance in matches.
The maps are fun. They do have a good feel. It's always important to get to know the maps or your running around like a chicken with your head cut off. However, it feels like you have an exponentially greater disadvantage this go around. The importance of getting in the first shot is more imperative than ever for some reason.
I'm not going to lie, I had gotten pretty good at the last few Call of Duty multiplayer’s. I can confidently say I am not doing nearly as well this time through. So, it has become a bit frustrating. One could look at this as it's somehow more difficult which could be a good thing to some. I will continue to play it in hopes of improving. If the engine they are using is designed for this, then they succeeded for sure. For the franchises sake, I hope more people continue to battle through it than give up.