Call of Duty: Same Old Warfare
Infinity Ward’s decision to continue to take this franchise into the future as opposed to peeling back to the days of early modem combat, as did it’s biggest competitor, clearly shines through in Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare . The choice to build a futuristic first-person shooter in a genre that’s flooded with them points to one thing – the famed publisher took the safe road as opposed to the one less traveled for this installment. Either that, or the corporate suits got the better of the design team once again. Regardless, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare feels a lot like the previous version with a few minor tweaks and a facelift. Perhaps featuring Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered alongside Infinite Warfare is a little more ironic than we initially thought.
The game’s overall direction is certainly perplexing. Gamers have been fawning over the idea of bringing back the World War II setting, one at which the franchise once excelled. However, Activision decided to go in a different direction and once again build a futuristic shooter. The community spoke via the massive amounts of dislikes on Infinite Warfare ’s YouTube launch video and here we are today – still questioning the direction to once again offer a space odyssey. The good news is that the title certainly has a lot to offer, but you’ll have to bear with the feeling of watching a rerun of your favorite TV show that just doesn’t quite capture it’s initial awesomeness.
The Call of Duty franchise has always had two things going for it since day one – unmatched controls and beautiful landscapes. Infinite Warfare most certainly doesn’t deviate from is predecessors and boasts the most impressive visuals to ever grace the series. You can tell a lot of thought went into building the aesthetics as they feature an immense amount of detail in just about every piece of the landscapes. Everything from the moonlight reflecting off the brick pavers, the ricochet of debris from nearby bullets, the gear each squad member wears, to even the fully fleshed out details of the weapons make the visuals tops in my book. Stop and smell the roses; you might get killed in the process, but they were certainly worth eating a few bullets to marvel at their beauty.
The controls are and always will be the foundation of the franchise, regardless of how stunning or lifelike the game looks. This installment features yet again the best controls I’ve ever experienced from a Call of Duty title. You know the controls are good when they become the standard for the platform. I hate to do it, but I’ve consistently used Call of Duty ’s mechanics as a benchmark for any first-person shooter. Battlefield 1 , for instance, is a fantastic game with a lot to offer. However, the more I play through the title, the more I hate the controls. I consistently find myself wishing CoD mechanics would swoop in and save my backside from getting mowed down from afar, and Infinite Warfare continues this tradition of excellent controls.
The Campaign mode featured in just about every Call of Duty game over the last half-decade has always been a strong point for me personally. A solid storyline, excellent visuals, and just about everything in between that makes for a good story mode has been at the forefront of this fan favorite. However, most recently with Black Ops 3 , the series has felt a bit stale. The same can be said for Infinite Warfare – it has all the makings of a phenomenal campaign, but it simply doesn’t deliver the way we know it can. The storyline is confusing at times with intertwining plot lines that either gas out too early or get extended beyond the point of interest. We don’t feel any emotional connection to the characters early on, or at any point for that matter, and we certainly feel the old winds of predictability as even “surprising” moments feel flat and repetitive.
On the positive side, if cohesive storylines and well defined character arcs aren’t your thing, the mode is still a lot of fun to play. There’s nothing better than ripping down a hallway with your squad, wiping enemies out in a systematic fashion – it definitely channels my inner Neanderthal. Enemy AI has once again been upgraded along with an increase in destructive environments. Infinity Ward infused an excellent set of sightlines with numerous hotbeds that set up exciting firefights in a large-scale setting. The mix between close quarters and wide-open fighting zones is a nice change that we haven’t seen from the series in a while. It’s also cool to run around with Chappy, aka Ethan the robot sidekick, who shreds enemies and takes gunfire better than Rambo ever could. All the positives are neatly tied together by a seamless loading system that will have players engaged in a fire fight one moment and then flying a fighter jet the next, all without any visible cut sequences to mask the dreaded loading times.
The online multiplayer game mode is very similar to the campaign in that it doesn’t offer anything new or refreshing other than a few visual upgrades and a different version of packaging the same old thing. For some folks this works – some guys just want to jump in and work fools online within a system that’s both familiar and comfortable. For the rest of us, we want more innovation in our $60 investment. Players can choose from three initial load outs, or Rigs as Infinite Warfare refers to them, to build the perfect character. From there you will be able to add weapons or purchase additional boosted ones with microtransitions, which makes me a bit furious as it takes away a certain competitive element from the game. Nonetheless, you can still obtain all the top weapons the old fashioned way, you just might get worked on the way to getting there.
The maps featured in multiplayer are what you would expect from a Call of Duty title. Great sightlines, familiar navigation, forced hot zones, and the occasional spawn kills the further you stretch your lifespan. Sadly, this mode doesn’t offer anything new outside of the familiar Call of Duty -type map layouts that we’ve seen for years. Eventually they’ll give in and add a massive map where I can ghillie suit up, lay in the brush, and pick guys off from a few hundred yards away. Until then, I’ll grind my way through the standard maps that provide sparks of excitement and bouts of anxiety about getting stabbed from behind.
Speaking of getting stabbed from behind, Zombies provides much of that. It mirrors its Black Ops 3 predecessor but with a 1980s-themed amusement park twist. This underrated game mode most certainly has to be played with at least two friends, as it doesn’t quite match up to its glory when done alone. Be sure to jump into Zombies during your first or second go around with the game as it helps balance out the highs of your campaign shooting and the lows of another repetitive and familiar multiplayer offering. Without revealing any spoilers, it’s worth getting to wave 20, of course if you’re mentally strong enough.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect to the newest addition to the Call of Duty family certainly comes in the form of Modern Warefare Remastered . There’s nothing too special about the remastered version, which is only fitting as it follows our theme of this game, but that’s quite all right with us. Infinity Ward has brought back one of the greatest first-person shooters of the modern era and has bootstrapped it directly to the Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare . The game looks absolutely fantastic and sent back a rush of memories playing that bad boy in college with my neighbors at all hours of the night. If you’re simply looking to jump into the Legacy Edition because you don’t want to wait and see if MWR will be released on its own, I think it’s totally worth it. Infinite Warfare is predicable, but it’s not a bad game by any means.
All in all, Infinite Warfare is just about average with a few sparks here and there. The game feels a lot like the few of the other CoD titles I have tucked away on my shelf but with a few shiny upgrades. Same great mechanics, same beautiful visuals, familiar platform, and the baddest Call of Duty game since the original in Modern Warfare Remastered makes this an average title that won’t disappoint the die-hard Call of Duty fan.
RATING OUT OF 5 RATING DESCRIPTION 5.0 Graphics
Beautiful as always! Stunning landscapes that highlight minute details makes for a great visual breakdown. 5.0 Control
Best controls in a first-person shooter ever. Nothing even comes close to the control of this (or any COD game for that matter). 4.5 Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Voice-overs are great and gunshots sound oh so real, baby. 3.0 Play Value
Same old Call of Duty with the same old features and functions. 3.5 Overall Rating – Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
|Review Rating Legend
|0.1 – 1.9 = Avoid
|2.5 – 2.9 = Average
|3.5 – 3.9 = Good
|4.5 – 4.9 = Must Buy
|2.0 – 2.4 = Poor
|3.0 – 3.4 = Fair
|4.0 – 4.4 = Great
|5.0 = The Best