As the 13th installment in the series, "Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare" delivers a great campaign and a new take on the zombies mode but leaves much to be desired on the multiplayer side of things.
When “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” was first announced on YouTube, its trailer quickly became the second most disliked video on the site. While the game adds improvements across its three main modes, it’s clear why fans are growing tired of the yearly franchise.
The campaign puts you in control of the warship Retribution as Captain Nick Reyes (Brian Bloom), who assumes command after the ships Admiral is killed during a surprise attack at the start of the game. The campaign does not feature much of a deep story, but makes up for it with its characters and their development throughout the game. The main cast does a great job at getting you attached to their characters, especially Sgt. Omar (David Harewood) and a sentient robot with a wise-guy attitude nicknamed Ethan (Jeffrey Nordling).
Kit Harington plays the game’s main antagonist Rear Admiral Salen Kotch and was a big selling point of the game in the ads leading up to it. Much like Kevin Spacey in “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare,” his character is severely underused in the campaign. He had an interesting premise, but no backstory to give insight on why his character was doing what he was doing.
This year’s campaign introduces space dog-fights that are fun the first few times, but quickly become stale as the sequences are much of the same with different environments. There is also the traditional boots on the ground game-play like any “COD” while retaining the jet pack movement system from the last two games. Occasionally you also get a chance to fight in zero gravity sequences in space, using a grappling hook to get around, which were a lot of fun to play through.
Overall the campaign runs about six-ten hours depending on whether you do the included side missions, which don’t really offer much in terms of variety. If you usually buy “Call of Duty” just for multiplayer, I’d say this years campaign is worth a play-through based on the characters alone.
This years multiplayer mode feels more of the same that we got in “Black Ops 3,” which is a major reason in why “COD” is getting so much hate now. The mode introduces new prototype weapons, the variants are more powerful versions of their original model with improved stats and perks which can be bought with salvage, an in game currency, or from supply drops that are bought with keys earned from playing the game or paying real money. They also include their own take on the specialists from “Black Ops 3” called combat rigs. These rigs each have their own ability, perks, and can be customized with items earned from supply drops. Players can now choose a faction to complete challenges for in-game and unlock exclusive gear them.
This years multiplayer introduces a few interesting twists but doesn’t really bring anything game-changing for returning players, which is exactly why people have fallen off the “COD” series after getting the game every year for this mode alone.
The zombies mode is what brings me back every year to “COD” and this year’s version is another strong step in the right direction. The single map is entitled “Zombies in Spaceland” and starts off with an animated cut scene that gives off old-school “Scooby-Doo” vibes to set up the story, complete with ominous organ music and lightning strikes. Long story short, four actors find themselves stuck in a horror director’s film fighting off waves of the undead in an abandoned theme park set in the 80’s.
The mode maintains the same structure as Treyarch’s zombies mode, while also adding in a few nuances to make it their own. First off, there is now a ticket currency that you can earn from playing some of the arcade games on the map and using traps to kill zombies. You then can exchange the tickets at various locations on the map to get special weapons and items to help you fight off the horde. There is also the return of perks in candy form as well as the pack-a-punch machine to get even more powerful weapons. Another nice thing about the mode is that the XP you earn for your guns to unlock more attachments carries over to multiplayer and vice versa. Based off of “Black Ops 3’s” gobble-gum, fate and fortune cards also make a debut to provide different abilities for a short amount of time.
“Zombies in Spaceland” also features a star from the 80’s, David Hasselhoff, who works as the park DJ and plays a wide variety of music from the era and can help you to fight off the zombies when you complete certain challenges, which is just as cool as you would imagine it to be. Overall, the mode offers a more lighthearted take on the zombies mode, which is a nice change of pace after Treyarch just finished wrapping up their long and intricate zombie story-line that started all the way back in “World at War.”
“Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered”
One of the big selling points to bring old fans back to “COD” was including “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered” for those who shell out the extra $20 for the legacy edition. It was nice to revisit the excellent campaign that spawned a trilogy, as well as the multiplayer that hooked everyone to the series and started “COD’s” rise to power. As of now, the game is only available with the legacy edition, but I would not be shocked if Activision were to release it separately later on down the line to squeeze out a few more bucks. Right now, only ten of the original multiplayer maps are available to play, but the rest are scheduled to come out this December for everyone.
The game has a multiplayer that does not bring much in terms of anything new to the table, but has the strongest campaign we have gotten since “Black Ops 2” and an exciting new take on the popular zombies mode. In the end, “Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare” delivers a solid game that will impress fans of the franchise and new but doesn’t really stand out among the pack of great games that 2016 has delivered to gamers.